Thursday, March 14, 2013

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2012

By Rhonda Frye

The 2012 Creekside Gospel Music Convention came to a close, Wednesday, October 31, but great
memories are etched in hearts and minds forever! Friendships were made; achievements were
celebrated as well as awards were presented. We experienced an incredible three days and are already
looking forward to next year’s Creekside Gospel Music Convention! Dates for next year’s event are
October 28, 29, 30. We will gather again in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at the Smoky Mountain Convention

The Creekside Gospel Music Convention got started off right with prayer and then announcements.
Paul Danis of LIVE-IT spoke briefly about their work in Sevier County and expressed gratefulness for the
raised awareness of the ministry and for the items donated. Channing Eleton then set the tone for the
evening with a beautiful piano prelude.

Phil Cross, Chariot, Promise, Kingston Drive and Channing Eleton blessed the crowd before the
Celebration for Ms. Lou Hildreth began. At 7:00, Channing started the Celebration with “Joyful, Joyful”
and then the evening’s host, Tim Lovelace was introduced. J.P.Miller, coordinator of the night’s
program shared a few comments regarding Lou Hildreth, and then Ms. Lou thanked everyone for

Many friends and family gathered to honor Lou Hildreth for 75 years of outstanding service in the
Gospel Music Industry. Many industry dignitaries were present including representatives from the
Singing News, Christian Voice, Homecoming Magazine and Southern Gospel Times. There was great
music including performances by Phil Cross, Ann Downing, The Blackwoods, Clayton Inman, David
Sutton, Jeff Stice, the Southmen and Ava Kasich as well as memorable video clip messages from Larry
Gatlin, Larry Ford and Bill Gaither. There were special presentations from Dr. Jim Moss, a founder of
PTL, Rick Francis of Singing News Magazine and John Lanier of Christian Voice Magazine.

Smiling continuously, it was obvious Ms. Lou enjoyed every performance, every kind word spoken
and each presentation given! Ms. Lou shares, “My heart is overflowing with THANKS to Rob Patz,
President Coastal Media, and Rhonda Frye, Editor-In-Chief of SGNScoops, for honoring me with
the "Celebration Of 75 Years In Gospel Music.” JP Miller, my TV co-host, helped coordinate the
event, and I basked in the fabulous artists, their music, and their tributes. Pat Mathis and her crew
from Atlanta's TV 57, WATC, taped this memorable evening for a TV special to be shown later. Howard
and I joined our son David, daughter Kathryn, and many family members who were there, in gratitude to
all who joined us in celebrating. May the Glory go to our Heavenly Father who blesses beyond anything
we can ask or imagine!”

There couldn’t been a more fitting closure to the celebration than reading of scripture followed by
worship. Ellen Moss, wife of Dr. Jim Moss held the crowd captivated as she read God’s Word. Many
artists and family members squeezed onto the stage for a finale of “Bless The Lord, Oh My Soul/ How
Great Thou Art” medley.

Reflecting on the special celebration, J.P. Miller shares, “What a great time we had honoring Lou
Hildreth. Artists, fans, and Industry professionals piled into Pigeon Forge to pay tribute to a founder of
the industry we have today. Lou's life is a life lived to bless the Lord.”

Great Gospel Music followed Ms. Lou’s Celebration with performances by Declaration Trio and more.
It was truly an incredible first day at Creekside!

Early Tuesday morning, a few brave souls braved the chilly weather and enjoyed a chapel service.
John Mathis Jr. challenged participants with a message of “Being Faithful In The Small Things.” By noon,
Gospel Music filled the Convention Center once again with performances by Faith’s Journey, Lindsay
Huggins, Jim Sheldon, Logan Smith, Chariot, Shannon Knight and many more wonderful artists! Music
continued throughout the afternoon, right up until time for the Diamond Awards Show.

Excitement filled the room as special guest performers arrived. It was truly a great time of fellowship
and posing for pictures! Special Performances by Watts, Rowsey and Bean, Phil Stacey, the Griffins plus
more kept the audience blessed and entertained leading up to the Diamond Awards Show.

After a few opening words from the owner of Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Rob Patz, the
hosts for the evening, Christy Sutherland and Daniel Ball took the reins of the program. The night
included humor along with great performances from Christy Sutherland, The Ball Brothers, Promise, Phil
Stacey, Declaration, Ann Downing, Watts, Rowsey & Bean, The Williamsons, Logan Smith, David Bryan,
The Porter Family, and Faith’s Journey.

