Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Roys Sign Production Deal With ValCom Studios For A New, Music-Driven Television Variety Show

Bluegrass dynamos, The Roys, have signed a production deal with ValCom Studios for a new, weekly music-driven variety show. Lee and Elaine Roy will appear and perform on the 30-minute show titled, Roots And Music With The Roys, with the inaugural 13 episodes to be taped in Nashville early next year. The show has already been picked up by over 120 stations nationwide, landing The Roys a potential 40 million cable and broadcast household viewers.  Vince Vellardita, CEO-President of ValCom Studios says, "Elaine and Lee are incredibly talented. There are no shows on the air like this one, and it's the perfect vehicle to expand The Roys’ career.”
"Our mission has been to spread the 'joy' of Bluegrass, and this show will certainly help us bring this iconic American musical style to many new listeners," says Lee.  The duo has enjoyed enormous success at radio and at retail, and Elaine calls the new show "an incredible opportunity." 

The episodes will be presented in true "variety" format, with each show including a performance by The Roys, humanitarian features, a festival event highlight segment, plus a guest musical artist, interview, and a closing jam session. Roots And Music With The Roys will focus on Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots formats.
The Roys are uniquely qualified to act as ambassadors for their genre; the duo was recently named 2011 Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year at the ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards show, and were previously honored with the ICM's Duo of the Year Award in 2010 and 2009. Their recent hit, "Coal Minin' Man" rocketed up the Bluegrass charts, landing at #1 on Power Source's Bluegrass Top 35 Chart, #1 on HotDiscInternational Top 40 Chart, #3 on Bluegrass Unlimited’s National Bluegrass Survey and #4 on Bluegrass Music Profiles’ Top 30 Singles Chart.

The Roys start 2012 with their first-ever shows in Australia:
01/25/2012      Tamworth, Australia /Tamworth City Council Outdoor Show
01/26/2012      Tamworth, Australia /The Family Inn
01/27/2012      Tamworth, Australia /Tamworth Country Music Festival, Toyota Stage
01/29/2012      Tamworth, Australia /Tamworth City Council Outdoor Show

Following their return from Australia, The Roys will launch a busy U.S. touring season, which includes festivals and fairs and co-hosting duties at the Christmas 4 Kids Celebrity Golf Tournament with Tennessee Titans’ Rob Bironas in April.

Fans can learn more about Lee and Elaine at

ABOUT ValCom, Inc. (Ticker Symbol: VLCO)
Formed in 1983 and based in Clearwater, Florida, ValCom, Inc. is a diversified, fully-integrated, independent entertainment company. Through its operating divisions and subsidiaries, ValCom, Inc. creates and operates full-service facilities that accommodate film, television and commercial productions.  The company's four divisions comprise television and film production, broadcasting (My Family TV Network), distribution, and live theatre. ValCom's client list consists of major industry players such as MGM, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Disney, CBS, Sony, NBC, Phantom of the Opera, HSN and more.

Helmed by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince Vellardita, ValCom, Inc. has acquired property and studios in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs. Vellardita has been instrumental in acquiring over 10,000 titles of Film and Television series, and ownership of television station KVPS (Palm Springs). ValCom, Inc. maintains long-term relationships with Paramount Pictures, CBS television’s “JAG” and “NCISseries, andWalt Disney’s Sabans “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”  Vellardita began his career as a fast-paced music producer and promoter of over 200 live events and concertswith some of the biggest acts in the world.  He has also produced a  Special White House Presidential Campaign, the Super Bowl 2006 Motown Rap Show, The Beach Boys 40th Anniversary Special, an MGM Grand Special, and the 50th Anniversary of Michel Legrand and Friends show.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The Nashville Music Garden’s first-ever “Country Music Blooms Online Auction,” which launched on Black Friday, November 25 and continued through Monday, December 5, raised more than $15,000, to help sustain the garden and continue to help keep Nashville beautiful. All proceeds from the auction benefit the Nashville Music Garden Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which endows the future care and support of the garden so the community, Country music fans and visitors to the city can enjoy it for generations to come.
The auction, which featured a unique selection of celebrity-owned items – straight from the closets of Country music’s finest – was held on eBay so that garden and country music enthusiasts from across the world could have the opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind items from their favorite celebrities. Bidders across the globe from the United Kingdom to Thailand, as well as across the United States, from New York to Florida and from California to Massachusetts, bid vigorously throughout the auction. In the end, the lucky winners landed exceptional holiday gifts for the country music lovers in their lives and incomparable keepsakes for their own collections. The auction certainly encouraged the holiday spirit and generous supporters helped the Nashville Music Garden exceed fundraising goals. “With the success of the auction, thanks to the incredible generosity and support of the bidders and the celebrities who donated items, the Nashville Music Garden will continue to grow and thrive,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

The success of the inaugural auction is undoubtedly the result of the thoughtful donations of many esteemed country legends and hot contemporary stars, who not only graciously donated priceless personal keepsakes and treasured memorabilia, but who also helped promote their items as well. These include: Barbara Mandrell, Brenda Lee, Brooks & Dunn, Carrie Underwood, Christian Kane, Danny Gokey, Darryl Worley, Darius Rucker, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Kristen Chenoweth, Lady Antebellum, LeAnn Rimes, Little Jimmy Dickens, Love and Theft, Manuel, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert Pam Tillis, Sara Evans, Scotty McCreery, Sugarland, Tim McGraw, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, Zac Brown Band and many more.
The auction was also made possible by the extra support offered by Anderson Design Group and Spirit of Nashville, Fontanel Mansion & Farm, Jaime Dudney,  RFD-TV, Tessa Atkins, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, The Country Network (TCN) , and by all of those who bid on items.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 2011 SGNScoops Magazine

Merry Christmas  from the Scoops Staff! We are proud to present December’s Issue,”The Gift of Grace!”  We are excited to feature The Bowling Family, Gloria Gaither, Marshall Hall, Christy Sutherland, The Diplomats, Scott Godsey, Amber Nelon, Rachel McCutcheon and Karen Peck.  This issue includes New Music Reviews by Sandi Duncan Clark, Jennifer Cambell’s Women of Faith Experience, Stephanie Kelley’s trip to the Flight Museum, Inspiration from Lou Wills Hildreth, Encouragement from John Mathis and Rhonda Frye and a concert review on Voices Won Anniversary Singing. Rob Patz gives a little hint about the Diamond Awards location, Lorraine Walker wraps up a 3-part series on “Media and the Gospel” and Laurette Wills shares how we can stay fit during the holidays. We hope you enjoy the beautiful cover designed by Stephanie Kelley and the Magazine layout design by Pete Schwager. Enjoy our Christmas treat and please share it with your friends!
Click Here For The Magazine Here

Heart To Heart, "The Heart & Soul of Branson" Just Voted 2011 Country Gospel Connection Choice Awards Duo of the Year

