June 14, 2012
Valdosta, GA – On June 7, 2012, Alecia, Lee and I left with Alecia’s parents, Louie and Hazel Hansard, for Valdosta to attend the Second-Annual Southeastern Southern Gospel Music Conference at the Performing Arts Center. We ate at “Buckner’s” in Jackson for lunch. We arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn that evening.
After we arrived, we saw our dear friend, Ray Norton, who invited us to sing for his program last year (see that post). We all ate with him at the “Cracker Barrel”, and then Ray took us to see the venue and his house.
We arrived at the venue on Friday morning for registration and product table set-up. The artist tables were in the main entrance lobby. Our table was next to “The Spiritual Voices” from Dahlonega.
We sang on the Friday evening concert with Ann Downing, Ricky Atkinson and Logan Smith. On Saturday morning, Alecia and her mother attended the women’s conference with Ann Downing. That evening, we met several new friends. We also saw Ken Williams, whom we met at this conference last year. The “Fan Awards” were presented on Saturday at 6:00pm. We were asked to present the award for “Trio of the Year”. “The Paul Family” presented the “Duet of the Year” award. We had finished in the top five poll along with Jeff and Sherry Easter, “Wilburn and Wilburn”, Aaron and Amanda Crabb, and “ReignSong”. When we were announced as the winners, we were overwhelmed with emotion. (See our acceptance video on our website). It was a wonderful experience for us!
We left on Sunday morning. We decided to avoid I-75 construction, so we drove up US 41 and saw beautiful farms and orchards. We ate lunch at “Buckner’s” again, where we saw Josh Phillips, who was at the SESGMC, and Mark Fuller. They were going to see “The Hoppers” that evening at a near-by church.
Alecia and I thank everyone that voted for us, and for your prayers for our ministry.
May 29, 2012
I was invited to bring the invocation for the 20th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony, at the Cumming War Veterans Memorial. Each year, families dedicate an American flag in honor of a veteran on the “Avenue of Flags”. This year, fourteen flags were added for a total of 193. My mother and I dedicated one to my father in 2005.
It was a honor to be introduced by Hon. Ford Gravitt, mayor of Cumming. The ceremony included a helicopter fly-over, patriotic songs, presentation of the colors to the playing of a bagpipe, the dedication of the new flags a 21-gun salute, and the releasing of doves.
It was a beautiful, sunny day for such a wonderful tribute to our armed forces.
May 14, 2012
Castleberry Road Baptist Church, Cumming, GA – May 12, 2012
We arrived at the church at about 4:30pm to set up our sound system and product table. Brandon Reece, Ray Dean’ son, helped me set our sound, and we could tell a difference. The concert started at 7:00pm with the congregation singing “Someday”. After prayer by the pastor, we were introduced by Jim Cox, the music minister. We opened with “I’m Climbing Higher Each Day”, “Tradin’ A Cross For A Crown”, “Just Any Day Now”, and “The Greatest of All Miracles”. Before “The Kingsmen” were introduced, Jim called for an altar prayer to pray for the group’s needs. Ray Dean Reece is undergoing cancer treatment, and Randy Crawford was recovering from heart surgery. After a heart-felt prayer, Jim introduced “The Kingsmen” after reading James 5:14,15. They opened with an accapella chorus of “The Judgment”. Some of their songs included “Meet Me At the Table”, “He’s All I Need”, “I Can Hardly Wait” and Bob Sellers’ solo on “Wish You Were Here”. They introduced their new tenor, Chris Jenkins, and featured him on the Rosie Rozell classic, “‘O What A Saviour!”. He sang it effortlessly and beautifully. Jim joined them on “Hide Thou Me”, accompanied by his wife, Lydia, on the piano.
We opened the second set with Alecia on “You’re Still God” and closed with my lead on “New Day Dawning”. “The Kingsmen” closed the service with “Stand Up!”, and everyone did!
After the service, we all met at Applebees in Cumming and enjoyed a time of fellowship at the table. It was a memorable evening, and we thank God for the privilege of serving with these great people!
May 4, 2012
April 15, 2012 – Antioch Baptist Church, Cumming, GA
We sang with “The Blackwood Brothers” at our home church. Jimmy and Billy are the sons of James Blackwood. James was a pioneer in Gospel music. He co-founded the National Quartet Convention.
The church was full, and it was a great singing. We are pictured here with Jimmy Blackwood and our friends, Michael and Jane Cox.
June 7, 2011
Dawsonville First Baptist – We sang for Kenny Williamson Ministries to raise support for and awareness of their ministry. Also featured “Jaidyn’s Call”.
June 7, 2011
Dawsonville, GA – Lighthouse Baptist Church hosted a fund-raiser for their upcoming youth evangelistic project “Hell’s Gate”. We sang along with “Glorybound” and Freddie Smith, all artists of the “Blue Ridge Gospel Music Association”. Danny O’Day was the emcee. The pastor is Charles Blackstock.
Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dawsonville, GA
June 6, 2011
Valdosta, GA – On May 27th, we drove to Valdosta at the invitation of Ray Norton, owner of Ray Norton Tire and Auto, to sing for his annual customer appreciation event. He provided a meal for the 450+ in attendance and had door prizes as well. We sang in the Mathis Auditorium, along with “New Tradition” from Nashville, GA, Mike Upright and Aaron Wilburn. We saw Ken Williams, whom we met at Ashburn in April at the SESGMC. Also, Alecia is pictured with Joyce Croft, who co-wrote with her husband, Colbert, many hit songs including “I Can’t Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand”
We attended Morningside Baptist with Ray and he took us to dinner afterward.
We spent the night in Cordele and visited Andersonville Natl Park Monday, which was Memorial Day.
April 7, 2011
In November of 2010, Alecia had surgery on her esophagus. She has been slowly recovering since that time. We thank God for her progress! Our first singing after her surgery was at White Plains Baptist in Jefferson on New Years Eve. Alecia’s voice was a good as I have heard her sing. The surgery involved patching a whole in her diaphragm, which is needed for proper breathing to sing.