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Thoughts of Gary McSpadden

  • Posted on April 15, 2020 at 2:45 pm

So many thoughts are going through my mind right now after hearing that Gary McSpadden went to be with Jesus this morning after a short battle with cancer.

I first heard of Mr. McSpadden when he replaced Danny Gaither with the Bill Gaither Trio. I was not used to group changes back then, and it was a long time before I was willing to concede that Gary was really a good singer.

When I was a teenager, my brother and I were waiting for someone to pick us up from the National Religious Broadcaster’s convention. All of a sudden, we saw someone across from us who looked just like Gary McSpadden! We were not expecting to see him so we did what all good fans do: we froze and stared at him while we whispered to each other trying to decide if it was really him. He look back at us and smiled, probably amused at our obvious awe. We never did talk to him, and I have kicked myself ever since.

I enjoyed watching him on video during the early days of the Gaither Homecoming series. He never seemed to age, and he could still sing. This is the song that came to my mind as soon as I heard the news. I hope you enjoy.

 

Thinking of Steve French

  • Posted on July 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm

You have probably heard by now that Steve French (the former manager and baritone singer for the Kingdom Heirs) passed away a couple weeks ago.

It’s never easy when a person dies but unexpected deaths are the hardest for me. When I see a person suffering, as much as I miss them, there is also relief that their body is no longer racked with pain. This holds true for every Believer, but, when a person seems to be in good health, or when I didn’t know they were sick and then they die, it hits me harder.

I’ve been watching old YouTube videos of the Kingdom Heirs and thinking back to the years I attended the National Quartet Convention. I never spent a lot of time at the Kingdom Heirs’ booth, but I always tried to catch their sets. I loved watching them.

The last song I remember seeing them sing on stage was “He Locked the Gates.” I loved it!When Steve left the Kingdom Heirs, I knew I’d miss him but I miss him even more now. Prior to his departure, I did email him periodically to tell him how much I enjoyed his last couple CDs. I’m thankful I did that.

Although it’s been a couple weeks now, I still pray for his family. May they find peace and strength during this time.

Tribute to Joshua Copenhaver

  • Posted on March 30, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Josh CopenhaverSome of you may not know the name Josh Copenhaver, but I hope you will take the time to read this anyway.

I first met Josh at the National Quartet Convention eight or so years ago. At that time, he was singing with his mom and brother in a group they simply called The Copenhavers. Since their booth was directly across from ours, we had the opportunity to get to know them a bit. They were so warm and friendly that we quickly began to call them our friends.

The following year, we went back to the National Quartet Convention and were pleased that they remembered us. I attended their showcase that week and watched them perform an old song, “I’ll Be There.” I loved the way they sang it, and it is still my favorite song they ever recorded.

This past Saturday afternoon, I found out that Josh had a heart attack and went to be with Jesus. My initial reaction was shock, followed by extreme sadness. I’ve not interacted with Josh much in the last couple years but I still remember a young man full of life and joy. He married a couple years ago, and I was so happy for him. I can’t imagine anyone not loving Josh, and I know his death has caused a void in a lot of hearts.

Although I am grieving, it is not as one who has no hope. You see, even if you do not know the name Josh Copenhaver, the Eternal God knows his name and, for a reason that I don’t understand, God chose Saturday to call this young man Home.

The last song I saw Josh sing was, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.” Judging by the comments I’ve read on Facebook, Josh’s living was not in vain. His life touched so many.

As I always do when someone I know dies, I am thinking a lot. I am inspired once again to tell those close to me that I love them since I may not get the chance to do so again. I am thinking of those I love who do not know the Lord and how much worse my grief will be when they leave this life unless their course in life changes.

None of us are promised tomorrow. When we’re young, it’s easy to think we have forever when, in reality, the hourglass is ticking away so quickly. Today is when we need to evaluate our lives. Are we spending the time God’s given us serving Him or focusing on our own desires? Are we walking in the Spirit or fulfilling the lusts of the flesh? Can we truly tell Josh, “You may look for me, for I’ll be there”?

The older I get, the more I long for Heaven. I miss my loved ones who have gone before but, with that, comes an increasing desire to be faithful until the day it’s my turn to enter my beautiful Home.

Josh, I miss you but I love the mental picture of you in Jesus’ arms. It may be a while before the thought of your smiling face does not bring tears to my eyes but they are selfish tears. In reality, I would not call you back to this world of sorrow. I will pray for your friends and family, as I know they miss you dearly as well. It’s amazing that someone so young could make such an impact but you definitely did. I am so blessed to have known you.

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