ICCAN – International Cowboy Church Alliance Network, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Religious Organization/Convention of Churches and was created to serve the growing number of churches, evangelistic ministries and music ministries who are currently (or seeking to be) culturally connected with the western culture. We have the desire to provide a covering and training resource for cowboy church development as well help promote Christian Country Inspirational Music Evangelist and Ministries. Our main purpose is fellowship, networking, resources and prayer. ICCAN doesn’t seek anyone to leave their present church affiliation, but instead bring Christian churches/ministries from all denominations, fellowships and independents together to share and sow into each others’ lives and ministries.
I was born and reared in Deep Gap, North Carolina (just outside of Boone, NC). There were four boys in our family; we were stair-steps in age and height. We were a country family and kind of large at that, and we were instilled with basic Christian values and morals. Mom and Dad worked hard to provide for us and give us a better life. Funny; we were poor by today’s standards, but we never knew it. I guess no one ever told us.
Christmas was, and still is, a special time for me. One year, I remember, in the mountains it was cold and blowing snow. I was five-years-old I think. In our little mountain home. the tree was lit with large colorful bulbs, filled with tinsel icicles and handmade ornaments. The fire was crackling in the fireplace and we surrounded the TV. All four of us boys were on the floor in pyjamas watching Frosty and Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer on CBS. (The only channel we could get.) Then it was bedtime. We had to go to sleep because Santa was coming. (But we never slept long.)
In the kitchen Mom was baking cookies and a cake for Christmas Day. You could hear her singing “Silent Night,” then “Joy To The World.” Dad was watching TV, or so we thought. You could smell the aromas and sense the excitement. IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE!
I am not sure of the time, but there was a loud thump on the house and we all jumped out of bed. Mom came into the room and said we had to be quiet because Santa was outside. She said if he saw us, he would pass our house. We heard all kind of noises. We were so excited. But we just could not go see Santa. Mom kept us in the room and she told us stories of Christmas long ago. Soon we dropped back off to sleep. Years later Dad told us he dropped the box of presents because he lost his footing on the steps. I said really? It sure sounded like Santa to me!
Next morning at the break of day, we were up. But Mom and Dad were also up and in the kitchen. The smells of eggs, bacon, biscuits, coffee and cinnamon rolls filled the air. As we roared out of our room, we saw toys under the tree, gifts with our names on them, bags of fruit, candy and cookies. Mom and Dad entered the living room and watched with large smiles. Within a matter of minutes, wrapping paper was everywhere. Laughter filled the air. We played for what seemed like hours; we played army, board games, sang and we were family! Mom called us to breakfast. As we sat down, Mom and Dad shared what Christmas is really about and the Christmas story was told. We said “grace” over that country breakfast and we were family, celebrating the greatest day of the year.
Now time has changed our family. But those simple memories of those holidays and family time long ago still burns bright to me. What I have learned and held true in my heart is one simple thing: that child-like faith can change the world. Through the eyes of a child we can see the good in mankind. We can reach out to others in love and respect. One Child changed the world for good and after some 2000 years, the Christ Child is still the most revered and talked about person to ever affect so many people for good. His life has life changing effects on all who believe.
I still believe.
Will Graham to Represent His Grandfather at the 126th Rose Parade, where Zamperini was to serve as Grand Marshall and will still be honored
CHARLOTTE, N.C. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will release a new documentary film on Dec. 25 called Louis Zamperini: Captured by Grace. Zamperini is also the subject of Universal Pictures’ Unbroken, the movie based on the best-selling book of the same name by Laura Hillenbrand.
Captured by Grace is a compelling, documentary-style film that chronicles Zamperini’s remarkable journey – from Olympic runner to WWII prisoner of war – all the way to his return home and encounter with Jesus Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles in 1949. The film includes recent interview footage of Zamperini sharing his complete story in his own words.