The Diamond Awards in years past has taken a special interest in featuring brand new groups. This
year’s show was no exception. A brand new group, Crosby Lane made their debut and an incredible first
impression. Crosby Lane was received well by the audience.

During the Diamond Awards Show, there was a special acoustic act by two special multi-Diamond
Award Winners who are also songwriter/ artist plus father/ son. Gerald and Jason Crabb moved the
audience with a tender performance of “Sometimes I Cry!” In fact, it was so special; they sang it twice
and the crowd completely “ate it up!” What an experience!

A tearful, yet poised and composed Sheri Easter shared the story of how songwriters Joel Lindsey and
Wayne Haun came to her home as she battled breast cancer and penned the Diamond Award Song of
the Year, “Hear My Heart.” Sheri performed the song beautifully and flawlessly and the crowd loved it!

Throughout the night, final nominees and award winners were announced in 23 different categories.
The Diamond Awards are fan based, fan driven! Be sure to read the complete list of 2012 Diamond
Award Winners, located in this issue of SGNScoops magazine as well as The opening
round of nominations will begin Monday, February 18, 2013. The winners will be announced during the
Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2013.

Fellowship and more gospel music continued following the Diamond Awards bringing day two of the
Creekside Gospel Music Convention to a close.

Wednesday morning, John Mathis Jr. encouraged hearts with a powerful message about the Power of
the Gospel! He reminded us; the simple message of the gospel still penetrates hearts and changes lives.

On Wednesday afternoon and evening, many incredible artists claimed the stage and brought the
house down! Creekside Gospel Music Convention presented fresh and new faces on Wednesday and
other times during the three-day event. What talent was displayed and what sweet spirits rejoiced in
the presence of God! There were several “God-bump” producing performances, for sure!

Ms. Saran Chumley of Renaissance Revival gave an astounding performance of “We Shall Behold
Him” resulting in a standing ovation. Lindsey Huggins made us all proud to be Americans as she sang
“God Bless America” with conviction, beauty and power. Omega teamed up with Kevin Harry delivering
a mighty “Midnight Cry” and Omega, Ally and Rhonda Frye joined Lisa Herald for a hand-clappin’ foot
stompin’ “This Little Light of Mine.”

During the Convention also performing was Bev McCan, Pine Ridge Boys, Hearts of Faith, Renaissance
Revival, In His Image Quartet, Reflection of Grace, Promise, Tony Corner, Paul Parr, Ava Kasich, Ally &
Rhonda Frye, Redemption Road, Truth Trio, and Mark Aldred. Although there is not enough space to
adequately describe each performance, it is safe to say each artist during the entire event gave 100% of
their hearts and souls and performed with excellence!

To sum up the 2012 Creekside Gospel Music Convention….“sweet spirit” comes to mind. This was our
first event, and the sweet spirit of cooperation, flexibility and love toward one another truly ruled. We
believe 2012 was just the beginning and God has great things in store!

There are many people to be thanked! Thank you to Andrea Thone and the entire staff at Smoky
Mountain Convention Center. This staff went over and above exceeding all expectations in the months
leading up to the convention and extended excellence the entire three days!

Thank you to Paul Danis of LIVE-IT for allowing us to partner with your ministry. Also, thank you to
each person that made a donation to this ministry, it was deeply appreciated!

Special thanks to Branham Productions for doing a great job with the difficult task of running the

Thank you to Ken and Jean Grady of Gospel Music Today, to Dale Burress and Southern Style Praise
for media coverage. Also special thanks to Pat Mathis of Channel 57 out of Atlanta for taping Ms. Lou’s
Celebration and the Diamond Awards!

Thank you to our staff at SGNScoops- Angela and Tim Griffin, Holly May, Sandi Duncan Clark, Lorraine
Walker, and Jonathan Edwards along with our friends, Faith Pearcey and J.P. Miller for working many
hours behind the scenes to make the 2012 Creekside Gospel Music Convention a success!

Please make plans to be with us for the Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2013 on October
28,29,30 at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge. Many artists have committed to
return and we’re already working together to make next year’s event even better for all involved.

We’ll see you there, but in the meantime, check our website frequently for updates at http:// and please invite your friends and family to participate
next year too! Also, check out our photo gallery on the SGNScoops Facebook page!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh! I was there. It was wonderful! Also, I really liked this convention center a lot. I am thinking of booking it for my anniversary party. It is also very much affordable. We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary and I am very excited about the party because many of my cousins are going to meet after a very long time.