Church of God Convention 2014: Meet the Worship Leaders!
Compiled by Carl Stagner
If you’re a musician, you know that a high F above double high C is pretty high. Church of God vocalist Sandi Patty is known for such glass-shattering high notes, but did you know she was born in Oklahoma? Sandi will join Sidewalk Prophets, Alanna Story, and Ashmont Hill at the Church of God Convention 2014, as part of a stellar lineup of God-given talent. Which of these artists are regularly featured on K-LOVE radio? Which come from the largest Church of God congregation in America? Which group’s name is really a fusion of the names of the two founding members? Read on to find out and get to know your worship leaders before you join them in Oklahoma City this June.
With five Grammy awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records, five gold records, and eleven million units sold, Sandi Patty is simply known as “The Voice.” Sandi is the most-awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history, with forty Dove Awards. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and recognized as an Indiana Living Legend in 2007. She has released more than thirty albums, including The Edge of the Divine (2010), her latest Dove Award–winning album. Sandi is also the author of several books, including the bestseller Broken on the Back Row. Sandi and husband Don have eight children. After many years in Indiana, Sandi has returned to the Sooner State. Sandi and Don reside in Oklahoma City.
Best-known for hits like “The Words I Would Say,” “You Love Me Anyway,” and “Live Like That,” Sidewalk Prophets have established a powerful presence for themselves on the contemporary Christian music scene. In 2010, they won the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, and in 2011, they were nominated for a Dove Award as Group of the Year. In 2013, Sidewalk Prophets announced their first Christmas release, Merry Christmas to You. The band comprises lead singer Dave Frey, lead guitarist Shaun Tomczak, rhythm guitarist Ben McDonald, bassist Cal Joslin, and drummer Justin Nace. Founding members Dave and Ben are Anderson University alumni. Tune into K-LOVE and other contemporary Christian radio stations and you’ll be sure to hear Sidewalk Prophets.
Anna Hodge and Ally West have had a love for music since they were very young. As these sisters grew in their walks with God, they found music to not only be their response to the things they experienced—both painful and beautiful things—but also a way to connect to the heart of God and help others do so. In 2008, Alanna Story officially began and formed into a family, comprising Ally’s husband, Stephen (electric guitar); Anna’s husband, Ben (drums); and Joel Burkhead (bass), whom the girls consider a brother. Having grown up in a Church of God pastor’s home, they now minister at youth conventions and worship gatherings across the country, even as they continue to lead worship each week at Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. Ally + Anna = Alanna Story.
Noted for its mix of modern and classic designs, Boston’s historic Ashmont Hill district has long earned the adulation of admirers for its architecturally diverse makeup. Interestingly, that very same approach of embracing innovation while revering past styles has earned the band Ashmont Hill similar acclaim. The group has produced three albums that have topped the Billboard Gospel Album charts: Ashmont Hill (2008), Your Masterpiece (2010), and The Maze (2013). Phil Thompson, April Joy Thompson, and Deborah Bullock—children of Gideon Thompson, pastor of the largest Church of God congregation in the country (Jubilee Christian Church, Boston, Massachusetts)— together with Wil Bullock, make up this stellar contemporary-Christian-meets-gospel music group.
It’s not too late to register for the Church of God Convention at www.chogconvention.org! There you’ll also find an event schedule, lodging information, promotional materials, and more.