Editor’s note: With this site’s final post coming soon, I asked if The Garms Family would like to write a final post. ~Daniel
What does one say in a final post?
Perhaps “thank you” a couple times. Maybe some reflections on the “good old days”… and even, maybe, a few words about the future. Yet, as simple as that formula sounds, to write a post that concludes a fond period in our family’s life is simply difficult.
But, we’ll try our best anyway. 🙂
Little did we know how much our lives would change the day Taylor stumbled upon SouthernGospelBlog.com. It was a fairly normal day in 2010 shortly after some fairly abnormal happenings. In summary, Caleb had just sung “I’m Feeling Fine” with Legacy Five and the video was uploaded to YouTube, Dad had just lost his job as a small aircraft mechanic, and we had been suddenly thrown from singing part-time into full-time ministry, in an industry we hardly knew anything about.
After checking email that morning, Taylor went to our recently created YouTube channel to see how the “I’m Feeling Fine” video was doing, and was shocked to see a sharp increase in views. This spike immediately piqued her curiosity. Heading to Google, she began searching random queries to pinpoint the source of the increase. After multiple failed searches, she struck gold with the phrase “seven year old boy sings with Legacy Five”. At the top of the results page was a post — featuring the video — on a site called SouthernGospelBlog.com.
Since the day she clicked on that link, SouthernGospelBlog.com, now Southern Gospel Journal, has been our family’s favorite website. (Well, with the possible exception of StaleyCoach.com. 🙂 )
As fans in a northern land thirsty (yes, even in the land of 10,000 lakes!) for quartet music and that “Southern sound”, we eagerly pored over each commentary and news article. We became acquainted with the names and faces of groups that constituted this genre called “Southern Gospel”. The lively discussions in the comments often found their way into our mealtime conversations, and the names of fellow commenters came to be as familiar to us as our next-door neighbors (or more so!).
As a fledgling full-time music ministry, the insights about the industry gave us perspective as we grew. For example, the online debate about live music versus soundtracks was highly discussed in our family — and that’s naming just one point of helpful analyses from this site! We caught glimpses into the industry through comments and interviews, and paid attention to the perceptive critiques Daniel and many others offered. And of course, Daniel’s incredible appreciation for the history of Southern Gospel helped us understand where this genre came from and who exactly George Younce was! (Don’t ask… 🙂 )
We were honored when Daniel invited us to join the contributor team of the Journal, and greatly enjoyed the assignments he gave us (the ones we actually finished, that is). From interviewing Michael Booth with a toy microphone to pulling the 1,500 pennies prank on Scott Fowler, to dancing with Ernie Haase and actually interviewing Daniel himself, we have so many special memories. One of our family’s favorite posts was the “What To Do When You Can’t Attend NQC” — we still laugh each time we watch it. It was a challenge to pull everything together for the posts we did. We marvel that Daniel could consistently come up with over 3,000 posts while eight people struggled to produce only 32!
Daniel, we cannot thank you enough for making this spot on the web such a blessing for our family and thousands of others to visit. We appreciate the hard work and many hours you have invested in making this a quality, God-honoring website. The things we have learned through you and Southern Gospel Journal are invaluable to our family (especially how to spell “y’all” properly — we’re glad you set us straight). We also thank you for inviting us to join you on this journey; we wouldn’t trade the fun adventures we’ve had for anything! We’re only sorry that we did not help you out by contributing more often. You have become such a dear friend, and we are excited to see what God has in store for you!
To our fellow readers and commenters: Thank you for reading our posts and watching our videos. We hope they have brought a smile to your day or introduced you to some wonderful groups and music. And, thank you for your comments and interaction with our family as well — there were days even before breakfast our family surrounded the computer to see what y’all had said. (And times we stayed up far too late with you as well!) 🙂
Friends, let us continue to be faithful, not to just one particular group, or even to this genre, but let us be faithful to Christ. We are all unworthy servants (Luke 17:10), whether we hold a microphone in our hands, sit in the pew, or simply read this site. Praise God for His marvelous salvation, and let’s keep proclaiming the Good News!
Oh, and, Daniel, we’ll miss Southern Gospel Journal. A lot. But we are convinced this is the right step for you to take, in response to where God is leading you at this time. So long, SouthernGospelBlog.com (er, Southern Gospel Journal — we never did quite get used to the “Journal” 🙂 ).
By the way, one of these days we might make it NQC. That is, if Caleb’s wheelbarrow doesn’t run out of gas. 🙂 Until then, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (2nd Corinthians 13:14)
Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
(The Garms Family)
David & Kris, Ben, Taylor, Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb