Southern Gospel fans in Ooltewah, TN received a blessing on October 20, 2011. Greenwood Baptist Church hosted the one and only Gold City Quartet in concert. This was a special night for Greenwood Baptist since Gold City’s new lead singer, Jerry “Punkin” Pelfrey, grew up in this church. Fans packed the sanctuary, many sat in chairs down the center aisle. The audience consisted of a mixed group of all ages including families with small children, teen-agers, and senior adults.
Pastor Toby Brogden opened with Psalm 150 and a prayer, and then the congregation was led in singing. The church choir did a great job preparing the hearts of the people for a great night of worship. Kim VanHoozier, sister of Jerry Pelfrey, shared a beautiful song she had written with the full choir back-up. There was a sweet aroma of praise in the air before Gold City ever took the stage.
The acclaimed quartet began their set with “Where Is God” followed by “By His Grace For His Glory.” The congregation, the young and the old alike, joined in with “I Cast My bread Upon The Water.” Daniel Riley introduced the next song by reminding the congregation that it is okay for the children of God to have fun, and then treated the audience with a soulful- black gospel type of a song. The tune was an old Dixie Hummingbird number and will be included on Gold City’s new album in November. The crowd loved it as Daniel took the lead and sang from his soul while having a lot of fun!
Tenor, Dan Keeton turned up the heat taking the lead on “God’s Building A Church” and Tim Riley charmed the audience with his deep bass voice as he sang his lead lines on the chorus. The crowd went wild as the guys held on to the very last note for dear life. “I’m part of a church and that makes me feel like something else besides Baptist,” Daniel said.
Dan Keeton led the congregation from excitement to adoration with his performance of “O What A Savior” with only piano accompaniment. People rose to their feet in praise, then the soft spoken, meek spirited tenor began to testify. He gave the congregation a glimpse of what the Savior had personally done for him.
Keeton explained as he grew up in Detroit, he suffered abuse in a home afflicted with alcoholism and divorce. He didn’t elaborate, but just enough was said to paint a picture of his painful past. He went on to say he moved to his Grandmother’s house in Kentucky and there discovered Southern Gospel Music in a box and also on the radio.
Soon after his discovery of Gospel Music, he learned Gold City Quartet was coming to his town. Keeton told how he was so excited; he got there four hours early. Gold City had not arrived yet, so he decided to leave for a while to get a drink. As he left, he passed the bus, so he whipped his car back around and headed back to the event. As Keeton described to the Greenwood Baptist crowd, who all walked off the bus, a few in the congregation cheered. “Getting off the bus, there was Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Mike LeFevre and Tim Riley,” Keeton recalled. That night as a youth, he watched Gold City unload, set up and get a sound check, and then he took in every song and every word during the concert. All the way home, Keeton explained to the Greenwood Baptist crowd, that he prayed asking God to let him sing in a quartet just like that someday. “And 26 years later,” Keeton explained, “the Lord said ‘How ‘bout THAT one!’” Moved with emotion from a heart filled with gratitude, Keeton repeated the last verse and the congregation responded in praise.
Gold City blessed the crowd with tunes such as “Shouting Ground,” “One Scarred Hand,” “When I Get Carried Away,” “Under Control,” and “In My Robe Of White.” They also carried on the long term tradition of sharing their personal love for God. They reminded the people of the great responsibility we all have in spreading the good news of Christ. There are many ways that all Christians can “preach”- no one has to be a so-called preacher to do so. The way we live, the way we conduct ourselves in public and in private “preaches.” With that explanation, Gold City sang with Holy Spirit power and conviction, “Preach The Word.”
Following a brief intermission, Gold City sang a few more songs, and then closed out the night with Tim Riley reminding the congregation of the end times in which we are living. The newspapers validate the Word of God, the King is coming! After Riley’s convicting comments, new lead singer, Jerry Pelfrey claimed the lead to the beloved song, “Midnight Cry” and nailed it as if had been singing it with Gold City for years. The power in the message prompted the saints to rise and worship as the Holy Spirit whispered messages of conviction into the hearts of those not prepared for Christ’s return.
Pastor Toby Brogden took over the service by extending an invitation to pray as Gold City quietly sang “Just As I Am.” Many responded to the invitation, including several youth. There was a holy stillness in the room as people’s hearts were aligned with the will of God. It was truly a blessed night in Ooltewah, Tennessee.
Thank you, Gold City for your dedication to serve God and people through music. Thank you, Pastor Brogden and Greenwood Baptist Church for opening your doors on a Thursday night to the community providing an opportunity for the gospel to be shared in song!
To see where Gold City stops next, visit: http://goldcityqt.com/ and be watching for their new album to be released in November of 2011.
Concert Review- by Rhonda Frye
Pictures Provided by- Blake McAllister