Landon Villines Releases New Album It Had To Be God

Landon Villines Releases New Album It Had To Be God
Landon Villines Releases New Album It Had To Be God

Compton, Arkansas  Up and coming young Gospel artist Landon Villines is excited to announce the release of his first full length CD. Full of new songs by such awarded writers as Ronnie Hinson and Jeff Steele, this album captures something for every generation.

Produced by Darrell Freeman of  the Freemans, the project has been a long time coming for Landon. He had dreamed of making this CD a reality for a long time.

Landon commented, “Darrell Freeman, outdid himself on making this everything I thought it would be and a hundred times more. My ultimate goals on this CD were to create a sound and style that every listener would enjoy and to encourage the listener that no matter what you’re going through God already has the answer.”

Background vocalist Chris Freeman stated, “I have always had a place in my heart for the youth in Gospel music, since I was just 17 when I came into this Industry. Today I believe the youth are still our future and are leading strong. Landon is one of the most promising up and coming new artists and he sure to make a great impression on hearts and a statement of faith for who he serves and knows what he is singing about. I feel blessed that I was a small part of on his new project ‘It Had To Be God’.

.Villines is only 20 years old and already been singing full time for three years. He fully believes your answer is coming and when it does, everyone around you will surely say, “It Had To Be God”.

Coming from a very musical family, Landon’s mother wrote “It Must Have Been Hard To Resist” and sings some backup of the song. Also, Landon’s sister, Emily Villines and his cousin Hannah Villines sang backup on “Better Days”.

Be looking for Landon’s first national radio single “When I Lay My Isaac Down” going out in the next several weeks.

The song list includes:

1. He Will Come Through — Tim & Lana Chandler

2. Unshakable — Ronny Hinson & Darrell Freeman

3. When I Lay My Isaac Down — Billy Fields

4. I’m Raised — Jeff Steele

5. Better Days – Joshua Jordan

6. He’s Got a Miracle For You — Ronny Hinson

7. It Must Have Been Hard to Resist — Becky Villines

8. It Had to be God — Ronny Hinson

9. I’ve Got It — Unknown

10. Rough Side of the Mountain — Rev. F. C. Barnes

You can learn more about Landon Villines by going to his webpage at or on FaceBook at .

To book Landon contact or call 870-416-6093

Sherry Anne: One Nation (not) Under God…

Sherry Anne
Sherry Anne

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I had the incredible opportunity to walk where Jesus walked—the Holy Land of Israel. Along with picturesque scenery, it was heartwarming to see a remnant of the Jewish people who have held fast in prayer; praying for their nation, their families, and the preservation of their land. I saw young Hebrew children playing kickball within the walls of Jerusalem, while orthodox mothers pushed their infants in strollers as their husbands— muttering prayers by their side— were careful not to look upon us, the Gentiles.

I felt compassion for them— love and affection, too; but, also, a certain amount of discontentedness was stirring. I was moved by their devotion to God, community and faith…and yes, to their “TRADITION!” I was convicted and challenged to live a deeper and more holy life than I ever have before. No, not so that I might be saved and earn a free pass to Heaven by my “good works” as many of the devout mistakenly think. Scripture clearly indicates that we are saved (i.e. forgiven of the penalty of our sin) by His grace, given to us through faith, not by any “good” thing we have done to earn it. (Eph: 2:8-9). Thank goodness! How many “good things” would I need to do to be “good enough” for a most holy God if this were not the case? Think about that!

So, then, I do the things that I do (and avoid doing other things) to be a witness: a good example of one who believes in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, in order that I might lead people to a consecrated life. Still, upon visiting Israel, my thoughts turned to repentance, both personally and nationally. I became increasingly mournful of the state of our nation. One could clearly see just how far we have all been led astray from God and His will for our lives…

These last few years, I have been reading through the Bible very intentionally: studying every footnote, chart, graph and cross reference in order that I might balance out the teachings of the “new” testament with that of the “old.” I especially enjoyed reading through the prophets and was utterly distressed by the waywardness of God’s people! Yes, God’s people! Throughout Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and many other texts, God sent His loving warnings and admonitions for the sake of His people, yet they wouldn’t hear and change their wicked ways.

