September 22, 2020

Franklin Graham ahead of national prayer march: US is 'crumbling,' God is only hope


As he prepares to lead a prayer march in Washington, D.C., next week, evangelist Franklin Graham said the dire problems besetting the country are ones only God can solve, and time is short.


In a phone interview with The Christian Post on Thursday about Prayer March 2020 that he will oversee next Saturday on the National Mall, Graham explained that his heart behind calling the country to prayer is in part because of the deep divisions over many issues. These divides have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread loss of jobs due to state lockdowns and enforced closure of businesses.


"I think there's kind of a boiling point here with many people. We have seen injustice on our streets and some of our communities. The frustration that people aren't heard, that people are marginalized. It seems that all of this is boiling at the same time," he said, noting that these tensions are accentuated in an election year where politics often exploit the issues.


Yet no one can solve the spiritual darkness besetting America, he emphasized.


"Republicans cannot fix it; Democrats cannot fix it. Only God can," Graham asserted.


God and His ways have been removed from government, schools, and in society more broadly when the country needs more, not less of Him, he said, adding that the United States is "crumbling."


"I don't see our nation able to go much further unless we repent and call upon the name of Almighty God," he said.


Asked if he believes that a remnant of praying people exists in the nation and if he has hope for a Great Awakening, the evangelist replied that it's hard to say.

"For many in the church today, they're comfortable and a lot of our pastors don't want to rock the boat," Graham said. Many will not speak out on hot-button social issues, insisting such topics are "political" when they are moral matters where churches must be bold.


Yet because they have ignored such great sin and the responsibility to speak against it, he doesn't know if there will be revival.


Thousands are expected to attend the march, with participants traveling from every state to gather together in the nation's capital.


The upcoming march is solely about prayer and calling upon God, Graham stressed.


"I don't have entertainment; I don't have music. We are coming to pray, to pray for our country, our leaders. And by starting at one end of the Mall and going to the other it's an opportunity for us to walk together and to show unity," he said.


Just as the freedom marches in the civil rights era during the 1960s were a demonstration of unity, this is an opportunity for the Church to come together, he added.


"By coming [to the march] we are participating in something that is bigger than us, and we are going directly to the throne of grace, calling upon the name of God, asking for His favor, His help, and I hope that these Christian voices, these prayers will shake the city. And not just shake the city but shake the country. And it can happen."


The evangelist went on to explain that though he does not have any hard proof of this, he believes that many Americans are quietly reevaluating what they believe and prioritize, spiritually speaking, in light of the chaotic events of 2020.


"I just sense there is something moving in our country. I don't believe that our country is going to be spared from God's judgment. We are not a Christian nation. We are a secular nation and the secularists are wanting to strip God out of everything," he said.


"Maybe this election could possibly slow that down," he added, "but we know there's going to be a one-world system one day. We know that people aren't going to be able to buy, sell, or trade unless they have the mark of the Antichrist. We know that there will be a great war."


He added: "We see God's judgment coming against this earth for the rejection of His Son and we see the Lord Jesus Christ coming back triumphant to establish a new Heaven and a new Earth. We know how the last chapters of history are written."


"I think we're kind of in that period of time on God's clock where some of these things might just be beginning to unfold. To say that we're not going to be able to reset God's clock, in the sense where He's going to change His mind, no it's written. But He might delay just a little bit."


"I've got 12 grandchildren and four children. And I know that the America that I grew up in they'll not have an opportunity or chance to see unless God intervenes," he concluded.

Dollywood Harvest Festival Set for Sep 25 – Oct.31


 After being named by USA Today as the country’s best fall theme park event last year, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31) is back this season with several fresh changes that echo many of the same warm traditions that make this nationally-known event a favorite for so many.


A colorful, lively atmosphere greets guests each day as the warm autumn sun casts the surrounding Smoky Mountains in bright daylight, displaying the rich, bold hues which blanket the hillsides surrounding Dollywood. The splendor of the mountains highlights the experience for guests with many vibrant new features providing surprises for them throughout the day.


