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  • What's Up with The Churchmen

    PowerGrass Radio Awards

    For Immediate Press Release

    Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year
    Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year" for Mercy Road on Mountain Fever Records
    Bluegrass Gospel Song of the Year" for In the Twinkling of an Eye written by Becky Buller

    We would like to thank Dave Bissell and all of the PowerGrass Radio staff for these honors. It is such a blessing to see a radio entity and website dedicate itself to the music and ministry that we love. - Bluegrass Gospel Music! Dave has been such a great supporter of The Churchmen over the years. PowerGrass Radio has a monthly top10 chart, along with a store that allows listeners to purchase products from the bands. The website features news and links to all of your favorite Bluegrass Gospel artists. The Churchmen are pleased and honored to be somewhat regulars on the monthly top 10 charts lately and are looking forward to great involvement with PowerGrass in 2014 as well. A quote from Dave when he received the CD was "Whoa! Real bluegrass Gospel ... old time, new time, anytime.Soul-stirring vocals and ultimate instrumentation. No doubt, many of these powerful songs will be chart-toppers. Bluegrass gospel at its best!

    Thanks again Dave and www.PowerGrassRadio.com so much for being such a blessing to us all.

    Current News and Blessings 2014

    We are so thrilled with The Lord's blessings and the direction of the band. Our latest revision of the band has been so great and we are thankful to be together praising His Name. I want to update you all on a few things with The Churchmen so here goes.

    I mentioned the current version of the band. As I have said many times in the past, we have been so blessed to have continuity in our band. Not a lot of changes for as long as we have traveled. As most of you know, fellow founding and longtime member, Freddy Rakes, stepped down from the band in 2012.

    Carroll Arnn took his place and has been such a great addition to our group. Carroll plays the Banjo, Fiddle, and Guitar on stage and is a dynamic vocalist along with composing 2 original songs on the new CD. His songwriting ability is just another thing that makes him so great. We look for Carroll to be a long-time member of the band.
    David Guthrie also returned in early 2012 and is singing even better than ever. His rhythm playing, singing, and song writing is, in my opinion, second to none. He is a phenomenal musician, singer, and person. David penned 3 of the songs on the CD and is responsible for bringing in several of the other tunes as well.
    Gerald Harbour has been a rock in The Churchmen since 1989 shortly after Freddy and I gotthe band started. Gerald doesn't always get enough credit but he is a wonderful musician and singer, one of the best in the business no doubt about it. Gerald can sing any part and hasn't lost a beat of the mandolin in all of these years. I round out the music on stage playing the Bass and singing some lead and all harmony parts. It is a real joy to play with such great musicians with such great timing.
    Jerry Haga is on his 2nd stint with the group running the board after also coming back aboard in early 2012. He is such a great sound man and is a blessing to our band pleasing audiences with the sound and keeping the stress off all of us before and after the concerts. I will follow this post with another post featuring Jerry.

    One last thing about the personnel in the group. All are very good Christian men, not only in word but in deeds. These guys are all involved heavily in their local churches and are great leaders and examples of Christ.

    We are so excited about the new CD and especially the songs. We have heard time and time again from Pastors and other friends that the messages in the songs are really relevant, timely, and Biblically based. These songs that band members have written or chosen are not your average bluegrass songs, but have deep and thought provoking meanings in them. The Churchmen are trying to produce music that is not only enjoyable but also soul-stirring to the listeners.

    Along the line of discussing the CD, it has been great working with Mark Hodges and Mountain Fever Records. This has been our most successfully selling CD initially that we have ever had. Our friends that we meet have been so great to buy the new CD, it has been amazing to say the least. We have had great success with the CD since getting them in July last year. Our airplay has been great, with XM radio leading the way with great rotation for all of the new songs. Thanks again to Mark and Mountain Fever, our friends and fans, and all of the DJ's and radio for the support. A special thanks also to Kyle Cantrell from XM radio.

    Keith Clark - The Churchmen
    dkeithclark@yahoo.com
    276.340.5209

    Touring for 2013 and 2014
    The Churchmen had a great year in 2013, playing some great venues. It was one of the most successful years that we have had, and after 25 years of playing, we are not slowing down now! It's amazing to me that it seems more exciting with our band than it ever has. What a blessing to still be excited about the band and spreading God's love.

