The Fosters

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Youth in Gospel: Eli Fortner

Written by Staff on April 9, 2020 – 7:04 am -

Youth in Gospel: Eli FortnerYouth in Gospel: Eli Fortner

By Lyndsey Chandler

I am pleased to introduce to you Eli Fortner, formerly of the legendary group, the McKameys. He is 25 years old, and until recently, traveled with his family group, which included his parents, grandparents, and an aunt, based out of Clinton, Tennessee. The McKameys retired at the end of November, 2019.


The McKameys are one of Southern Gospels most loved family groups. In 2019, they entered into their sixth decade of spreading God’s message of love and hope through their music. If you are a true gospel fan then you may recognize songs that they sang like, “Right on Time,” “God on The Mountain,” and “There is Jesus.” This group has been such a blessing through their many years of traveling. So, when I was making my decision on who to interview, I knew I wanted to talk with Eli; not only give honor to him, but to his family as well.


Fortner was around the age of five or six years old when his family first put him on stage. He was just three years old when his parents bought him a drum set for his birthday. 


“I started guitar backstage at a McKamey concert,” says Fortner. “My pop would carry two or three, and one was laying backstage. I hollered at him from backstage while he was on stage and asked if I could play it. To be honest, I don’t remember what he said, but I heard a ‘Yes.’ Then Pop saw I had an interest in it, so he gave me one of his the next day. I still have it and use it every now and then.’’


If he was not traveling, Fortner would probably be in construction. His pappaw was a contractor and so is his older brother, Brad. It is kind of a family trait. One thing that is on this musician’s bucket list is to play at the Hollywood Bowl. His favorite fast food is Chick-Fil-A. Besides playing music, he is a bit of a collector of vintage music gear and instruments.


Youth in Gospel: Eli Fortner

Eli Fortner

“If I’m not on the road, I’m in my home studio,” Fortner says. “God’s blessed me to do what I love for a living, so even if I’m not working for other artists in my studio, I’ll still be making music. Other things you might find me doing is reading or detailing cars… I’m random, I know.”


Fortner relates an incident that was a bit embarrassing.

“I was on tour with Jeff and Sheri Easter, who I dearly love, and the second song was ‘Over and Over.’ I played the intro and all was fine, and then I got a little too proud of myself and went to play the turnaround and completely bombed. Not just missed a note, like it was an epic fail. Everybody had that, ‘You’re fired,’ look on their face, and Jeff went to sing the second verse and pointed his hand to me, making a gun shape with his index finger and thumb acting like he pulled the trigger. I was embarrassed but also laughing at myself and of course all that were on stage were laughing. 


Roger and Eli Fortner

“Jeff and (the others) still won’t let me live it down, and a couple weeks after it happened, a friend, Jared Easter, texted me and showed me it was on YouTube ‘cause the church live streamed the service that night… I’ll never be able to live it down. Moral of the story.. stay humble or you’ll fall flat on your face!” concludes Fortner.


Music is a passion for this young man. “Like, I’ve never thought about setting it aside and doing something else. And every time I hear something cool, like on the radio or streaming, I get inspired and I know inspiration comes from God (because) the Bible says so,” Fortner shares. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that my gift is not my own, but that it comes from God and that it’s my responsibility to use it for him and give it back to him, and hopefully I’ll inspire other people to do the same. So that’s my motivation.” 


I asked Fortner what the message is that he would like to get out to young people. His response was: “Not only should you practice and learn as much about your talent as you possibly can, you should also learn as much about God as you can. Read and study. God reveals himself to those who want to learn about him. 


Youth in Gospel: Eli FortnerFortner continues, “However, talking from my own personal experience, nothing has taught me like my own personal life experiences. Everybody goes through something, but you have to remember, like Psalm 23 says, we go through ‘paths of righteousness for his name’s sake’, not ours. When you’re a gospel artist you’re representing his name. Not yours. Don’t forget that.”

