Loyalty, Comradeship, and Selflessness in Southern Gospel
There has been too much talk lately about jealousy and backbiting in Southern Gospel. It’s there, and I’ve been one of the people talking about it–but that’s only the bad side of the coin.
Those of you who read my blog for long enough know that I am an optimist at heart, and I look for the good side of the story.
This week, I didn’t have to look far.
As I posted yesterday, Roger Bennett’s health situation is very precarious right now. I initially thought (based on the Legacy 5 email update) it was just a serious downturn, but as more information is coming out, it looks like it could be life-threatening. There is, of course, nothing good about this.
But here’s the good part: It has warmed my heart to see how the Southern Gospel community has come together in support of Roger, to let as many fans as possible know to pray for him.
Legacy Five sent out an email alert yesterday morning. In the 24 hours since, I have gotten the same prayer request from the Perrys’ newsletter, The Gospel Greats newsletter, the Singing News newsletter, as well as two or three newsletters and personal friends.
Now, of course, there are people like me who are on all of these newsletters. But there are also more casual fans who receive only one group’s newsletter. In light of that, it has warmed my heart to see how many of Roger’s peers and colleagues have risen to the occasion and taken the time to let their fans know to pray.
When we were discussing backbiting in Southern Gospel, the only reason it was a topic of discussion is that we are dealing with a group of people who know better. (We’d expect it in many other fields.) But there is a bright side to knowing better: Just like a family where siblings might bicker among themselves until they face a common enemy, Southern Gospel artists know when to leave the pettiness aside and unite fans and artists together in prayer to a God who has the power over sickness and death.