Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

DIXIE MELODY BOYS NAME NEW TENOR

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on July 7, 2020 – 1:04 pm -

Kinston, NC – Long-time Dixie Melody Boys owner and SGMA Hall of Fame member Ed O’Neal is pleased to introduce Buddy Bates  as the new tenor vocalist for The Dixie Melody Boys.  A lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Buddy brings decades of music experience to The Dixie Melody Boys.
A talented musician and vocalist, Buddy’s roots are deeply tied to Southern Gospel Music. He first began singing and playing for New Creations, a group founded by his father, Merle. Over the years he has traveled with such talented groups as The Ball Family, The Mercy River Boys, Stone Ridge Quartet, New Voice Quartet, The Crownsmen and most recently The Blackwood Brothers. Over the past couple years Buddy served as Music Director at First Millville Baptist Church in Millville, OH. “While serving at the church, I was given the opportunity to fill in for The Blackwood Brothers while their tenor recovered from a heart attack,” Buddy shares. “While I love working in the church, singing with a quartet again reignited my lifelong dream of singing Southern Gospel Music full-time, and I am so grateful to be able to be with Ed, Willie and all the Dixie Melody Boys.”
Buddy and his wife, Lisa, have five children and one grandchild, with two more expected to arrive this fall. While Buddy will miss the extra time with his family, he is thrilled to join Ed O’Neal, as well as baritone Willie Sawrey, lead vocalist Cayden Howell and bass singer Earl Roberts, who joined the quartet at the beginning of the year.
Like everyone in Gospel Music, as well as around the world, The Dixie Melody Boys have experienced their share of challenges in recent months as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic; however, ever the optimist, Ed O’Neal is excited about the future of The Dixie Melody Boys. “When we kicked the new year off, we were so excited about the group and what we expected for 2020. Then the Pandemic hit. Little did we know how it would change things for us, but we know God is in control and He has great things in store.  We are happy to have Buddy with us, and as I have said many times, the faces and the names may change, but The Dixie Melody Boys still have a message to share. Even after all these years I still believe God has great things in store.”
Additional information regarding The Dixie Melody Boys is available online at www.dixiemelodyboys.com. Anyone interested in scheduling The Dixie Melody Boys may contact the Beckie Simmons Agency at 615-595-7500 or via email at beckie@bsaworld.com.

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New Decade – New Members – New Excitement – Ed O’Neal’s Dixie Melody Boys Pressing Forward In 2020

Written by Staff on January 9, 2020 – 7:14 am -

Dixie Melody Boys 2020

Dixie Melody Boys (pictured l-r): Willie Sawry, Cayden Howell, Ed O’Neal, Derrick Boyd and Earl Roberts

Kinston, NC – The year of 2019 was one filled with numerous changes for a man who is no stranger to change. Ed O’Neal, long-time Dixie Melody Boys’ owner/manager, SGMA Hall of Fame member and 60-year Southern Gospel Music veteran has endured the test of time. As has often been stated, Ed O’Neal is no stranger to changes and adversities. In fact, over the past five and a half decades he has seen over 90 personnel changes. “That has to be a record in this business,” Ed says with a chuckle.

The past year saw more group personnel changes for the seasoned veteran; however, the adversity he personally experienced throughout much of 2019 seemed to be one of his biggest challenges. “On April 1, I was involved in a pretty serious automobile accident,” he recalls. “It has been a tough recovery, and it

Update On Ed O'Neal of Dixie Melody Boys

Update On Ed O’Neal

seemed when I was getting past the injuries from the accident, more health issues popped up. I will admit that it has been a tough road, but I am so thankful that I am doing much better and able to get back on the road and enjoy singing and traveling again.”

