Vienna, VA – 50 years ago, a young woman named Sue Chenault was a beautiful young girl who loved Jesus and loved to sing. She sang her very first televised solo at the tender age of five years old and by age 16, she was performing on KATV, Channel 7 every day with The Miller Trio. At age 18, she was crowned “Miss Benton” and went on to be chosen “Miss Congeniality” in the Miss Arkansas Beauty Pageant. Her inner beauty and love for the Lord shine through her beautiful smile and contagious joy, which she is known for both on and off stage.
In 1969, The Downings flew Sue to Nashville after hearing her demo tape and hired her on the spot at only 19 years old. After 18 months with The Downings, the legendary Speer Family invited her to join their ministry. During her years with The Speer Family, Sue received four Dove Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year and has since been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame for her years with The Speer Family.
Four years after joining The Speer Family, Sue met the love of her life, Amos Dodge. Their love story is one of the most touching and humorous “love at first sight” stories you will hear. Amos and Sue celebrated 45 years of marriage this year. In 1979, Amos and Sue founded Capital Church in a suburb of Washington DC. Forty years later, Capital Church is thriving and reaching nations for Christ. That same year, they founded the Lincoln Memorial Easter Sunrise Service, where over 8,000 people now gather to celebrate the risen Savior at the break of dawn each year on Easter Sunday. Washington Magazine named the sunrise service #5 on their “bucket list” of things to do when visiting Washington DC.
Sue recently celebrated her 50th year in ministry at the church where it all began, Holland Chapel Baptist Church in Benton, Arkansas. It was a packed house for an evening filled with memories, laughter and beautiful music. Bill Gaither, Ann Downing, Jeannie Johnson, Mark Lowry, Ivan Parker, Guy Penrod, The Isaacs, The Talleys, The Oak Ridge Boys and Larry Gatlin shared memories of moments with Sue. The evening highlighted three themes that define Sue’s life in ministry, “The Goodness of God, The Grace of God, and The Faithfulness of God” as she shared songs like “I Came Here to Tell You that the Lord is Good” and “Let Me Tell You About Jesus.” The crowd joined in as the evening closed with an all-time favorite, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
Amos and Sue have retired from pastoring Capital Church, passing the baton to Travis and Tara Goodman. Travis is the grandson of Howard and Vestal Goodman and is carrying the legacy of reaching the nations for Christ. Sue is back on the road in full-time ministry now. She has an enormous legacy in the Southern Gospel music industry, having sung in 18 countries, received numerous prestigious awards and even accolades from former President Ronald Reagan, who told her that her performance of “God Bless the USA” rendered him speechless.
Sue shared, “I am so humbled and honored at how God has allowed me to serve Him over the years, and I couldn’t be more thankful that He still allows me to sing. This is only the beginning and I hope to see you all soon!”