Thursday, December 31, 2009


I love Christmas lights. I'm not entirely sure of the reason but maybe it has to do with happy times as a child when all Christmas memories were backlit by large red and green bulbs. This year I asked my friends if everyone wanted to go see a light display by the harbour. The pictures on the web were really nice and it was closer than driving to Niagara Falls.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I was hit with disappointment. Half of the lights were either turned off or removed and the half that remained were really lame. One minute was sufficient to see the entire display but we gamely walked the cold, dark route by the water before heading off for hot chocolate.

So many things at this time of year are about anticipation and often the result is less than expected. You plan parties, gifts, special events and inevitably something gets broken or someone is sick. Then the dog takes off with the new sweater and the cat drinks out of the punchbowl. You have visions of Clark Griswold's squirrel, or Ralphie's father's new lamp that gets 'accidentally' broken.

What's the answer? Do we lower our expectations or do we resolve to live a life of disappointment? What would happen if we just lived in the moment? This year, it occured to me that the best part of Christmas is the time before the actual day. The pageants, the get togethers, even the shopping. I tried to savour each day without trying to imagine what might happen on the 25th. It made for a really nice December.

Some of us have things in our lives that cause us worry and anxiety when we plan for a celebration or family event. You arrive at the event already negative and upset and that makes things even worse. How much better it would be not to worry since it doesn't affect the outcome.

I don't always live in the moment, but it's a good lesson to learn right at the brink of a new year and a new decade. It's right and proper to plan ahead for the future, to be happy and excited about good things that may come. But we need to live like we only have today.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

GMA Announces Hosts and Performers for Dove Awards

Four-time GMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant and Multiple Dove Award-winning Group, MercyMe's Frontman Bart Millard, to Host 41st Annual Event
First Round of Performers Include Industry Leaders Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Donald Lawrence, Jason Crabb and GMA Dove Award Hosts

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Dec.23, 2009 - The Gospel Music Association (GMA) officially announces its initial hosts, appearances and plans for its 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards. The 2010 Dove Awards will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry House and televised nationwide on Gospel Music Channel (GMC) television network (, Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. EST.The GMA Dove Awards is Christian/Gospel music's biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows the industry's highest honor -- the Dove Award. Final nominees will be announced on February 18, 2010.The 41st annual GMA Dove Awards will be hosted by 2009's Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant, and multiple Dove Award-winning group MercyMe's frontman Bart Millard. While the awards will be a highlight of the show, music performances will take center stage at this year's GMA Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music's top-selling and most diverse artists. Artists scheduled to appear include Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Donald Lawrence, Jason Crabb, MercyMe, and many more to be announced soon. Those appearing include GRAMMY® and American Music Award® winning-artists, among others who top the charts in sales, touring, and radio airplay in their respective formats."The GMA Dove Awards is our opportunity to come together as a community to worship God and support each other as we celebrate the Gospel through music," said Ed Leonard, chairman of the GMA's board of directors. "Along with this summer's Immerse conference, it is a cornerstone of what we are doing in 2010 as an association. Coming together like this makes us stronger as a community, plus it's a lot of fun!"MercyMe's Millard commented, "Over the years MercyMe has been honored with and has performed on the Dove Awards, but more than that we have been privileged to be a part of this community of musicians and believers that share a common purpose. We always look forward to the GMA Dove Awards, and I'm excited to be co-hosting the show with Natalie Grant this year. It will be great to see the incredible talent our industry has to offer coming together and continuing to spread the gospel through all styles of music.""Hosting the GMA Dove Awards is a real honor," stated Natalie Grant. "I have always been a fan of Christian music so I consider it a tremendous privilege to help shine a brighter spotlight on the message of this life-changing music, and the artists who create it. I love that it's not a night of competition, but an evening of giving honor and celebrating one another. It's really more like a family gathering that I look forward to every year."GMA Dove Week 2010 will kick off Monday, April 19 with the ASCAP Christian Music Awards. The week will additionally include an Artist Summit and the BMI Christian Music Awards as its key events. Similar to GRAMMY® Week or CMA Week, GMA Dove Week will also feature media events, showcases and professional networking opportunities, most driven independently. The GMA will help to coordinate and promote such events along with other activities taking place during the week.Tickets to the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards will go on sale first to GMA Members Monday, January 4th at 10 a.m. CST by calling 615-277-1376. Tickets to the public will go on sale January 19th through the Grand Ole Opry Call Center by calling 1-800-SEE-OPRY/1-800-733-6779, via the web at or may be purchased in-person at The Opry Box Office located at the Opry House at 2804 Opryland Drive and the Ryman Auditorium Box Office at 116 5th Ave North, in downtown Nashville. Ticket prices range from $25 - $200.In addition to GMA Dove Week and the GMA Dove Awards, GMA's highly-regarded IMMERSE conference will return to Belmont University July 28-31, 2010. IMMERSE will bring together artists, songwriters, musicians, worship leaders, music business students, industry experts and more in a celebration of music and learning. Popular events from GMA Music Week, such as the highly successful Songwriters' Showcase and Evening Worship Service, will be available to attendees as well as concerts from top Christian artists. Additional information is forthcoming.For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit or contact the GMA directly at 615.277.1376. It's not too late to be eligible to vote for the 2010 Doves! The GMA has extended its membership deadline to December 30, 2009 via

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound Announce Changes

Dear Friends,

It is with sadness and regret that I announce the departure of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound lead singer, Ryan Seaton.
I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all his contributions. We wish Ryan the very best in his personal and professional pursuits, wherever they may lead him. While one part of my heart is very heavy, the other half is uplifted by the news that Devin McGlamery, from southern gospel’s Grammy-nominated Karen Peck & New River, is joining EHSS as new lead singer! Devin has been lead/tenor for KPNR for the last five years, following a five-year career with the Dixie Melody Boys. Devin’s debut with us will be on January 15, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at our “Dream On” concert featuring The Collingsworth Family – our first performance after Christmas break. We’re really thrilled to be headlining our own show throughout next year. “To say I’m excited is an understatement,” said Devin. “Ernie and I have been great friends for years. I’ve always had a lot of admiration for him as a singer and as a person, and he has always encouraged me. Words cannot express how wonderful I feel about this opportunity for my career and my family.” A native of Valdosta, Georgia, Devin is 27 and lives in Kinston, North Carolina, with his wife Karen Ham McGlamery and their children, Karlyn and Preston. “I want to thank Karen Peck so much for everything over the last five years,” said Devin. "She let southern gospel music get to know the real me, and she let me be who I am. For that and many things, I will always be grateful. I’m really looking forward to the next part of my calling and my journey with Ernie and the group.” I thank God for the opportunity to work with Devin and am grateful to Karen and Susan Peck for their graciousness. Please join me in giving a warm Signature Sound welcome to Devin, and keep Ryan and his dear family in your prayers!
As always, your support and understanding is SO valued and appreciated.

Susan Unthank's Mother Passes Away

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Rhoda Marie Favre, mother of Susan Unthank ( passed away on Sunday, December 27, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. CST. Rhoda peacefully passed into the arms of Jesus the day before her 72nd birthday.
Susan Unthank said, “This has been a very difficult holiday season for our household as my husband, Deon, lost his father and aunt earlier this month. While death is never an easy thing to grasp or come to grips with – we are so very thankful that my Mother is now worshipping her Savior whom she faithfully served for many years. My mother suffered from Muscular Dystrophy her entire life – so we rejoice in knowing that not only does she have her mind back – but she is able to run on those streets of gold!”
Rhoda was born on December 28, 1937 in East St. Louis, IL. Rhoda founded the vibrant children's ministry, Rhoda & Friends, in the 1970s. It was an outreach ministry for children of all ages featuring groundbreaking puppetry and skits. The ministry spanned over three decades and touched thousands of lives. She was a faithful member of Trinity Faith Tabernacle in Smithville, IL for many years.
Rhoda is survived be her husband of 52 years Kenneth Favre, two daughters, Susan (Deon) Unthank, of Nashville, TN and Jan (John) Meehan, of Belleville, IL, a son, Keith Favre of Belleville, IL. Rhoda had three grandchildren, Scott Bandy, Amy Marie Unthank, and Christopher Unthank.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30, 2009, at Valhalla-Garerdner Holton Funeral Home, Belleville, IL. The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at the funeral home with Reverend Mike Biekert officiating.
Memorial donations can be made in Rhoda's honor to the Muscular Dystophy Association or The Alzheimer's Association.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beyond the Ashes Takes Joy Across the Country

