A nice problem to have

From left, Greater Vision’s Chris Allman, Jim Brady and the Mark Trammell Quartet’s Nick Trammell and Randy Byrd form a makeshift quartet in the Gerald Wolfe Hymn Sing at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring in October. The concert was a huge blessing during a year marked by chaos. (Photo by John Herndon)

After 14 months of a nearly blank calendar, things are changing. And it’s for the good!

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

I have a little problem.

Actually, it’s a nice problem and one that’s been too long coming, so I’ll certainly not complain! I’m just itching to get to a few gospel concerts.

I don’t know about you, but being able to hear people sing about the Lord, His goodness and being inspired to serve Him better is a big part of my life. And it seems that with all that has happened since March 5, 2020, a major part of my life was taken from me.

The Old Time Preachers Quartet performs in concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on March 5, 2020. A week later, the music industry came screeching to a halt. (Photo by John Herndon)

Now, I don’t really know what to do.

You see, when I look at the KentuckySings concert calendar, I see many more concerts than I can possibly attend. 

And that’s a good thing!

Last March 5, I was blessed to attend a concert by the Old Time Preachers Quartet and Beyond Grace at Sand Spring Baptist Church.  That night, I talked with OTPQ members Les Butler and Mike Holcomb about the concert, their ministry and plans.

Little did any of us know what the next 14 months would bring.

The following week, I was working the Kentucky girls’ high school state basketball tournament in my other role as a sportswriter. I worked the games on Wednesday night, March 11 and was packing my bags for games the next night when the word came down that the tournament had been suspended.  Several weeks later, after waiting for a possible alternative date, the entire tournament was canceled.

And the same thing was happening in the music industry. If I remember correctly, I had planned to see Triumphant Quartet and His Heart at Sand Spring later in March. That date was canceled and rescheduled three times. Sand Spring eventually canceled the yearly schedule of 9 remaining concerts. .  Other concerts were totally wiped out and nearly every artist of every genre was forced into what amounted to an extended vacation without pay.

Some hit the studio for previously planned projects. Others found a way to get some recording in but for the most part, they were quiet.

Some were infected with Covid and recovered. Others tragically lost their battles against the coronavirus.

None of us were not affected in some way.

Chris Golden in concert at the Cowboy Church in LaGrange, Ky., on April 30, 2021. (Photo by John Herndon)

Thankfully, my family has been spared but the church where I serve as pastor had several cases, but all recovered. 

And, as a gospel music fan, a schedule of attending one or two concerts a month — sometimes more — was reduced to six from March 2020 to March 2021. Three of those six involved trips over 100 miles from my home. 

There were great blessings, including being able to attend one of the Gerald Wolfe Hymn Sings at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring. It was my first time being able to attend and I can tell you, I was beyond inspired. I can’t wait to attend another.

(In March we were fortunate to hear The Kingsmen and The Noblemen in Frankfort and then Triumphant Quartet performed at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring. Both concerts saw fans who were beyond ready.)

But looking at my calendar recently, I realized that problem is likely in the rear-view mirror!

Last Friday, I was blessed to see Chris Golden, one of Christian Country’s top artists, in concert at LaGrange, Ky.  This week, I plan to see Adam Crabb and The Coffmans in Mt. Sterling, just a few minutes from East Union Christian Church, where I serve as pastor. We were able to interview The Coffmans about their newest project during the shutdown so I am more than excited to hear this. 

Next week, The Lefevre Quartet will be at Sand Spring Baptist, less than 10 minutes from my home, the first of a full calendar of concerts at the church for the rest of the year. And a few days later, The Noblemen, a top regional group, will be performing at my church, near Carlisle, Ky.

The Coffmans, shown during the 2019 Coffmania in Danville, will be in concert in Mt. Sterling on May 8. The Coffmans recorded a new album during the pandemic of 2020.

And looking down the road, I have about 20 gospel concerts on my calendar between now and the end of the year. And that does not include several shows that are possibilities. In addition, someone who ran across the Kentucky Sings website contacted me this week asking for information on contacting some artists for concerts.

I’m going to miss several favorite artists over the next few weeks, but thankfully should have opportunities later this year. Even with the chaos of 2020 hopefully behind us, we can look back and see that God is good!

I hope you have the same problem of more concerts than spaces on your calendar, be glad.  Enjoy. And thank the Lord you have so far made it through a worldwide pandemic. While some of us will disagree on just how things have been handled, one thing most will agree on is the last 14 months are like nothing we have ever experienced. The scientists say it’s not over, but things have been opening up around the nation and people are trying to return to normal. 

Regardless of who you go see, whether it be a big name national artist or someone struggling to make his name, whether it be a local or regional artist or a secular artist who sings much gospel — such as  Carrie Underwood, Ricky Skaggs, Josh Turner or The Oak Ridge Boys — just thank the Lord for the opportunity.

And thank him for His goodness and sustenance through a time most of us could have never imagined.

The Noblemen and The Kingsmen perform together at North Frankfort Baptist Church on March 11, 2021. The Noblemen, based in Shelbyville, have a busy year ahead. (Photo by John Herndon)

One thought on “A nice problem to have

  1. In all things give thanks. Even in times of despair, we serve an incredible Lord and Savior. In spite of a pandemic, we are blessed beyond what we deserve. Well written article John, as always! You honed your exceptional writing skills well as the best sports writer ever covering Anderson County sports!!


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