During the summer and fall of 2019, health issues made it difficult for O’Neal to travel. “During the time I wasn’t able to travel, Willie (Sawrey) and the other guys worked really hard to fulfill the commitments we had, and they did a very good job. I continued to manage the group, just as I always have, even though I couldn’t be on the road,” Ed explains. “There were a lot of rumors circulating that I was never coming back on the road and that I was selling the group or that the group was coming off the road, but we were able to prove those rumors to be false. The truth is, I am committed to managing The Dixie Melody Boys as long as I am able to do so. I’ve put a lot of years into The Dixie Melody Boys. I love the promoters and the pastors who have supported us over the years. They are lifelong friends, and I am thankful that over the past month or so I have been able to get back on the road and have enjoyed seeing many of those friends again.”
Mr Ed, as he is affectionately known by many of those lifelong friends, is delighted with the group of young men who are now a part of the Dixie Melody Boys, and who are helping him carry on the musical tradition that began nearly six decades ago. In addition to Ed and Willie Sawrey, who has been with the group for almost four years and serves as the quartet’s baritone and road manager, former Dixie Melody Boys’ tenor, Derrick Boyd has rejoined the group. “Derrick is a great tenor who traveled with me back in the 90s,” Ed states. “It’s really good to have him back. He has made a lot of friends over the years, having traveled with groups like The Kingsmen, The Anchormen and The Toney Brothers. He has over 30 years experience and that is very valuable.”
Serving as the group’s lead singer is Booneville, MS, native, Cayden Howell. Unlike his fellow quartet members, Cayden is new to the Southern Gospel Music field but he is delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of a group with such a rich history. Being a part of the Dixie Melody Boys fulfills a life-long dream for the Southern Gospel newcomer who grew up loving the quartet sounds. “There’s just something about the four-part harmony. I’ve loved quartet music since the first time I heard it, and I am so thankful and blessed to be singing with The Dixie Melody Boys. I’m ready to see what God has in store for the future,” Cayden states. “We are delighted to have Cayden on board with The Dixie Melody Boys. He is a talented young man who comes from a wonderful family,” Ed shares about his 18-year-old lead vocalist.
As a result of the numerous health issues encountered during 2019, Ed made the decision to add yet another vocalist to The Dixie Melody Boys. “It became pretty apparent to me that there would be some weeks that I physically would not be able to travel with the group,” he explains, “but I felt it very important that even when I was unable to be at an engagement that the Dixie Melody Boys would be delivering what the audience was expecting. It was important for me to find the best person to fill the role of bass singer.” Ed found this in 40-year veteran and Tunnel Hill, GA, resident Earl Roberts. Earl first began singing at the tender age of 15 and over the past four decades he has sang with numerous regional groups from the state of Georgia and is delighted to join the ranks of the full-time road warriors. “I had been seeking a full-time position in Southern Gospel Music for a while and had been praying for God’s direction. This led to the position with The Dixie Melody Boys, and I am having a great time.”
With new excitement Ed O’Neal and The Dixie Melody Boys look forward to new opportunities in 2020. “We are very excited about the future. I believe I have four guys who are willing to work hard and embrace whatever 2020 brings. I will admit the past year has been really tough but God has brought us to a great place,” Ed states.
Ed O’Neal’s love for the people, his desire to always present quality music, united with his desire to never compromise his responsibility to spread the Gospel through Southern Gospel Music in a professional manner has allowed The Dixie Melody Boys to remain at the forefront of Southern Gospel Music for nearly six decades. A brief conversation with this Southern Gospel living legend confirms the vigor and vitality he possesses. It’s that spirit and love for singing Gospel music that drives him each day. “I want to see The Dixie Melody Boys continue the great tradition I started a long time ago. At 83 years of age, I still love to do what I do. As I have said many times, the faces and the names may change, but The Dixie Melody Boys still have a message to share, and even after all these years I still believe God has great things in store. I’m excited about the good guys I have with me, and I’m excited about what lies ahead in 2020. I think it’s gonna be a great year!”
Anyone interested in scheduling The Dixie Melody Boys may contact the Beckie Simmons Agency at 615-595-7500 or via email at beckie@bsaworld.com.

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A DREAM COMES TRUE – NATHAN POTTS JOINS DIXIE MELODY BOYS

Written by Staff on October 8, 2019 – 9:08 am -

A DREAM COMES TRUE - NATHAN POTTS JOINS DIXIE MELODY BOYSA set of grandparents who took their twelve old grandson to a Southern gospel concert gave Nathan Potts a new outlook on the music.