    2014 has certainly started off with a bang. We have played the annual show at the Kirby in Roxboro, NC (thanks Rob Hall), made a wonderful trip through the great state of Florida, and visited the great town of Culpeper, VA. We received unbelievable hospitality in all of these places and we are just getting started. In the end of January and beginning of February, we sold record numbers of CD's. That is such a blessing because it keeps us traveling and allows us to purchase sound equipment and stuff that we need to keep on singing for The Lord

    We have a lot of great concerts booked this year and are looking forward to our annual bookings, along with a lot of new things and places that we are going in 2014. Bookings are still coming in and if you need Bluegrass Gospel band at your event please contact us.

    SOUNDing Great with Jerry Haga
    Jerry Haga is a sound man extraordinaire. We are so blessed to have him taking care of business for the band at all of our concerts. We have been blessed to able to recently get into the digital sound reproduction world by purchasing a PreSonus digital board, and Jerry has that thing dialed in just right. Jerry has also upgraded our speakers and that too has been a big help. Audiences are pleased with Jerry's great work, and we are as well, being blessed by his talents and also with his contagious personality.

    Jerry is an excellent musician in his own right and plays all woodwind instruments, specializing on the Saxophone. He started playing professionally in 1970 and took on a dual roll in 1973 to become Sax player and sound technician. Jerry played full time from '73 until '77. Jerry re-dedicated his life to The Lord 19 years ago, and now plays primarily in church and uses his talents with The Churchmen. Jerry is a great example of a Christian person, working diligently with his home church and also providing meals for church functions and feeding shut-in members on Wednesdays on a regular basis.

    Thanks Jerry and keep up the great work!

    What people are saying.......

    "The Churchmen are a fine group of entertainers, whose talents are indeed unique, whether in performance in ensemble or solo. It is always a pleasure to work with them." The Lewis Family

    "The Churchmen are a very talented group who play and sing with the kind of harmony that keeps you listening for more. I have known them since they started their group and I highly recommend them to anyone who loves good bluegrass gospel music." Russell Easter, Sr.

    "We have had the pleasure of performing with the Churchmen on several occasions, and it is always enjoyable. They have a fine group and are fine people." Doyle Lawson

    "The Churchmen are one of the fastest growing, hottest new sounds in Bluegrass Gospel Music today. We have worked with these guys a lot, and they really live what they sing. We highly recommend them to any- one for concerts." Jeff and Sheri Easter

    The Churchmen have been recognized with several honors over the years
    1. Multiple nominations for "Gospel Group of the Year" by The Society of Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) spanning 15 years!
    2. Performance at the Ryman Theater for the Bluegrass Now Fan's Choice Awards
    3. Performance at multiple International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) show cases, and the IBMA Bluegrass Fan Fest
    4. Nominated for 2 Dove Awards, Gospel Music's most prestigious award, for Bluegrass Gospel album of the Year (2005) and Bluegrass Gospel Song of the Year (2007).
    5. Churchmen song "Get Onboard" was #1 on Bluegrass Now Magazine's Gospel Truths chart and remained on the chart for 3 years.

    About the Churchmen.......
    KEITH CLARK, was born in Martinsville, Virginia and was raised in Fieldale. His father taught him how to play guitar. "I can still picture how I used to sit on his knee and strum while he made the chords." Keith started playing the bass at age twelve and played the drums during high school, and he still enjoys playing. After working in some family bands, Keith gave his heart to the Lord when he was 17. Keith played with The Mill Creek Trio before being able to get back to his real love, bluegrass music, when they started their present band. "It's a real blessing to be able to adapt the kind of music that you love to share the gospel. I love how bluegrass can be so different. I love hard driving songs with a lot of banjo, and I love slow ballads with a lot of fiddle and Dobro. Bluegrass is so simple in some ways, but it can be played with so much complexity. I love acoustic music because it's so down to earth, and it's the way that music should be."

