The Living Faith Quartet is the host group for the inaugural North Alabama Quartet Convention, which will take place Jan. 18-19, 2019 at Temple Baptist Church in Cullman. (Lisa Jones Photography)
CULLMAN – On Jan. 18-19, 2019, Living Faith Ministries of Cullman will host the inaugural North Alabama Quartet Convention at Temple Baptist Church. The event will bring together musicians and groups from all over the eastern U.S., many of whom have never visited the Cullman area before, for two days of Southern Gospel performances.
Host group Living Faith Quartet has performed in the Cullman/Good Hope area for 24 years. Current lineup Rodney James and son Nathan James, Mary Mooney and Mark Byrd now perform statewide and book occasional out-of-state gigs, as well. They recently began attending quartet/Southern Gospel conventions and almost immediately decided that they wanted to see such an event in the Cullman area.
Living Faith’s bass singer and spokesman Byrd told The Tribune, “We actually went to our first one in March of 2018 at Oxford, Alabama and (it was) the first time that we’d ever experienced one of these conventions like this. And we were a part of it, and at that point we decided we wanted to bring this to Cullman. And so, we’ve been working on it all year and planning it and searching for a date to do it and just felt like this January date was going to be the best for everybody, so that’s the date we settled on.
“We’ve been in Pigeon Forge for a week at a convention like this, and Mobile, Alabama and been over in Georgia at a convention like this. We met a lot of good groups, and the groups that are coming, we’ve sang with them all personally, so we know them all.”
The convention lineup includes Friday evening headliner, the Triumphant Quartet, former house group at Barbara Mandrell’s Pigeon Forge theater and popular draw at the annual Caring For Cullman fundraising concert for the Good Samaritan Health Clinic. The large slate of performers features Triumphant, Living Faith and:
- Answered Prayer
- Battle Ground Trio
- The Bunkleys
- ClearVision Quartet
- The Coffmans
- The Connells
- Day Three
- Eagle’s Wings
- Joyful Hearts
- Master Peace Quartet
- McKay Project
- Amy Richardson
- The Riders
- The Shireys
- Cami Shrock
- Southern Heritage
- Trusting Grace
- Unity 4
Southern, country and bluegrass gospel source New Journey Radio will also be at the convention.
The event will start on Friday evening, Jan. 18, at 5:30 p.m. and feature group performances capped off by a concert with Triumphant. Saturday will have an afternoon session starting at 1 p.m. and an evening session at 5 p.m. The Saturday evening session will be a “homecoming-style” gathering and hymn singing.
Free event admission, paid VIP seating available
The convention is free to the public. According to Byrd, Temple Pastor Malcolm Carter “didn’t want anybody to have to pay to come in the church. And that’s big for us, too. But we will be taking a love offering, you know; for those that could give, that’s fine. If you can’t, that’s fine, too.”
VIP passes are available for $20 each and will include premium seating and a gift bag. For more information or to reserve, visit the Living Faith website listed at the end of this article.
Southern Gospel not just for the senior crowd
“A lot of the younger generation probably don’t know a lot about Southern Gospel music,” said Byrd, “just because the times have changed, and churches have changed their music. But it’s a great, great experience to come and listen to this style of music.
“And actually, there’s new songs being written every day in Southern Gospel. It’s not like it’s out-of-date stuff; it’s brand new songs. And our group has actually got a song out on radio now that’s a brand new song, got another one we’re fixing to send out to radio that’s a brand new song. Nobody’s ever heard of them. They’re our songs.
“But I think it would be just an exciting time for the younger generation to come out and experience really what it is. And the groups that are coming, there’s a lot of younger age performers in these groups. We’ve got one coming that’s got a girl that’s like 16 years old, and I think we’ve got one coming that’s got a girl that’s 14 years old. And a lot of the members of the groups coming are in their 20s, so it’s definitely not an old folks thing. It’s a younger generation that we’re bringing in.”
Byrd said that he hopes this event will be the first of many. Asked if the group is hoping for more than a single gathering, he responded, “We sure are, hopefully. We’ve got to see how this goes. Me and my family go to Temple Baptist Church, and so we have that tie there to the church, and we hope that things would go great and we can continue to do that on an annual basis.”
For more information including schedules, artist information and VIP tickets, visit www.livingfaithquartet.com.
Free VIP passes!
The Cullman Tribune will be giving away two pairs of VIP passes to the convention. Check www.Facebook.com/CullmanTribune for more information.
At a glance
North Alabama Quartet Convention
Jan. 18-19, 2019
Temple Baptist Church, 30 County Road 1184, Cullman (off Alabama Highway 157 near West Point)
5:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday
Friday will feature a concert by Triumphant Quartet.
Saturday evening will feature a “homecoming-style” hymn singing.
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