This building is not the church! Worshipers hold service in front of church building hours after destructive fire

William Desjardins

A church building in Dallas, Texas is a total loss following a fire Thursday.

A fire department spokesperson said fire was reported at the New Light Church in Dallas’ Pleasant Grove community around 1:30 a.m.  The building was fully involved with flames when the first crew arrived.

The Pastor of the church did a Facebook Live to show the destruction.

“This is not the New Life Church.  This is where the New Life Church congregates…. It is not the body, the members of the church, that’s the body of the New Life Church.  Tonight the Body is still intact,” said Pastor Marian Rabb standing in front of the rubble left by the fire.

An arson investigator said they received a report of a man walking away from the back of the church building around the time the fire started. It is not yet known if the fire is a case of arson.

Historic chapel set ablaze in Georgia, US officials seek arsonist

1/11/2021 UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that inspectors have confirmed the fire was intentionally set.

Jeff Turner

Authorities in the US say a fire at an historic chapel in Georgia was intentionally set.

A spokesperson for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said emergency crews were called to the Smith Chapel Church in Bowdon, Georgia around 12 p.m. Monday. The church building was fully engulfed in flame when the first emergency worker arrived.

“We believe at this point the fire was intentionally set and we are asking anyone who was in the area and may have witnessed anything unusual between 10 am and 2 pm to contact Investigator Brandon Wiggins,” said the spokesperson.

The sheriff’s office as of Tuesday afternoon has not determined a motive for the crime.

Historic Rural Churches is an organization that seeks to document and preserve historic church buildings.  Its website says the chapel has stood since 1851.

Jerry Martin resigns from The Kingdom Heirs

The Kingdom Heirs Saturday announced the group’s longtime Tenor, Jerry Martin, has resigned his position with the group.

“Being with the Kingdom Heirs was a dream job for me!  Getting to take the stage with these elite singers and musicians has been fun and rewarding.  My decision to resign and basically retire from performing was a hard decision as I have been singing professionally for 28 years.  It’s something I never took lightly and I can say that I am very proud of the work I did in this industry,” said Jerry.

Jerry has been with the group since 2011, but his departure does not mean he’s leaving the music business. He is planning Martin’s Vocal Academy where he plans to teach and coach aspiring vocalists.

Kingdom Heirs Manager Kreis French said they are not yet taking auditions.

The group’s latest song is Just Drink the Water. It debuted in the Singing News Top 80 December 2020.

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The Healer in the Grave earns The Talleys a #1 spot on our December Southern Gospel Chart

David Ingram & Jeff Turner, Texas Gospel Volunteers

The powerful voice of Lauren Talley, an up-tempo sound and lyrics co-written by Lauren, Kenna West and Lee Black have brought The Healer in the Grave to the #1 spot on our top 20 list this month. The complete list is at the bottom of this page. The song ends 2020 on an upbeat for the Talleys in spite of COVID-19 and other issues that have made the year one of the most challenging.

The Talleys announced early in 2020 that they would retire as a touring group at the end of the year. This marks the close to a 24-year stretch of Gospel concerts. We’re hoping for some more studio releases from the Talleys and looking forward to new solo music from Lauren.

Here is the January 2021 Texas Gospel Canada Top 20:

1The healer in the graveThe TalleysHorizon/Crossroads
2Made rightKaren Peck and New RiverDaywind/New Day
3Better off thereThe BrownsStowTown/Provident-Sony
4Great God AlmightyThe SoundNew Day Records/New Day
5Leavin’The LittlesIndependent
6Your help is on the wayJason CrabbDaywind/New Day
7Look at all I lostThe Old PathsSonlite/Crossroads
8Mountain top for meThe Crabb FamilyDaywind/New Day
9Three men on a mountainErnie Haase & Signature SoundStowTown/Provident-Sony
10I know Him better nowJim Brady TrioDaywind/New Day
11Sing joy to the worldSacred HarmonyDream Big!
12The lambCollingsworth FamilyStowTown/Provident-Sony
13Hallelujah HomecomingWilburn and WilburnDaywind/New Day
14JordanNelonsDaywind/New Day
15A wretch like meLauren TalleyHorizon/Crossroads
16Just drink the waterThe Kingdom HeirsSonlite/Crossroads
17Never a timeThe PerrysStowTown/Provident-Sony
18Eye of the stormTriumphant QuartetStowTown/Provident-Sony
19Hope for the worldJordan Family BandSkyland/Crossroads
20This side of HeavenMichael BoothDaywind/New Day

Down East Boys cancel concerts, play it safe with COVID-19

Jeff Turner, Music Reporter

The Down East boys have canceled concert dates set for Florida this weekend after they learned at least one group member may have been exposed to COVID-19.

“Well not the way we wanted to start 2021 but we have canceled our FL dates for this weekend,” says a Facebook post on the group’s page.

The Down East Boys and churches at which they were scheduled to perform decided it would be good to call off the concerts out of an abundance of caution. They did stipulate that no group members have tested positive.

The latest song from the Down East Boys, Amazing Amounts of Amazing Grace, peaked at #5 in the Singing News November Chart and is still in the top 20.