By night, Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health continues its expansion into Wildwood Grove, providing more pumpkin perfection to enjoy. In only its fourth year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights has given families a multitude of memories to glow about. New this season, guests can purchase a reduced-price ticket which provides entry after 5 p.m. for those who want to make a quick trip to the park to experience the pumpkins as they glow to life. The limited-time offer, which is just $35 plus tax, is available online only; blackout dates apply.


“We know folks are ready to get out and enjoy the colors of fall and the fresh, crisp Smoky Mountain air,” Dolly Parton said. “This year has been challenging for everyone, but we hope the comfort they feel from coming and visiting us gives them that warm, familiar feeling they’ve shared with their friends and loved ones for so many years here at Dollywood. We have a few surprises planned this year, and I think everyone will agree this is that special escape ‘back home’ we all need right now.”


It is within this backdrop that captivating new experiences will enliven the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. Throughout the park, reinvigorated decorations and visually-impactful landscaping techniques immerse visitors in a fresh, new look. It will be hard to overlook one of the festival’s newest additions, as guests can peruse more than a dozen colossal pumpkins, ranging from 800 to more than 1500 lbs. each. The massive displays come from growers across the East Coast who look forward to sharing their prize pumpkins with Dollywood park patrons.


Music plays an integral part of this festival, with the largest number of performances during any event ever at Dollywood! Guests can enjoy more than 800 concerts during the run of the festival from Southern gospel and bluegrass artists appearing on eight different outdoor stages. The sounds echo through the park, creating a highly-engaging entertainment offering. Additional artists can be found roaming the park, literally taking the music to the streets!


Culinary creations abound, thanks to the bountiful supply of crops from a Smoky Mountain harvest. The smells of smoked beef brisket, turkey legs and sausage pair nicely with the fresh tastes of fried green tomatoes, fire-roasted corn and sweet potato casserole. For sweet treats, the ever-popular pumpkin spice is in full supply with items ranging from pumpkin spice milkshakes and cinnamon rolls to a twist on the park’s beloved cinnamon bread. Pumpkin praline funnel cake, hot wassail and harvest kettle corn are perfect to carry and enjoy while admiring the beauty of Dollywood in the fall.


Salem Media to Host First Ever Virtual Pastor Appreciation Event Featuring Today’s Leading Names in Christian Teaching & Music


 Salem Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SALM) announces their first ever Virtual Pastor Appreciation Event featuring a lineup of today’s leading voices in ministry and music including John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, Alistair Begg, Tony Evans, Robert Jeffress, Greg Laurie, Allen Jackson, Bryan Chapell, Samuel Rodriguez and Paul Cannings. Worship artists performing will include Matthew West, Natalie Grant, for King & Country, Mandisa and many more!


Beginning on Thursday October 1, 2020 and releasing each Thursday throughout October, pastors will experience a robust, gospel-minded presentation created and customized just for them. This weekly online event will feature prayer, worship and a powerful word of encouragement and edification tailored to the pastor’s heart.


During a time of widespread pandemic, national quarantine and civil unrest, leaders of the church serve as a vital source of support to their local community. Whether actively serving in part-time or full-time ministry – or in training to step into a pastoral role – Salem Media understands that pastors do not take their call into ministry lightly. In response to their commitment to servitude, Salem wants to encourage, equip and edify pastors during the entire month of October.


“For more than two decades, Salem has hosted hundreds of live and in-person Pastor Appreciation events across the country. We love pastors and greatly appreciate the love and care they provide to their congregations, communities and beyond. However, this year, with the pandemic, that simply has not been possible. That’s why we’ve assembled such an amazing array of content which will speak directly to pastors and which can be easily accessed online,” said Christopher Gould, Senior Vice President of National Program Development & Ministry Relations. “We believe Jesus Christ designed His church and He will build it – and He does that through local pastors in local churches. We want to come alongside these pastors and ministry leaders to encourage them as they serve God faithfully and lead the church.”


Salem President of Broadcast David Santrella said, “Salem’s Pastor Appreciation events are a highlight of the year for us and the pastors we serve. COVID-19 may have stopped a lot of activities, but thanks to the creativity of our team, we will still have the opportunity to let our pastors know how much we love and appreciate them. This online series of events has the potential to reach even more pastors through the various channels of digital content delivery.”


All pastors are invited and encouraged to commit this time to their calendar now – and share with their peers in ministry. The event is free but registration is required. Visit Pastors.SalemSurround.com for more details.


