Saturday, December 12, 2009


Christmas at Tinney Chapel with the Southern Plainsmen Quartet

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Sweet Tea and Southern Plainsmen Quartet at Tinney Chapel Christmas Party

As soon as the Southern Plainsmen Quartet, Marcelle Slaughter, Jordan Mothershed, Allen Doyle, Mike Burkhalter and occasionally Aaron Allen, began to sing "Good Morning, Jesus," the congregation knew it was in good hands on this chilly night at the quintessential country church.

As the lyrics began to unfold, "it's going to be a wonderful day," Tinney Chapel was in the thrall of this enthusiastic example of Southern sacred group harmony. Many in this congregation likely thought of John Wesley, Methodism's founder, when the Plainsmen begin to sing "It Is Well With My Soul," and certainly everyone was clapping in time to the Plainsmen version of "Working On A Building."

Marcelle Slaughter, a veteran of 31 years with this group, and the only remaining member of the original aggregation, is the Plainsmen's first tenor, or as they used to say in the old days of gospel quartets, the "high tenor," reminiscent of the sound once championed by "Sister" Loy Hooker, a much earlier exponent. In a post concert conversation, Slaughter said he remembered Hooker, but added: "That was a LONG time ago!"

Another favorite of this night was "Consider The Lillies," a song inspired by the teachings of Jesus The Christ in the Gospel of Matthew.

Following this came a musical tribute to military veterans in the congregation, as well as a salute to the freedoms that all Americans enjoy: "God Bless The USA," "America The Beautiful," "God Bless America," and--bringing this congregation to its feet--"The Star-Spangled Banner."

After doing "Sweet Beulah Land," Slaughter told the congregation how to follow the Plainsmen on the Internet:

As the evening drew to a close, the Plainsmen sang a Christmas medley, including "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Silent Night," "Away In A Manger," and "Joy To The World."

As if saving the best for last, the final songs were truly memorable: "Meet Us At The Table Of The King Someday," "The Devil And His Old Suitcase," "Faces," and "Oh, What A Savior He Is."

After an altar call and prayer, the group concluded the concert with a standout version of "Amazing Grace," and Slaughter said they would like to come back to Tinney Chapel again next Christmas.

Pastor Sue says the Plainsmen will return for another Christmas performance at Tinney Chapel on Saturday evening, Dec. 11, 2010. Put it on your calendar!

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