 Heart To Heart, regulars on the Branson Stage and a well-loved, full-time gospel and family music group
has recently received the honor of being voted 2011 Country Gospel Connection Choice Awards Duo of the Year. This award is determined by a panel of music industry professionals and is based on Heart To Heart’s excellence in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Christian Country Gospel music. Heart To Heart has also just learned that their original song, “Father Who Cares,” written for America’s Got Talent finalists Voices of Glory, has been nominated for a Dove Award!
Heart To Heart are singers and songwriters with original songs on the charts and receiving airplay worldwide such as “That’s Why I Cry,” “See a Rainbow,” “Father Who Cares,” “Rock of Ages, Roll On,” “My Little Boy” and “Where Tears Won’t Fall.” They have twice been voted awards for Song of the Year by the Gospel Music Association in Nashville and were GMA Duo and Vocal Group of the Year last year. Heart to Heart hosts their own radio show called “The Branson Gospel Groove” which airs on several stations to include,, and
Sharon and Jerry Mays who make up Heart to Heart are quick to point out that these awards are not just “fireplace mantel furniture” but are tools to open doors to enable them to reach more people with encouragement and the Good News of Jesus. Sharon says “We work 24/7 for the Lord and are honored to serve at every opportunity.” “We gave up a lot of ‘stuff’ a few years ago when the Lord told us to go full time and He would make a way for us. He whispered and we didn’t listen but when he shouted, we had to make the change. We both had full-time jobs and good benefits. Jerry was a National Marketing Director and I am a Degreed Paralegal. We gave all that up to work for the Lord and; once we got out of His way to do His will with our lives, we have been blessed beyond measure since!”
Heart To Heart not only performs regularly on two Branson stages, The Night Light Beacon of Branson (owned by the Barbara Fairchild family) and Branson Radio Live with Karen Berka at the Branson Mall Centerstage, they are members of GMA, ICGMA, CGMA, SGMA and ICMA and tour the country when not on the Branson stage to serve churches, schools and communities.
Sharon comes from a musical family. Her dad, Leon Barnett, was the lead guitar player for Narvel Felts & the Rockets “back in the day,” and guys like Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Carl Perkins and Chet Atkins ran through her house when she was four or five years old, always getting ready for the next “gig.” Jerry grew up on a farm in rural Missouri and didn’t know he could sing until he met Sharon! Together, they are forging a legacy in Gospel music with their powerhouse vocals, amazing connection with their audiences and dedication to their Calling; and the industry is definitely taking notice. You WILL be hearing more from Heart to Heart – that’s for sure! For more about Heart to Heart, visit their website at

“Lifetime Of Jeff & Sheri Easter” Giveaway

Nashville, TN – Jeff & Sheri Easter believe it’s important to make and share good memories, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now at their official Facebook page! Jeff & Sheri are hosting the “Lifetime of Jeff & Sheri Easter Music Giveaway.” Gospel music favorites Jeff and Sheri Easter want to give their fans the opportunity to share their favorite Christmas memory and a chance to win a 10 CD library of Jeff & Sheri’s music spanning their career through the Facebook contest.
Sheri Easter says, “The special thing about Christmas is making lasting memories and spending time with loved ones. We want you to share your favorite Christmas memory with us and all our friends online and win something really cool in the process!”
To enter the contest, go to and share your favorite Christmas memory underneath the video.  Then, invite your friends and family to visit the page and click “LIKE” under your memory. The story with the most “LIKES” will be the winner of the CD library. The contest started on December 6, 2011 and runs through December 31, 2011 at Midnight and is now open to all friends of Jeff & Sheri.
Log onto and don’t forget to click the “LIKE” button!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hexify Launches Lightside Games to Focus on Christian Entertainment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.  Hexify, the developers of the first Biblically-based Facebook game, Journey of Moses, is launching Lightside Games to focus on creating games specifically for the Christian audience.

"Lightside Games' core mission is to create high-quality, engaging Christian social games by leveraging the world's biggest technology platforms to reach gameplayers all over the globe," said Brent Dusing, Chairman and CEO of Hexify and Lightside Studio Head. "Authenticity is core to what we do at Lightside. Stories and themes from the Holy Bible are the foundation of our games. We strive remain true to God's message."

Lightside, a wholly owned studio of Hexify, will continue to produce high quality Facebook games that incorporate fun gameplay, quality graphics, great music and the newest Facebook social features. Plans include games that focus on both New and Old Testament stories and themes. Lightside Games will be free to play while players can purchase goods along the way to help enhance their experience.

"There are all types of games online -- games about monsters, zombies, mafias and farms. At Lightside, we make games about the Bible," said Dusing. "We transform the Biblical stories that many of us hold dear into fun, entertaining and uplifting games."

Hexify, the parent company of Lightside, launched Journey of Moses, to meet a void in the market for a biblically based game in August 2011. Players experience the many twists and turns as they explore milestones in the life of Moses -- from growing up in the king's house as an Egyptian to his exile in the wilderness. Then, after an encounter at the burning bush, Moses' life is changed and he eventually leads the Israelites out of Pharaoh's rule.

For more information about Lightside Games, visit

Who would you like to see in SGNScoops magazine?

We are working together at SGNScoops to intentionally plan an awesome year of stories and articles. Rob and I have been working closely with our staff regarding content planning for 2012. We want to hear from YOU as well. Who would you like to see in the magazine? What other stories interest you? Email us your ideas and suggestions at We want to Connect with you!

Check out there website at

Lou Holtz Announced as Keynote Speaker for 2012 “Choose to Win” FCA/Sports World Ministries Banquet in Bonita Springs, Fla.

Lou Holtz, retired football coach, active sportscaster, best-selling author and motivational speaker, has been announced as the keynote speaker for the “Choose to Win” banquet on Saturday, January, 21, 2012.  Sponsored jointly by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Sports World Ministries, the banquet will be held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla.  Tickets are available at or call 239-784-3377 for information and sponsorship opportunities.

Holtz served as the head football coach at The College of William & Mary, North Carolina State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Minnesota, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of South Carolina, compiling a career record of 249–132–7. Holtz's 1988 Notre Dame team went 12–0 with a victory in the Fiesta Bowl. He is the only college football coach to lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to guide four different programs to the final top 20 rankings.  On May 1, 2008, Holtz was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

“We are very excited to partner with Sports World Ministries for this evening featuring Coach Lou Holtz as we work together to encourage students to make positive choices.  Sports World provides former professional athletes to deliver the message, “You’re not born a winner.  You’re not born a loser.  You’re born a chooser.”  The Fellowship of Christian Athletes follows up on that message by working with students on school campuses to equip them to make the right choice by following the example of Jesus Christ,” said Gretchen Shelton, FCA Area Director.

This uplifting and motivating event will include guest speakers, a silent auction, entertainment, dinner, and dynamic video presentations.  Tickets will go quickly, visit today or call 239-784-3377 for more details.