By Lyndsey Chandler

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in January 2020.

Find out more about Eli Fortner HERE

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January 2020 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by Staff on January 18, 2020 – 8:31 am -

SGNScoops Cover January 2020Happy New Year! We are excited to present to you the first issue of SGNScoops Magazine for 2020. This is also the first issue that is a color magazine, sold by subscription and available on the record tables of your favorite artists. If you don’t see the SGNScoops Magazine, condensed hard copy, on an artists’ record table, then please ask them to carry it. We would love for you to see it!

The January issue of SGNScoops Magazine is usually one where our cover highlights an artist that we feel will make waves in Gospel Music in the new year. This year, we bring you Josh and Ashley Franks, whose music has been climbing the charts and whose talented family is well-known in the industry. We hope you enjoy this great article by Jimmy Reno.

Be sure to read all about the Erwins, Eli Fortner, Citizens of Glory, Mark Bishop, and Andy Leftwich; artists whose styles span the breadth of Gospel music. JP Miller reaches a milestone, and we pay tribute to Dr. Buck Morton. All this plus our DJ Spotlight, Coastal Events Update, Publisher’s Point, and the top songs across the country. Thanks to all of our writers this month, including Jantina Baksteen, Justin Gilmore, Lyndsey Chandler, Marcie Gray, Les Butler, Vonda Armstrong, and Rob Patz. Some of these talented people are doing double-duty this month, and all are gracious when asked for something at the last minute. Please check out their biographies at the end of the issue.

We hope you start the year with SGNScoops, but more than that, we hope you start the year with Jesus. He is our Rock and our Foundation, and if you don’t know Him, you are missing out on peace and security that can only be found in a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you have any questions or comments, please write to me at

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September 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by Staff on September 5, 2017 – 10:39 am -

SGNScops Magazine for September 2017

SGNScops Magazine for September 2017

It’s September and time for another great issue of SGNScoops Magazine. We are proud to have Goodman Revival as our cover guests and we know you will enjoy reading this backstage interview with one of the top trios in Gospel music.

Within these pages, we present several intensive interviews with Jonathan Wilburn, Eli Fortner, Rebecca Burke, Matthew Holt, the Freedom Singers and Evie Karlsson. Take a close look at the CD reviews by Randall Hamm and Kaleb Powell and you just might see a release from your favorite artist.
Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is approaching quickly. For all the current information, be sure to read the latest update in this edition of SGNScoops Magazine. You can also find Hope To The Hill by Nathan Kistler, the DJ Spotlight by Vonda Easley, SGNScoops Top 100 and Christian Country Top 40. For those detailed readers, you will notice that we reran the August 2017 charts, as we move to a new system of reporting the top songs.
Finally, be sure to read the Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz and the Editor’s Last Word by Lorraine Walker, to find out what is on our minds as we prepare this publication for you. We hope you are engaged, entertained and encouraged. Most of all, we hope you see the love of Jesus Christ between our pages. Thank you for reading SGNScoops Magazine.
Download the entire September 2017 SGNScoops Magazine  here
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Pray For Eli…More Surgery

Written by scoopsnews on June 22, 2017 – 8:34 am -

Prayer Time For Eli

Pray For Eli

From Roger(Dad)

Eli will be back in surgery this morning..The kidney is doing well but there seems to be blockage and the output is not up to where it should be..Eli is in a lot of pain and not feeling as good as expected..Asking for your coveted prayers for him!!


Everyone please share and pray!

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Keep Praying! Eli and CJ are doing great!

Written by scoopsnews on June 21, 2017 – 11:41 am -

From Roger Fortner via Facebook:

Eli is in recovery and doing great!!!


From CJ Shetley’s Facebook Page

CJ is out of surgery and in recovery ! He is doing wonderful and so is Eli! PRAISE THE LORD!!


KEEP PRAYING for these 2 Godly young men!