Nashville, TN (Dec. 23, 2009) –Powerful vocal trio, Beyond The Ashes, has been on an exciting tour this Christmas, introducing their new Christmas recording, Joy, to audiences all across the nation.
The new CD, recorded in Nashville, TN, is receiving great reviews. The group continues to see strong response to their music, and most importantly, to their message. The recording includes many Christmas standards and features tight harmonies and strong vocals from this dynamic trio.
Group owner and tenor singer, Anthony Facello, produced Joy. It looks to be a Christmas favorite for years to come. The Christmas CD includes standards like, “The Christmas Song,” “Let It Snow,” and “Silent Night.” In addition, it includes thought provoking tunes like “Strange Way To Save The World,” “Offering,” and “Born In Bethlehem.” There are 10 tracks in all.
Facello expressed that the tour has been amazing and the reaction to the new recording has been really special. He said, "The season of Christmas is about fun and getting together with family and loved ones, but may we never forget the true meaning of Christmas and that is the birth of our Lord. It has been an awesome experience to share fun and reflective moments with so many people on this tour. Our very first Christmas CD has been so accepted and friends are loving the material.”
To learn more about Beyond the Ashes, to order Joy, or to schedule them for your music event, visit You can also find them at

Note from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

Ernie here... wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I've been reflecting on our blessings and our trials over the past year and also thinking about the opportunities and challenges ahead. It's hard to believe EHSS is coming into its 7th year!
With all our Gaither dates past, present and future — and the fact that we're headlining our own tour throughout 2010 — no doubt we're entering into our most exciting times yet. I think we've built a solid house with room for expansion and that we have a strong foundation in place. We're about ready to bust at the seams, so hold on to your hats!
Many things make for that solid foundation, but the key ingredient is YOU... praying and rejoicing and crying for EHSS... just living it all with us. I THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart for subscribing, supporting and caring for us the way you do. Without you and without Him, we simply wouldn't be. Many of you have been with the "E-team" since the early days - 1996! I appreciate that more than words can say.
To put some money where my mouth is, so to speak, we're giving away a trip for two to London, England to see our February 21, 2010 EHSS-only show! All the details are coming soon, so watch for our next e-newsletter or follow my Twitter page for more info.
Until then, wishing you all the joys of God's season and a blessed New Year!

Josh Cobb and Roy Webb Join Gold City

Gold City is excited to announce two new members: Roy Webb and Joshua Cobb are joining one of Southern Gospel music's most awarded quartets, effective immediately."Words cannot express the excitement Gold City has about the addition of these two extremely talented men," states Daniel Riley. "It's no secret that we have had our share of changes in the past several months. We want to publicly thank the fans for their encouragement and prayers during our time of transition. We feel those prayers have been answered, and God has assembled a great team of talented men, ready to carry on the legacy that was started 30 years ago."Roy Webb is no stranger to Southern Gospel music fans, having traveled with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound for nearly four years. With his quick wit and incredible piano ability, he has won the hearts of fans all over the world."I have been a Gold City fan since I first heard them in 1984," says Roy. "I have always loved their music and I consider it an honor to be able to play for them!"While Roy is NOT giving up his solo status, he will be playing for Gold City on numerous dates. "I absolutely LOVE being a soloist, and I will ALWAYS do solo ministry. However, on those dates where I am not scheduled for a solo concert, you will find me at the piano playing for this incredible quartet."Joshua Cobb is no newcomer to Southern Gospel music. Most fans will remember him as the original tenor for the group Legacy Five and a former Horizon Individual Singing News Fan Award Winner. "Its hard to believe that I have been away from this great music for almost 10 years," states Joshua. "It has always been my first love and it feels great to be able to join forces with such a heralded quartet that will no doubt continue to have great success in this industry.""We knew Joshua was singing we just didn't know where," adds Daniel. "So we tracked him down, and learned that he had a solo ministry and has turned down numerous recording deals and incredible offers in the past few years, and with a voice like his, I'm not surprised that he was in such demand."Joshua is looking forward to reuniting with friends and fans all across the country and is ready to step on stage with Tim Riley. "Tim has always been one of, if not, my favorite bass singers," says Joshua, "and to be able to stand on stage and watch this legend hit those low notes is going to be a thrill in itself!"Speaking of Tim, the legendary bass singer has committed to a return to the full-time world of Southern Gospel music and he looks forward to seeing all of his friends at a concert soon.

Aaron and Amanda Crabb in Studio

Hendersonville, TN (Dec. 22, 2009) - Daywind Records’ artist, Aaron and Amanda Crabb, are in Nashville, TN, at the Sound Shop this week recording a brand new album, full of powerful songs. The album is being produced by Michael Sykes and can be expected to hit stores this spring.
The new recording will have original music from a variety of writers, including Aaron and Amanda. It will also include a guest appearance by the dynamic Cornerstone Church Choir from San Antonio, TX. They will be featured on three cuts. Aaron and Amanda recently joined the staff of Cornerstone as their new worship leaders. The church has a 20,000-member congregation, under the leadership of Pastor John Hagee.
Aaron Crabb expressed the couple’s excitement over this recording. “We are having a blast in studio with Michael Sykes. We can't wait to share the heart, fun and presence of God we have experienced during this process.”
“The heart and musical direction of Aaron and Amanda Crabb is the perfect fit for the church,” expressed Norman Holland, Vice President and A & R Director at Daywind, “I feel strongly that the pairing of this duo with Michael Sykes, and the choir joining in as well, will bring a great recording, full of encouragement, to homes and churches across America.”
Aaron and Amanda will do select dates throughout the year outside of their home church, and Amanda will participate in women’s conferences. Be watching their website, to keep up with all of the exciting happenings in this anointed ministry.
Daywind Records is based in Hendersonville, TN, and is distributed worldwide through New Day Christian Distributors. In addition to Aaron and Amanda Crabb, Daywind is home to such great artists as Austins Bridge and Legacy Five, among others.
For more information on the entire family of Daywind artists, visit

Hoppers TV Show to Air Dec 26

The Hoppers TV show will air on the Sky Angel Network December 26 @ 8:00 PM (Christmas Episode) & 8:30PM (Calming the storm Episode) *All times are EST. If you receive the Sky Angel Network or you know of someone who does, please tune in and watch The Hoppers Show 12-26-09 from 8:00-9:00PM EST. And a repeat from 11:00-12:00am. Sky Angel Network (Angel Two) Channel 102

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dove Brothers Announce D'Vine Relationship

Dove Brothers Announce D’vine Relationship!
BLADENBORO, N.C. – The Dove Brothers, one of Southern Gospel’s most acclaimed quartets, have teamed up with lifelong friend Ron Taylor, one of North Carolina’s most acclaimed manufacturers, to create an exciting new product known as Dove Brothers “Spreading the Word” Muscadine Grape Jelly, straight from the vineyards of Bladen County.
“It’s made just down the road from where we were born,” McCray Dove notes. “That’s one of the reasons we’re so excited about this. We’ve known Ron all of our lives, and we’re all proud to be Bladen County boys.” Taylor, whose company, D’vine Foods, produces a prominent line of jams, jellies, toppings and ciders, has delighted in watching the Doves sing their way to prominence, even as they’ve enjoyed watching the success he has attained. “We’re just hometown boys who delight in the Lord and are grateful to Him for granting us the desires of our hearts,” McCray explained. “It’s been a long time since this kind of partnership took place in our industry, but we feel it’s the right time and the right product.” Muscadine grapes are more than delicious; high in antioxidants, they are also widely regarded as excellent sources of good health. “These don’t arrive on a boat from China,” McCray points out. “They’re grown right in our backyard, which makes them seem like home cookin’ to us. But what’s even more important is that the fans who buy our jelly are also going to know they’ll be supporting the American farmer.” The Doves plan to make “Spreading the Word” jelly available at their product table at the end of every concert, and each jar will be emblazoned with a reference to Proverbs 16:24, just as a constant reminder to them and their fans that it’s the Lord who deserves the glory for the creation of this joint venture. More information is available at “You need harmony in business, just as you need it in song,” McCray said. “And that’s what we have with Ron. This is an association we feel very good about. In addition to offering the sweetest music this side of heaven, we’re now going to be able to offer the sweetest taste, too.”