Does this not happen today? Are there not “voices crying out in the wilderness,” calling people into a deeper relationship with Him? Are there not evangelists, prophets, teachers, pastors and apostles building the kingdom of God… or at least trying to? Be advised, I am not necessarily talking about high-profile personalities—some with a knack for financial marketing and/or other agendas. I am talking about godly people living godly lives and sharing the good news of the gospel that proclaims liberty to captives and sets free those who are bound. (Isaiah 61:1)

Continue reading Sherry Anne: One Nation (not) Under God…

Revisiting the Grand Ole’ Gospel Reunion 2014

Jordan's Bridge at GOGR
Jordan’s Bridge at GOGR

By Dean Adkins

Since 1988, the Grand Ole’ Gospel Reunion has been a highlight for many Southern Gospel Music fans. Once again, hundreds of GOGR for news section. oneSGM devotees gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, South Carolina, to enjoy the events that started Wednesday evening, August 13, 2014 and ended Saturday, August,16, 2014.

The events of the GOGR began with a get-together for those who gathered early and GOGR for news section.twowere staying at the hotel. This was appropriately called “Charlie’s Party” since it was hosted by promoter, Charlie Waller. Typically, light refreshments are served and Charlie showed a video that included clips of many of the icons of Southern Gospel Music. Music was also provided and this year; Freedom Quartet, GOGR for news section. fourthe Melody Boys Quartet, the Florida Boys, Jeff Stice and others got the event started.

Although evening concerts featured current groups and many legends, I would like to focus on a few unique aspects of the GOGR.

GOGR_2014_0046 (1)The GOGR has sometimes been described as the place where the legends return and this once again, rang true. One of SGM’s most beloved characters, Little Willie Wynn, served as emcee for the evening concerts and he also thrilled the audience with his distinct tenor voice during the late night jam session. Bill Shaw, who sang tenor for the Blackwood Brothers for well over 20 years, once again took the stage to thunderous applause. The crowd was amazed at the vocal artistry of this 90-year-old.

One of the more poignant moments was during a jam session when Bill Crowe, former member of the Blue Ridge Quartet, joined L.D. Young (Couriers), Charles Yates (Speer Family), Buddy Burton (Statesmen and others) and Larry Parker (Southmen) to sing “When I’ve Gone the Last Mile of the Way.” Other legends who took the stage were Sue Dodge, Les Beasley, Tommy Atwood, Derrell Stewart, Gerald Williams, Archie Watkins and Jack Clark.ach year an individual is added to the Piano Roll of Honor. A program featuring the pianists attending the event preceded the announcement of the honoree. This year selections were performed by Jack Clark, Derrell Stewart, Jonathan Sawrie, Ellen Marsh, L.D. Young and others. The final performance was by Jeff Stice who was named as this year’s recipient of the honor. In response to the urging by the audience, he played “Last Date” in Floyd Cramer style. Throughout the event, Jeff happily joined many of the groups and added his unique styling to their vocals.

The GOGR has also been a place where groups or individuals get their start. One of the first big events where the Booth Brothers performed was the GOGR. Devin McGlamery (Ernie Haase and Signature Sound) was featured there when he was a youngster. The Dove Brothers also had their first major appointment at the GOGR. This year Charlie introduced the Gospel Messengers, a trio consisting of Bart Southerd and his sons, Dennis and Daniel. The audience especially loved the high tenor vocals of 12-year-old Daniel. This family was well received and has a bright future ahead of them in this genre.

Charlie also likes to add a surprise group to the program and this year was no different. Since the Chuck Wagon Gang was unavailable, the Station Wagon Gang filled their slot. This group consisted of Randy Shelnut, Buddy Burton and two ladies. Actually the ladies were Josh Pope (Florida Boys) and Willie Wynn attired in beautiful dresses. They sang “Higher”, which was really appropriate since Willie used to sing it when the Oak Ridge Boys would mimic the CWG in the Go Out To The Program routine.

Another enjoyable aspect of the GOGR was the late night Jam Session. Jonathan Sawrie was the emcee and his dry sense of humor kept the program moving. The groups that sang during the evening concert usually performed but one of the favorite aspects is the “spur of the moment” or Scrap Iron group. It is always interesting to see how individuals who have never performed together can gel and sound as if they have been together for years. The Sheltons, two brothers and two sisters who performed years ago, re-combined and thrilled the audience with their smooth family harmony.

SGN Scoops would encourage readers to mark their calendars for next year’s Grand Ole’ Gospel Reunion, an event that should not be missed. For more information, visit

By Dean Adkins

Photographs courtesy of Joe Lane and Jordan’s Bridge, Dean Adkins, Gayla Fooks

First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in September 2014. For current issues of SGN Scoops visit the SGN Scoops mainpage.