Here is his story, as told by Nathan Potts, the new lead singer for the Dixie Melody Boys. Nathan makes his home in Yale, Virginia, along with his wife, Megan, and their children.

“Gospel music started for me at the age of twelve years old. I remember it like it was yesterday, with Ivan Parker and The Harvesters Quartet. It was a cold October evening, and my grandparents Hugh and Carol Mayes asked if I would like to go with them to a gospel concert. For the first time ever, I went, and life was never the same. That night was a ticketed event and I walked into the auditorium with over a thousand people inside. I was in awe. From the time they started singing, ’til the end of the service, I was on my feet; and the incredible thing is, that night they did a ticket drawing and you could have guessed it –I won. It was a CD of the Harvesters Quartet.

A DREAM COMES TRUE - NATHAN POTTS JOINS DIXIE MELODY BOYS

Nathan Potts

“From that point, I started a solo career, that I continued until 2008. At that point, I, along with Thomas Nalley (Gold City) and two others, began singing as Calvary Calls Quartet.

“After the group disbanded, I joined a group for the next five years, called Promise Land Quartet, and those were some of the most special moments of my career, where I learned a lot.

“To make a long story short, years later, I started with Ed O’Neil and the Dixie Melody Boys.

“There I have been able to share the gospel in song on a national scale, and I thank God every day for giving me talents to sing, and I will forever use them to uplift his name.

A DREAM COMES TRUE - NATHAN POTTS JOINS DIXIE MELODY BOYS

Nathan and Megan Potts

“A lot of people have asked when and where I sang my first song. This would be in Petersburg, Virginia, with the Harvesters Quartet. When they pulled me up to sing, it was a wonderful time.

“I would have to say, my biggest influence singing gospel music would be between two people, and that would be Allan Hunter of the Harvesters Quartet, and Ricky Carden of The Down East Boys. Allan was always pushing me to keep going even when things got tough. And Ricky, well I’ll put it to you this way, when he let me travel with them he kept me in line; I couldn’t get away with anything. I am very thankful for people like that and everybody who has stuck by me as true friends. I truly could not say thank you enough.

A DREAM COMES TRUE - NATHAN POTTS JOINS DIXIE MELODY BOYS“If I wasn’t singing, I would most likely be doing carpentry work.

“I’d have to say, if there was an embarrassing moment — and really it more comical than embarrassing — it was New Years Eve, when Promise Land Quartet was performing in West Virginia, and I did a song which I did some choreography on, and I decided to have Joey Wilson the tenor do a 360 with me. He did, but could not stop spinning and just fell flat on his back! Needless to say he never did it again.

“I couldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for my family, mainly my grandparents, Hugh and Carol Mayes. Hugh is no stranger to gospel music.  For many years he helped the Hoppers with different things, and has been a big help to several different groups. We are from a little town called Yale, Virginia, which is currently where we all make our home.

A DREAM COMES TRUE - NATHAN POTTS JOINS DIXIE MELODY BOYS“In closing, my favorite bible verse is, ‘I am crucified with Christ and yet I live; not I, but Christ who lives within me.’”

As told by Nathan Potts to Robert York, regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

Read more about The Dixie Melody Boys in an upcoming issue of SGNScoops.

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Ed O’Neal needs our Prayers

Written by Staff on September 15, 2019 – 6:01 pm -

Ed O'Neal and the Dixie Melody BoysAllen O’Neal has requested prayer for his dad, Ed O’Neal. Ed is receiving a new pacemaker tomorrow morning, September 16, 2019.

