John Ashcroft to appear at NQC

The National Quartet Convention distributed a press release yesterday announcing that John Ashcroft will be a keynote speaker at this year’s event:

Former Missouri Governor, U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker during this yearโ€™s National Quartet Convention. He will speak at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 15th. He will be delivering a speech focusing on the value he places on his Christian faith and how it has guided his life and career. In addition, being a noted singer and songwriter, General Ashcroft will also be performing some of his original gospel songs accompanied by Greater Vision. His keynote address is part of the Thursday Showcase Spectaculars. To order showcase passes or to find out any other information about the National Quartet Convention, just visit

As others have observed, due to his long-lasting love for Southern Gospel music, his previous appearances singing, and the fact that he will be singing original Gospel songs accompanied by Greater Vision, there is likely to only be a minute fraction of the controversy that accompanied Sarah Palin’s appearance last year.

One other thing worth noting: The link at the end of the press release isn’t, it’s That said, if you click it, it will redirect you to; however, this seems to be an early hint that they are either considering or have decided to change domains from the long-confusing natqc option.

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18 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I was unable to be present for Ms. Palin’s showcase last September, so I have no idea what comprised the premise of her speech. I do seem to remember, though, that controversy spread even as the announcement was made that she would be speaking.

    I guess, at the risk of being partisan, I am wondering what the source of the displeasure was that Ms. Palin would be speaking at the NQC, seeing as it began even before the event.

    • The primary source of displeasure, to the best I had my finger on the pulse of the situation, was over the fact that NQC ticketholders purchase tickets to hear Southern Gospel music. Many attendees would rather the two hours had been devoted to something else musically.

      In her speech, Palin made a few references to Southern Gospel, several of which probably hurt more than helped (seeming not to know that SG and CCM weren’t the same thing, and an assumption that her audience was primarily/exclusively performing professionals and not fans).

      Ashcroft shouldn’t be half as controversial, since he’s grown up around Southern Gospel and is genuinely familiar with it; also, he’ll be including a component where he sings and is backed up by Greater Vision.

      • Daniel, was she political at all in her speech? Boarder on the fringe?

      • Yes, she was political, but in a reasonably non-controversial way. The speech itself was mostly faith and family values, with assorted conservative zingers that would have upset any liberal attendees.

      • If that is the case, there would be cause for controversy. While I would say it would be safe to say a majority of attendees are conservatives, both socially and political, there is no cause to have a politically-charged speech. Inviting a political figure, is acceptable–so long as they keep their talking points to faith-based ideas. Turning their focus onto politics at a Christian music convention.

        What say ye, sir?

      • Oh, I made a careful decision to comment only on the facts of this particular situation, without injecting my opinions. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I would say that is doubtlessly the safest decision. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I don’t think he’ll be as controversial, after all, if my (faulty) memory serves me correctly, he sang at NQC a few years back with The Senators.

    • Dan,

      I have the master talent list for the NQC for the last decade, and the Singing Senators were not listed anytime since 2000. That’s not to say that the group did not appear at least once before the new millennium; I can’t speak to that.

      • I do think it was mid to late 90s.

  3. I was singing with BFA at the time and I remember we either followed the Senators or they followed us on stage. So it would have been sometime between 96-98.

    • Thanks, Bob! I had heard references to their sets, but hadn’t known just when that had been. Appreciated!

    • Bob –
      You were one of the finest Bass singers to grace the stage, IMO. The first song I ever heard you sing was “Garden of Grace” W/ The Kingdom Heirs, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

    • I attended my first NQC in 1997. I’m fairly sure that was the year they sang.

  4. Thank you Dan. I had forgotten about that song. I really appreciate your kind comments!!

  5. Billboard magazine says the Senators sang at the NQC on Sept. 26, 1998.

  6. I can assure you John Ashcroft’s appearance at the NQC will not be political in any sense of the word. He is not actively involved in politics anymore, and does quite a bit of speaking as an Assembly Of God Layperson. He’s a very good speaker, and he LOVES to sing…especially old Pentecostal songs. We did two church services with him last year at a Baptist Church in North Georgia. He also has a great sense of humor. I really think the Chapel Service audience will love him.

    • Thanks! I was thinking he had been out of politics for several years, but since I wasn’t sure, I didn’t want to say that for certain.