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February 2005

During the month of August Steven had the wonderful opportunity to write a selection with Paul Williams for our new CD. As some of you may not know Paul Williams worked with Jimmy Martin "The King of Bluegrass", and recorded some of Jimmy's well known songs that Paul either wrote or co-wrote with Jimmy.

Steve and Paul emailed and conversed some and and as a result came up with a great selection. The Churchmen are very proud of what Steven and Paul were able to accomplish and we most definitely enjoy knowing Paul Williams and being able to be associated with such a wonderful person. Paul Williams and The Victory Trio are always a joy to work with. Look for the song "Calvary Says It All" on our upcoming cd.

What's Up with The Churchmen

"Speaking of vocalists, The Churchmen certainly know how to sing a good gospel tune. More than just about any other band, they have figured out how to successfully marry the Southern Gospel style of singing to Bluegrass and the result is a compelling, exciting and powerful combination. I was particularly enamored with "Get On Board," "We'll Still Sing On," "He Paid It All" and "When He Calls Your Name." Thanks again for the exquisite tunes!"
Dave Higgs, Bluegrass Breakdown
July 2003

Busy Busy Busy

This year so far we have a lot of dates booked. Keith has been busy on the phone setting up festivals and churches for this year. We as the band members commend him for his excellent effort and for doing so much behind the scenes. As you all know the band holds jobs during the week and it takes a lot of effort to do something we love so much. Continue to pray that the lord will bless us and keep us safe on the journey home.

Steven Continues Song Writing

Steven continues to write songs. He has written several songs to go on the new album and several potential other tunes. Songwriting is something he enjoys doing very much. As experiences happen they seem to always open a new door for a song.

Rick Keen Joins The Churchmen

The Churchmen are excited to announce the addition of a great young talent to the band with the addition of Rick Keen. Rick plays the Resonator Guitar commonly known as a "Dobro". This is the first time that The Churchmen have had a Dobro player on stage even though our recorded projects have included this great instrument in the past. Rick has experience with such bands as High Lonesome, Kickin' Grass, and Lonesome Pine. As with every change we have made, The Lord seems to always bless us as Rick is one of the most exciting young players that we have seen, and has become a fantastic addition to the group.

Fiddler Shannon Wheeler had a great 3 ½ year stint with the band but has decided to stay home with his family. Our schedule is not always very conducive to families with small children, so we certainly understand and wish Shannon the best! We also are looking at other future additions to the band and Fiddle Player, Christian Gillikin (formally with The Churchmen), has agreed to play selected shows to add another great dimension to our sound.

Thanks to all of the folks who continually support us and hope to see all of you at a Churchmen show in the near future. Come see for yourself how energized we are about the great changes in the band!

Congratulations to SPBGMA Winners

The Churchmen were nominated in all three of the Gospel categories this year at the annual show held at the end of the annual SPBGMA National Convention at the Sheraton Convention Center in Nashville, TN. February 2005.

The Churchmen are very proud of the fact that we have been steady nominees in the "Gospel Group of the Year" categories over the last ten years. In addition, this was a first for the band to be included in all three categories at the same time. "This is a great honor and we were extremely thrilled by the SPBGMA nominations. It is always great to be mentioned along with some of the best bands in Bluegrass today, and we are especially grateful to all of our friends who consistently nominate us year after year" states Keith Clark of the band. " SPBGMA is a great organization and the Stearman family does a great job with promoting the music. The membership and supporters of SPBGMA are a great and very dedicated group of people to be associated with" adds band member Gerald Harbour.

    Congratulations to the winners in the Gospel categories:
  • GOSPEL GROUP OF THE YEAR (Contemporary) The Marksmen
  • GOSPEL GROUP OF THE YEAR (Traditional) Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
  • GOSPEL GROUP OF THE YEAR (Overall) Blue Highway

Thanks again to everyone that supports The Churchmen and may God continue to richly bless!

Get On Board!

We are still excited about our latest project "On The Journey Home". It is still doing very well on airplay and we would like to thank all of you who request songs each week and the DJ's for playing the songs. We are thrilled that the first cut on the CD, titled "Get Onboard" was at #1 (March 2004 issue) on the Bluegrass Now Gospel Truths chart in Bluegrass Now Magazine. Also we are delighted that it had such a great run in the top 20. It was on the chart from August 2003 until May 2005 making an incredible 22 months. Again thanks for your continued support for us. It is greatly appreciated!

F2 Tornado Hits Keith's Workplace
On September 17th, 2004 at approximately 12:05 PM as the remnants of Hurricane Ivan passed over Virginia and North Carolina a tornado warning was given out that a twister was passing from Horsepasture, VA going towards Stanleytown. As I was in my office I realized that the warning sounded as if it could be headed for where I work. Two of my friends and I went to an outside access door and began to watch the skies. One of our co-workers had just left to pickup lunch and we were worried about him but little did we think that we were the one's that were in eminent danger. As we looked out the window the skies became the most eerie black that I have ever seen and the clouds began to spin and suddenly a huge cloud appeared over the mountain and we immediately realized that it was the tornado. I said "My Lord, it's headed right toward us" and "let's get to the interior of the building". Before we could get very far the wind was rushing into the building and I dove next to a wall and began to pray. The roof lifted off of the building and we all instantly got wet from all of the rain and there was so much noise and debris flying and chaos that you couldn't even look up. After 45 seconds or so it calmed down and we started looking for anyone who might have been hurt. Miraculously no one received a single scratch. The building and a lot of the equipment were damaged and 40 or so cars were totally demolished (including my Jeep) but no-one was hurt! The Lord was certainly looking after us that day! My Mother and Father also received some minor damage to their roof and we keep our bus one house away from where some trees and power poles fell but we didn't get a scratch on our bus (see picture) - thank The Lord! It is a great reminder to me to be grateful for everyday because you never know what could happen and also a great reminder of nature's fury and God's awesome power! I want to thank God for bringing me through the most terrifying experience of my life and for looking after all of us at CPFilms. We also have most of the plant back running and that's incredible also. Check out the pictures of my Jeep and our office and what an F2 tornado can do in a few short seconds.


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