“I started to leave the tent meeting, and I felt awful guilty about my life,” Zamperini says about his experience at the 1949 Billy Graham Crusade held in a constructed tent on the corner of Washington and Hill streets in Los Angeles. “Yes, I had a lot of great times, a lot of great experience, a lot of escape from death, but I still didn’t like my life after the war. I came home alive. God kept His promise. I didn’t keep mine, and so I went forward and accepted Christ.”
“The heart of this story is when I found Christ as my Savior,” Zamperini continues. “That’s the heart of my whole life.”
Captured by Grace can be viewed online starting Dec. 25, and will be available via DVD as an offer of appreciation with any contribution to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information, to watch a short trailer for the film, or preorder a copy, visit www.billygraham.org/unbroken.
Zamperini, who passed away earlier this year, visited Billy Graham in June of 2011 at his home in Montreat, N.C. At age 94, he also visited the Billy Graham Library where he signed copies of the New York Times bestseller Unbroken and greeted many WWII veterans. Up until his passing, Zamperini was an inspirational speaker and shared his life-changing testimony at several of Graham’s Crusades, including San Francisco (1958) and Los Angeles (1963).
This coming New Year’s Day, Will Graham, at the request of the City of Torrance, will represent his grandfather Billy Graham at the 126th Rose Parade on Zamperini’s hometown float. The parade’s theme for 2015 is “Inspiring Stories.” Zamperini was selected earlier this year to be the Grand Marshall of the annual event, and despite his passing, the Tournament of Roses Committee decided to use the opportunity to honor his life.
We are excited to announce that Jeff Branam of Knoxville, TN will be joining Forever Changed as our baritone singer. Jeff has been singing most of his life, early on with his family, The Branams, and more recently as a soloist. Vernon Murphy will be leaving to spend more time with his family. Murphy has been a blessing to our music ministry for the past 2 ½ years and we wish him well. Please continue to pray for Forever Changed and Vernon Murphy as we continue to keep our eyes upon Him.
Mike, Becky& Dan
CHARLOTTE — Since recording his first CD, Lancer Entertainment and RedHen Record’s Bruce Hedrick said doors have just kept opening for him.
“It’s been a very prosperous and exciting year and it all started with the CD,” Hedrick said. “I really am hoping to continue with the momentum we have. I went to Nashville and recorded five songs with two on the radio. (The song) ‘Roses From God’ is climbing the charts and the music video is on TV on the Great American Gospel channel.”
The Mooresville native spent time in Nashville at the start of the year, recording his five-song country gospel album with other professional musicians. Getting to Nashville was a leap of faith in itself, considering it took his family’s support and a lot of their money to make it happen.
Since that time he’s been invited to perform several different places, including opening for Nashville recording artist Chris Janson for the Denver Fourth of July fireworks event and playing at the Green Room in Newton in October.
“That was the first place I could set a table with my own merchandise and bring my own CD,” he said of why it meant so much to him.
Most recently, Hendrick sang for the Charlotte Touchdown Club awards banquet Dec. 8. The event had several sports figures in attendance, including Steve Beulein and the University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, he said. There, he sang the national anthem for the first time and his hit song “A Better Man.”
Hedrick said it was great to be invited to an event where he recognized people he’d seen on television and to talk and take pictures with them.
Another pivotal moment this year was when he watched his music video for the first time with his manager Ronnie Caldwell.
“To be on national television with 40 million viewers. We didn’t have that last year,” he said. “It was an emotional time and deep down our chins were quivering.”
Hedrick also credits Caldwell for all of his help and the networking that has enabled him to get his name out.
“He has really put the right people around me to be successful,” Hedrick said.
Regardless of where his music career takes him, Hedrick doesn’t foresee himself not performing at area churches and nursing homes. He always wants to remember his roots.
Hedrick’s father preached and his mother sang. They bought Hedrick his first guitar at age 8 and he also learned piano from his mom, who died when he was 13. At the pressing of his wife, in 2007 Hedrick returned to church where he was inspired to sing country gospel throughout the community.
“Whether I’m using my talents on stage with the NFL or in a nursing home, I don’t see myself forgetting where I came from,” he said.