Shadow of the Cross Releases Debut CD To The Sky

Nashville, TN (December 21, 2009) – Talented and energetic vocal trio, Shadow of the Cross, recently released their debut CD, entitled, To The Sky.
The CD was recorded and produced in Nashville, TN, by veteran producer, Donna Beauvais. It is filled with uplifting and encouraging songs that will, hopefully, cause listeners to look up and appreciate the presence of God in their lives.
Beauvais shared, “I really love these three people. They are young and have a heart to reach everyone. They are so open to growing, listening, and learning. I have watched their gifts explode over the last few years, and I feel To The Sky will be a big part of the future growth of their ministry. What an honor to be a part of their lives.”
Group member, Jay Wilburn, spoke of the experience. “First of all, God is so AMAZING! Without Him, we would not have been able to complete this project. Secondly, being in the studio is always humbling experience. However, when it was all said and done (energy was refueled, voices came back, etc.), it was well worth it. Working with Donna and Anthony Johnson (engineer) in the studio was truly a blessing. They exhibit so much talent in everything that they do.”
You can learn more about Shadow of the Cross and hear sound clips of the new project by visiting

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Be Good to the Environment

I have a co-worker who is an eternal optimist. No matter what the story, he can slant it positively and make it sound wonderful. It’s no accident that he handles the media relations for our organization. He’s a good person to have around because I tend to be more of a realist. I also tend to tune into people who are being negative and at times allow their destructive attitude to colour my own outlook.
I recently received a Christmas card from a friend who encouraged me to be like a plant. Just like the green leaves soak up bad particles in the air and emit clean oxygen, as Christians we should soak up the negativity in our atmosphere and emit the joy and peace of Christ. That’s a new slant on being environmentally friendly!
Jesus did the same everywhere He went. The religious leaders of the day were constantly throwing their negative attitudes at Him. He responded to them directly and then showed love and compassion on the crowds around Him.
I want to be more like Jesus by taking the negative around me and using it for good. We should be lights on a hill and green plants in a city of pollution. While we work so hard at being environmentally friendly in the physical world, let’s also work at reducing our spiritual carbon footprint.

Friday, December 18, 2009

News from the Hoppers

From the Hoppers' Email Newsletter:

Recently we announced plans to tour the west coast in 2010! For the last ten years, the family has been zealously focusing their passion for southern gospel music on The Great Western Fan Festival, bringing along with them a whole lineup of the best in talent every year. But, for the first time in over a decade fans will have the opportunity to experience a night alone with just Claude, Connie, Dean, Kim and Mike as they sing all of their signature hit songs!
Fans will also have a unique opportunity to purchase tickets to special VIP Artist Circle reception. Ticket holders for this reception will be treated to one on one time with all of The Hoppers before concert time. This exciting tour will be making stops in venues throughout Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho in the month of February. Tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased through the links below. -- Tickets are selling fast so don't delay -- Order NOW!

News From Greater Vision

From Greater Vision's Email Newsletter:

This weekend, Greater Vision will be featured on "In Touch" with Dr. Charles Stanley. We recorded a couple of Christmas songs for this special program a few weeks ago...(now you know where our Christmas picture came from).
In Touch can be seen on television stations across the country, and on satellite television around the world. Depending on where you live, this program will air between Friday night and Sunday night this weekend. If you don't know which station in your area broadcasts "In Touch", click on our picture to be taken to a "station search" page. You will really enjoy Dr. Stanley's special Christmas message... and the singing isn't all that bad either!

Ann Downing on My Space

Nashville, TN—December 17, 2009— Ann Downing Ministries is pleased to announce that four of Ann’s CDs, “Sheltered,” “The Longer I Serve Him The Sweeter He Grows,” “Ocean of Grace,” and “Let’s Talk” are available for download from MySpace. These four CDs include selections such as “The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference,” “Little Is Much,” “Gettin’ Ready Today,” even a salute to The Downings with a medley of some of the groups most requested songs. “Since these CDs are no longer being released, I am grateful that the message they carry can be made available through MySpace Music,” Downing said. For more information and news from Ann Downing Ministries, please visit

Thursday, December 17, 2009

News from The English Family

The English Family Wraps Up Successful Radio Promo Tour“Send Down Your Angels” Continues to Make Huge Impact At Southern Gospel Radio
BARNESVILLE, Ga. – Georgia-based family group The English Family just wrapped up a very successful radio promo tour. Throughout the last portion of the year, the family visited over a dozen stations and logged over 4,000 miles on their bus. The tour was in support of the group’s buzz-worthy new single, “Send Down Your Angels.”
The English Family kicked off their radio promo tour at Sheffield, Alabama’s WBTG before visiting other stations in Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky, and ending up in North and South Carolina.
Renee’ English of The English Family said, “We have made some great friends on this radio tour, and we intend to continue our contacts. We look for to meeting many more of our DJ friends in the future.”
“I know that a lot of the DJs really responded to Jacob giving testimony, and some of the DJ's let him pray over the air,” mentioned Phillip English. “Jacob really liked that.”
“Send Down Your Angels” was written by 16-year old group member Jacob English and features stellar vocal performances from Jacob and group patriarch Phillip English.
The song is the group’s debut single from their Mansion Records recording Out of the Wilderness. The song was released to Southern Gospel radio through Crossroads Music Group’s digital releases and radio compilation disc. “Send Down Your Angels” is being promoted to Southern Gospel radio by Patterson Promotions and is already making a stir in just a couple months at radio.
For more information on The English Family – visit them online at .
About The English FamilyThe English Family is a multi-faceted evangelistic ministry based out of Barnesville, Georgia. In addition to being talented in the vocal department, this family is deeply engaged in ministry. The English Family ministers at concerts, conferences, workshops, and even on cruises. The group’s current release is titled Out of the Wilderness and features the hit single "Send Down Your Angels."

Mother of Janice Crow Passes Away

BETHALTO, Ill. – Opal M. Lloyd, mother of singer/songwriter Janice Crow, passed away on Friday, December 11, 2009 at 10:45 p.m. EST. Opal peacefully passed into the arms of Jesus at the age of 95 at the Bethalto Care Center in Bethalto, Illinois.
“Your prayers and thoughts are very much appreciated during this trying time,” mentioned Janice. “The covering of your prayers means more than you’ll ever know.
Opal is survived by her husband, Orban; sons Donald (Judy) Lloyd of Bethalto and William Orban Lloyd of Wood River; and daughters Darlene (Jerry) Stein of Greenfield, Janice (Bruce) Crow of East Alton and Sheryl Lloyd (Joel Satterfield) of Springfield, Ill. Mrs. Lloyd leaves behind eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Surviving siblings include one brother, Marion (Ruth) Wells of Sesser; and sisters Leila Merkel of Benton and Norma Jean Burleson of Belleville. Mrs. Lloyd is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Opal is also the aunt of Deon Unthank (Sunday Edition,
A celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 at the Bethalto Church of God, 800 East Bethalto Drive (Route 140 & Moreland Dr.). Interment will follow at Woodland Hill Cemetery in Wood River, Illinois. Family will receive friends from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 at the Bethalto Church of God in Bethalto, Illinois.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Bethalto Church of God. Marks Mortuary in Wood River is directing the arrangements.

The Freemans Unveil New Website

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Popular Southern Gospel artist The Freemans are proud to announce the unveiling of their new, fully-update website. The new page went live this month and was designed by the staff of SSE Design Group, the web publishing and internet promotions division of SSE Group, Inc.
Darrell Freeman of The Freemans said, “We have been so pleased with the work that SSE has done for our group. This new site is top-notch, and we are more than happy with it! Everyone should check it out!”
“The Freemans are some of the most easy-going and fun people to work with,” mentioned Amy Marie Unthank of SSE Group, Inc. “They communicate what they want and how they want it done. What a blessing to have a client who has such a grip on their image and what they want to portray about their ministry online!”
The site is an exhaustive telling of The Freemans and the group’s ministry. It features a biography, contact information, a photo gallery, schedules, product information and more.
To visit the newly designed website of The Freemans, visit
The Freemans have been in the studio recording their follow-up to the award-winning release Eyes On the Prize – which featured the #1 hits “He Found Me” and “Three Rugged Crosses.” More information on that release will be announced at a later date.
You can also visit the group’s MySpace at The group’s Fan Facebook is located at
About The FreemansThe Freemans are one of Southern Gospel’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed groups. History, experience and spiritual wisdom are three attributes that can be used to describe the foundation of the Freeman ministry. Deeply rooted with family, the Freemans’ experience spans 30+ years. Now in their 20th year of ministry, the Freemans still perform at approximately 250 dates a year, and continue to experience tremendous success.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oral Roberts Dies