Merry Christmas from Gospel Music Today

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas!
The current edition of Gospel Music Today includes a visit to the Deep South Quartet Convention, in Springfield, MO, to hear Faith's Journey sing. The Feature Group is New Covenant Trio, and Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates. Jean reviews a new CD by 11th Hour, and the show features special Christmas music by Tribute Quartet, Karen Peck and New River, and The Williamsons. The latest show is online now at the Gospel Music Today website,
Merry Christmas from Ken and Jean!

Record Attendance for the Rick Webb Family’s “The Glory and Majesty of Christmas”

The Rick Webb Family’s “The Glory and Majesty of Christmas” tour, along with their 30 member cast, was on the road this year during the month of December. This is the 4th year this production, written by Disney veteran musical composer, Derric Johnson has been The Rick Webb Family’s Christmas tour.

The show was produced exclusively for the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana and that is where the tour made its final stop. The show sold out in record time with more than 2,000 attending. The Rick Webb Family is projecting an unprecedented year of music ministry in 2012 as they celebrate their 30th year of touring and recording in music ministry!

Monday, December 19, 2011


NASHVILLE, Tenn.—For Guy Penrod, one of gospel music’s best-loved vocalists, 2011 marked a year filled with unforgettable milestones.  Led by the continued multi-genre success of his 2010 solo debut, Breathe Deep, Penrod’s visibility and acclaim experienced new heights within both the Christian and Country Music arenas.

Penrod is ending the year on a high note, having made his debut solo appearance on The Grand Ole Opry last month. As part of the Opry’s special Veteran’s Day show, the award-winning vocalist performed his current mainstream country single, “More Power To Ya,” and “Breathe Deep,” on the historic stage of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

In addition, other unforgettable moments for Guy Penrod in 2011 include:

  • Induction into the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame
  • Dove Award Nominations for Country Album of the Year and Country Recorded Song of the Year (“Are You The One”)
  • ICM Award Nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 80 concert performances across the US
  • Numerous dates in Europe and Canada
“2011 will go down as a year that my family and I will not soon forget,” said Penrod.  “Whether it was learning about the Dove and ICM nominations; hearing our songs played on both Christian and Country radio; or stepping foot on the Opry stage, those are all moments to remember.  However, none of that tops the support and love I felt from those we sang to across the country.  It is my prayer we were able to, in turn, provide them with encouragement and hope for their own journeys.”

Penrod’s acclaimed 2010 Servant Records/Gaither Music Group solo debut, Breathe Deep, continues to be a benchmark for country recordings within the Christian marketplace.  Breathe Deep has sold more than 75,000 units to date, and has yielded successful singles in both mainstream country and southern gospel radio formats.

During his 14 years with the GRAMMY® and Dove Award-winning Gaither Vocal Band, Penrod performed before more than 5 million people on Bill & Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Tours and was featured on Gaither television specials airing on multiple networks.  The Gaither Homecoming series and The Gaither Vocal Band sold more than 20 million CDs and DVDs while Penrod was a member.  Prior to joining the Vocal Band, Penrod was a highly sought-after studio singer in Nashville and appeared for three years on TNN’s popular “Music City Tonight” as a vocalist in the house band.

Penrod is looking forward to a full touring schedule in 2012, including performances at churches, theatres and special events throughout the country, as well as a European tour next summer.  For a complete tour schedule and additional information, visit

Kingsmen Hire New Lead Singer: Bob Sellers

The Kingsmen just announced that, following Bryan Hutson’s departure, they have hired Bob Sellers:

The Kingsmen are pleased to welcome Bob Sellers to the quartet, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Bryan Hutson. “I am so excited to become a member of the legendary Kingsmen Quartet family,” says Bob. “I’m thankful for this opportunity that Ray and Brandon Reese have given me, and I look forward to meeting every single Kingsmen fan.

“The first song I recall singing with my mom and sister in our little country church was ‘A Place Where The Hungry Are Fed,’ so it is a dream come true to now stand on stage with the group that introduced that song and so many other great songs to Gospel music. I will work with all that is within me to continue the proud tradition that is The Kingsmen Quartet and, most importantly, to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in song effectively. I cannot wait to see what God has in store!

Bob’s first concert will be in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada on December 31, 2011.

News Release Courtesy of Crossroads Music

Friday, December 16, 2011

Retro Reality Check: Christmas Gift of Hope - December 2007

She stands beside the sidewalk; hair disheveled, clothes dirty, hands shaking. She hasn’t had a drag all day, let alone a high. Her hands move seemingly of their own volition; she’s scratching her head and then her arm, as she looks up and down the road and into each car that passes. She walks to the corner, hands tugging up the threadbare shirt, settling into her stance as she looks for a paying customer. A mere twenty bucks will get her a short high. All she needs is one customer.

He walks into work, the first one there as usual. He thinks of what he might do if he didn’t have the bills to pay. Get a different job, for one thing. Tell his boss and everyone else where they can go. Then he could afford the fancy motorcycle and the extra car. And his wife was always asking for money. But that wouldn’t be happening now anyway because he was moving out. The kids don’t need him any more. And he certainly doesn’t need to hear her nagging. A new job and an extra twenty thousand a year would be perfect. All he needs is a little more money.

She walks into church alone again. She smiles and the greeters return her smile, doing their job to the best of their ability. The pastor walks by but he’s too busy to greet anyone, he’s got too many important things to do. She slowly walks through the foyer into the sanctuary, watching people gather with their families, talking to friends, greeting each other with hugs. It’s like she’s invisible, but by this time in her life, she’s used to that. She sits down in her pew and waits for the service to begin. If just one person came to sit near her, perhaps she could have a real conversation. All she needs is a one kind word.

They struggle down the road, which leads through desert land and harsh, unforgiving terrain. He walks the hundred miles, sandals torn and feet bleeding, while he leads the donkey. She’s expecting, and the donkey’s spine is a hard and uncomfortable seat as the wind whips the dirt and sand into her eyes. They have little money but it needs to be enough to pay Caesar and for some lodging in the town once they arrive. The baby’s birth is immanent. Darkness falls and they finally arrive in Bethlehem. If they could only find a room, something clean with sheets for the new baby. All they need is a room.

In the midst of the darkness, suddenly a star breaks through and the light finds it’s way into the small stable. The cave that was dark and dirty now brightens as a baby’s cry echoes among the animals. The shepherds, drawn here by a vision they almost can’t believe, fall to their knees on the hard ground. This Child is special and the air fills with His holy presence. And suddenly, it’s there. What they all needed. They didn’t know it, they had forgotten or pushed it aside in trying to survive the day. But it’s there, and it’s undeniable.


It came into that stable and into the world, to touch every life and every need.

A Christmas gift to share.

Why don’t we?