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Keep praying for Ed O’Neal and the Dixie Melody Boys

Written by Staff on May 21, 2019 – 7:28 am -

Ed O'Neal

Ed O’Neal

Ed O’Neal & The Dixie Melody Boys 

Committed To Spread The Gospel Even Through Present Challenges
Kinston, NC – Since organizing nearly six decades ago, The Dixie Melody Boys have enjoyed much success, including a Grammy nomination and numerous Fan Award nominations. Hit releases have flowed their way in bunches. The goal of delivering a first-class performance filled with excitement, energy and lots of great traditional, Southern Gospel Music are traits which have been instilled in each group member by their leader Ed O’Neal, a 55-year Gospel Music veteran, who was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 2004.
Ed O’Neal is no stranger to changes and adversities. In fact, over the past five and a half decades he has seen over 90 personnel changes. “That has to be a record in this business,” Ed says with a chuckle. Even with all those changes, the adversity he is currently experiencing seems to be one of his biggest challenges. “On April 1, I was involved in a pretty serious automobile accident. It has been a tough recovery, but I am doing much better and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ed stated while recuperating from his daughter’s home in Kinston, NC.
Dixie Melody Boys

Dixie Melody Boys

Throughout the past six weeks Mr Ed, as he is affectionately known to countless fans and promoters, has been going through rehabilitation, and although he still has more treatment and therapy ahead, he is excited about eventually making his way back on the road, even if it’s only on a limited basis. “Willie (Sawrey) and the guys have worked really hard to fulfill the commitments we have, and they’ve done a very good job. I am managing the group, just as I always have, even though I presently can’t be on the road,” Ed explains. “There have been a lot of rumors out there circulating that I am never coming back on the road and that I am selling the group or that the group is coming off the road. I can tell you that I am committed to managing The Dixie Melody Boys as long as I am able to do so. I’ve put a lot of years into The Dixie Melody Boys. I love the promoters and the pastors who have supported us over the years. They are lifelong friends, and I look forward to seeing many of them again when I am able to be back on the road.”

Ed O’Neal’s love for the people, his desire to always present quality, quartet music, united with his desire to never compromise his responsibility to spread the Gospel through Southern Gospel Music in a professional manner has allowed The Dixie Melody Boys to remain at the forefront of Southern Gospel Music for nearly six decades. Those are also the forces that are compelling him to recover and get back out and see folks he has missed seeing during his recovery time. “I don’t know what the future holds. I am almost 83 years old now and not getting any younger,” the veteran bass singer says smiling. “But I can tell you this, Beckie Simmons and her great staff are booking dates for The Dixie Melody Boys every week, and we’re excited about that.”
A brief conversation with this Southern Gospel Music living legend quickly confirms the joyful spirit he has always possessed, as well as his desire to see The Dixie Melody Boys continue on for many years to come. “I want to see The Dixie Melody Boys continue the great tradition I started a long time ago. The faces and the names may change but The Dixie Melody Boys still have a message to share, and I still believe God has great things in store.”
Those who would like to send cards of encouragement to Ed O’Neal may send those to The Dixie Melody Boys at 1802 Oxford Road, Kinston, NC 28504. Churches and promoters interested in scheduling The Dixie Melody Boys may contact the Beckie Simmons Agency at 615-595-7500 or via email at beckie@bsaworld.com.
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Josh Garner resigns from the Dixie Melody Boys

Written by Staff on May 17, 2019 – 3:02 pm -

Dixie Melody Boys

Dixie Melody Boys

Josh Garner of the Dixie Melody Boys has decided to leave the Dixie Melody Boys. He announced his decision publicly on Facebook today. He wrote:

“It is with great sadness that I announce I am resigning from my position with the Dixie Melody Boys. Ecclesiastes tells us that to everything there is a season. After much counsel and prayer, it is evident that this season of my life is ending. I am not saying that I am done with Gospel music, but I may need to step away for a while and reexamine my path. I don’t believe for a moment that God is done with me. In fact, I believe He is preparing me for my greatest season of all. I know that it won’t be easy and there are trials to come. However, I rest assured that thanks to God’s faithfulness, I have “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

“I know how these departures are typically received, so let me clear the air. I love Ed O’ Neal! I can’t thank him enough for providing for my family these last six years. Working alongside Ed has been a great joy and I will miss being with him on a regular basis. Throughout his wife’s illness, I witnessed firsthand the meaning of a biblical marriage. I came to know his heart through many late night conversations. He is truly a man of character and dignity and it is my great honor to call him friend for over 25 years.