Funeral Arrangements Pending for Legendary Evangelist
TULSA, Okla., December 15, 2009 – Dr. Oral Roberts, a legendary evangelist who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century, died today in Newport Beach, Calif., due to complications from pneumonia. His son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta, were at his side. The founder of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University was 91.
There will be a private family internment. Arrangements for a public memorial service in Tulsa are pending and will be announced soon.
"Oral Roberts was the greatest man of God I‟ve ever known," Richard Roberts said. "A modern-day apostle of the healing ministry, an author, educator, evangelist, prophet, and innovator, he was the only man of his generation to build a worldwide ministry, an accredited university, and a medical school.
"Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was not only my earthly father; he was my spiritual father and mentor. The last member of his generation in the Roberts family, he had a passion to bring healing to the sick.
"His name is synonymous with miracles. He came along when many in Christendom did not believe in the power of God and His goodness. Oral Roberts was known for sayings such as „God Is a Good God,‟ „Expect a Miracle,‟ „Release Your Faith,‟ and „Plant Your Seed for a Harvest.‟
"The Bible teaches that when a Christian dies, he or she is instantly transferred into the presence of God. The past few months, my father has talked about going home to be with the Lord on a daily basis. He has run his race and finished his course. Now he is in heaven, and we as Christians have the Bible promise that someday we will be reunited. My heart is sad, but my faith in God is soaring."
Granville Oral Roberts was born into poverty in Bebee, Okla., on Jan. 24, 1918. He began stuttering as a young child and then, as a teenager, contracted a potentially deadly case of tuberculosis. Bedfast at 17, he was carried to a revival meeting by his older brother, where a healing evangelist was praying for the sick. Oral Roberts Dies, Page 2
On the way, he clearly heard God speak to him, saying, "Son, I am going to heal you, and you are to take My healing power to your generation. You are to build Me a university based on My authority and on the Holy Spirit." Roberts was miraculously healed of tuberculosis and stuttering at the revival meeting. His healing ministry was born several years later. "If a former stuttering, tuberculosis-ridden young Indian boy in an obscure county in Oklahoma can see the invisible and do the impossible—and still do it—so can you!" Roberts once said. Roberts was a legendary and beloved figure in a segment of Christianity that emphasizes healing, speaking in tongues, and other gifts of the Holy Spirit, as described in the New Testament. Dr. Jack Hayford, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, said of Roberts, "If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred. Oral shook the landscape with the inescapable reality and practicality of Jesus‟ whole ministry. His teaching and concepts were foundational to the renewal that swept through the whole church. He taught concepts that spread throughout the world and simplified and focused a spiritual lifestyle that is embraced by huge sectors of today‟s church." After his healing at age 17, Roberts spent a dozen years pastoring churches in Oklahoma and Georgia, and preaching at revivals around the country, while also studying at Oklahoma Baptist University and Phillips (Okla.) University. Then, in 1947, he founded Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA) and began conducting crusades across America and around the world, attracting crowds of thousands—many who were sick and dying and in search of healing. Through the years, he conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents. OREA officials estimate that he personally laid hands in prayer on more than 2 million people. The ministry continues under the leadership of Roberts‟ son, Richard, who has ministered in the U.S. and around the world for almost 30 years. In 1954, Oral Roberts revolutionized evangelism by bringing television cameras into services, providing what he liked to call a "front-row seat to miracles" for millions of viewers. Years later, he began a television program, "Oral Roberts Presents." More than 50 years later, the ministry‟s daily program, "The Place for Miracles," continues to minister to millions on over 100 television stations, multiple cable and satellite networks, and can be seen around the world via the Internet.
In 1958, Roberts founded the Abundant Life Prayer Group to address the around-the-clock needs of those suffering and requesting prayer. More than 50 years later, prayer partners continue to receive calls from around the world seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Over the years, they have received more than 23 Oral Roberts Dies, Page 3
million phone calls for prayer, along with astounding reports of miracles in answer to prayer. Roberts answered God‟s call to build an institute of higher learning in 1963, founding Oral Roberts University on 500 acres in Tulsa, Okla. Longtime friend Billy Graham officially dedicated ORU four years later. In the 1970s graduate schools, including Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Law, Education, and Theology, were added. Roberts served as school president until 1993, when he became chancellor. In 1981, Roberts founded the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, merging the healing power of medicine and prayer. The facility closed after eight years, leaving a lasting impact on the understanding by many medical professionals of the importance of treating the whole person—body, mind and spirit. Roberts wrote more than 130 books, including such classics as "If You Need Healing, Do These Things," and "The Fourth Man." His book "The Miracle of Seed Faith" has more than 8 million copies in circulation. This book‟s key principles—God is your source, sow your seed out of your need, and expect a miracle harvest—formed a fundamental part of Roberts‟ ministry and legacy. "After I‟m gone, others will have to judge how well I‟ve obeyed God‟s command not to be an echo but to be a voice like Jesus," Roberts said. "As far as my own conviction is concerned, I‟ve tried to be that voice with every fiber of my being, regardless of the cost." Roberts was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn, a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca Ann and Marshall Nash; a son, Ronald David Roberts; a grandchild, Richard Oral Roberts; his mother and father; two sisters, Velma Roberts and Jewel Faust; and two brothers, Elmer and Vaden Roberts. He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Lindsay Roberts; a daughter and son-in-law, Roberta and Ronald Potts, all of Tulsa; as well as 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Oral Roberts Ministry Healing Missions Fund, as part of the ongoing goal of Oral Roberts Ministries to take the saving, healing, delivering message of the Gospel into all the world until Jesus returns. Gifts can be sent in care of Oral Roberts Ministries, P.O. 2187, Tulsa, Okla. 74102, or online at – 30 – more information is available online by visiting:

Mansion Entertainment Signs with Celebration Ministries Int.

Brentwood, TN (Mansion Entertainment) December 14, 2009 – Located in Zimbabwe, Africa, and under the leadership of Pastors Tom and Bonnie Deuschie, Celebration Ministries has brought the message of Jesus to Africa and now internationally, in a multi-faceted ministry. Building Churches and Training Leaders have been the Ministries primary thrust. The unique Praise and Worship Music of Celebration Ministries, with a strong African Influence, has impacted many lives throughout Africa. Celebration describes its work as Reformation. Their desire is to see all society impacted and consequently reformed by Kingdom Principles. Their Ministry is not content with just building Churches, but building people who in turn can fulfill their God-given purpose and accomplish their God-given dreams.
Mansion Entertainment is honored to represent such a high quality and unique Praise and Worship Music from such a profound Ministry as Celebration Ministries, International. The first release in a series of Audio, Video and Print products will be a CD/DVD combo product titled, “Change The World” featuring Pastor Bonnie Deuschle and the Celebration Choir. The release through Mansion Entertainment is scheduled for 1st Quarter 2010. You can find more information by visiting or .

Paynes Sign with Pathlight Promotions

Poca, WV (Dec 13, 2009) Nationally acclaimed artist & songwriter Mike Payne & his group, The Paynes, have recently signed an agreement with Pathlight Promotions & Media Group for radio promotions & publicity. They are well known for songs like "Still Standing After The Storm", "He Forgives & Forgets" & "When He Was On The Cross, I Was On His Mind" which was co-written by Mike with Ronny Hinson. The Paynes are also known for such chart topping favorites as "Angels Step Back", "That Same Spirit" & "Out Of This World". The Paynes have a rich heritage in Southern Gospel Music & look forward to their partnership with Pathlight Promotions & Media Group. A radio single from The Paynes is anticipated for release on the February Pathlight Radio CD. For more Information on The Paynes, visit their website at . For more information on Pathlight Promotions & Media Group, you can also visit them online at .