First published by SGM Radio, December 2007. Written by Lorraine Walker
For more Reality Check columns, please visit

Retro SGM Radio: Frontline Christmas Gift - December 2007

“As she lays her head down this Christmas night, she prays her Daddy will be all right. He’s in a land where there’s no Christmas, only violence and fear…wish he was here”…so begins the poignant song by Shelly Bush, entitled “Frontline Christmas Gift”. “Daddy” is on the frontlines, and both he and his family wishes he was home. Shelly’s sweet, expressive vocals let the emotion of the song touch the heart, but the message is also unmistakable. It’s the struggle all those serving their country face; that of leaving everything they hold dear at home, to go overseas and fight to preserve that home.

Shelly Bush, a Missouri native, went from a college degree in Criminal Justice to a singing career in Nashville, Tennessee. Shelly is a member of the Country Music Association and was recently signed by the United States Entertainment Force. The USEF is an organization dedicated to serving the soldiers returning home from the front, the wounded in hospital, the veterans who have served, and the children who have been left behind. This organization not only handles Shelly’s management, but also works toward a goal that is close to Shelly’s heart.

“I have not had a chance to make it overseas as of yet”, said Shelly recently in an interview with SGM Radio. “My mission right now is to rally those here in the United States because we are at war here at home more so then overseas. We are living in a country that is being divided by our own people, and I feel my mission must start here in the States first.”

Shelly continues, “I know a lot of people who are currently serving in a combat zone overseas, and I poor out my heart to them for giving so much for the name of freedom. II look forward to the day I can go there to perform for them. If they can't come to one of my shows back home here in States because they are serving overseas, then I will go to them and perform. Right now they feel I need to be at home working on bringing our county back together that is being divided by our own people.”

“Frontline Christmas Wish” is a song that reminds all of us what the troops leave behind as they go to serve their country. Shelly says, “I recorded this song because I wanted to remind not only my fans, but anyone who listens to "Frontline Christmas Wish" that we must not forget about our troops. They are giving so much for the name of freedom, yet we are here at home being divided by those who have forgotten what "We The People" really means. Here we have thousands of families who has a loved one somewhere overseas, be it a combat zone, or a country where there is no threat of war. We all wish for them to be home for Christmas, but we also have to be reminded that without the support of our military, any country can take advantage of us if we did not have our troops serving somewhere in the world.”

Shelly has a message for those voicing the anti-war sentiments in Hollywood. “I invite them all to come join the United States Entertainment Force and the cause to help in supporting our men and women serving to protect our freedom to live. The United States Entertainment Force is a coalition of the worlds top managers, artist, agents, record labels, publicist, celebrities, radio personalities, television, news paper, magazines, industry executives and many more. These are people who have come together as one under the United States Entertainment Force name.”

“We are here to serve the men and women by helping them find jobs right away upon returning home from over seas. We are here to provide support to the men and women who lie somewhere in a wounded warrior hospital by bringing their families to them. We are here to serve the men and women who have given some much in the name of freedom. Most importantly, the children that are being left behind by those who are serving so they can live to grow up knowing they have a safe home to live in. Stop your complaining and start donating! If you are not apart of the United States Entertainment Force as of yet, you need to join right away! You can join by logging onto .”

This strong-willed lady also has a message for those on the frontlines. “"Thank you so much for serving this great country we live in! Without you to protect us, who would there be? I miss every last one of you, and please come home safe!"

Joseph Bourgeois, A&R Promotions Director of the USEF, explains the mission of the organization. “Our men and woman who are giving so much to preserve our freedom to live by leaving an arm and/or leg in a combat zone need all the support we can give back. One of our missions is to help by putting smiles on their faces by making it possible to bring their families to them no matter where they may lie in a hospital bed. While we are walking around spending time with our families for the holidays, a lot of our soldiers are sitting in a hospital somewhere all alone. The USEF is dedicated to making it possible by to bring families and loved ones to our wounded soldiers where they are having to spend months in a hospital somewhere far from home.”

Shelly Bush what her plans were for the Christmas holidays. “I am going to be spending time with my family during the holidays, because this coming year I plan to spend a lot of my time helping to raise money for our troops.”

The USEF is an organization led by a gentleman of faith who gives God the glory for all their endeavors. Jerry Payne has been quoted as saying, “I may be the president and founder of the USEF, but our Lord Jesus Christ is the CEO of the United States Entertainment Force!!!” Shelly Bush echoes this sentiment as well.

“God gave me a talent, and I plan to use this talent He gave me to help all those in need. The United States Entertainment Force is making this possible for me to do. I come to you today because not only do our troops need support, but also our children of this country who are being left behind need our help as well. Please log onto and make a donation for this cause. All the money donated, that's 100% of the monies raised, goes toward the four missions stated in the website.”

If you haven’t heard this single, please call your country or gospel station to request “Frontline Christmas Wish” by Shelly Bush. Find out more about Shelly at .

December 2007 Special SGM Feature By Lorraine Walker
For current articles and features please visit
Photo courtesy

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Freedom s Crossing visits with Vince Gill back stage

Adam and Rebecca Reynolds of Freedom s Crossing had the privilege to meet with country music legend, Vince Gill recently in Salem, VA. While living in the Nashville area, Rebecca s father hit the road with Gill as his tour bus driver. Since that time a strong family friendship has developed. One stop on Gill s tour schedule was a city near Adam and Rebecca s hometown in Salem. Vince called them with an invitation to come to the show and shoot the breeze afterwards. Adam and Rebecca said we count it a blessing and an honor to have spent this time with one of our musical influences . Adam and Rebecca are so grateful to Vince for his time, friendship, guidance and, above all, his humble heart.

Catacomb Music Releases Song of David Music Video

Nashville, TN - Catacomb Music has just released the music video for Song of David’s current radio single “One Step”, written by David Bryan.

"I thought it was fun putting this music down on audio.... But now, the video has brought it to an even greater life! This video captures the true essence and joy that this song was written with. It not only looks like we are having fun living this life, we are! Don’t let anybody fool you; it’s not always easy, but it’s always right, so just keep walking", said David Bryan.

The video was filmed right outside of Nashville, TN in the small community of Fairview at Crossroads Cowboy Church. “I am so excited to have been a part of this project & can’t wait for the fans to see it”, said Scott Lucas. “You don’t see but a handful of Southern Gospel music videos, but I think that is about to change.”


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Intimate Look at One of the 20th Century's Greatest Evangelists, Oral Roberts

TULSA, Oklahoma,  If you are like most people, the name Oral Roberts will evoke a thousand different images. But, images can be manipulated - cropped, airbrushed, added-to and colored. A life as panoramic as that of Oral Roberts cannot be viewed from one perspective. Seen from one angle Oral Roberts is a far-sighted man of God who fused the "Old Time Religion" with the modern tools of communication and education. Seen from a different angle, he represents, for some, the retreat from the central tenets of the "Bible" to a market-driven, multi-media ministry. What made Oral Roberts such a divisive figure? Like all complicated stories, the truth lies somewhere beneath all the hype, hyperbole and hysteria.

