Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ReWind Wednesdays: Southern Gospel Artists Talk About Their Great Dads

Great Dads!

Fathers have an incredible influence over our lives and this month we want to honor the great Dads of Southern Gospel artists and fans. The Scriptures tell us to “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” We hope you enjoy this article and find some way to honor your great Dad this month.

“He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” This quote, attributed to Clarence Budington Kelland, has been repeated thousands of times but the truth is obvious to those who have been blessed with loving, Godly fathers. Karen Peck, soprano with Karen Peck and New River, had a great Dad who lived his testimony.

“My dad was a great Christian man who left behind a wonderful legacy,” says Karen. “He was not a man with a lot of words. He observed things then would give his opinion. Also, he was a man of his word. He was always very open and honest. He has been in Heaven since February 1993. I miss him terribly. Heaven is sweeter because Daddy is there!”

Steve French, baritone of the popular quartet, The Kingdom Heirs, grew up in a Christian home and inherited a wonderful sense of humor from his father. Steve says, “My dad is not only the greatest dad on the planet, he is also the greatest man I have ever known. He is 75 and going strong!!!”

Tom Stoner, The Royalaires Quartet: “My Dad is greater than great. When I was eleven months old in 1950 I contracted polio. My family was not rich by any means. Dad was in the Army and Mom had a full-time job taking care of me at home. I had to learn how to walk all over again at least 15 times. When Dad got out of the army he worked at an auto dealership as a mechanic and later on in the parts department as Assistant Manager. I went to school braces and all, and not one time did my Dad let me get by with ‘I can’t do that’, when he knew with a little more effort I could. Dad and Mom made sure I had my braces and shoes even when they made just $45 a week. They made sure I had music lessons at a very young age, and my great Dad even co-signed for me to get my now 42 year old 335 Cherry Red Gibson guitar that has paid for itself at least a thousand times. Yep, my Dad even whipped me when I needed it!”

What makes a Father a “Great Dad”? Elaine Harcourt says, “I think a great dad is one who spends time with his kids even when he's tired. Kids remember things like that. I know I did.”

Barry Flint of Old Time Christian Radio, agrees. “I'm the father of a teenage son, who will be a high school senior next school year. He has made his mother and I very proud of him. He has won several academic and character awards at the Christian school he attends. If I had to try to point to one thing that I think makes a difference in a child, it is time. So many of us are so busy today, I'm afraid it's easy to let time get away. Certainly church and Christian influences are important. But I believe spending time with your kids and letting them know that you love them and are there for them is crucial. At the same time, my own father is having some real health issues at this stage of his life, and it is painful to see him in this condition. Another reason that I think as parents and children of parents, we need to cherish the time that we have and make the most of it.”

David Hill of the David Hill Trio, says, “I have two children that I adore. Mason is nine (10 years this coming July) and Eliana is four. As I sit here typing this I can't help but think that I can't even scratch the surface of understanding the Father's love for us. But I have been able to get a tiny glimpse of what His love must be like. The pride you feel when your children accomplish a tough task. The joy you experience when they want to spend time with you. The absolute bliss when they run to hug you and welcome you home. It makes me want to love Him more, you know? I love my babies, and that makes me thankful to know that He loves me even more. Happy Father's Day...Dad.”

“My dad passed away at the age of 49, when I was thirteen,” says soloist Betty J. Davis. “I remember his arms. He had big arms with lots of hair on them; arms that made you feel secure. He was a firefighter for Luke Air Force Base where he would work for twenty-four hours and then would be off for twenty-four hours. He was a quite man, but loved his family and the Lord. I don't think you would want to mess with any of his children.”

Betty continues, “He would tease me by telling me he had no money, when I would ask for a dime. Back in those days all you needed was a dime! He would jingle his change in his pocket, only to hand it over to me when I felt I was getting nowhere with my request. The few years I had with my dad left a lasting moment in time for me. He was truly loved and is missed, but praise the Lord one of these days there will be a great reunion and we will see our loved ones again.”

The Concords’ Doug Miller is the father of three young ladies. Doug says, “A great Dad is one who takes time to be there for his children, to nurture, to lead, to pray, to be strong. He’s a man with Christ-like spirit, who shows his love in so many ways.”

Rob Patz, owner of Coastal Media Group and host of The Southern Styles Show, is a Pastor’s kid who had a terrific Father. Rob says, “What made my Dad a great Dad was that he instilled beliefs in me that I carry today. He taught me that when you work hard for the Lord, though you might not see your reward here, you will gain a reward in Heaven. He also taught me to be true to myself and who I am, and to what the Lord would want me to do.”

We hope you have enjoyed these thoughts from our friends in Southern Gospel music. Please take time this month to thank your Heavenly Father for your earthly Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

For more information:
Karen Peck and New River:
Steve French, The Kingdom Heirs:
Barry Flint, Old Time Christian Radio:
David Hill, The David Hill Trio:
Doug Miller, The Concords:
Rob Patz, The Southern Styles Show with Rob Patz:

(SGM Radio Feature published June 2009
By Lorraine Walker

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