EMI CMG and North Point Community Church Enter Agreement

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – December 15, 2009 – EMI CMG Distribution and North Point Community Church, the Alpharetta (Atlanta), Georgia-based church led by Andy Stanley, have agreed to a long-term distribution agreement for a new line of products produced by North Point Ministries and its newly launched record label, North Point Music. The agreement calls for EMI CMG to handle distribution rights worldwide to all retail channels for recorded music products, as well as for select DVDs starting with four products releasing today. There will be three projects in a new line entitled “The North Point Series Featuring Andy Stanley,” with each product comprised of a DVD and CD. Additionally, EMI CMG will distribute the all new worship CD North Point Live: Awake. “With Andy Stanley at the helm and several well-known and highly respected songwriters and worship leaders involved in their ministry, North Point is one of the most influential churches and ministries in the U.S. We are honored to partner with them in making their music and ministry available worldwide,” said Greg Bays, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for EMI CMG Distribution. “We are excited to have EMI CMG partner with us as we look to use the unique tools of music and video to share the Gospel throughout the world,” said Rick Holliday, North Point’s Executive Director of Ministry Services. “EMI CMG has a distinguished track record of professionalism, integrity and success in the marketing and distribution of Christian music products and we are looking forward to the promising opportunity that lies ahead to work with EMI CMG's experienced sales, marketing and distribution team.” North Point currently averages nearly 25,000 people in attendance between its three campuses in the Atlanta area each week, making it the third-largest church in the U.S. Music is integral, not only to the church’s weekly worship, but as a resource for outreach.
The first music product to be released by EMI CMG and North Point Music is North Point Live: Awake, a collection of 14 songs recorded at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta (Atlanta), Georgia. Six talented recording artists lend their voices to Awake, all of whom lead worship at one or more of North Point’s three campuses in metro Atlanta: Steve Fee, Todd Fields, Eddie Kirkland, Seth Condrey, Ryan Stuart and Cori Moon. Dove Award-winning producer Nathan Nockels (Passion, Christy Nockels, Tim Hughes) served as producer for Awake. Songs from the project include a new version of the timeless and inspiring hymn “It Is Well” and soon-to-be standards such as “Glory To God Forever” and “Hands of the Healer.” Known as one of the most effective communicators in the Church today, Stanley readily shares what he has learned in more than two decades of ministry, including as founder and senior pastor of North Point Community Church. He is the headliner for the annual East and West Coast Catalyst conferences, where he speaks to crowds of more than 20,000 young leaders throughout the country. Moreover, Stanley has authored and co-authored more than 20 titles, giving him robust credentials for hosting a new video teaching series. “Why Worry” is a timeless question that Andy Stanley explores in the first DVD of “The North Point Series Featuring Andy Stanley.” Stanley investigates one of the Bible’s Old Testament stories in which the main character is challenged with a single question that brought a new and needed perspective to his worries. Then, by exploring what Jesus has to say about worry -- where worry comes from; why it’s so difficult to overcome, and how to conquer it, Stanley guides viewers to answers which may be the key to overcoming worry in our own lives. “God & Country” is a provocative DVD that looks at the conflicts that have driven a deep divide in the U.S. While politicians frame the debate as rich vs. poor, big business vs. the middle class, or Republican vs. Democrat, another conflict reflects a much deeper divide in American culture, a conflict that, if resolved, could pave the way for our nation to come together and successfully address the issues that fill the airwaves. “He’s Still Got the Whole World in His Hands” helps to answer some of life’s most difficult questions -- How do we remain hopeful in a world that seems to be hopelessly broken; how do we continue to trust a God that seems to be conspicuously absent and how do we maintain peace when the world around us is spinning out of control? The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who asked similar questions and Stanley uses these stories to be reminded of God’s faithfulness throughout history and in our own lives. Each of the three DVDs in the “The North Point Series Featuring Andy Stanley” also includes a bonus audio CD featuring select songs from North Point worship leaders and a bonus digital copy of Stanley’s talks included for use on iPod, iPhone, or other personal media device. ABOUT EMI CMG DISTRIBUTION ( Magazine's annual Top Christian Music Distributor since 1995, EMI CMG Distribution was founded in 1994 to serve as the main distribution outlet for EMI CMG's owned and distributed labels to the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. In addition to distributing EMI Christian Music Group’s fully-owned labels, which include Sparrow, ForeFront, and Credential imprints, as well as EMI Gospel and Worship Together, EMI CMG Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with Tooth & Nail/BEC, Creative Trust Media, EE-Taow Records, Gaither Music Group, Green Hill Productions, Hal Leonard, Inpop, Just Me Music, Kingsway Music, Madacy Entertainment, Spring Hill Music Group, Troubadour for the Lord, Universal Music Group, VSR Music Group, Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz, Cloud 9 Games, First Look Studios, GT Media, Guardian Studios/Bananas, Kelly's Filmworks, Pure Flix Entertainment, Vivendi Visual Entertainment and Third Day Games. EMI CMG Distribution is a division of EMI Christian Music Group, a unit of EMI Music (, one of the world's leading music companies.

Dove Brothers Announce Departure of Jerry Kelso

BLADENBORO, N.C. – Multi-award winning quartet the Dove Brothers have announced the departure of celebrated pianist Jerry Kelso. Kelso was a fixture with the Dove Brothers for over four years. Jerry will be moving back to Nashville, Tennessee to concentrate on his songwriting and to be closer to his family.
McCray Dove of the Dove Brothers said, “Kelso has been a big part of who we are over the last few years. We wish him all the best in his career, and we want to thank him for being a part of the Dove Brothers.”
With the news of Jerry’s departure, the Dove Brothers are very excited to announce the addition of Adam Harman as the group’s new pianist. Harman is most known for his stint with the Kingdom Heirs, where he received Singing News Fan Award nominations for Favorite Pianist.
“Adam is a proven talent in this industry,” said McCray Dove. “We are so blessed that he is coming on board with the Dove Brothers. He’s a talented pianist, and we are excited to have him as a part of our team.”
Adam’s first date with the Dove Brothers will be Dec 31, 2009 at the Dove Brothers’ Annual New Years Eve concert in Greenville, North Carolina at Parkers Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.
Adam resides in the Greenville, South Carolina area with his wife Bethanie and daughter Ana. For more information on Adam – visit the Dove Brothers website ( or his personal ministry website (
More information on the Dove Brothers can be found at
About the Dove Brothers Voted Favorite Male Quartet of The Year by the Southern Gospel Music Association and the Singing News Fan Awards, the Dove Brothers’ high energy presentation and progressive arrangements reflect a tangible link to the good old days of gospel music. Their peers regard them as a class act representing the industry with dignity and respect. Their latest recording for Sonlite Records is entitled Hold On and spawned off the hit singles “A Little Good News” and “Hold On.”

Grandmother-in-law of Men of Music's Chris Walton Passes Away

JACKSON, Miss. – Betty Wyatt, Grandmother-In-Law of Men of Music’s Chris Walton, made her heavenly journey home on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at approximately 5:50 p.m. Betty passed away due to complications from a stroke from which she suffered two weeks ago.
Chris said, “I appreciate your prayers for me and wife’s family. They are felt more than ever at this time.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time. Cards and letters can be sent to 1911 21st Ave, Calera, AL 35040.

Brothers Forever Reaches Booking Agreement with Love Song Booking Agency

CHURCH HILL, Tenn. – Popular Southern Gospel trio Brothers Forever recently signed a booking agreement with Love Song Booking Agency — a new and upcoming agency based out of North Carolina. Owner/Manager Ruth O’Dell is happy to announce the association with Brothers Forever and is excited about this opportunity.
“These three young men are about ministering in song and winning lost souls for Christ,” mentioned Ruth. “I admire them, and I love their close harmony and dedication. I promise you will not be disappointed when you book this anointed group for your next church service or concert.”
Curtis Hagy of Brothers Forever said, “We are so excited to have Ruth in our corner when it comes to booking. We feel this is the right step to take at this stage of our ministry.”
Love Song Booking Agency also recently signed award-winning singer/songwriter Phil Cross.
For booking information, please call Ruth O’Dell at (919) 562-0784, email her, or contact her on her Facebook account (
Brothers Forever recently released their latest single to Southern Gospel radio. The new single, titled “Be Alright,” was released last month through Millennium Music Group.
“Be Alright” was written by group member Curtis Hagy and is found on their latest mainline release Sheltered. “Be Alright” is the follow-up to the group’s highly successful previous singles “I Feel a Blessing Coming On,” “I Can’t Forget the Day,” “I Am Him,” and current fan favorite “More Than That.”
You can catch up with Brothers Forever at their homepage –
About Brothers ForeverBrothers Forever is based out of Church Hill, Tennessee. Nestled in the foothills of upper East Tennessee, this group has quickly become known for their unique style of southern gospel music. Songs such as "You Alone Are Worthy" and "I Have Been Loved" have become nationwide favorites. Brothers Forever felt the call to the music ministry a little over a two years ago, and since the group’s inception, it has been an exciting journey.