Now, the daughter of famed televangelist Oral Roberts has stepped out of the shadows to answer these questions about one of the 20th century's most enigmatic men. My Dad, Oral Roberts is an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of a man who literally held America spellbound, told by one who had a most unique viewpoint.

The youngest of Oral and Evelyn Roberts' children, Roberta Roberts Potts directs the reader toward a more private side of her father, who began life in crushing poverty and went on to become a world-renowned Christian figure. And, while most who read this book have already formed some opinion of this iconic figure, My Dad, Oral Roberts will seriously challenge those opinions. Ms. Roberts Potts candidly and lovingly exposes the "clay feet" of this great man of God, as well as walking us through the trials and tribulations that she and her family experienced. Although many are familiar with the history surrounding her more well-known brother, Richard, many will be surprised and touched to hear about the lives of her other brother and sister. Truly, as had been said or paraphrased by different people, in many different ways, one should not judge another until they have walked in his shoes. My Dad, Oral Roberts, is destined to change the way we think about this man. Roberta Roberts Potts is available for interviews, public appearances and book signings.

For enquiries please contact us at

The book was published by ICON Publishing Group. For further information on this work or ICON Publishing Group, visit

Grammy® Award Winner Jason Crabb Joins 1 For All Campaign To Support Bill Of Rights Day

JASON CRABB - FREE TO TWEETPopular Christian Male Vocalist Supports #FreeToTweet Day on Twitter, Contest Offers High School and College Students Chance to Win Scholarships
Dec. 14, 2011 – Nashville, TN – Christian music favorite Jason Crabb has added his name to the list of artists and celebrities speaking out in support of the 220th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights. Jason joins lauded musicians Wynonna, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Frankie Ballard, Darius Rucker, The Civil Wars, Heart, John Oates, Joe Nichols and more. A full list of supporters can be found here:
Jason joins the 1 For All campaign by participating in “Free To Tweet,” a daylong online celebration of First Amendment rights on Dec. 15, Bill of Rights Day. During the tweetathon, all Americans are encouraged to tweet their support of the First Amendment and how they enjoy those freedoms – using the hashtag #FreeToTweet.
High School and college students nationwide are eligible to win one of 22 $5,000 scholarships by tweeting creatively about the First Amendment. More information can be found at
“I thank God and our forefathers for the ability and freedom to sing and tell others about Jesus Christ every single weekend all across this country,” says Crabb. “I am honored to join the 1 For All campaign in support of the 220th Anniversary of Bill Of Rights.”
The 1 for All campaign is the largest of its kind in scope and reach and uses a fresh approach by featuring public figures celebrating their freedoms to tweet, rock, write, read, sing, worship, assemble, petition and much more. For more information on the campaign, visit
About “1 for All”
“1 for All” is a non-partisan, educational campaign that was launched in 2010 to address a general lack of awareness by the American public about the five freedoms afforded by the First Amendment. Initial support for campaign was provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Newseum, McCormick Foundation, American Society of News Editors, First Amendment Center and Gannett Foundation. In addition, more than 1,000 news organizations, religious groups and educational institutions have devoted their time and resources in support of the “1 for All” campaign.

About Jason Crabb
Jason Crabb is known as one of the most respected and diverse vocalists in Christian music.  His soulful, heartfelt vocals have made him a critics’ pick and a fan favorite on stages ranging from “The Grand Ole Opry” and the Brooklyn Tabernacle to the Gaither Homecoming arena platforms.  With a string of number one hits and chart-topping singles, a tour schedule of over 200 dates annually, ongoing tv appearances, a book on the shelves and a new recording, this vocal powerhouse’s talent is topped only by his genuine personality and concern for others. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is your teenager depressed? Do you know what to look for?

Is your teenager depressed?
Do you know the signs to look for?
What’s going on with your teenager? Is it just the ups and downs of adolescence, or is it something more? In Dr. Gregg Jantz’s new book, (When Your Teenager Becomes) The Stranger in Your House, parents will learn to distinguish between normal adolescent behavior and clinical depression.
The excerpts below from The Stranger House (© David C Cook) explain what to expect as regular teen behavior and what to be on the lookout for.
What to Expect:
I think the nearest comparison I could give to what I remember about being a teen and what I hear from teenagers about adolescence is that of a reptile shedding its skin. When a snake or a lizard sheds its skin, the new growing skin cells separate from the old established skin cells, causing a marked change in appearance and producing an irritability that can result in increased snapping and hissing. Of course, reptiles shed their skin relatively quickly, so the analogy doesn’t carry too far. Still, I think it’s fairly parallel. Your teenager’s nascent adult is separating from the confinement of childhood, causing a marked change in appearance and producing an irritability that can result in increased snapping and hissing. I think it’s why teens often feel like their skin is crawling and fight against a sensation of being confined, wanting to burst free. And it’s why parents often look at their teens as though they’re something that just crawled out from under a rock.
Shedding skin is uncomfortable, often disturbing, and absolutely necessary for growth—and it’s the same with adolescence. It makes it easier, however, when you know what to look for and what it all means. Teenager adolescent behaviors are stereotypical for a reason—they are fairly consistent across generations. If you haven’t noticed many of these already, you will, in varying degrees, depending upon your teen.
  • Moody and irritable
  • Unpredictable
  • Manipulative
  • Argumentative
  • Withdrawn
  • Self-absorbed
  • Dramatic
  • Dismissive
  • Collectively independent
  • Anxious
  • Powerful
  • Exclusively inclusive
  • Physically awkward
  • Overwhelmed
  • Insecure
What to look out for:
As we’ve seen in previous chapters, dealing with a teenager can be a dicey proposition in the best of times. On any roller coaster, part of the ride is taking that occasional plunge, but what happens when the drop becomes too steep or the ride veers off track? As a parent, your tolerance for a rough ride may be different from your teen’s. So how do you know if your teen is having a bad day or a bad week or something more? How do you know if the withdrawal and slump in grades are normal or something to worry about? How do you know if it’s just teen angst or something worse? How do you know if your teen is just unhappy because of a breakup or doing poorly on a test or if this unhappiness has spread to life in general?
How do you know what you’re dealing with when your teen has become adept at avoidance? He’s quite capable of figuring out and telling you what you want to hear so you and your disquiet will quietly go away. She has the ability to block any genuine concern with a concussive and shrill blast of anger. Getting to the bottom of a problem you merely suspect and your teen barely understands is like catching smoke and trying to examine it in your hand. As tempting as it may be to give up the whole proposition of trying to catch smoke in the first place, there is the unsettling reality that where there’s smoke, there is often fire. This fire has a name: It’s called depression.
Kids get depressed, just like adults. It’s something, as a parent, you need to be aware of and look out for. A depressed teen does not have the wherewithal, generally, to come to you for help, especially when one of the symptoms is isolation. If you’re waiting for your teen to come to you, you’re going to be waiting a long time, maybe too long. So you need to be proactive. Know the signs. Even though all kids are different, there are some specific things to look for, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (that’s quite a mouthful, but, luckily, the website is a bit shorter— No one of these signs is a definitive red flag that says, “Yes, your teen is depressed.” Rather, they form a pattern of concern. They should catch your attention and slow you down long enough to investigate the source of the smoke, even if you have trouble catching it in your hand.
So what are these red flags that parents need to watch for, if they are wondering if their teen is teetering on the edge of something more serious than teenage angst? I have listed them below, and following the list is a more detailed explanation of each:
  • Negative feelings or behaviors lasting more than two weeks
  • Loss of enjoyment in established activities
  • Restlessness, fatigue, or a lack of motivation in school
  • Marked increase in irritability or impatience
  • Feelings of being weighed down
  • Loss of physical and emotional energy
  • Marked changes in appetite or weight
  • Lapse in personal hygiene.
  • Social isolation from family or friends
  • Taking up with a new set of friends
  • Impulsive thinking or rash judgments
  • Inability to make decisions, concentrate, or focus
  • Marked increase in frustration or anger
  • Feelings of sadness and worthlessness
  • Expressing feelings of stress and inability to cope
  • Ongoing complaints of headaches, stomachaches, bodyaches
  • Marked change in sleep patterns
  • Avoidance of added privileges
(Further explanations of each item from both lists are included in the book.)
About the author: Dr. Gregg Jantz is the best-selling author of numerous books, including Hope, Help, and Healing for Eating Disorders. He is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, a leading healthcare facility near Seattle that specializes in whole-person care.