Josh Garner of the Dixie Melody Boys

Josh Garner

“Secondly, it has never been my intention to take over the Dixie Melody Boys after Ed O’ Neal. I told him when I came that I am with him until he retires or dies. Unfortunately, I am forced to break that promise. However, please know I joined the group and have remained with the group because I love Ed and I saw the potential to be an asset to HIS group. As far as I’m concerned, the Dixie Melody Boys will ALWAYS be Ed O’ Neal’s group.

“Finally, I have been under personal attack for many months now. My name and reputation have been slandered, but I have remained quiet as I had no doubt that the truth would eventually come out. I appreciate the many friends who approached me firsthand about the false claims and I am so thankful for their confidence in me. Sometimes it takes a difficult experience like this to learn who your friends really are. I am blessed to say that I am rich with true friends.

“Unless I am instructed otherwise, I intend to fulfill our scheduled dates through June 2nd. That will be my last official date with the Dixie Melody Boys, along with Jerry Skaggs, who submitted his resignation a week ago. I ask that you pray for Ed as he continues to recover from his automobile accident. Nothing would please me more than to see him on stage one more time. I, also, ask that you pray for me and my family, as I currently have no prospect for employment and am seeking direction. I know the last thing Gospel music needs is another soloist, but if you are so inclined, I would be very happy to come sing for your church, organization, etc. to help with our financial needs.

“Thank you all for allowing me to share my talents with you for the last 22 years. I am fully trusting on God during this time of indecision and I am not anxious. I know that He will provide as He always has. God bless you and hope to see you soon!”

Fans and friends can contact Josh Garner through his Facebook page .

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Happy Birthday Mr. Ed O’Neal

Written by scoopsnews on May 28, 2018 – 10:44 am -

For over 55 years, Ed O’ Neal has served as owner, manager, and bass singer for the legendary Dixie Melody Boys. Throughout his tenure, he has received every possible award for excellence from his peers and fans, including multiple Favorite Bass Singer honors, the J.D. Sumner Living Legend Award, and the prestigious Marvin Norcross Award. Perhaps his greatest achievement was induction into the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall Of Fame long before his storied career was over. And it’s not over by a long shot, as the effervescent octogenarian is still thrilling audiences worldwide. In addition to being one of Southern Gospel’s most beloved personalities, Ed O’ Neal is credited with introducing some of the greatest talent to ever grace a concert stage. Thanks to Ed’s ability to locate and groom such fine performers, the Dixie Melody Boys have been affectionately dubbed “Ed O’ Neal University.”  Some 80+ individuals have graduated from EOU and are currently serving in various capacities throughout churches and concert halls across the country. Ed O’ Neal’s smooth vocal stylings and southern charm have gained him countless fans the world over, but his humility, grace, and generosity have earned him a place in innumerable friend’s hearts. 

Today is Ed’s Birthday… Happy Borthday from your friends at SGN Scoops!


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THE DIXIE MELODY BOYS REACH SCHEDULING AGREEMENT WITH BECKIE SIMMONS AGENCY 

Written by Staff on November 10, 2017 – 3:49 pm -

THE DIXIE MELODY BOYS REACH SCHEDULING AGREEMENT WITH BECKIE SIMMONS AGENCY 

THE DIXIE MELODY BOYS REACH SCHEDULING AGREEMENT WITH BECKIE SIMMONS AGENCY

Nashville, TN – Popular Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame member, Ed O’Neal, manager of The Dixie Melody Boys (pictured in attached jpg), has announced that a scheduling agreement has been reached with the Beckie Simmons Agency. BSA will immediately begin scheduling The Dixie Melody Boys for events throughout the remainder of 2017, as well as 2018. “We look forward to this new working relationship with Beckie and her staff,” O’Neal states. “Beckie’s reputation speaks for itself, as does her work ethic. I consider it a great honor to have the opportunity to work together. We are very excited.”

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CHM Event Center serves Vestal Goodman’s famous coconut cake at VIP reception following concert with the Dixie Melody Boys, the Guardians & Lorne Matthews

Written by Staff on August 21, 2016 – 12:38 pm -

Vestal Goodman's Coconut Cake

Vestal Goodman’s Coconut Cake

Promoter James Lawson says, “I just thought it would be fun to duplicate Vestal’s family recipe and serve something that would not only be good but that would bring back fond memories of one of gospel music’s great legends…something that you just would’nt get anywhere else.”

