ROXANA — An evening of music, ministry and fun is coming to the Nazarene Community Center on Friday, Sept. 11.
Nonprofit organization Magnify Ministries is bringing gospel music performers Bill Schell, YoungSong and the Wanda Mountain Boys to the center at 400 N. Central Ave. (formerly the Roxana Theater). Event organizer and YoungSong member Gene Young says the event promises to be a night of fellowship and entertainment.
“The event is free so that every family can afford to come and bring as many family members as they want,” Young said. “We also will be doing a tribute to our veterans that night.”
Wanda Mountain Boys
For the last 25 years, the Wanda Mountain Boys have performed a distinct blend of gospel harmonies all across the Midwest. Dedicated to a pure Southern gospel sound, the vocal group consists of baritone singer Gary O’Neal, tenor Rick Brown and the newest addition to the group, lead vocalist Clinton Everetts.
O’Neal has sung gospel music for more than 45 years, performing in many groups including serving as a founding member of Solid Gospel, based in St. Louis. Since 2007, he has served as president of the Mid America Gospel Music Association.
Brown, who also was a founding member of Solid Gospel, has written music with Christina songwriter Daryl Williams and performed with Grand Ole Opry star Billy Walker. Brown has visited churches and prisons across the country as part of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Everetts joined the Wanda Mountain Boys this summer, replacing retired founding member Claude Johnson. The 23-year-old is originally from Jacksonville, Ill.
“We are excited to have Clinton as part of our ministry,” O’Neal said. “Rick and I are anxious to see what the future holds and look forward to working with Clint.”
Originally from Burnside, Ill., Schell has written more than 900 songs and has found success on Christian charts for decades. The Southern gospel legend has performed on the New Jim Bakker Show in Branson, Mo., and appeared in the music video “Magnify” on the Daystar Network.
“We have been friends for many years, and he produces our CDs,” Young said. “He traveled with the Glorylanders Quartet for years and now has his own studio where he records different artists.”
Schell currently also pastors a church in Elizabethtown, Ill.
Husband-and-wife team Gene and Ann Young comprise the gospel group YoungSong. Originally a promoter of Southern gospel concerts in the Greater Alton area, Gene met Ann, a successful gospel singer in her own right, in 1999. The couple resides in Chuckey, Tenn.
With several CD releases under its belt, the couple has performed for Baptist, Church of God, Assembly of God, Nazarene and other denominations through the years. They also are the founders of Magnify Ministries, a not-for-profit ministry which gives other musical artists the opportunity to showcase their ministries. All Magnify Ministries concerts are performed without charging admission, and once a year it hosts a gospel cruise.
Doors for the concert open at 6 p.m., with the concert beginning at 7 p.m. A love offering will be taken and donations are accepted, but there will be no charge for admittance.
For more information, call (423) 677-5093.