Today, SGNScoops would like to highlight the mixed group, Living Faith, from Cullman, Alabama. This group has been traveling and singing quartet music for 24 years, releasing their latest album, “This is Why,” this past spring, through 3rd Avenue Sound Recording Studio.
With a beautiful blend of melodic bass, crisp lead, sweet tenor and spot-on baritone, Living Faith is bringing their brand of Southern gospel to many new audiences through their current radio release. If you haven’t yet heard their recent single, you will soon. “I See Jesus” is an incredible expression of faith and vision. Ask your favorite gospel music dj to spin it for you today.
SGNScoops is pleased to chat with Living Faith and to share with you their answers to today’s Fast Five.
SGNScoops: Tell us how and when Living Faith began.
Living Faith: Our ministry started in 1994 at our local church with Roger James, his son Rodney James, and Mary Mooney, as our church asked us to sing special music during our services. After about a year of seeing God touching hearts in our home church, God started opening doors for us to minister in other local churches and our ministry has grown from there.
Mark Byrd joined the ministry after about three years, when they sang at his home church. After about eight years of singing with the group, Mark became really involved in his church and ministries there and left Living Faith. In 2015, God brought him back to the group.
In 2016, Roger stepped down and his grandson, Rodney’s son, Nathan James, took his place.
In the last few years, God has really began to open so many doors and bless our ministry as only He can do. He recently led us to songwriter, Debbie Davis, who pitched us her song “I See Jesus.” We just released this song as our first single on June 29. We are all excited to see where He leads our ministry from here.
SGNScoops: At what age did you feel God calling you into ministry? Explain.
Rodney: At the age of 26. I’ve been around gospel music since I was nine years old, hearing my dad sing, and I have always loved it but never thought I would be able to stand on stage in front of people and sing. I started singing solos at church and was inspired by how God was using me to be a blessing to others.
Mark: At the age of 21, I was asked to sing in with a group of friends in the small country church that I attended. When God started opening doors for us to minister, I knew that God would use my effort to spread the good news in song.
Nathan: Around the age of 18. I’ve been around gospel music all of my life watching my dad and granddad sing, but have always been a really shy person. I was finally convinced by my dad and granddad to try singing and when I finally did, it just felt right. From that time I felt that I would be part of a gospel music ministry, but just didn’t know what God’s timing would be. When my granddad decided it was time for him to step aside, I knew this was God’s timing.
Mary: At the age of 43. I started singing gospel music with my dad when I was five years old, but got away from church. When I was 43 years old, I gave my life to God and felt this was the ministry that He wanted me in.
SGNScoops: Other than singing, what else keeps you busy?
Living Faith: Rodney has a Lawn Maintenance and Landscape Business. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife Cathy and their three children and four grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way. He serves in the music ministry at his home church, Bellview Heights Baptist Church, as his schedule allows. When he’s not singing, he enjoys being around horses and spending time on his small farm.
Mark and his family, which includes his wife Sandy, sons Perry and Rodney, have a farming operation that includes poultry barns, corn, soybean, wheat, cotton, and cattle. Mark serves on the praise team at his home church, Temple Baptist Church, when his schedule allows. As for hobbies, Mark just smiles and says, “Silver Eagle buses.”
Nathan works for Pepsi as a route driver. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife Tiffany and their boys, Rhett and Rhenden. They are expecting their third son in October. Nathan is active in his home church, Bellview Heights Baptist Church as his schedule allows.
Mary is retired. She babysits her great-grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, their three children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mary serves as treasurer at her home church, Living Faith Baptist Church, and sings regularly there. In her spare time she enjoys sewing and cooking. She is currently spending a lot of time organizing and decorating the home they just finished building.
SGNScoops: Will you please share your testimony with us?
Rodney: I was in church regularly from the time I was nine years old, when my parents were saved. When I was 17, I got away from the church and followed my own path. At the age of 22, the Lord started dealing with my heart and I realized I needed Him to be Lord of my life. That’s when I gave my life to Him and since that day my life has never been the same. I only wish I had realized my need for Him at an earlier age.
Mark: I have been in church all my life. When I was 11 years old, our church was in revival and a group of my friends went to the altar, I didn’t want to be left out so I went also. I thought I was saved, but two years later, God convicted me of my sins and at that point it was real. I went to the altar and God saved me that night. Years later, after going through a time of being a prodigal son, God got a hold of me and I’ve never been the same since.
Nathan: I was raised in church my whole life. At a very young age I thought I had gotten saved, but as I got into my teenage years I realized I still had a lot of sin my life and something just wasn’t right. At the age of 15, I woke up from a nightmare where dad, who I have always been very close to, and I were walking down a path together. We came to a gate being guarded by two angels. Dad was in front and received a hug and was welcomed in. As I stepped up to be next, I was violently taken away by two demons. That’s when I woke up with the realization that things weren’t right in my life. When we woke the next morning, I found my dad and described my dream. There in our living room we knelt and prayed and I asked God to become the Lord of my life.
Mary: I was in church with my parents until I was 16 years old, then I just stopped going. Years later, Terry, my husband, came home one Saturday afternoon and said, “I think I need to go to church tomorrow, will you go with me?” God had been dealing with me during that time and I had ignored Him. That next Sunday we went to church and we both walked the isle and were saved. I was always looking for something and never felt complete, until I gave my life to Him.
SGNScoops: Your new single, “I See Jesus,” is now receiving airplay on gospel music stations across the country. What does the message of that song mean to you?
Living Faith: The song starts out telling that just before the prophet Stephen was stoned, the Heavens opened up and he saw Jesus at the right hand of God, the Father. There are many people that have witnessed a family member, moments before their life ended, have a moment of unexplained activity both physical and mental. Things like looking upward, and seeing and talking about what they see in Heaven. I believe this is God’s way of letting those of us that are left here and experience this with a friend or family member know that Heaven is real. Our hope is that multitudes of people will listen to this song, feel the message in the words, and seek to have that assurance that when their life is over that Heaven will be waiting for them.
SGNScoops would like to thank Living Faith for all they do to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, and for being our guests on Fast Five. If any of our readers would like to talk to the group about booking or purchasing their latest album, you can contact Living Faith by e-mail here or by calling Mark Byrd at 256-303-0983. If you would like to download their latest single, “I See Jesus,” you can find it on iTunes here . Read all about Living Faith and find their schedule on Facebook here.