Vestal Goodman

Vestal Goodman

Barberton, Ohio August 19, 2016- The Happy Goodman’s could sing an old convention song like no other group, each of them singing a different melody line and then all of them landing on the final chord together.

They were also known for their voracious appetite for life, gospel music, and country cookin.’ There was always something good to eat on the Goodman’s bus. Now if you are not aware of it, Vestal’s coconut cake was legendary.

We gave Vestal’s most requested and celebrated cake recipe to

Dixie Melody Boys

Dixie Melody Boys

Dolores Reeve’s of Reeves Cake Shop, celebrating forty years serving some of the finest baked goods in Akron, and commissioned them to bake as close to possible Vestal’s famous coconut cake. Following the “Summer Night Hometown Sing,” this past August at the CHM

How big is God. Guardians with Pat Barker

Guardians

Lorne Matthews

Lorne Matthews

Event Center, Barberton, Ohio those with a VIP ticket indulged in a piece of Vestal’s famous cake, garnished with a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream and had a chance to mingle up close with all of the artists on the program. In concert that evening were the Dixie Melody Boys, the Guardians and Lorne Matthews.

When it comes to Southern Gospel Music, you will find none finer than the coming roster of talent scheduled to appear at Christian Healthcare’s new Event Center located at 800 Wooster Rd, Barberton, Ohio.

The fall line up is simply spectactular, starting with:

September 10-Greater Vision & the Mylon Hayes Family
October 22-Cana’s Voice & David Pendleton
November 19-the Blackwood Brothers & the Browns
December 16-the Hoppers & the Hall Sisters

Plan now attend one or more of the above events; for more info visit our web at gmlconcerts.org. Tickets for all events on sale now through itickets.com or by calling 800-965-9324; group rates available.

Christian Healthcare Ministries/Gospel Music Live
Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) is an affordable, faith-based solution for Christians to the problems of rising healthcare costs and expensive health insurance policies. Visit chministries.org or gmlconcerts.org

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Triumphant Quartet personnel changes

Written by Staff on August 16, 2016 – 7:11 pm -

Triumphant Quartet by Craig Harris

Triumphant Quartet With GW Southard

Triumphant Quartet has announced the departure of GW Southard, their pianist of two years. GW responded this evening on Facebook: “I like to thank everyone for the countless messages. I would also like to thank Triumphant Quartet for giving me the opportunity to pursue a passion of mine and Eric Bennett for being a great Boss and leader! Thank everyone for the memories!!”

Dixie Melody Boys with Aaron Dishman (2nd from left)

Dixie Melody Boys with Aaron Dishman (2nd from left)

The group’s new pianist is Aaron Dishman, formerly of the Dixie Melody Boys. According to the Singing News website, Triumphant is thrilled to welcome Aaron to their quartet. “‘We’ve know Aaron for many years and always loved his kind heart and sweet spirit. But, he is also a very talented musician and singer. Former pianist GW Southard left the group in late June to serve on a church staff. We are very thankful for the two years GW was here and we wish him the best. We are extremely excited for the addition of Aaron on our team,’ says Eric Bennett.”

About Triumphant Quartet

According to the Quartet’s website: “Triumphant Quartet has had four #1 songs and several others have climbed the Top 40 music charts, which has also contributed to their popularity. Gospel music fans agree that the triumphant sound is distinctive, solid quartet singing. But Triumphant excels in diversity, and also expands their musical borders to a wide variety of styles, that is enjoyed by church audiences and music lovers. When Triumphant takes the stage, the audience is entertained by the musical variety, the engaging personalities and a bond that is brought together by years of friendship. Audiences will find themselves smiling, laughing, crying, encouraged and uplifted. And most of all, they will walk away having had the Gospel Message presented to them in a powerful way, with a hope that many will receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is the focus of Triumphant. He is the reason they sing, and these four gentlemen stay consistent and steadfast in their goal of giving their very best in all they do and every song sung.” See more on Triumphant’s website.

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