By Robert York
It’s a Southern thing to eat catfish and enjoy Southern Gospel music  at the same time.  Recently I was in Gadsden, Alabama at the Top O’

Waitress with Catfish
Waitress with Catfish

The River Restaurant for one of many of the concerts that Pat Adkison hosts. Their speciality is catfish but there are other things also on the menu. You are seated at a table with a stack of pie pans to eat from. The server takes your order and brings your drink, a skillet of hot cornbread, butter, pickled onions and a metal measuring cup of cold slaw.  After you eat you get to enjoy a couple hours of Southern Gospel music.

A great group from the Gadsden area, Exodus, was on the program.  They have a great following in the area and appear


on almost all of the concerts there.  We had heard them previously, back in March when they appeared at the Southern Gospel Weekend in Oxford, AL. They are planning on being there again next year.

Exodus consists of Mike Watson, Susan Brady and Mary Scott.  This group is not related but if you ever hear them sing you will certainly think that they are a family group, as their harmony is like family


harmony. They state on their website, “We sing for the Glory of God, and our goal is  to minister to people in song and in testimony.”  They sing a lot of dates mostly in the Alabama area but if you are interested you can contact them on their website. or on their face book page.

To check out the concert schedule at Top O’ The River Restaurant, click HERE.
Catfish courtesy

Catfish courtesy

DJ Spotlight With Vonda Easley: Donnie Cox

Donnie Cox
Donnie Cox

The great state of Michigan is home to Quartet Time and radio personality, Donnie Cox. We placed Donnie under the Gospel music DJ Spotlight and here is what he had to share with us:


Vonda: What was your first job in Southern Gospel music?


Donnie: My first job in Southern Gospel music was 38 years ago. I was on the air Sunday mornings from 6:00 to 10:00am. We did not have a Christian radio station in the area, but Flint had a very Southern influence so it fit perfectly. For the past several years now God has allowed us to be syndicated in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and New York.


Vonda: What is your favorite Southern Gospel memory thus far?


Donnie: I have a ton of memories, but none as memorable as when we asked for prayer for an eight-year-old boy who needed a kidney transplant. There was a big search going on and a listener donated one of his kidneys to this little boy. The man died a year later, and last I knew, the little boy who is in his 30’s is still alive. God used us to help save a life.


Vonda: What is your favorite hobby?


Donnie: I am a Certified Master Barbecue Cook. I specialize in smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, etc. I have a small catering business with all Southern barbecue. Obviously, my family comes from the South!


Vonda: If you were not a Radio DJ, what would you most likely be doing?


Donnie: If I were not a DJ in Gospel Music, I would be a talk show host, talking to folks about their lives. After 38 years on the air, I have learned many things about people. I know I could help people. I love sharing God with listeners. There is such a need for it.


Vonda: What are your goals for the coming year?


Donnie: My goal for the year is to continue to play Southern Gospel music and to seek God’s will for my life. God uses common people to do uncommon things.

Donnie and Judy Cox
Donnie and Judy Cox

Donnie has hosted Quartet Time for over 35 years and his wife Judy, joined him as co- host in 1999. Quartet Time is currently broadcast from WSNL 600 AM in Flint, Michigan. Please check out his website at

Thanks Donnie for sharing with us!

Vonda Easley
Vonda Easley

 Vonda Easley hosts the Strictly Southern Show on every Friday from 10:00am to 12:00noon EST.

The Strictly Southern Show with Vonda Easley features Gospel music old and new, local events, special guests and various surprises along the way.

Join Vonda Easley and all of her friends on the Strictly Southern Show every Friday, streaming live on

Strictly Southern With Vonda Easley
Strictly Southern With Vonda Easley


DJ Spotlight with Vonda Easley is a monthly column in the SGN Scoops digital magazine. For current issues of SGN Scoops click HERE.



NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Mike Huckabee, Dr. Tony Evans and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly are set to headline The Main Event – LifeWay’s Conference for Men, to be held at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium June 19 and 20. The Main Event will feature keynote addresses by Huckabee, former Baptist pastor, Governor of Arkansas and Fox News host; Evans, best-selling author of more than 50 titles and senior pastor of Dallas’ Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship; and Kelly, a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, who played for the Buffalo Bills from 1986–1996, leading them to four consecutive Super Bowls.