    Keith now resides in Collinsville, VA his personal goals revolve around his family and church.. "I have daughter and a wife who I love more than anything. I also love to fish and play golf and I am very active in my church. My daughter has just finished school and is a Pharmacist and my personal goals are all about her. She was an excellent student, is recently married, and I am going to do everything in my power to help and encourage her and Kevin." Click Here to Email Keith

    GERALD HARBOUR was born in Stuart and raised in Woolwine, Virginia. He began showing interest in music at an early age and made his first public performance at age 5. He often would perform with his Dad throughout his childhood. In later years he would make guest appearances with his life long friends The Lewis Family. Gerald credits his parents and Little Roy Lewis for being his inspiration to pursue his musical interests. Gerald joined the Churchmen in 1989 just a few months after the formation of the group. Gerald said, "I was looking for some guys who would take the music seriously and try to constantly take it to another level". Gerald found that in Freddy and Keith and several who have passed through the band in it's existence. "It's been fun to experience the ways that the Lord has blessed us and the doors that have been opened for us along the way". Gerald currently resides with his wife Lisa and their five children in Martinsville, VA. Click Here to Email Gerald
    DAVID GUTHRIE is back for a second stint and rounds out the band singing lead and harmony vocals along with handling the guitar duties. David has written a lot of the newer Churchmen material, and his high lead and great tenor voice, along with his hard driving rock solid guitar is another great addition to The Churchmen sound. David has the rare ability to sing with great feeling along with having amazing vocal range. David has brought a renewed enthusiasm to the band and has rejuvenated us all! God continues to bless our group with great talent along with great people. David is a great Christian man, and certainly is no exception. David amazingly has been playing music only a few years, but he is no stranger to Bluegrass fans across the country. Three of these years were spent with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road. He has also garnered 2 SPBGMA "Male Vocalist of the Year" nominations. His musical influences are The Louvin Brothers. (mainly Ira Louvin), and Bill Monroe. He lives in Parkton N.C. with his lovely wife Angela, daughters Briana and Alayna, and sons David Jr. and Eric. David says "I feel led back to the band at this exact point in my life. How the Lord has opened up doors, I know it isn't without a real purpose. I am really excited to back with the Churchmen".

    CARROLL ARNN, was born in Danville, VA and raised in Dry Fork, VA in rural Pittsylvania County. Carroll played previously with lots of great bands and musicians including Southern Freight Station, Virginia Sonrize, The Church Sisters, The Rivercity Band, and on occasion with Johnny and Jeanette Williams. Carroll is a very talented songwriter. Carroll has penned several songs that The Churchmen have recorded in the past, and he already has plans to record several more with the band. In addition to being a great song writer, Carroll is also very versatile musician and singer. He plays banjo, fiddle, and guitar on Churchmen sets and he can sing all four vocal parts.Carroll is a wonderful Christian man and exemplifies what a Gospel musician should be. He is a leader and musician at his local church.Carroll resides in Danville, VA with his lovely wife of over 30 years, Bet. She too was raised in church being a Pastor's child. She is a very talented musician as well playing the piano for the church. The couple has 2 lovely daughters, Brittany and Amanda. They also have 2 grandsons as well, Levi and Leland.

    Carroll says "God has blessed my life far beyond what I'm worthy of, and I believe He has placed me where I can best serve Him. Thanks to The Churchmen for their patience and confidence in me, and I ask all of the fans to continue to pray for our ministry. I am excited about where God is leading us".

    Carroll endorses Sullivan Banjos and plays the "Vintage 35".
    RICK KEEN plays the Resonator Guitar commonly known as the "Dobro". This is Rick's second term with the group and we are thrilled to have him back. Rick has experience with such bands as Kickin' Grass, The Grass Cats, The Anita Fisher Band, Michelle Nixon and Drive, and Hit and Run Bluegrass. He also has a lot of recording experience while playing on many projects and different genres of music. The Lord always seems to bless us with talented musicians and great people to meet our needs and Rick is one of the most exciting young players that we have seen. Rick was born in Wilmington, NC and currently resides in Larinburg, NC along with his wife and son. He comes from a musical background with lots of talent in his family and it certainly shows. Rick only started playing music in 2002 and has quickly developed into one of the best in the business. Along with that talent, Rick has a great personality, is fun to travel with, and has been a hit with all of The Churchmen fans and friends everywhere.

    Booking and Information

    Keith Clark
    172 Ferndale Court
    Collinsville, VA 24078
    (276)647-8518 or (276)340-5209
    Click Here to Email The Churchmen