Ben Hart leaves Dixie Echoes

Yesterday evening, the Dixie Echoes announced on Facebook that pianist Ben Hart has left the group. They commented: “The Dixie Echoes are sad to announce the departure of pianist, Ben Hart. Ben has been a great part of the quartet, and we are sad to see him and his wife, Alisa, move on, but we know God has great things in store for them in the future.”

Hart had joined the group summer 2012; his hire was announced that August.

They are seeking auditions for his replacement. Interested pianists can email

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Joseph Brown leaves The Diplomats

Yesterday afternoon, Joseph Brown announced on Facebook that he will be leaving The Diplomats:

As of January 3rd, 2014, I have resigned as bass singer for the Diplomats. I appreciate the opportunities I have had with this fine group and  all the friends I have made traveling and singing Gospel Music across the country. I feel it is time for a change in my life and ministry. Looking forward to what God has in store for me and my family.  Thanks to the Diplomats for 8 years of some great times and happy memories. Please pray for my family and me, that we will always be in His will. God Bless.

The Diplomats commented:

For the past 8 years, we have had the honor to have what we believe one of the finest bass singers to ever sing gospel music. Joe Brown has made many fans across the country. Not only will his voice be missed but his dear friendship! Our prayers are with him and wife Debbie as they start a new journey in God’s work. Thanks, The Diplomats [Minor edits for punctuation]

Brown has never received the recognition he deserved; vocally, he’s consistently been in the genre’s top ten most talented bass singers. Here’s hoping his changes in life and ministry will still involve Southern Gospel.

We posted a feature interview with him six years ago, here.

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Songs From Genesis: Taking Isaac Up The Mountain


One of this site’s favorite past columns now returns, with a new twist. Each week, we will go through the books of the Bible, looking at a song that illustrates a passage from each book.

In Genesis 22, we see one of the most unusual stories in Scripture. God decides to test Abraham’s faith with this instruction: “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:2, KJV).

Isaac asked Abraham, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (22:7).

Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (22:8).

Many songs have discussed the end to the story, where God did provide Himself a Lamb. But a few years ago, legendary songwriter Sandy Knight wrote a song focusing on what is, perhaps, the heart of the story: Abraham passing the test of faith by taking Isaac up the mountain.

Verse 1
Abraham went climbing
Taking Isaac up the mountain
On his way to sacrifice his son to the Lord
But Abraham said, “We’ll return
“For I know God will provide”
And just in time God gave a sacrifice

Taking Isaac up the mountain
Such a long and lonely trip
Knowing everything in love
You’re on your way to give
Then suddenly you see the sign
That God has made a way
Taking Isaac up the mountain
Was just a test of faith
To see how far that I would go with God

Many of Sandy Knight’s great songs were originally recorded by her family’s group, The Roy Knight Singers, before being picked up by one of the genre’s top groups. This song needs to join them.

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