Category Archives: Southern Gospel

A Special Blessing

I appreciate the prayers and e-mails I have been receiving from so many of you. It is a wonderful encouragement and I am thankful to say I have seen much improvement in my health. I am still not back to 100% yet, but I am a lot closer than I was.

This song has been a special source of encouragement to me over the past few weeks. I want to share it with you and hopfully it will bless you as it has me.

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“God Is Real”

   For children who grow up in church, it is very easy for them to view it as nothing more than a religion if they never see the evidence of God at work. This fact was brought home to our church in a very real, but positive, way this past week.

   Bro. Jackie and his wife were a dear couple in their seventies. After he had a stroke about a year and a half ago, they moved down from Illinois to live with their daughter. The stroke affected his speech and his mobility, causing him to be mostly confined to a motorized wheelchair and leaving his speech somewhat halting. Additionally, he was dealing with Parkinson’s disease and a number of other ailments.

   Over the last few months, Bro. Jackie had two or three close calls with death, going in and out of the hospital and nursing home.

   Sunday before last, he was able to be in church. It was always a pleasure to see him there. He had a million-watt smile and an obvious hunger for the Word of God. He was one of those people who could make a preacher hurt himself preaching.

   At the end of the service, he motored his way down to the altar and requested that I and the elders of the church pray for his healing according to James 5:14. I called the deacons to the front and we gathered around Bro. Jackie and prayed for God’s hand to raise our brother up.

   That night, Bro. Jackie slipped into a non-responsive state. Over the next three days his vital signs began to slip and it was obvious that the end was nearing. On Wednesday, about an hour before prayer meeting, he went home to be with the Lord. His family, as well as the church, felt a real sense that God had answered the prayer of faith and given him ultimate healing.

   This past Sunday, one of our young boys at church, age 11, approached his Sunday School teacher and told him he needed to be saved. This young man had been raised in church and had actually been baptized at an earlier age. When I talked to him about his decision, he shared with me that his earlier baptism had not been based upon a genuine profession of faith. He further testified that seeing Bro. Jackie come forward for prayer, and then seeing God take him home had convinced him without a doubt that God is real.

   Most of us have seen the staggering statistics about 85% of those church members who reach the age of 18 leave church, never to come back. Could it be that in their entire lifetime in church they have never seen God working in a manner that proved His reality? This is certainly not the fault of God as we know that He responds to faith.

   The answer to reaching our young people is not another program, trip, rally, camp, car wash or (dare I say it?) class. They need to see real faith in the lives of those who are older, real faith that produces real results from a real God.

   This song says it best, listen and be blessed.

Trophies of Grace

From time to time I post reviews of concerts that I attend. Occasionally I have mentioned the Lighthouse Children’s Home that has sung at a few of these concerts.

We were blessed, yesterday, to have these young ladies come to Pine Park Baptist Church. They were with us in the morning worship service. As they sang and testified, the presence of God was manifested. Those who were in attendance yesterday expressed over and over to me what a tremendous blessing the service was.

They sang a number of songs, including a few a capella numbers that were really nice. Two songs in particular, though, that really touched my heart were the classic, “He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away” and a newer song that I had not heard before, “Trophies of Grace”.

As I sat and listened to these young ladies whose lives had been derailed by the world, and yet had been transformed by a relationship with God, I could not help but feel a deeper appreciation for God’s grace.

The group travels throughout the southeast. I highly recommend them for your church. If you would be interested in contacting them, you can do so through their website.

His Life for Mine

   I came across this video of the Talley Trio singing their song “His Life for Mine.” If you want to be blessed, watch the video by clicking here.

   Don’t rob yourself of this opportunity for a blessing.

Concert Review

   This past Saturday evening, my family and I had a wonderful time at a concert hosted by the Lighthouse Children’s Home in Tallahassee, FL. LCH is a wonderful ministry that for nearly thirty years now has been helping reclaim the lives of young girls who have been scarred by sin. Their choir started off the evening with some testimonies and songs that were a real blessing.

   A very pleasant surprise (for me) that evening was the Crist Family. I had never had the opportunity to hear this family before but I was incredibly blessed. They have one of the freshest sounds I have heard in years. Putting seven vocalists on stage allows them to be creative with their harmony and they did so flawlessly. They sang a particularly pleasing arrangement on the old classic “He Looked Beyond My Fault.” I look forward to getting to hear these folks again.

   They were followed by the Mark Trammell Trio. Mark is well-known for his years with the Cathedrals, Greater Vision and Gold City. The phrase that came to mind when watching them was “pure class”. This trio has an awesome blend and their song selection was great. Two songs that stood out to me were the old standard, “I Believe In a Hill Called Mount Calvary,” and their latest single, “Once Upon a Cross.” Don’t miss an opportunity to hear these guys.

