Two churches unite to sponsor Country Gospel Music Show


March 18, 1996|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ON MARCH 31, Bethesda and Zion United Methodist churches will sponsor the 18th annual Country Gospel Music Show, featuring gospel talent from Nashville, Tenn.

The show will be held at the Westminster High School auditorium. Shows at 2 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. will give the public two opportunities to attend.

In 1979, a joint effort by the two United Methodist churches first brought country gospel music to Carroll County. Two Zion members, Scott Carr and the late Austin Zepp, advanced the initial costs to get the project off the ground.

The churches say that over the years they have had several sellout crowds, and last year the combined shows drew almost 2,000 people.

Appearing at this year's show will be The Isaacs, The Speers and The Kingsmen.

The Isaacs family has been singing gospel music for 23 years. The group travels extensively and has appeared at the Grand Ole Opry.

Recording exclusively for Horizon Records, the family has had several Top 20 songs, including the 1993 hit "From the Depths of My Heart," written by Ben and Sonya Isaacs.

The family was named the International Country Gospel Music Association (ICGMA) Gospel Group of the Year in 1994, the same year Joe and Lily were inducted into the ICGMA Hall of Fame.

Also in the Isaac Family group are Jeff Tolbert and John Bowman. Mr. Tolbert has played with groups such as The Lewis Family and The Easter Brothers. Mr. Bowman has traveled and performed with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Alison Kraus and Union Station.

The Gospel Music Hall of Fame cited the outstanding musical achievements of The Speer Family and the 60th anniversary of the group was noted in the Congressional Record.

From its formation in 1921, then the recording of the family's first commercial album in 1946, to the commemorative anniversary album highlighting the 60-year history of The Speer Family in song, the sound and popularity of this gospel group has grown.

For almost 40 years, The Kingsmen have taken Southern gospel music where it had never been. From the White House (where it performed for President Jimmy Carter), to the Grand Ole Opry stage and to state fairs across the country, this group has captured the hearts of generation after generation of gospel and country fans.

The group has garnered a nearly unprecedented sweep of Singing News fan awards for a number of years. It has won numerous Dove Awards, had a string of best-selling gospel recordings and a list of songs that have become Southern gospel classics, including "It Made News in Heaven," "Excuses," "The Ole Ship Zion" and "Stand Up".

Advance tickets to the show cost $8, and $4 for balcony seats. Tickets sold at the door will cost $1 more.

Tickets are on sale at Bullock's Airport Inn, Bullock's Country Meats, Bobby's Hobby Lobby, Zinn's Service Center, Menchey's (in Hanover) or McDougall's (in Eldersburg).

For mail order, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Mary Lee Diffendal, 2640 Deer Park Road, Finksburg 21048, and a check payable to Bethesda-Zion Gospel Show.

For information, call 833-6295.

Cartoon and Magic Show

Westminster Optimist Club will sponsor its second annual Cartoon and Magic Show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 30 at Westminster Fire Department Social Hall,

The first portion of the program will present Hanna-Barbera cartoon movies, followed by a brief intermission with drinks and popcorn for sale.

A magic show after intermission will feature magician Walt Chilcoat.

No admission will be charged for the Cartoon and Magic Show, which is open to the public. However, a donation box will be by the door.

Westminster Fire Hall is on Main Street next to Westminster branch library.

For information, call Al Liebno at 876-9811.

Pub Date: 3/18/96

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