Pair of Gospel groups coming to the area
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts will host a Gospel music event featuring The Whisnants and The Perrys. Showtime is set for 3 p.m.
THE WHISNANTS In 1970, around the old upright piano in John and Betty Whisnant’s house a family began singing in the Appalachian foothills of Morganton, North Carolina. The voices of children blended with their parents as the sound of a gospel song filled the house. It was the year 1970 and from that time forward they were known as The John Whisnant Family. Passing the leadership of the group onto Jeff (John & Betty’s son) and Susan in 1990, a new era of The Whisnants began. Jeff remains the only original group member of the family, both owning and managing the group. “We placed our ministry in God’s hands 44 years ago and have watched Him do miraculous things. There is no doubt in my mind that God has His hand on this ministry.” Jeff explains.
The current line-up of the trio is Jeff and Susan, Aaron Hise and their sons Austin and Ethan. With over 40 years of traveling behind them, The Whisnants have performed all across the nation and around the world, including Canada, Hawaii and cruises sailing to the Bahamas, Belize and Mexico. The trio has celebrated 13 #1 songs spanning from 2001 to 2013 and their first single for 2014, “He Can Move That Stone,” was nominated as a Top 10 Favorite Song in the Singing News Fan awards (2014). In 2003, their ballad “What You Took From Me” ranked #1 on the Singing News Top 40 Year End Chart as the most played song on radio and “Even In The Valley” did the same in 2004.
They have been nominated for Trio of the Year 10 times and received many individual nominations such as Favorite Young Artist, Favorite Female Singer, Favorite Alto, etc. They also have appeared on the Gospel Music Southern Style Program (INSP Network), the Gaither Video Taping in Nashville, TN in February of 2007 and numerous appearances at the National Quartet Convention. More importantly, Jeff shares, “I have asked God to allow us to be the very best that we can be so that He can use this ministry to touch people’s lives. He has done that!”
The achievements The Whisnants have acquired over the years are a testimony to the blessings God has placed on their ministry and they seek to use them to bring glory to their Lord in every concert.
THE PERRYS For over 45 years, the Perrys have been traveling across the country, sharing The Gospel of Jesus Christ. During that time, God has proven faithful to provide everything needed to build a successful ministry. From moving lyrics of traditional songs, along with talented vocalists and musicians, to a genuine heart for people, The Perrys have proven they have what it takes to rise to the top of Southern Gospel music. What a journey it has been!
For Libbi Perry Stuffle, that journey began on Christmas Day in 1970, when her family gathered around a piano and began to sing after the death of their older brother, Johnny. After singing as a trio for several years, the group decided to expand into a quartet. With the addition of Tracy Stuffle, The Perrys not only gained a bass singer, but Libbi also gained a husband. Since then, Libbi and Tracy have been the foundation of The Perrys’ ministry, both managing the group and becoming some of the most recognized voices in Southern Gospel today.
Both fans and peers alike have repeatedly recognized The Perrys for their talent and hard work by honoring Libbi Perry Stuffle as Favorite Female Vocalist in 2005 and 2013, as well as Favorite Alto Singer nine out of the past ten years. The entire group was distinguished as Mixed Group of the Year three years in a row at The Singing Fan Awards. With countless other honors, awards, and radio success, it is evident that The Perrys have been blessed, not only with musical abilities, but also the gift of communicating a message and touching lives. And, after overcoming one of the biggest trials of their life, The Perrys have a renewed passion for encouraging others for Christ. As a dedicated team, they are excited to see what God has in store for the years to come.