 

Gospel duet The Fosters announce release of first-ever studio project

 


Church planters and husband-wife duo The Fosters are excited to announce the release of their first-ever studio project, Oh, How I Love Him!, available on CD and all digital platforms October 30, 2020. Recorded at Daywind studios with a band of Nashville veterans, the EP will include new arrangements of 5 timeless songs that transcend generations and genres. The first single is the Jessy Dixon classic, “I Know What Prayer Can Do”, to be released October 2nd.


 “We have been singing these songs for 15 years now, since we were first married,” Andrew Foster says, “and they never get old. These songs come from various sources and they are not widely known but they continue to bless people everywhere we go. They are just so solid in message and melody. We are thrilled to share these songs with a wider audience because we believe they deserve to be heard.”


 Andrew and Devi Foster have been surrounded by gospel music all their lives. Raised in preachers’ homes 600 miles apart, they learned to sing, play instruments, and developed an ear for harmony. Devi sang often in her home church in Scottsdale, AZ and with her parents and siblings, the David L. Abbott Family. Andrew grew up singing with his mother and sisters as a family group as well. Through the years they have been widely used as worship leaders and featured soloists for choirs, weddings, and special events. Now they raise their family in an environment of music and ministry in their adopted hometown of Albuquerque, NM.

September 21, 2020

Folenius Welcomes Wayne Morphis


 It is with great excitement that Folenius welcomes gospel music veteran Wayne Morphis to the group!

Wayne will be filling the baritone position.  Group owner David Folenius shares, “When my wife, Lisa, and I started this ministry, we planned to operate as a duet.  Little did we know that God had another plan, and we could not be more thrilled about it.  It is amazing to look back and see how God has orchestrated every detail.  Wayne possesses a seasoned, rich baritone voice that really rounds out our sound.  From the first time we sang together, everything immediately clicked.  You don’t have to spend much time with Wayne to sense his love for Christ, or to recognize his sincerity and passion to reach the lost and encourage believers, which makes him the perfect fit for Folenius."

Wayne and his wife, Becky, make their home In Ola, Arkansas, and will celebrate 40 years of marriage next year.  They are members of the Ola Freewill Baptist Church, where Wayne serves as deacon.  Wayne and Becky have three kids and several grandchildren.  Wayne’s favorite singer happens to be his son, Justin Morphis, who has been recognized as one of Southern Gospel Music’s most incredible voices.  When you hear Wayne sing, you will identify that the apple did not fall far from the tree.

Wayne says, “I am excited to see what God has in store for Folenius.  It is truly an honor to have been asked and afforded the opportunity to serve here.  I could not think of two finer people to work with than David and Lisa.”

Please join us in welcoming Wayne and Becky to the Folenius ministry family.

Jeff Carson Releases “God Save The World”

 


Country music standout Jeff Carson takes us back to the early 2000s with the re-release of his 2003 hit, “God Save The World.” This single is more relevant now than ever, igniting hope for the future in a world longing for change. “God Save The World” is available to stream and download on all digital platforms now!


"I was excited about the opportunity of recording this song. I have always loved ballads with meaningful lyrics, and this song, I believe, expresses the feelings of so many people in these trying times we’re all living in,” shares Carson.


Carson has always sought out a life of giving, whether it be through a song or serving his local community as a police officer in Franklin, Tennessee. “God Save The World” is a mere reflection of Carson’s compassionate nature towards being a vessel of solitude in times of conflict and confusion. Carson, paired with the re-release of “God Save the World” provides lasting peace of mind and desired salvation to listeners.

“Without a doubt, this song is more relatable to today’s society than when I cut it years ago,” admits Carson. “This year has been bad and I think people will appreciate its message. It just felt like the right time to re-record it.”

September 18, 2020

Sheri LaFontaine Back in the Studio


 After seven years, award-winning Singer/Songwriter, Sheri LaFontaine stepped back into Daywind Recording Studio to record her 5th solo album – produced by Dove Award winner, Marty Funderburk and Sheri, herself. The album is set to be released in late November, just in time for Christmas. The CD is titled, “Honest,” which Sheri says comes from a deep place.