Other speakers at The Main Event will include David Akers, six-time NFL Pro Bowl placekicker, and Bryan Carter, senior pastor of Concord Church in Dallas. In addition, Dove Award-winning Fervent recording artist Big Daddy Weave will be leading worship throughout the conference.

“It is our hope that The Main Event is an experience churches use to connect men, launch them into a life of discipleship, and help them engage their mission to share the Gospel,” said Jason Ellerbrook, LifeWay Men’s Ministry Leader. “Gov. Huckabee, Dr. Evans and Jim Kelly will be sharing how their relationship with Jesus Christ has changed their life and equipped them to be godly husbands, fathers and neighbors. Our purpose is to build an army of leaders who will follow Christ—and change the world.”

Prior to The Main Event in Nashville, there will be a special Pastor and Leader Pre-Conference earlier June 19 at Nevaeh Valley Ranch in Franklin. Attendees will hear speakers from the church, business and sports worlds, with lunch included.

Since the inaugural The Main Event at Nashville’s Curb Center in 2013, more than 14,000 men have attended the conference. Last year’s gathering drew more than 9000 to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. This year The Main Event is expanding to multiple cities for the first time, including Vancouver, Washington (April 17–18), and Kansas City, Missouri (July 17–18).

For registration and further information on The Main Event, visit

Younger Perspective: Autumn Nelon Clark

Autumn Nelon Clark

By Erin Stevens (2014)

Last year, I sat down with Amber Nelon Thompson to talk about her life on the road. This time around, it’s her sister, Autumn’s turn to take the spotlight. Enjoy the next few moments as you get to know The Nelons‘ youngest daughter, who as of late has been stepping up and joining her family on stage. Oh, and if you’re in need of mandolin lessons, or the best place to get crab legs, I have just the girl to put you in contact with! The floor’s yours, Autumn…

Erin: As a little girl, did you imagine yourself singing with your family?
Autumn: I guess it’s just part of my DNA. I’ve never really had another pursuit, music is my life and I’ve always loved it.

Erin: What does a typical roadie day in the life of Autumn Nelon Clark look like?
Autumn: After a restful sleep in my bunk, I practice my mandolin, usually eat lunch with our crew, study school work that normally may not get finished, and help load our gear into the venue for the concert that night. By that point, it’s time to sing!

Erin: On social media, it has become apparent that you’ve become quite the musician. Tell us what your fingers have taken to?
Autumn: Well, I love Bluegrass music! So the mandolin is by far my favorite instrument. Once I got a little more comfortable with it, I got a banjolin which is the same thing, just sounds like a banjo. This is what I’m up to when I’m not singing.

Erin: Would you consider yourself: A (the prankster) B (the comedian) or C (the one who NEVER gets in trouble)?
Autumn: Hmm, I’ll go with C (the one who NEVER gets in trouble). Oh no, I’m only joking! It’s probably more accurate to choose B (the comedian). What can I say? I like to have fun!

Continue reading Younger Perspective: Autumn Nelon Clark


The Guardians
The Guardians

The Guardians are humbled to be included in the Singing News Fan Awards Top 5 nominees for Favorite New Trio. We are thankful for the opportunity to minister and for the songs that touch people’s hearts. Our desire is to serve the Lord and spread the gospel however He leads. We so much appreciate and thank our friends that have been blessed by our ministry and took the time to vote.

– Dean Hickman, The Guardians

Jeff Stice Announces Homecoming

Jeff Stice
Jeff Stice

Brownsville, KY Award winning Gospel musician Jeff Stice is announcing the Jeff Stice Homecoming. As a part of several successful groups, Jeff has been a part of many Homecoming concerts, but this time it’s personal. Jeff is inviting all of his family, fans, and friends to join him for his own Homecoming Concert.

Jeff commented, “It’s going to be a great night of fun and beautiful Gospel music. My special guest will be The Chuckwagon Gang featuring their down home brand of music. I’m so excited I can hardly wait.”

This special event will be held at the Edmonson County High School in Brownsville, Kentucky on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 7:00PM. That’s just a few days away. You can find out more information about the concert and tickets by calling 270-791-0235 .

You can learn more about Jeff Stice at or his FaceBook page at . He can be Twittered at .

To book Jeff contact Beckie at the Beckie Simmons Agency or call 615-595-7500.