Audie Blaylock & Redline end year with #1 Song Cry, Cry Darlin’ tops Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Chart

Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce Cry, Cry Darlin’ from the album, I’M GOING BACK TO OLD KENTUCKY (A Bill Monroe Celebration) by Audie Blaylock & Redline, is #1 on Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Song Chart and #12 on the publication’s monthly chart. Audie’s vocal solo on Cry Cry Darlin’ has that soaring high lonesome tenor that will send shivers down your spine,” says Brenda Hough with the California Bluegrass Association.
The album has certainly been a big hit with radio with five songs from the album appearing on a variety of charts since the album’s summer release (Cry Cry Darlin’, I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky, In Despair, Mighty Dark to Travel, and Out in the Cold.)  Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine gave this project a big thumbs up saying, “The vocal work by Blaylock and others is topnotch, the instrumental support is right on the mark, and the Father of Bluegrass would no doubt find this release very much to his liking,” with Country Standard Time raving, “Put it on, turn it up, and drift away!”
It is no wonder that the album has been a huge hit with fans, radio and media with the wealth of talent led by Audie Blaylock who also produced the album.  He is joined by Redline members:  Patrick McAvinue, Reed Jones, and Russ Carson, with special guests Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Glenn Duncan, Carl Jackson, Lou Reid, and Jason Carter
Audie Blaylock & Redline are also involved in other recent releases including the new release, LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM (with Lonesome River Band, Russell More & IIIrd Tyme Out, Ronnie Reno, Blue Moon Rising, Bobby Osborne and many more) and THE ALL-STAR JAM - LIVE AT GRAVES MOUNTAIN (with the Crowe Brothers, Lou Reid and Carolina, Carrie Hassler, Brand New Strings and more.)
Audie Blaylock and Redline plan to kick off their 2012 TOUR on January 20 in Blythe, CA followed by performances in Nashville, TN, Palatka, FL, Leesburg, VA and many more.  For a complete tour schedule and more on the band’s music, videos and more, please visit the band’s brand new website: and

Monday, December 12, 2011

Upcoming Gospel Concert in Bay City

Our last concert of the year will be next Friday, December 16th at 7pm at the Legacy Retirement Center.  Our featured group will be Appointed By Grace -

Appointed By Grace consist of Joe Irwin, Melissa Evers, and Karla Burris.  Joe, Melissa, and Karla offer a unique mix of gospel music singing styles.  Joe has been involved in music ministry for over thirty years.  Joe sang and played bass with a family group called the Woodromes for many years as they traveled throughout the southeastern United States.  In addition to being Godly wives and mothers, Melissa and Karla have both been involved in singing ministries since childhood.

God has gifted them as singers, songwriters, musicians and ministers.  They have proven themselves to be dedicated to God and their families.  Joe has served as an Associate Pastor and as a Youth / Music Director.  He is now serving as an Evangelist.  Melissa has ministered in various settings such as youth and ladies conferences, churches, camp meetings and concert halls.  She has been the recipient of two national talent search awards and as a soloist, has opened for many well known gospel artists. She is currently the Worship Leader in her home church. Karla grew up in a family of talented singers and musicians.  She has taught Sunday school, AWANA, and ladies bible studies in her home church.  For the past thirteen years, she has been performing weekly at the Liberty Opry.  Singing there has led to many opportunities for her to sing at community ceremonies, Senior Center programs, worship services and various church functions.  Joe, Melissa, and Karla have appeared on numerous TBN television programs throughout the nation and have completed over twenty recording projects both as a group and separately.

Their ministry consists of powerful singing wrapped in the Word of God and seasoned with personal testimonies. Through the medium of song, they paint a portrait of hope for the lost, call the sinner to repentance, and encourage the Christian to service.
Free admission with a lover offering to be received for the group.

Former 'Superman' Dean Cain to Host 20th Annual Movieguide® Awards Gala Event

The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment will set a milestone next year when a superhero hosts its 20th anniversary celebration honoring family-friendly and inspirational entertainment.
The Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry honoring family-friendly movies and television programs and spiritually uplifting entertainment has announced actor Dean Cain as the official host of the 20th Annual Awards show. The event will be held Friday, Feb. 10, at the Universal Studios Hilton Hotel in Hollywood.
Dean Cain has one of the most faith-filled and blessed careers in the entertainment industry, so we are delighted that he will host,” says publisher and Gala founder Dr. Ted Baehr.
Cain is most notably known as Superman, which he played for four seasons in the TV series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

His other TV credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Las Vegas, Smallville and the made-for-television movie The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story. He was host of the syndicated series Ripley's Believe It or Not, which his production company also produced. He has also been a presenter in the past for the Movieguide Awards Gala.
Red carpet and VIP Reception will begin at 4:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 p.m. The theme for this years' event will be From Hollywood to Eternity. The star-studded gala takes place just prior to the annual Oscar Ceremony. Last year's gala was taped and then later telecast on The Hallmark Movie Channel.
“Other awards shows just honor the most critically acclaimed movies and television programs,” says Baehr. “The Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala also honors those movies and television program that increase man's love and understanding of God and that promote the Good, the True and the Beautiful.”
Among the prestigious prizes and awards handed out that evening will be the $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies & TV, the $50,000 Kairos Prizes or Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by First-Time and Beginning Screenwriters, the Best 10 Movies for Families, the Faith & Freedom Awards for Positive American Values, the Grace Awards for Most Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV, and the Best 10 Movies for Mature Audiences, from teenagers to adults.
During the gala, Baehr presents highlights of Movieguide's comprehensive analysis of the major movies released in theaters to show entertainment industry leaders attending what kinds of movies make the most money at the box office and on home video.
Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry and publisher of the Commission's family guide to movies, Movieguide.