Sheri stated,” This project is a celebration of embracing hope after a season of depression and loss. My Daddy passed away in January of this year. These songs come from a very vulnerable and honest place. that I hope people will relate to and be blessed by. “


Honest is a unique combination of original songs written by Sheri and a few covers, such as the Teddy Huffam’s “I’m Rich”, Kim Hopper’s “Peace in the Midst of the Storm” and Mercy Me’s “Greater”.


Sheri shares some exciting news about a song that will be coming to radio soon. “The Lord sent me a fun little song at the last minute, that I was able to co write with a friend from South Africa, Frank Naude. It will be the first single from the album and a duet with the amazing, Mitchel Jon “. Most Southern Gospel fans know, Jon, from his days with Three Bridges and his appearances on the Gaither Homecoming videos. https://mitcheljonmusic.com/home

September 17, 2020

Michael Combs Releases New Song For Radio

 


Illustrious Gospel singer Michael Combs has released another great song to radio. Penned by Michael himself this new song has the dynamic message and flair that fans have expected to hear from Michael for well over thirty years.

Though not a new song, Michael wrote it in 1996, the timing and the message couldn’t be more timely than for today. Titled “They’ll Never Take Jesus (Out Of My Heart)” the message strikes at the very heart of what’s going on in this world today. Powers that be are trying to take “In God We Trust” off our money, they’re trying to take “Under God” and now trying to keep us out of church for as long as they can. We need to be reminded that though this world may be able to take all our money and belongings, all of our traditions, all of our history, and even out long standing way of life…. but, they can never take Jesus out of our hearts.

The song has just gone to radio, so start calling your radio stations today and request “They’ll Never Take Jesus (Out Of Our Hearts)” by Michael Combs.

In addition to his radio release Michael was also nominated for the Diamond Awards Top 5 Nominees for the “Male Vocalist Of The Year”.

If you would like to see how you can help the Michael Combs Ministry though this terrible pandemic, please go to Michael’s website below and you will find a link to held his ministry.

Exclusive Premiere Of The Perry’s New Lyric Video, ‘Never A Time’


 The Perrys and StowTown Records released today the group’s newest lyric video, “Never A Time“, exclusively through Singing News.


Written by Jason Cox and Kenna Turner West, the current radio single from the group’s Keep Movin’ Along project is intended to bring hope to people living in despair.


“‘Never A Time’ was put on the project because of the positive message. Sometimes we go through hard times in our lives and we feel God has abandoned us,” said lead vocalist and group owner Libbi Perry Stuffle. “But if we will take a look back over our lives we will see He’s always been there for us and He’s always been faithful. He gives us new mercy every single day!” she continued.


“Never A Time” is the second single from Keep Movin’ Along, which also contains the group’s previous #1 hit “It Never Gets Old.”

September 16, 2020

Pastor who won 'The Voice' says his ministry has grown: 'So much has changed'


 Since winning "The Voice" earlier this year, Todd Tilghman, a pastor from Mississippi, said his ministry reach has grown and it's "just insane."  


The lead pastor of Cornerstone Church in Meridian made his way to the top on season 18 under Team Blake (meaning he’s coached by country star Blake Shelton). While on the NBC show, the pastor performed the Christian classic “I Can only imagine” and “Long Way Home,” among others. 


In a new interview with Movieguide, Tilghman revealed that following his victory on the show, his travel schedule became nonstop, the size of his church viewership increased greatly and he changed the way he hosts his church services. 


“There are also a lot more new faces here and there,” he said in the interview. “What really happened with our churches is the online viewership just went through the roof, like, just insane.”


His church currently has both in-person services and online streaming.


Prior to “The Voice,” Tilghman had only known what it was like to sing in front of a crowd in the church. During the singing competition, COVID-19 restrictions forced him to perform digitally and remotely in his house. 


“It does teach you to connect with music on a level that’s not that sort of transcends the audience because you’re connecting on a different level,” he said. “I already sing by myself and just connect as much as possible because I’m singing to the Lord. So it helped when I’m trying to just connect with like a camera screen and no one.


“Ministry helps you learn how to do that. So I actually feel like even though I’m sort of like an old fart in the whole thing, I feel like it’s the right time for me. I had a whole lot of training.”