From Cleveland, Tennessee comes a family trio whose history is rich in Christian music and faith being passed down through generations. Jeremy Epperson’s family began the ministry of the Singing Echoes over 45 years ago. He grew up in the group and when he left in 2014, he began a new season with his own family. Jeremy now sings with his daughter AnaÃ¯s and son Bryson. Meadow Lane just happens to live on Meadow Lane, though their foundation is on the Rock of Jesus Christ.
Today, Jeremy Epperson answers our Fast Five for Meadow Lane.
SGN:Â Tell us how Meadow Lane Began.
JE: I led the music in our home church’s Wednesday night middle school youth program for several years. AnaÃ¯s had been singing with me for a couple of years or more and then Bryson showed some interest in helping sing the baritone part. We practiced a few songs and sang them there. At the time of course I still traveled and sang with the Singing Echoes. Before long the three of us began getting requests to sing together in times of intermission after the Singing Echoes sung. God had been dealing with me for some time about a different direction in my ministry. One evening as I stood on the stage with my family, I felt as if though God just whispered in my ear that my place was to be singing with my children. I stepped down from the Singing Echoes that night and the very next week we began singing as Meadow Lane.
SGN:Â Introduce us to your family and tell a little about each one.
JE: I am honored to have both of my children on stage with me, even though they don’t like to be called children anymore. My daughter AnaÃ¯s has been singing since she was born. The nurses in the delivery room swore to us that she never cried, she only sang. She could sing before she could talk. I remember her singing the popular kids song, “Deep and Wide.” She couldn’t say the words but she could sing the notes. She still sings morning, noon, and night. The only break we get is when she sleeps and that’s not a lot sometimes. I believe she is one of the best young Alto/Soprano singers in Southern Gospel music today and she’s for sure my favorite.
My son Bryson is another story. As I said before, he has only been singing for about two years now. He works very hard on his singing. Jeff Steele calls him a pitch hound, finding those smooth baritone notes and being rarely noticed until he sings lead in some songs. He is a great help when it comes to setting up and tearing down equipment as well. He is our road crew. Most of the time he has our entire sound system packed and ready to go by the time I can get my clothes changed.
My wife Amanda of 22 years has always been by my side in every endeavor I have ever attempted. Some we have accomplished together, some we failed miserably together, but one part never changes. We are always together. The same is true for Meadow Lane. She has been a huge help with wardrobe selection (including cleaning), she books some of our dates, she drives the van when I am too tired to keep it in the road, she is my navigator when she isn’t driving and she runs our sound. Most of all she prays for us and supports us. That’s what means the most. Behind every good man is an even better woman.
I (Jeremy) have been involved in Southern Gospel music since I was born. The Singing Echoes are my family. My grandparents founded the group in 1969 with my Dad and my Uncle. I sang with them for 25 years and never thought I would do anything else, but God had different plans. This music is my life. I have loved it, sung it, sweat for it, made monetary sacrifices for it and I have lived it all my life. I truly believe it is the most effective musical tool to reach the lost and to uplift the discouraged. It soothes the soul of the saint and burns the britches of the sinner. It clearly carries the message of the Gospel and doesn’t sugar coat things like some other types of Christian music does. In Southern Gospel, God IS God and the name of Jesus is spoken freely. Without the shed blood of Jesus there is no remission of sinsÂ andÂ I’m glad that a good Southern Gospel song still tells about the blood.
SGN:Â When you are on the road, what is yourÂ favorite place to eat?
JE: Everyone is different:Â AnaÃ¯s: Fazoli’s;Â Bryson: Arby’s;Â Jeremy: Red Lobster;Â Amanda: Cracker Barrel.
SGN: Please share your testimony with us Jeremy.
JE: As I mentioned before, I have been singing all of my life. Before I started school, I was on the Singing Echoes bus every time it left town. I had been to more churches by the time I was five years old than most Christians visit in their entire lifetime.
I sang on stage with my family at the age of three. I cannot remember the exact church, but I do know we were in Alabama. I was seven years old when I accepted Christ. I can still remember the padding on the pews was green and we (my Mom and I) were seated in the middle isle about three rows back. I had been listening to the singing all night. I can remember my Grandpa doing the recitation on a song that almost always brought me to tears. Then they sang some other songs and before long it was time for the invitation.
As they tenderly sang a verse of an old fashioned alter call song, I can remember sliding close to my Mom and telling her that I needed to “…go up there.” She said, “Son, you can’t sing right now, they’re giving an invitation.” I said, “Momma, I don’t need to sing, I need to go up there,” as I pointed to the altar. I gave my life to Jesus that night.
As the years passed, I began to worry about sharing my testimony because I felt it wasn’t impactful enough. It lacked any depth because I was saved at an early age before I could get into any trouble. Then it dawned on me. God knew what I would get in to, and knew I needed to be saved at a young age to keep me out of trouble. You see, I’m just as saved as the worst sinner that’s ever been saved. He saved me from alcohol before it touched my lips, from dope before it tainted my mind, from bondage before I was arrested by it, and He can do the same for you today.
SGN:Â What are some future goals for the ministry of Meadow Lane?
JE: I know it sounds like a clichÃ¨ answer, but we want to see souls saved. We want to see the backsliders come home. We want to see broken homes mended. We want revival in America. We want God back in our households and in our schools. We want to see Christians with a genuine burden for their fellow man. And to borrow a line from my buddy Jeff Steele: ‘We want America back!’
Thanks so much to Jeremy Epperson and all of Meadow Lane for being a part of our Fast Five today! For more information on Meadow Lane, visit them online.
For more artist features, keep returning to SGN Scoops online.