Blackwood Gospel Qt Announces Birth

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Mark Blackwood and the Blackwood Gospel Quartet are proud to announce the birth of Carlee Jael Mann. Carlee is the new daughter of Blackwood Gospel Quartet baritone David Mann and his wife Jael.
Carlee was born on November 11, 2009 at 5:16 a.m. She was 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 20 ¾ in. long.
David Mann said, “I am so thankful for the quick recovery that my wife has had. We have been enjoying the time at home with her, and we look forward to the many blessings that Carlee will be to our family.”
Carlee is the Mann’s second child. She has one older brother – Jack.
The Mann family appreciates your prayers during this transition in their life.
Visit the Blackwood Gospel Quartet’s website at, become a fan on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter at
About the Blackwood Gospel QuartetThe Blackwood Gospel Quartet is carrying on the tradition set forth by Roy Blackwood who started the original Blackwood Brothers Quartet in 1934. Today, Mark Blackwood and the Blackwood Gospel Quartet are forging their own path as one of Gospel Music’s premier groups. The Blackwood Gospel Quartet currently performs over 200 dates a year and is putting the final touches on their new studio recording.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Carolina Boys Quartet Reforms

It is with great joy and excitement that the members of Total Praise Quartet announce that they have assumed the name The Carolina Boys Quartet. This group was originally founded in 2001 by Mr. Ray Dean Reese (current owner of The Kingsmen) when the Kingsmen's name was temporarily retired. In a concert on December 5, 2009 at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, SC, Mr. Reese was present to announce that The Carolina Boys Quartet had been reformed. The current members now include: Mr. Philllip Masters, Tenor from Six Mile, SC; Mr. Chuck Lowe, Lead from Anderson, SC; Mr. Joe Trusty, Baritone from Greenville, SC; and Mr. Stephen Jewell, Bass from Liberty, SC.
"From the moment I met these gentlemen, I knew that they were more than capable of carrying on the legacy that encircles the vision that I had for this name. The compassion that they have for Southern Gospel and their obvious sincerity of the love of Jesus Christ shines brightly in their lives. I am very excited about the future of The Carolina Boys Quartet and I can't wait to see how God works through these four gentlemen. " Reese said.
"We are very excited to continue the heritage of Southern Gospel Music started by Mr. Ray Dean Reese. We are anticipating a great start to a new year with a new name, "said Phillip Masters. "God continues to pour out His richest blessings on this group."
For more information on the group or to schedule an appearance, please call Betsy at 864-868-7489 or visit us on the world wide web at

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's All About ME

I wrote a short time ago about the increasing sense of entitlement we see around us. From cars demanding the right-of-way, to people cutting in front of you at the checkout line. And of course that is all magnified during the Christmas shopping season! More than once I've come home from a couple of hours in the shops, muttering, "I hate people, I hate people..."
From our early school teachers to all the media today, the emphasis is on the individual. On one hand, we are encouraged to save the environment, leave a smaller carbon footprint, think about what legacy we are leaving for future generations. We are told to give a goat to a child in Africa and spend time in a soup kitchen downtown. All of these are great, noble, and necessary. But on the other hand, everything is screaming at us to put ourselves first. "You are worth it". "Do it for YOU".
We are told we don't have enough self-esteem if we let others go first. We are told we are weak if we help someone at work to succeed ahead of us. All of these conflicting messages leave us frustrated and annoyed. Then we begin to think that yes, maybe we should put ourselves forward more. Maybe we are being taken advantage of. Maybe we are weak and have low self-esteem. Maybe it is time we put ourselves first.
Jesus was a controversial figure when He walked this earth. He was strong, outspoken and absolutely knew His goals and His worth. But He put others first, he defied common thinking about those who were 'lesser', and He spoke words of support into the lives of His disciples, encouraging and helping them be the best they could be.
Some, to their detriment, saw Him as weak and naive. Some, including His disciples, told Him not to think of Himself as a sacrifice. No doubt some thought that if He only exerted His influence a little more, He could be a star.
So we are left with a choice. Do we act as the world commonly thinks we should? Do we put ourselves first, trampling them as we fulfill our sense of entitlement? Or do we prefer each other, taking the last seat at the table, extending our love and our hands to lift others up?
I think the question, "What Would Jesus Do" in this case is redundant. We know exactly what He would do. "Love your neighbour as yourself."We have our instructions, the hard part is doing it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mountain Creek Harmony Opens for Kellie Pickler

Mountain Creek Harmony, the Southern Gospel trio from Albemarle, NC, will take part in the Morgan Shepherd Charity Ride this coming Monday, Dec. 14th with Nascar great, Morgan Shepherd in Galax, VA. They will spend the day ministering to children and disabled in the area. The event will begin at 4 PM at First Baptist Church of Galax, VA. It will be hosted by Mark Garrow and will include performances by comedian Barry McGee, Barney Fife impersonator, David Browning, Mountain Creek Harmony and Kellie Pickler. There will also be a message presented by Pastor Stoney Benfield of Prospect Baptist Church in Albemarle, NC and Morgan Shepherd will share his testimony. Donations will benefit the Morgan Shepherd Charitable Fund. For more information, visit or or call 828-256-2194

EMI CMG and Pure Flix Entertainment - New Releases

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Dec. 8, 2009 – EMI Christian Music Group (CMG) Distribution and have signed a long-term retail distribution agreement with the faith and values based film and production company Pure Flix Entertainment and will release five new video projects before Christmas, with several additional releases slated for 2010. EMI CMG will have exclusive North American rights for Christian retail and distribution of Pure Flix Entertainment video projects. Three DVDs will released on November 17 including “Sarah’s Choice” featuring the acting debut of contemporary Christian music artist Rebecca St. James; the John Hagee Ministries produced end-times thriller “In the Blink of An Eye”; and “Birdie and Bogie” a touching father-daughter film. “A Greater Yes” and “Book of Ruth” will release on December 15. “EMI CMG has a long history of delivering high quality faith-based and family friendly video projects, and we have expanded our focus on this growing category in recent years and have made it an important priority for the future,” said Greg Bays, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for EMI CMG Distribution. “Pure Flix has already established an impressive track record with meaningful and inspiring movies and we are especially excited that we will have five strong and diverse titles available in time for the Christmas season.” “Since the founding of Pure Flix Entertainment in 2004 our goal has been to provide entertaining films with a message. The partnership with EMI provides us a strong arm to the Christian bookstores as a part of our overall corporate vision. As a full service studio providing film production, para-theatrical and theatrical exhibition, new media, and full service multi channel distribution it was imperative to engage EMI as our Christian retail distribution service. They provide excellent sales representation and customer service for our quality productions,” Byron Jones, managing partner of Pure Flix Entertainment. The Pure Flix Entertainment projects just released by EMI CMG on November 17 include: * “Sarah’s Choice” not only stars GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning artist St. James, but features a strong pro-life message. St. James is Sarah, a young woman poised for professional success but facing an unexpected pregnancy. When faced with decisions about her pregnancy, Sarah’s friends and co-workers insist that she has the right to choose a path that offers a successful career and unlimited rewards while others advise Sarah of another choice – a choice that will not only change her life but also the lives of her loved ones now and forever. The movie also features Dick Van Patten and Brad Stine. * “In the Blink of an Eye" tackles another captivating subject – the end times. David A.R. White (Mercy Streets) portrays Detective David Ramsey who finds himself in the middle of a worldwide Nostradomic event that begins with the disappearance of his own wife. The film’s dramatic imagery and visual effects with a creative screenplay that will have moviegoers thinking, hoping and guessing until the last credit rolls. * “Birdie and Bogie” stars “Walker, Texas Ranger’s” Mike Norris and “Friday Night Lights’” Janine Turner in a story about a golf, and family and dying prayers. Danny is a golfer in pursuit of his PGA dreams with 12-year-old daughter Birdie at his side as his unlikely coach. When Birdie is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, Danny must find a way to carry on alone so that he may fulfill his daughters dying wish…to know in his heart what his daughter knows in hers. The December 15th street date includes these releases: * “A Greater Yes” is the true story of Texas teenager Amy Newhouse whose courageous battle with cancer did not save her own life, but sparked a revival in her whole community. Amy was a very popular girl at Pampa High School with a boyfriend, a loving family, and a love for short-term missions. Then, she is stricken with cancer and Amy ultimately learns that the “yes” from God is not what she expects, but became instead “a greater yes.” Revival breaks out as Amy’s faith proves an example to everyone.
* “The Book of Ruth” is a theatrical adaptation of the book of Ruth from the Old Testament, starring Dan Haggerty (“Grizzly Adams”), Lana Wood (“Diamonds are Forever”), Eleese Lester (“Friday Night Lights”), Carman of Carman World Ministries, and newcomer Sherry Morris as Ruth. “The Book of Ruth” is a Biblical Cinderella story from the archives of the royal Jewish bloodline, this story reveals the redemption of their inheritance through the child Obed, who was the grandfather of King David.
“These first five releases present something for everyone – romance, family, mystery, redemption – from a distinctly Christian point of view which will appeal to many Christian retail shoppers this Christmas and in the New Year,” said Bays. ABOUT EMI CMG DISTRIBUTION ( Magazine's annual Top Christian Music Distributor since 1995, EMI CMG Distribution was founded in 1994 to serve as the main distribution outlet for EMI CMG's owned and distributed labels to the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. In addition to distributing EMI CMG fully-owned labels, which include EMI CMG Label Group's Sparrow, ForeFront, and Credential imprints, as well as EMI Gospel and Worship Together, EMI CMG Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with Tooth & Nail/BEC, Creative Trust Media, EE-Taow Records, Gaither Music Group, Green Hill Productions, Hal Leonard, Inpop, Just Me Music, Kingsway Music, Madacy Entertainment, Spring Hill Music Group, Troubadour for the Lord, Universal Music Group, VSR Music Group, Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz, Cloud 9 Games, First Look Studios, Genius Products, GT Media, Guardian Studios/Bananas, Kelly's Filmworks, Pure Flix Entertainment and Third Day Games. EMI CMG Distribution is a division of EMI CMG, a unit of EMI Music (, one of the world's leading music companies. ABOUT PURE FLIX ENTERTAINMENT ( Flix Entertainment, LLC (PFE ) produces, distributes, acquires and markets Christian and family-friendly film properties. Pure Flix Entertainment unites some of the most respected and successful members of the Christian film community with the objective of positioning itself as the industry leader for the production and distribution of high quality, inspiring movies and television programs, while doing so with integrity. Media in the form of entertainment and education owns a sure path to how people think about life. Impacting how they think can impact how they live and the choices they make. And because the human mind thinks in pictures, we believe that film is a powerful social and spiritual influence. For these reasons, our work and passion is the profitable production and distribution of inspiring, Christian and family values based forms of media. Mission Statement: transforming the human spirit through values based entertainment.