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Concludes Deployment to Haiti After More Than 22 Months

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has completed its 22 month deployment to the earthquake-stricken country of Haiti. Chaplains first arrived in Haiti within 24 hours of the Jan. 12, 2010, disaster that is estimated to have killed more than 300,000.
More than 120 chaplains ministered in the impoverished nation during the nearly two-year-long endeavor, and those trained chaplains prayed with and comforted 35,420 Haitians and relief workers. Individual chaplains typically spent two to six weeks at a time in the country before rotating out.
"We have witnessed the best and the worst that this world has to offer as we've ministered in Haiti," said Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "We've seen pain and grief on an unimaginably massive scale, and we've seen beauty, hope and joy in the spirits of the Haitian people that defies all explanation in the midst of such a hard place."
Recognizing the ongoing need in Haiti for spiritual and emotional support, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has implemented many of its other ministries in the country over the last several months as well, including a Franklin Graham Festival held in January 2011, a My Hope World Evangelism Through Television program that reached the entire nation through grassroots efforts, and The Greatest Journey, a special educational program for children. A Creole translation of the youth training course Dare to Be a Daniel is also in the works for Haiti.
The deployment to Haiti was the second-longest outreach in the history of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, chaplains immediately deployed to the Gulf Coast and had a presence there for two-and-a-half years until concluding the effort on March 14, 2008. 
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of chaplains across 44 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has responded to more than 120 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings.
For more information on the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, visit For videos, photos and news articles from recent Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deployments, visit Ministry updates and photo galleries are posted at

SGN Scoops Dec 2011 Rob Talks About The New Magazine

This Week on Gospel Music Today

The guests on the current edition of Gospel Music Today are the members of  Beyond the Ashes. The Feature Group is Jaidyn's Call, and Ken and Jean Grady host southern gospel news and concert updates.  Ken and Jean visit the Southern Gospel Worship Gathering, in Broken Arrow, OK, to hear James and Starla Dean sing. Jean reviews an new CD by Anthem Quartet, and the show features singing by The Whisnants and a vintage video with The Ruppes. The latest show is online now at the Gospel Music Today website.

A Classic Christmas Tabletop - The Inspired Way...

  By Roxanne Hughes Packham

Have you ever just been at a standstill when trying to do a unique Christmas tabletop for your family and friends at Christmas time? Here are some tips from Roxanne Hughes Packham, co-author of Inspired Design that should make it much easier! Check out her blog if you’d like to see coordinating pictures to go with the ideas.
Before you get started remember: Do not underestimate the power of your home, nor its ability to change lives. Do not underestimate the power of one tiny, seemingly insignificant, act of kindness. A welcoming smile, a cup of hot tea and an hour in a cozy nook spent listening to a friend can be life-altering. Your home is a significant part of the way people will be touched, by God, through you this Christmas season. God uses us as his hands! Your table is the means through which you can touch others by setting the stage for memories to be made.
A classic Christmas tabletop has to have red and green, plaid and sparkle, inspiration and encouragement. The red and green is an obvious choice, however sometimes it is easier than we make it. Collect red and/or green fruits and keep a glass bowl of them in a prominent place in the kitchen. You can add a few springs of ivy or pine to get really festive. Candies, such as M&Ms, come in red and green packages and in silver bowls makes any setting looks seasonal. Add red plates and greenery from your yard to complete the look.
Since Christmas is the one time we’re all into plaid, use it on your tabletop! You can tie it onto a pretty cross (see pictures on blog) onto the top of a candlestick and make a beautiful statement about the meaning of Christmas while pleasing the eye with the sparkle of the candles! Tall candles in the center looks perfect, adding shorter candles towards the two ends allow guests to be able to see over the candles for conversation. Small votives add sparkle and a feeling of warmth and coziness. You can use a plaid scarf, runner or piece of fabric draped diagonally across the table for an overall Christmas look, while allowing the beauty of the wood tabletop (or glass) to show through.
Lastly, and most importantly, the "Inspired" part of the table top design. Warming the souls of those within your home is perhaps the most important part of hospitality and the reason in Romans 12:13 we are told to Practice Hospitality. The easiest way to do this is keep a couple of framed quotes on the central part of the table, one towards either end. Not only can you do place cards with just names but think of an encouraging scripture or quote that reminds you of your guest or something that might encourage or inspire them. Praying over whatever is going on in a person’s life, not only releases the power of prayer, but lets them know you have been thinking of them and remembering their needs. In this time in our culture, what could be more inspiring!
God bless and be encouraged! Hospitality can change our world one life at a time!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fruitbearer Publishing Announces the Release of the Christian Living Book 'To Women with Love'

FORT WORTH, Texas,  Charlotte Posa's To Women with Love, a practical guide to overcoming the horrors of domestic abuse, was released on November 14, 2011. Mrs. Candy Abbott, managing partner of Fruitbearer Publishing, LLC, says the subtitle, Walking Away from the Abuse, was chosen to impact a tightly targeted audience.

According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, a woman is battered in the U.S. every nine seconds. The U.S. Department Justice's Bureau of Justice Statics Special Report states that 95% of all victims of domestic violence are women.

For thirty-five years, Charlotte Posa experienced the devastating effects of parental and spousal abuse. Through (a chance encounter -- or what circumstance led her to Christ), she discovered true liberation and complete healing of her emotional and spiritual wounds through the transformational power of Jesus Christ.

In To Women with Love, Charlotte Posa equips her readers with effective ways to stop the vicious abuse cycle, to set realistic boundaries, and to stay free by cultivating healthy relationships. Moreover, she lays out key biblical principles for developing a Christian marriage, including love and respect, right communication, and God's intent for the roles of husbands and wives.

"Those of us who have been abused need our little girl's heart on the inside of us healed," Mrs. Posa says. "It can be done, and we can then walk free of the anger and resentment! God's a good and merciful God. Nothing we've done or can do can keep His love from us!"

Charlotte Posa married Wayne Posa in 1995. Both ordained ministers, they live in Fort Worth, Texas and have served the Lord together in local prison ministry for the past three years. Prior to that, they were involved in street ministry.

Zack Swain to Marry Cherie Rowe

(Nashville, Tenn.) One of Christian music’s most beloved pianist is ending the year with an exciting announcement: Zack Swain is engaged to be married!

Swain will wed the woman he has been waiting for – Cherie Rowe - on a date soon to be announced. The winter wonderland proposal came at the Branson Landing in Branson Missouri, where she was presented the ring.

