I have loved the Lord Jesus since I was a child. And I fell in love with Southern Gospel music when I first heard some songs on the radio by such groups as the Cathedrals, Talleys, Nelons, Florida Boys, Hoppers, Bill Gaither Trio and the Gaither Vocal Band. A local Christian station played some Southern Gospel along with the contemporary songs when I was a teen. Today that station will not play Southern Gospel on the FM station.

Before I could drive I remember begging my mom to take me to see the Florida Boys and Hoppers when they were about 30 minutes from here. We went and I just loved it -- that was in the mid-80's. And ever since I got my driver's license, I have been attending Southern Gospel Concerts. The first few years after I was able to drive about the only concerts we would get in the area was the Talleys and the Cathedrals
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- so my sisters, a friend and I went every time they were here. Eventually some other groups started coming around.  I remember seeing the Nelons, Mid South Boys, Greenes, Kingsmen, Speer Family, and several others in the early years of my exposure to Southern Gospel Music. I have been a subscriber to the Singing News Magazine since the first concert I attend in the mid 80's. The first thing I did when I got my magazine each month would be to go through it and see what concerts were coming to my area. Back then, I went whenever they were within about an hour.

Later on, I moved to AL for two years of Voluntary Service through the church. While there, I was able to see the Bishops, Greenes, Dixie Echoes, Dixie Melody Boys, Pfeifers, Nelons, Gold City, Florida Boys and a few others. Upon returning home from there, I would still attend as many as I could find close to home. Then I started venturing a little farther from home like about 2 hours or so, to see groups like Jeff & Sheri Easter, Bishops, Greenes, Gold City, and many others. In just saying hey to the groups and that I enjoyed their singing, I have gotten to know many of the groups and have come to really love them like family.

Around 1995, there was a country station in the area that started playing Southern Gospel in the evenings, I listened to that every chance I got and also did some volunteer work with the dj trying to get some material into the station and get some product give-aways from the groups. Also about the same time, there started being a whole lot more concerts in the area. In fact, the Village Event Center just a few miles from home started promoting concerts about once a month. This makes it nice - not having to travel far for concerts.

In September of 1995, I went to my first ever National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY for 3 days. I thoroughly enjoyed it - seeing all the groups and visiting and making new friends. After that year, I've made it a yearly vacation to attend the last 3 days of NQC. The second year, I went to NQC - I went down with the Calvarymen Quartet out of MI on a tour bus. On this trip to NQC, I met some sweet gals from about an hour from my place. This was the beginning of a close relationship. After the second year of attending NQC together, we started going to concerts around the area together. Now we see each other often -- either going to concerts around the area or getting together to scrapbook photos that we have taken. The Lord is just so awesome in the way He works giving us friends to do things with.

Now back to the story. I think it was in 1997, I had gone on a Friday night to see Brian Free and Assurance in the area. We were talking and they were like - are you coming tomorrow night? I was like where? They said not too far from here -- about 3 hours. I said I don't think so. Well - the more I thought about it on the way home - the more I wanted to go and see them again especially since it was Mike Lefevre's last weekend with them. So the next morning I called up a friend and asked if she wanted to go - well - we ended up going to see the guys - they were shocked. Anyway - that was the beginning of me driving anywhere from just a few minutes from home for a concert to driving up to 5 hours in one night for a concert. I seldom sleep over - I usually go and come back all in a day. It's been so much fun surprising groups all over the place.

I have also gone on several Southern Gospel Cruises that Templeton Tours sponsors. Those are fun cause you get to be away from work and get to relax and enjoy some wonderful singing and fellowship. Also, I've been online for about 4 years now and have met some wonderful people who also love the Lord and Southern Gospel Music through a Southern Gospel Chatroom and through some talk-lists. I have met lots of people in person whom I first met online and that is fun to do. I have also made some wonderful friends this way. I attended the Great Western Quartet Convention in 1998 with an internet friend and that was fun! In 1999, I went to Alberta, Canada for the first ever Canadian Quartet Convention.

If asked about a favorite group, it's very hard to say just one group over another. I love so many groups including but not limited to: Pfeifers, Karen Peck and New River, Poet Voices, Won By One, Steeles, Common Bond, Gold City, Brian Free and Assurance, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Cathedrals, Greater Vision, Dixie Melody Boys, Dixie Echoes, Dove Brothers Quartet, Crabb Family, Perrys, Wilburns, Galloways, Calvarymen Quartet, Gospelmen, One Heart, Tony Gore and Majesty, Mast Brothers, Booth Brothers, Bishops, Kingdom Heirs, Anchormen, Freedom Sound, Sisters x Two, Parsons, Melody Boys Quartet, Legacy Five, and well - I think you get the idea - the list just goes on and on.

On Thursday, September 21, 2000, I was surprised to have my name called from the stage of the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY. The artists nominated me as the 2000 Super Fan of the year. Thanks to all who were responsible for that. It's a real honor to be chosen for that award.

God bless you and again thanks for stopping by my page.

Gwen

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