Downhere Launches Bethlehem Skyline Tour

Nashville, TN (December 9, 2009) ---- Multi-award winning group, Downhere, recently made a guest appearance on Nashville’s Fox affiliate show, Tennessee Mornings. They performed their mega-hit, “How Many Kings,” and then taped, “Good King Wenceslas,” that will air Christmas day on the program. Both songs are from Downhere’s first Christmas CD, How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas. The performance was in support of the first date of the Bethlehem Skyline tour, which also features labelmates Jason Gray and Lanae' Hale, that launched at Rolling Hills Church in Franklin, TN. This week, Bethlehem Skyline Tour headed into the Chicago area and Downhere appeared on WMBI/Moody’s program, This Is The Day!, with host, Nancy Turner. The group performed several songs from the new Christmas CD. How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas, which released in October, is generating strong reviews for the project. Tennessean-…and all throughout, the album shines with the thoughtful touches of a band that refused to make a sing-by-numbers holiday disc. - Christmas classics you may have forgotten about over the years meet original tunes to create an album that touches your heart as well as your funny bone. - this is still one of the more solid Christmas releases we've seen from a Christian artist. - Downhere’s first ever holiday collection which retains much of the bands classic elements, but also stretches to previously uncharted realms. - In the end, there’s not a whole lot to dislike about this album. It easily ranks among great Christmas albums…”. For more information about the Bethlehem Skyline tour and Downhere, please visit or

Jim Hutson Trust Fund Established

Jim Hutson; brother of Kingsmen vocalist Bryan Hutson was involved in a serious motorcycle accident on November 2nd. Jim suffered a broken pelvic bone, a fractured tibia and multiple facial lacerations. He had 2 surgeries within days of the wreck. The Trust Fund was established to aid Jim and his family while he is recovering. A benefit concert for Jim Hutson will be held on December 19th 7pm at The Rocky Ford Free Methodist Church in Columbus, IN. A "Silent Auction" as well as an angel tree will be part of the festivities. Featured artists that evening will be "The Woodsmen Quartet" (Jim's group), "Bryan Hutson" (Of The Kingsmen), "The New Generation" and "Inspiration By Faith". All proceeds that evening will go to The Jim Hutson Trust Fund. Anyone wishing to contribute to Jim's Trust Fund can send a check or money order to: The Jim Hutson Trust FundC/o Indiana Bank And TrustPO Box 234Batesville, IN 47006.
Thank you and God bless.Bryan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Father of Deon Unthank Passes Away

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Charles William Unthank, father of Deon Unthank (, Sunday Edition) passed away on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 6:10 p.m. EST. Charles (known as Bill to all who know him) peacefully passed into the arms of Jesus at the age of 88.
Deon Unthank said, “While my heart is very heavy right now with the loss of my Dad this weekend, I am evermore rejoicing. He has his mind back, he's no longer old and ailing, and most of all he has already met the Savior of his life face to face.”
Bill was an Army Ranger who fought bravely in World War II. He worked for 52 years as a master painter and paper-hanger. He was a member of the Church of God (Cleveland) where he faithfully served his Savior.
Bill is survived by his wife, Evadean and three children, Brenda (Harold) Downing, Deon (Susan) Unthank, and Chery (Gene) Gray. Bill led a blessed and devoted life to his family and faith. In addition to his three children, Bill was blessed with 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren through the course of his life.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 10, 2009 at Lakeview Memorial Funeral Home in Fairview Heights, Illinois from 4:00-8:00 p.m. The funeral will be on Friday, December 11, 2009 at the same funeral home at 10:00 a.m. Bill’s son-in-law, Bishop Harold Downing, will be officiating the service.
Cards and flowers are welcome and appreciated. The Unthank family appreciates your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Southern Tradition Signs with Homeland Entertainment

Nashville, Tennessee- Riversong Records (a division of Homeland Entertainment Group) announces the signing of one of the newest and most exciting quartets to come along recently to the Gospel Music scene: Southern Tradition. Southern Tradition is made up of Lead Ken Taylor, his brother Mark Taylor singing the baritone, Tenor Thomas Nalley, Bass Paul Allman and pianist Brandon Hooker. With their intricate harmonies, detailed arrangements and versatility, Southern Tradition is in a league all their own. These young men have a style that reflects the nostalgia of their predecessors on the classics as well as a modern day sound that is fresh and enlightening. Ken Taylor mentions "We feel that Southern Tradition joining the Homeland family is a winning combination. We admire the work that Homeland has accomplished with their new direction and are anticipating so many doors that God is getting ready to open as we team together for this new project". Homeland Director of A/R Eric Melton states " I am ecstatic to be working with such an outstanding quartet like Southern Tradition. What I admire about their style is the traditional old school quartet with a modern sway to their delivery. Their heart for ministry and their desire to showcase their God given talents sets them apart from your normal quartet. The opportunities will be unlimited for Southern Tradition." Southern Tradition has also recently signed an exclusive booking agreement with Love Song Talent Agency and will begin their new tour in early January. Riversong Records will begin work with Southern Tradition on this new recording in December with the award winning team of Gary Prim leading the tracking session and Michael Sykes producing the vocals. The project will release to the public on Tuesday February 8th 2010 with the first single releasing to radio in January. Be looking for future updates on this and the exciting debut of Southern Tradition by going to or where you will find sample clips of their music.

New Day Christian Distributors Celebrate Grammy Nominations

New Day Christian Distributors Celebrates As Exclusive Artists Receive GRAMMY® Nominations
Hendersonville, Tenn. (December 4, 2009) – New Day Christian Distributors is honored to announce that two of their exclusively distributed artists received GRAMMY® nominations during the GRAMMY® Nominations Concert Live: Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night, held Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Calif. Tracy Lawrence and Triumphant Quartet both received nominations for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
Country singer Tracy Lawrence’s debut inspirational release, The Rock, produced by Tracy Lawrence and Julian King, was nominated, along with Daywind Records’ artist, Triumphant Quartet’s album, Everyday. Everyday was produced by Wayne Haun and associate producer, Jeff Stice. The Rock is distributed exclusively to the CBA marketplace through New Day, and Everyday is exclusively distributed to all retail and online Christian music outlets by the company. New Day also distributes (on a non-exclusive basis) additional Gospel nominees, including Third Day, Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, Jason Crabb, Donald Lawrence, and more.
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY® Awards will be held on "GRAMMY® Sunday," Jan. 31, 2010, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
For more information on Tracy Lawrence, visit For more on Triumphant Quartet, visit
New Day Christian Distributors, Inc. has been a thriving business for 29 years. The company distributes music, books, bibles, and family-friendly DVDs and gifts worldwide. Retailers can learn more about New Day at

