Shaping Clay Jubilee brings monumental event to eastern Kentucky mountains


The Old Time Preachers Quartet, shown in a recent concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church in Lawrenceburg, will be singing at Shaping Clay Jubilee on Saturday, Oct. 5.

By John Herndon,

A little tug at Donnie Stevens’ heart has grown into a monumental weekend in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.

The inaugural Shaping Clay Jubilee gets underway at 5 p.m. on Friday evening, Oct. 4, with Heaven’s Mountain Band, The Shepherds and the host group, the Stevens Family Tradition. At noon the following day, Steve Gulley opens, followed by the Old Time Preachers Quartet, Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Hoppers and The Isaacs.

Wow. Make that WOW!

And it’s FREE admission!! Continue reading “Shaping Clay Jubilee brings monumental event to eastern Kentucky mountains”

NQC was all I expected and more

By John Herndon,

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I loaded the car Monday morning and headed to Pigeon Forge for the National Quartet Convention.

I had a sport coat and tie, just in case, but had mostly packed casual clothes. My 34 years as a sports editor had prompted me to pack my Dallas Cowboys’ windbreaker if the Leconte Center was like an icebox.  Thankfully, it wasn’t.

Continue reading “NQC was all I expected and more”

Being available to the Lord

Brandon Porter

Brandon Porter performs at the Kentucky State Fair. It was his first public appearance as a soloist since suffering a stroke in 2015. (Photo by John Herndon)

Even without a ribbon, Brandon Porter a big winner at State Fair

By John Herndon,

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — Brandon Porter doesn’t have a big trophy or large blue ribbon from his appearance in the Kentucky State Fair Gospel Music Showcase, but there’s little doubt that he is one of the biggest winners in this year’s competition.

He won as he strummed a few chords on his Yamaha guitar and his deep voice resonated, “Life is like a mountain railway…”

He’d lived the curves, the fills and tunnels, just as Eliza Snow penned in the 19th Century. And on Aug. 22, he was keeping his hand on the throttle and his eye on the rail. Continue reading “Being available to the Lord”

Unexpected blessings


The Master’s Trio, from left, Kevin Willis, Steve Black and Mike Chatterton, formed in 2017 with the current alignment coming together last year. The group was named Best in Show at the Kentucky State Fair last month. (Photo furnished)

Master’s Trio reflects on Kentucky State Fair honor, emphasizes ministry above all else

By John Herndon,

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. — The Master’s Trio really didn’t know what it was getting into when the southern gospel group agreed to perform in the Gospel Music Showcase at the Kentucky State Fair.

“There was a gentleman at a church in Bath County, which is near here,” remembers Trio tenor Kevin Willis, a resident of Mt. Sterling. “He was really pushing for us to be a part of that. He had been talking with the guys at (Bath County) Farm Bureau and was actively involved in it.”

So, The Master’s Trio, a group that has only been around since 2017 but is constructed with gospel veterans, agreed for a chance to sing and share the ministry on a larger stage. Continue reading “Unexpected blessings”

Montgomery Family excited about first concert trip to The Bluegrass


The Montgomery Family will be performing four concerts in Kentucky from Sept. 19-22. From left are Lisa Montgomery Simpson, Jeff Simpson and Robin Montgomery Stegall. (Photo furnished)

By John Herndon,

The Montgomery Family, of Monroe, North Carolina, will be making their first concert tour of Kentucky soon and they are excited for the opportunity.

“We have been to Kentucky to attend the National Quartet Convention, but only as spectators as a family,” says Robin Montgomery Stegall, the oldest daughter of Harold and Rhonda Montgomery who started the family group in 1971. “Since we are bi-vocational, we take one week a year to expand our territory. This is the first time doors have opened in Kentucky, but hopefully not the last time!” Continue reading “Montgomery Family excited about first concert trip to The Bluegrass”

Victory Road to host second hymn sing


Victory Road will be hosting its second Gospel Hymn Sing and Concert Friday at Spencer Christian Church in Fisherville, Ky. Members are, front row, from left: Larry Dennison, David Jones, David Stevens and Carroll Ingram. Back row: Tim Edwards, Freddie Sharp and Jerry Franklin.


By John Herndon,

The old hymns will be alive and well Friday night as Victory Road, a popular Southern Gospel music group, will be hosting its second annual Gospel Hymn Sing on Friday, Aug. 16. The hymn sing will be held at Spencer Christian Church, located at 5720 Taylorsville Road, Fisherville, and will get underway with well-known gospel pianist Jaydee Miller leading an instrumental concert at 6:30 p.m.

The Hymn Sing and concert get underway at 7 p.m. Continue reading “Victory Road to host second hymn sing”

After 43 years, Jay Stone Singers still about ministry


The Jay Stone Singers perform at Sand Spring Baptist Church on July 25. From left are Emma Carter, Sharona Stone Carter and Bobby Carter.

By John Herndon,

It’s all about ministry to The Jay Stone Singers.

The family harmony is superb and many of the lyrics are powerful when the veteran group takes the stage. There is very little showmanship and only a few jokes interspersed through their set opening for Greater Vision at Sand Spring Baptist Church on July 25.

But mostly it’s about ministry. Always has been. Always will be. Continue reading “After 43 years, Jay Stone Singers still about ministry”