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Prayer Time For Eli Fortner

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 20, 2017 – 10:19 am -

Prayer Time For Eli

Prayer Time For Eli

Dear Gospel Music Friend,

As you may be aware Eli Fortner of The McKameys will be undergoing a second kidney transplant tomorrow in East Tennessee.

Tonight at 7:30pm Central, Pastor Mickey Bell will be having a nationwide prayer time for Eli and his donor.

He invited those who can to join in at or

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Prayers for Eli and C.J.

Written by scoopsnews on June 19, 2017 – 3:25 am -

CJ Shetley and Eli Fortner

From Eli:

This Wednesday morning (the 21st) will be the day I get new life thanks to what God put in my bud’s heart to do.This is my donor. We’ve known each other our entire lives. God’s knocked down some huge barriers and we’re a perfect match. So now the countdown begins.. prayers appreciated.

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Update on Eli.. Please Pray!

Written by scoopsnews on April 12, 2017 – 10:45 am -

Eli Fortner

Eli Fortner

From Roger Fortner (Dad)

Here’s an update on Eli:

Just a personal update from Eli and The McKameys concerning Eli’s health — Eli has been slowly experiencing more kidney related health issues and the doctor is concerned that his body could be getting into some trouble and needs help! At this time, they will be putting in a port and starting dialysis to give him some help. We would like to say we appreciate all the prayers that have already went up for Eli and we ask that you continue praying for him, as he will be starting another transplant process in a couple of weeks! We are overwhelmed at the many friends that have stepped up and shown an interest in being tested for a possible donor. After we meet with the transplant team we will know what you will need to do! We love you! Eli said “he hopes to see you all real soon!”


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Eli Fortner in need of new kidney

Written by Staff on March 22, 2017 – 12:38 pm -

Eli Fortner

Eli Fortner

Eli Fortner has been in need of prayers in the last few days due to the kidney problems he has been experiencing. Now Eli confirms what will be the next step. On his Facebook page, Fortner tells us:

“To all my friends. I love you. I’m overwhelmed with all the support and prayers. I simply can’t keep up. Now let me tell you what’s going on.. My kidney is failing, I’m in need of another transplant. My doctor gave me the option of going on dialysis now or waiting till the function gets to a certain point while in the meantime be looking for a kidney donor and getting testing done in prep for a transplant. I chose the latter so I can still have a life. I was on dialyses for two months before my first transplant and it’s awful. It literally sucks all the life out of you and is terrible on the body. I don’t want that AT ALL. My prayer is that they find a positive match and have the transplant before it gets worse. I desire all the prayers. My God is big and I’m in His hands. He will not fail me and I know that you, my friends won’t either with your prayers and support. I love you all. Let’s do this.”


McKameys with Eli Fortner in front.

SGNScoops joins with all of our readers in extending our thoughts and prayers to Eli, the Fortners, McKameys and all of their family and friends. We agree with all of you and Eli that we serve a big God. We know He saves and we know He heals. Let’s go to the throne today to petition our God for a new kidney that is a perfect match and a swift and successful transplant.

Eli Fortner is the son of Roger and Connie (McKamey) Forner. He is a vocalist and musician with The McKameys as well as being a freelance musician. Eli lives in Clinton, Tennessee.

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Eli Fortner Requests Prayer

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on March 7, 2017 – 8:12 pm -

Eli Fortner Requests Prayer

Eli Fortner Requests Prayer

From Eli Fortner: My kidney health isn’t the greatest right now. It could be medicine related or could be rejection which could lead to way worse and ultimately another transplant. The doctor isn’t sure. My numbers are real crazy right now. I haven’t been down this road in a long time, honestly I never wanted any part of it again. I’m scared and nervous. But I’m calling on all my friends to pray for me. I’m trusting God in all this and I know He will answer in His time and in His way. Thanks. I love you all.

Keep Updated HERE

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