Friday, December 4, 2009

Isreal Houghton and Mary Mary Nominated for Grammy Awards

2010 Shaping Up To Be a Year of Recognition for The Power of One and The Sound with GRAMMY Noms Added to Previously Announced Stellar Award Nominations MOBILE, Ala. – Dec. 3, 2009 – Integrity Music artists Israel Houghton and Mary Mary were among the nominees announced last night for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Israel Houghton received two GRAMMY nominations. “Every Prayer,” from Houghton’s critically acclaimed The Power of One, earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Gospel Song. The Best Gospel Song category recognizes the songwriters which for this song include Houghton, Dayna Caddell, Aaron Lindsey and Ricardo Sanchez, songwriters. Fellow labelmates and also Grammy nominees Mary Mary appear on the recording of “Every Prayer.”
Houghton’s second GRAMMY nomination is for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for The Power of One. Houghton has two GRAMMY Awards to his credit. Recent American Music Award winners Mary Mary are also nominated for Best Gospel Song for their hit song “God In Me.” The nominees for “God In Me” are Mary Mary (Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell) and Warryn Campbell. “God In Me,” is on the duo’s current hit album The Sound. The Columbia Records and Integrity Music distributed Mary Mary has previously won two GRAMMYs. The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on "GRAMMY Sunday," Jan. 31, 2010, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Prior to the GRAMMYs, the music awards season kicks off with the 25th Annual Stellar Awards where Hougthon has three nominations and Mary Mary has four nominations. Follow the artists on Twitter: @israelnewbreed, @therealmarymary and @integritymusic.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Triumphant Quartet Receives Grammy Nomination

Triumphant Quartet Receives GRAMMY® Nomination
Hendersonville, Tenn. (December 3, 2009) – During the GRAMMY® Nominations Concert Live: Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night, held last night in Los Angeles, Calif., the Recording Academy® announced the nominees for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY® Awards. Daywind Records’ artist, Triumphant Quartet received the nomination for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album, for their recent release, Everyday.
The recording was produced and arranged by award-winning producer, Wayne Haun. Triumphant Quartet’s pianist, Jeff Stice, was associate producer on the album. This nomination comes on the heels of Southern Gospel music fans voting the group Quartet Of The Year at the annual Singing News Fan Awards, held in Louisville, Ken.
Triumphant Quartet’s Eric Bennett shared how the group is feeling about the nomination. “We are amazed and honored. We constantly stand in awe of the ways God moves in our ministry. If this nomination will help further our opportunities to tell people about the goodness of God, it is a tremendous gift. We thank the members of the Recording Academy® and all of the people who are a part of helping Triumphant Quartet to reach people through this music.”
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY® Awards will be held on "GRAMMY® Sunday," Jan. 31, 2010, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
Daywind Records is based in Hendersonville, Tenn., and is distributed worldwide through New Day Christian Distributors. Everyday can also be found at Christian retailers everywhere and on iTunes. In addition to Triumphant Quartet, Daywind is home to many other great artists such as Karen Peck & New River and the Booth Brothers, among others.
For more information on Triumphant Quartet, visit For more information on Daywind Records, visit

Karen Peck and New Rivers' No Worries Named Among Top 10

Hendersonville, TN (December 2, 2009) - Daywind Records is honored to announce that Karen Peck & New River’s new album, No Worries, was named among Gospel Music Channel’s (GMC) Top 10 Best Albums of 2009.
The album, produced by Mark Fain, has been receiving tremendous accolades. GMC’s panel of experts named it the top Southern Gospel/Country release of the year. The radio single from the album, “Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along,” which landed at stations across the country recently, has already made it to the top 20 in the Singing News chart.
Karen Peck & New River will be appearing on virtually all of the Gaither Homecoming events, in 2010, showcasing this new album.
To see the full story and complete list of GMC’s Top 10 Best, visit
Daywind Records is based in Hendersonville, TN, and is distributed worldwide through New Day Christian Distributors. In addition to Karen Peck & New River, Daywind is home to such great artists as the Perrys and the Booth Brothers, among others.
For more information on Karen Peck & New River, visit For more information on Daywind Records, visit

The Nelons Relocate to Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. – The legendary Nelons recently relocated their ministry to Jacksonville, Florida. The trio decided to move their family in order to partner with Trinity Baptist Church as Artists-in-Residence at Trinity Baptist College. Alongside keeping a full-time touring schedule, Kelly is teaching private voice lessons, while Jason is working along-side the pastoral staff in areas of music and worship. Amber has begun her sophomore year at Trinity Bible College, and Autumn started the 7th grade at Trinity Christian Academy. The Nelons’ complete schedule can be found at or
Dr. Tom Messer, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, commented, “I am excited about the Nelons coming to Jacksonville to form a strategic partnership with Trinity Baptist Church and Trinity Baptist College. Jason and Kelly have a heart for worship and a desire to make an impact for the Lord in and through the local church. I believe that their ministry is anointed of the Lord and that God is going to continue to use them greatly in the Lord's work. It is especially gratifying to have them as a part of our ministry.” Effective immediately, the Nelons can be contacted at:PO Box 37031Jacksonville, FL 32236904-783-7700. Kelly, Jason and Amber have completed their sophomore Vine Records release in Nashville, Tennessee. The popular trio recorded 12 Southern Gospel selections written by award-winning songwriters Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey, Gerald Crabb, Rebecca Peck, Andrae Crouch, Jason Clark, Marcia Henry, Carroll McGruder and others. Beside Still Waters was produced by Wayne Haun and Jason Clark and is set to release in February 2010 by Crossroads Entertainment & Marketing Inc. The Nelons’ first single, “He Found Me,” is playing at radio stations nationwide and was written by Joel Lindsey, Wayne Haun and Jason Clark. The project includes remakes of the McGruders’ classic “I’m Going Home With Jesus” and Andrae Crouch’s “My Tribute.” The Nelons’ accomplished musical career and ministry includes: six DOVE Awards, three GRAMMY nominations, several “Number One” songs on the radio charts, a prestigious New York Film Festival Bronze Award, numerous Singing News Fan Awards, and appearances all around the world in various venues. As a family, Jason, Kelly and Amber continue to sing with a full heart of praise to the only One worthy, Jesus Christ the Son of God. For more information on The Nelons, visit or For more information on Vine Records and The Nelons brand new recording, Beside Still Waters, visit or For a complete tour schedule, visit

Dove Brothers Release Decennial

BLADENBORO, N.C. – Multi-award winning quartet the Dove Brothers are celebrating 10 years of ministry with the release of Decennial. Decennial features eight of the Dove Brothers most requested and sought after songs re-recorded with the current line-up. In addition, Decennial features two brand new songs never heard before from the group.
Decennial features concert classics like “Didn’t It Rain,” “Get Away Jordan,” “Just Another Hill,” “Gonna Rise,” “When I Move to Hallelujah Square” and others.
Decennial also features two new songs – “Anyway” (a Gospel cover of the Martina McBride country hit) and “My Life.” The new tracks and vocals were produced by group founder and manager McCray Dove and recorded at Serenade Studios in Bladenboro, North Carolina.
Some of the most talented names in Gospel music were featured on the tracks – including Danny Crawford, Tony Creasman, Jeremy Medkiff, and David Johnson among others.
McCray Dove of the Dove Brothers said, “We really feel like this is the strongest line-up of the group in our ten years. We are fortunate that we haven’t had a lot of turn-over, but this group in particular is really hitting its stride. We are thankful that the Lord has brought us together like He has. We are looking forward to the next 10 years on the road!”
Charles Burke said this about the Dove Brothers 10 years on the road, “The Dove Brothers have been singing and blessing people’s hearts for over 10 years. They have remained one of the top male quartet groups in the nation because they sing from their hearts – the only way a Gospel song should be sung.”
He continued, “Over my 50 years in Gospel Music, seldom have I seen or heard more individual talent in any group. I have never had a group impress or excite me more than the Dove Brothers!”
Decennial is available online and at Dove Brothers concert events. Be listening for the group’s current single – “Hold On” – which was written by McCray Dove and sent to radio last month.
More information on the Dove Brothers can be found at
About the Dove Brothers Voted Favorite Male Quartet of The Year by the Southern Gospel Music Association and the Singing News Fan Awards, the Dove Brothers’ high energy presentation and progressive arrangements reflect a tangible link to the good old days of gospel music. Their peers regard them as a class act representing the industry with dignity and respect. Their latest recording for Sonlite Records is entitled Hold On and spawned off the hit singles “A Little Good News” and “Hold On.”