A new kind of gospel mu­sic

New Again of­fers up pro­gres­sive south­ern gospel

The Covington News - - Religion - By Colleen Capes Jack­son

Ed Nolan has 30 years ex­pe­ri­ence singing with gospel groups such as the Mor­ris Stan­cil Quar­tet, the Fish­er­men, the Dar­ryl Lundy Singers and Home­ward Bound. In De­cem­ber 2007, God gave him a vi­sion to step out in faith and or­ga­nize a new group. Call­ing on friends, Greg and Wendy Cham­bers and Holly McCul­lough, New Again was formed. Plans are in place for Pete Free­man to join the group as bass player.

“Our genre is best de­scribed as pro­gres­sive south­ern gospel,” ex­plained Nolan. “I love the a cap­pella sound of our group and the close har­mony — spir­i­tu­ally and vo­cally. That is what I want our group to be known for.”

In­spired by Rev­e­la­tions 21:5, “And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Be­hold, I make all things new,’” the mem­bers are com­mit­ted to the Word of God and ded­i­cated to the Lord Je­sus Christ.

The group spoke about the sig­nif­i­cance of prayer, both at prac­tices and per­for­mances, and will of­fer a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to those who have not ac­cepted Christ as their sav­ior.

“I want to make sure that Je­sus is seen and his mes­sage is pre­sented,” said Nolan. “That’s what we are all about.”

Greg Cham­bers said that the group strives to be in tune with God 100 per­cent of the time, not only when they are singing but in their ev­ery day walk.

“When you’re stand­ing up there, you see ev­ery­one’s emo­tions,” said Cham­bers as he ex­plained the im­por­tance of fol­low­ing the lead­ing of the Holy Spirit. “I might tell Ed to sing an­other verse be­cause I can see God mov­ing on a per­son. We don’t want to kick into the wrong song and quench the spirit.”

En­cour­aged by his mother who taught him to play the gui­tar when he was 8 years old; Nolan learned early that he also had a God-given tal­ent to play the pi­ano.

“When I was 6 years old, my sis­ter had fin­ished tak­ing her les­son for the day, and I sat down at the pi­ano and played by ear ex­actly what she had just played,” re­called Nolan. “She gave up her pi­ano lessons and told mother, ‘there is your pi­ano player.’”

Nolan played the tuba in the Blue Ram­bler Band at New­ton County High School and is ac­com­plished on the bass gui­tar, or­gan and banjo. Nolan re­mem­bers be­ing in­spired by a child who sang at his church, real- iz­ing that was some­thing he wanted to do one day.

“When I was 9 years old and we were at­tend­ing East Litho­nia Bap­tist Church, one of my fond­est mem­o­ries was see­ing this lit­tle girl stand­ing up in front of the church and singing,” said Nolan. “They would have to put her up on a chair – her name was Brenda Lee.”

A new mem­ber of Ste­wart Bap­tist Church, Nolan has served as church pi­anist since the age of 14 and be­came the choir di­rec­tor at the age of 18 and served in those ca­pac­i­ties un­til 2000. He is em­ployed by GRN Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Board.

Greg Cham­ber’s fa­ther was a Pen­te­costal preacher who put up gospel tents across the coun­try and his mother sang in a gospel group. As a child, Cham­bers lived in a bus for 12 years and was home-schooled.

“I would meet a friend and leave a friend,” he rem­i­nisced. “I al­ways said I would never go down that same road, but God has called me in that same di­rec­tion.”

Doc­tors gave the fam­ily lit­tle hope that Cham­bers would live past his child­hood. In ad­di­tion to suf­fer­ing from asthma and eczema, his body was cov­ered with warts to the ex­tent that he could hardly open his eyes.

“A preacher un­der a gospel tent prayed for me and by the time I got home, there were only four warts left, two on my head and one on my thumb and leg,” said Cham­bers. “Since then, only two re­main on my head.”

Cham­bers bat­tled al­ler­gies the en­tire time he and his wife per­formed in a gospel group. The cou­ple took a year off to de­vote time to church and fam­ily and to re­store Greg’s health. Cham­bers found out he was al­ler­gic to ev­ery­thing ex­cept nine things which in­cluded salt and pep­per.

“All this time he was al­ler­gic to chicken, nuts and straw­ber­ries and all the good foods that churches gave us at home­com­ings,” said his wife.

In 1997 Cham­bers reded­i­cated his life to Christ. He works for Com­plete Truck Body in Gay as the plant man­ager/part owner. As pres­i­dent of the South Coweta Lit­tle League Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, he cred­its his board for back­ing him up in mak­ing it clear that there would be no games on Wed­nes­day and Sun­day to al­low fam­i­lies to at­tend church.

“I give my tes­ti­mony as I work with the kids,” said Cham­bers, ex­plain­ing how he helps them get into lo­cal churches.

Al­though Wendy Cham­bers was not raised in church, she went with a Chris­tian friend and knew the Lord was speak­ing to her at age 15.

“Ev­ery­thing in my friend’s home was Chris­tian from the books, games and movies,” she said.

As an adult, Wendy turned her life over to Christ. She was en­cour­aged by a co-worker’s strength in the face of ad­ver­sity.

“My friend’s hus­band had com­mit­ted sui­cide and her daugh­ter blamed her — yet she was happy,” said Wendy. “She never told me I was go­ing to die and go to hell if I didn’t change my ways. She showed me how good God was to her in spite of what had hap­pened. I wanted that hap­pi­ness.”

In­spired by her mother-in­law’s album, Wendy started singing in church in 1999. A mem­ber of West Sunny Side Church, she was choir di­rec­tor un­til re­cently and is em­ployed by Com­plete Truck Body.

Holly McCul­lough ac­cepted Christ at 14. She sang at the Bap­tist Taber­na­cle and cred­its Janie Roberts with her train­ing. McCul­lough in­her­ited her love for singing from her grand­mother and dad.

“My grand­mother used to sing ‘The Light­house’ and I sang it to my son, Jeremy Dial,” she re­called.

McCul­lough, who is em­ployed as a private nanny, sings at ban­quets, wed­dings and at the Open Air Re­vival for her church, Ju­lia Porter UMC.

“My heart is blessed to know God loves me so much to give me the op­por­tu­nity to sing with New Again,” she said. “I feel that the Lord has big plans to use us. We are go­ing to keep shar­ing the gospel as far as he takes us.”

The spouses play an im­por­tant role in the group. Tom McCul­lough op­er­ates the sound equip­ment and Pat Nolan is the fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor.

Both Ed Nolan and Greg Cham­bers have writ­ten songs which will ap­pear on their forth­com­ing album. Their sec­ond album will be ded­i­cated to the sa­cred hymns.

With a de­sire to en­dear them­selves to those who come out to share in their min­istry, New Again will be at Buck­ner’s Fam­ily Restau­rant in Jack­son, at 8 p.m. on Feb. 29 singing fa­vorites, “New Day Dawn­ing” by the Whis­nants and “New Again” by Brad Pais­ley and Sara Evans.

“We want to be a bless­ing to peo­ple and spread the good news of Je­sus,” said McCul­lough. “We ask that ev­ery­one keep us in their prayers and come hear us and let the Lord bless them.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, please check the Web site, www.newagain.us; e-mail ed@newagain. us; greg@newagain.us or call 404, 597- 8107 or 706-5381686.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Mu­si­cal mes­sage: Pro­gres­sive south­ern gospel group New Again, con­sist­ing of Ed Nolan,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.