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Old School Gospel Concert

By Joe Starkey



Most of Abilene missed a wonderful concert Sunday afternoon. It doesn’t matter if you like rock or country, blues or jazz – You should have come to hear two old school gospel groups deliver the full load. For those that don’t understand what is meant by the full load – A cowboy came off the range on a cold, blizzard-making Sunday morning. Looking at the town, only the church had smoke raising from the chimney so that’s where he stopped. Walking in, he found only the preacher there and he was walking out the door. Seeing the cowboy, he invited him to take a seat next to the stove and went back to the pulpit. After the first song, it was evident the cowboy couldn’t sing so the preacher started his sermon. Three hours later, he came to a firey conclusion and went down to ask the cowboy how he liked the sermon. The cowboy replied that it was a mighty fine sermon but……….. when he took a wagon load of feed out to the herd and only one cow showed up – he did not give that one cow the “full load”. When faced by an auditorium the size of the civic center and a crowd of less than 100 – many groups would fail to deliver the full load. Not so for the “Zion Jubilees” and “The Long Beach Southernaires” as both put on full shows with enthusiasm and style. Both groups kept the crowd inspired and full of joy and the spirit of the Lord. The Zion Jubilees were formed over 50 years ago and have two Number One Gospel records. They are soon departing on their first ever tour to England. Formed in 1970 by a group of young singers from the southern states who had relocated to California, the group had grown by 1975 into 11 talented, God-fearing men with the mission : to save souls. They have been on tour in Texas for several weeks and are heading home for a break before continuing their “Still Standing Tall” tour. This is the first of several gospel concerts planned by Reverend Isia Lankford of the Plum Steet United Methodist Church. Although this crowd was below expectations, he asked for blessings for the “ones who would have been here but for the many reasons that kept them away.” He made the show free to children 16 and under to inspire them to come share the music of the church. Rev. Lankford guaranteed that any Gospel group shown on flyers for future shows will be under contract before the flyer is published. ABILENE – YOU MISSED A GREAT SHOW!!!

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The West Texas Tribune is a community-based newspaper that has been published, uninterrupted, since May 2005. Our goal is to highlight events and people throughout West Texas as an independent, locally run newspaper. We thrive on the support of our local community.

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