Sevierville, TN – Eight years ago, J.P. Miller got a call from his friend, Ron Ogle. Ron asked J.P. to host a live radio show from Ogle Furniture Outlet every week and to invite his gospel music friends to perform on the program. Although J.P. had his reservations, he accepted the task and created the Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee. Life for J.P., Ron and Betty Ogle and Ogle Furniture Outlet has never been the same.
J.P. Miller stated, “When my phone rang and I saw it was Ron, I got nervous. You never know what Ron is calling about. When he first presented his idea, I thought it would fail. Who would want to come to a furniture store during the week and hear gospel music? Nothing like this has been done before. Because Ron and Betty Ogle were such good friends and helped me in so many ways, I told him I would try to make it happen. I called Jamie Lewis at Praise 96.3 to set up the show and began to call my gospel music friends. When it came time for our first show I thought maybe 10 people would show up. It was standing room only and things have grown so much from that night.”
They were on to something! The Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee has become a fixture for locals and tourists alike. Each Monday at 6:00 p.m. guests enjoy sitting in their favorite recliner and watching gospel singers perform on a stage constructed from a 200-year-old grist mill Ron Ogle salvaged several years ago. They have done over 300 live shows and over 25,000 guests have attended the show in person. A couple of years into the show’s success they added television to their production with over 100 shows taped to date.
Ron Ogle shared, “Betty and I wanted to showcase J.P.’s talent in singing and his natural ability to talk and interview guests. We not only have singers perform, but we have also featured and advertised many local and national ministries and non-profit organizations. The show is J.P.’s. I told him I wanted something to benefit the community and something that lifted up the name of Jesus. I think the show has done that over the years. People stop me every day because they see me in my Ogle shirt. They don’t have any idea that I’m the Executive Producer. They tell me how much they enjoy the program and how much it means to them. I like that they don’t know me so they really tell me what they think.”
It has become a life changer for show host, J.P. Miller. Miller celebrates 20 years of working in gospel music this year. He started working at Dollywood’s Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame fresh out of college and then took a position hosting a weekly television show on Gospel Music Television with gospel music icon, Lou Wills Hildreth. Miller has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad with several recordings to his credit. With the show’s success, he has cut back singing to two weeks a month because of the demand of the weekly program.
“I can’t do it alone anymore!” Miller states. “I have added staff and sponsors to the program to keep up with all the details and allow the program to expand.”
Marcie Gray acts as Miller’s Producer as well as his Business Manager and Agent. Landree Brotherton is the Assistant Producer. Jack Allen serves as the Audio Engineer and Dale Burress is in charge of television production. The entire show is paid for by Ron and Betty Ogle and Ogle Furniture Outlet. In recent years, additional sponsors have been added such as Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain Bar-B-Que, Wedding Bell Chapel, KARM Thrift Stores, and Riverbend Campground.
“I’m so grateful for the show. It has become such a big part of my life. I would have never dreamed we would last this long and it doesn’t look like we are close to stopping now! As long as people are blessed by the program and stay interested, I think we will stay on the air. I am truly thankful for Ron and Betty’s support and the store’s manager, Nathan Costerisan who allows us to come into his store each week and turn it into a church!”
To celebrate their 8th anniversary, The Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee will feature performances by J.P. Miller and the Kingdom Heirs on Monday, March 25, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. There will be a silent auction before and during the show and prizes will be given away when the show ends. They will be taping the show for television that night and a big crowd is expected to attend. The show is free and open to the public. Ogle Furniture Outlet is located at 1063 Dolly Parton Parkway in Sevierville.