Making her vocal debut on Swain’s newest project “Christmas from the Heart” Cherie proves she will be a strong reinforcement to Swain’s Ministry. Rowe is a full time CNA in Oklahoma but is also known for her strong vocals and powerful stage presence when on tour with Swain.  The couple met through a mutual acutance in Oklahoma and the rest was History.
Noted Zack in a communication to friends: “I am left speechless because God has given me everything I ever asked for in Cherie.  I look forward to growing old and spending the rest of my life with her.”

Swain’s signature style behind the piano has an ever-growing fan base. His music is not only fun but also anointed and will be around for quite some time. “Christmas from the Heart,” released this year, features a song written especially for Cherie (Christmas From The Heart).

Retro SGM Radio: Christmas Southern Style - December 2008

By Lorraine Walker
First Published December 2008

As the snow begins to fall and the cold winds blow, many Southern Gospel artists start to plan their Christmas vacations. For most, it is a time to step off the tour whirlwind and relax with family friends while remembering the birth of our Saviour. This year, several singers shared with SGM Radio their favorite Christmas traditions and memories.

Josh Singletary, Tribute Quartet: “My favorite memory of Christmas is that every year since my father first got a video camera, which would've been about 1988, he would video tape my sister and I exiting our rooms on Christmas morning. He would make us wait in our room until he was ready and then he would say, "Ok" and he would capture us on camera checking out our gifts. He has done that every year until 2007…you will never see those videos either!”

Gerald Wolfe, Greater Vision: “My favorite Christmas tradition is taking the family to Walt Disney World every year to see the Candlelight Christmas Processional. It's a very traditional Christmas show that features a 300-voice choir, the Disney Orchestra, and a guest narrator that tells the real Christmas story. It's a tradition started by Walt Disney himself, and it is the most popular attraction at Epcot with three standing-room-only shows every night for thirty nights. It's always been amazing to me that so many people get to hear the story of the birth of Christ in such a secular environment. It's fabulous!”

Bryan Hutson, Kingsmen Quartet: “My favorite memory is my son Jordan's second Christmas. He was born in October so on his first Christmas he was too young to really get into tearing into his presents. My favorite Christmas tradition is spending Christmas Eve with my Mom, Granny and our family in Indiana.”

Greg Bentley, A&R Director for Crossroads Music, Soloist : “I love Christmas. My favorite Memory of Christmas would probably be way back in 1974. We had just moved from Daleville, AL to Boone, NC and I was 11. Coming from the Deep South, we did not see snow, so I was excited that we might. It actually came early that year. We had a big snow at Thanksgiving and then another one at Christmas. That was my first White Christmas. There are many memories spending time with family too, it's a big deal in the Bentley / Teague families to get together.
My favorite tradition has to do with my favorite thing, food! Every year my mother makes from scratch German Chocolate Cake and Martha Washington Candy. It would not be Christmas without those two sweets. Merry Christmas everyone!”

Gerald Sweatman, Soloist, Songwriter: “My favorite Christmas memory is from when my two sons were growing up. On Christmas Eve, my wife and I would send them to bed early knowing they would wake up really early. After they had gone to sleep and Santa had put their toys under the tree, I would go to their rooms and jingle my car keys letting them know Santa was just leaving. They were afraid to get up because they thought Santa might see them. I would jump quickly into bed, but before long the two little guys would be over the bed saying, ‘Mom, Dad, wake up, Santa came!’ It was several years before they would go down stairs with out Mom and Dad going with them. Now they are grown and married, but when I jingle my keys they look at me and smile. My favorite Christmas tradition is spending Christmas day with my two boys and their families.”

Jason Funderburk, Driven: “My greatest memory of childhood Christmas would be the excitement of that morning on the 25th. I could not wait to get to our living room to see what was there. A tradition my family has always done is when I would find the plate of cookies, or what was left, and beside the plate was a piece of Santa's beard I had asked for. I wanted to know that he was really there! And the milk glass would have his imprint on it and to me that was magical. But my Dad being who he was would always say, ‘Lets not forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus died for us, and like Santa you know that He was there and He will always show up when He is supposed to!’”

Mark Bishop, Soloist: “My favorite Christmas memory is when Carolyn and I first were married over 25 years ago. We couldn't afford much but we were just so happy to be together. That year she got a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. We needed one for the new house!”

Karen Peck Gooch, Karen Peck and New River: “Christmas is my favorite time of year. Our favorite Christmas tradition is that Rickey, Matthew, Kari, and I go to Rickey’s parents’ house at noon on Christmas Eve. We eat turkey, dressings, and all the ‘fixin’s’ and then open gifts. Later on in the afternoon, around 5pm, we go to my mom's house. We eat turkey, dressings, and all the ‘fixin’s’ and then open gifts. Needless to say, we are stuffed when time for bed! On Christmas morning the kids open their gifts from ‘Santa’. I prepare a meal. We have a nice relaxed day watching Christmas movies and watching the kids figure out their new gadgets. Great memories. I am so blessed!”

Gary Casto, Tribute Quartet: “The tradition I remember growing up as a child was on Christmas Eve, my parents would load the vehicle up with lots of presents and food my mother had worked on all day. We would go to both sets of grandparents to celebrate Christmas with the whole family and not get home until late just a few hours before Santa came to visit. Even though all of my grandparents have gone on to be with the Lord, we still carry the tradition of getting together with both sides of the family and spending time reminiscing and celebrating the birth of our Savior, the happiest time of the year.”

Rusty Golden, Songwriter: “My favorite tradition is of course getting together with my whole family, both sides, and fighting over nothing! I’m just kidding about the fighting. My favorite Christmas memory was when I was eleven years old and I got my first set of ‘good’ drums. Within two years I was playing on the road with the Rambos and the Oak Ridge Boys. This coming Christmas will be sort of sad because it will be my whole family’s first Christmas without my dear grandmother ‘Gaggie’. She was my dad’s mother and was a Godly woman. That is the one thing that will give us comfort, that she is in a place she always want to go to, Heaven.”

Woody Wright, Singer, Songwriter: “Christmas Eve was the time for my two brothers and me to choose one gift to open and leave the others for Christmas morning. One year, we all wanted a slot car track set. There was a large package under the tree marked to all three of us. Our Dad told us we could open one present each, or get together and choose to open the one big one on Christmas Eve. Feeling confident that the large package was the slot car set, we decided to open that one. We were shocked to find that the large box turned out to hold pre-fabricated fireplace logs, made from sawdust. Opening the Christmas Eve gift is my favorite tradition. The favorite memory is of my Dad laughing so hard that that year, that he had tears in his eyes! By the way, we did get that slot car set after all!”

Thanks to all of our artists and friends who have shared their memories with us this year. From our house to yours, may you all have a very Blessed Christmas!

Written by Lorraine Walker. First published December 2008 on
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