“I want to stay true to who I am,” he added. “They say I bless them, but they are a blessing to me. …When I play, the songs help them come alive and for a few moments they are not in a wheelchair, they are not sick. It blesses me.”
In the coming year he hopes to add more songs to his CD, continue to get his message out and make more music videos.
“I’m excited about 2015,” he said.
Artists Participating in this Year’s Bus Show Include Hunter Hayes, Jeff Bates, T.G. Sheppard, Kelly Lang, Danielle Peck, Jan Howard, Shelly West, Bryan White, Bo Bice, Buddy Jewell,
Nashville, TN Almost a thing of the past, and maybe even a little retro, the Bowling Family celebrated their #1 hit song “I Know Enough” penned by Marcia Bloodworth Henry and Belinda Smith with a #1 Party, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in several years.
Held at the home of Kathy Crabb Hannah, Kathy said, “We’re bringing #1 Parties back.”
It was a “Who’s Who” in Gospel music attending, including record company executives, producers, radio promoters, booking agents, publicists, and a host of artists. The industry turned out to show their support of this great family group.
Kelly Bowling stated, ” The Bowlings haven’t had a #1 song since our bus accident so this was a special accomplishment for the group. We appreciate all the hard work by the people that believe in us and who worked to assist us in getting this accomplished.”
Sharing in the experience was the youngest member of the group, Hope Bowling, who’s father, Mike Bowling said, “At thirteen years old, Hope may be the youngest person in Southern Gospel music to be on a #1 song.”, to which Hope quickly chimed in “I was thirteen, now I’m fourteen” as the people erupted in laughter.
Their latest #1 song was a long time coming, but celebrated with style and class. Mike stated, “We had this song on hold for 4 1/2 years but after the accident it became our testimony and told the story of exactly how we felt in our faith that God would bring us through.”
The song is from their Safe After The Storm CD.
Nashville, TN (December 9, 2014) — HUCKABEE shines the spotlight on Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Fame member RAY PRICE with a feature on the music icon that includes an intimate interview with Ray’s widow, Janie, music from the late performer’s last studio CD, BEAUTY IS … the final sessions, and more. The number one rated weekend show on the Fox News Channel airs Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET. The show broadcasts just days prior to the first anniversary of Price’s death on December 16, 2013.
“Ray and the Governor were old friends,” observes Janie. “And Ray appeared on the show several times over the years. Mike is a gracious host, an avid fan and a talented musician in his own right. It was an honor to appear at his side.”
Janie continues to support her husband’s musical legacy, and she recently appeared in a special documentary-style “Backstage Pass” episode of the nationally-syndicated television show, Texas Music Scene, and in an in-depth feature on Examiner.com.
BEAUTY IS … (Amerimonte Records) is available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations, Hastings, Walmart, and online retailers including Amazon. The project was produced by Grammy award-winning hit maker and Price’s long-time friend, Fred Foster.
Price counted many friends, among them Willie Nelson, who comments, “Ray was the best singer. He was my best friend and will be missed. His recording of “It Always Will Be” says it all!”
Larry Gatlin states, “There’s a big difference between style and class and Mr. Price had both – in spades.”
Marty Stuart observes, “Ray’s last recordings are a powerful bookend to one of the greatest bodies of work in the history of Country music. What a treasure.”
NASHVILLE, TN (December 8, 2014) —- Members of the highly-popular Duck Dynasty television family, (Miss) Kay, Al and Lisa Robertson, received enthusiastic responses on a recent media trip through Dallas, TX and Oklahoma City, OK.
the ABC, NBC and CBS television outlets, Oklahoman newspaper and KTOK/iHeart Radio in support of their upcoming in-store book signing at Mardel Christian and Education. Five-hundred fans filled the retail store at mid-day to get autographs and meet the A&E stars, who stayed beyond their allotted time to accommodate everyone in the waiting line.
4th Annual ICCAN RoundUp January 30th 2015 Find Out More Info Here