   The evening was completed by Gold City. The fellows just got up there and did what they do best. Great quartet harmony, awesome vocals and plenty of energy made for an inspiring presentation. They sang many of their standbys such as “I’m Not Giving Up” and “Midnight Cry,” but some of their newer material like “Preach the Word” and “Truth Is Marching On,”were a blessing as well. Bass vocalist, Aaron McCune, did an outstanding job on Stuart Hamblen’s, “Teach Me, Lord, To Wait”.

   Above all, each group that took the stage exalted Christ. It was a blessing to see the truth presented unapologetically and the gospel given clearly. Praise the Lord for a wonderful evening.

Music Interview: Mylon Hayes

   This month’s interview is with a friend that I have known for over 20 years. Mylon Hayes and his family, from Boone, NC, have been blessing people with the message and music of Southern Gospel for a long time, now. They have appeared on the largest stages, such as the National Quartet Convention and the Bill Gaither Homecoming videos, as well as the tiniest of country churches.

 

   Anyone who has ever had a chance to hear this group minister has been blessed by quality vocals, tight harmony and, most of all, an obvious love for the Savior about whom they are singing. For many years, the group consisted of Howard and Lucy Hayes, and their children, Janet, Mylon and Sharon. In recent years, as Mylon and his sisters have begun their own families, their spouses and children have become a part of the tradition as well. 

HH: When did you first start learning music? 

Mylon: Well, I’ve always been around gospel  music.  Dad and mom were singing before I was born.  But some of my earliest memories are of dad and mom teaching us harmony parts and teaching us to play an instrument.  I was 4 years old when they taught us harmony on “Jesus Loves Me” to sing at our infant cousin’s funeral.  Dad started me on bass guitar when I was about 7.  Mom worked with me on piano along about that time too, but I didn’t work on it as much as I wish I had. 

HH: What were some of the major influences in your musical development? 

Mylon:  There have been several.  Probably the greatest, other than dad and mom, was the Rex Nelon Singers.  Their music was played the most in our house.  Other influences would be the Speer Family and the Cathedrals.

 

HH: What are some of the greatest challenges that you face in your music ministry? 

Mylon:  The balance of home, family and singing would be one.  Since there are basically four families involved now it’s much harder to juggle (so to speak) all the schedules.  That’s very challenging.  When it comes to the music,  it’s becoming a little more challenging to pick out the right songs for a new recording.  Should we stay totally traditional, should we get a little more progressive?  That’s another challenge.

 

HH:  What is your favorite part about traveling and singing gospel music? 

Mylon:  This is all I ever dreamed of doing so I’m really living my dream.  And to continue doing this with my wife and kids is a blessing beyond words.  Another favorite part is singing a song and watching it really minister to someone hurting or see someone get saved.  That really does make it all worth any hardship.

 

HH: I have known you and your family for a long time and have seen you minister in a variety of venues. One thing that stands out to me is consistency. No matter where you are, you folks are always what you are. To what do you attribute this?  

Mylon: Well, when I think of how God looks at us…there are no “BIG I’s” or “little you’s.”  To borrow a phrase from a song, we’re just “common flesh and bone” so there’s no use to try to be something we’re not.  That has been modeled by Dad and Mom through the years too.  They have lived that consistent life in front of us.

 

HH:  I see a number of baritone singers who also play the bass guitar, as you do. How hard is to play one part and sing another? 

 Mylon: I started doing that when I was a kid so it’s sort of like second nature now.  It was hard in the beginning though.  You know, I’m finding that it’s harder to pick things up the older I get especially when it requires coordination.  So I’m glad I picked that up when I was much younger.  

HH: There seems to be a new generation of Hayes musicians coming up. What do you foresee for the Hayes Family down the road? 

Mylon: I’d sure be afraid to predict the future but nothing would please me more than for this ministry to continue through our kids.  We are teaching them some music and starting them on various instruments so we’ll see where God leads them.  We want them to follow the Lords leading more than anything.

 

HH: Tell us about your wife and kids. 

Mylon: Well, my beautiful wife is Wendy.  She is from
Morganton, NC and she loves this music and ministry.  She really has her heart in it as much as I.  She sings great and even has her own solo project.  Her favorite group growing up was the Nelons too.  We have twin boys, Conner and Bailey.  They are 8 years old and are singing good now.  We’ve started them on piano, bass and drums.  They also enjoy sports.  Baseball is their favorite.  They enjoy basketball too.  Our youngest is Kennedy.  She is 4 years old.  She also is singing well and starting on piano and drums a little bit.  She has beautiful red hair which was a surprise to us all.  We have pictures on the web-site if anybody wants to see.

 

HH: What do you like to do for relaxation? 

Mylon:  RELAXATION!!  What’s that? Ha!  I guess it would be playing with the kids.  That may not be very relaxing at times but it is something I get a lot of enjoyment out of.

 

HH: If you could only sing one song for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

 

Mylon: If it’s a song that our family sings, it would probably be The Last Blood.  My very favorite lyric is a song that we do not sing – The Love Of God.

Please be sure to visit the Hayes Family Ministry’s website and view the pictures as well as checking out the music that they have available.