9 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 tell ya, if groups keep changing…

  2. How to Change Group Members?

    Weren’t the Kingdom Heirs on the cover of the Singing News a few months ago? (Or am I mistaken; it’s possible. What on earth am I doing commenting on an SG site the day of my wedding!)

    • Well, on a day when Billy Hodges leaves the Kingdom Heirs . . .

      I hope you had a great wedding today, and I pray God blesses you with a lifelong, joyful, fruitful marriage. Blessings!

    • Ah, I’m late to the congratulating party I see. Hope your wedding was a great one Amy! Live long and prosper… blessings. 😀

  3. Wes makes some very pertinent comments, however I feel another important dimension should be addressed:

    The context is firstly, “gospel”, then “music” and finally “southern” as genre. Therefore the impact on TESTIMONY and GOSPEL should be paramount in the decision making and personnel changes of SGM groups [where traditionally change is common].

    1. The corporate testimony of the group should be foremost, not only in the decision making but in the release of information to the public domain.
    2. The individual testimony of the departing member should be protected from innuendo or gossip mongering.
    3. No member should, as is common in other fields, be “fired” via media.
    4. “Face to face” should be the modus of all such communication.
    5. The member, the group concerned, and their respective families should be fully aware BEFORE any public dissemination of information.
    6. Third party communication, via facebook or twitter etc should be avoided until official communication is made.
    7. If such principles were adhered to, in a spirit of “faith, hope & love” – there is no reason why, logistically, such announcements could NOT be made at concerts or church performances:

    “We are happy/sad to announce that tonight will be the last performance together with….. as he/she is….and from [date] our new replacement singer will be …. etc”

    Is there such urgency to apparently “sack” or part company with group members [unless for major health reasons] that a public beating of bushes must needs be done to hurridly find a similar/suitable repalcement?

    Such behaviour creates instability and generates adverse comment. A few days grace and “waiting on the Lord” should be able to generate an exemplary hand over – if all such activity in southern GOSPEL music was, “if the Lord will”.

    Pardon the lengthy post, I feel the standards have slipped far from “grace and truth” in some cases.

    • I think one of the most important points you’ve made here is the responsibility of the employer to protect an employee’s reputation. If an employee has NOT behaved immorally in some way to lose the job, then the employer should not word press releases and interviews in such a vague way that audiences are left hypothesizing that very thing. Now granted, that may be a little tricky when the employer still doesn’t want to talk about specific circumstances, but his top priority should be keeping his man’s reputation clean regardless.

      • We tend to “assume” too much, which is part of the problem, and also more often than not we support the underdog, which or who [?] is often the person “let go”.

        For that very reason the announcements should be coordinated and agreed, testimony is so easily slurred and so hard to recover, innuendo or vagueness shoulc be avoided at all costs!

        {BTW; sorry I missed the punch line in Amy’s comment 🙂 – every blessing for a happy marriage to you both in the Lord}

    • I know some people believe I drink the Kool-Aid, but I’m very tempted to summarize your comment as “Do it like Greater Vision does (and Legacy Five).”

  4. A part of me wonders if the problems he mentioned are being seen in some of today’s groups, which results in even more personnel changes.

    Take, for example, Gold City. In one day last December, they made three major headline additions to the group by bringing in Josh Cobb and Roy Webb, and with Tim Riley coming back on the road. Less than a year later, two of the three are no longer with the group.

    On the other side are groups like EHSS, L5, and Greater Vision (coincidence that all were started by ex-Cathedrals members?). EHSS has made a total of 4 personnel switches in its 8 years, two at lead and two at piano. Legacy Five has made 4 personnel changes in its 11 years, three at tenor and one at piano. Greater Vision has also made four personnel moves in its 20 years, three at tenor and one at baritone.

    These groups have an established sound and identity they are sticking with, and they don’t go too far from them on the rare occasion they have to make a personnel change.