NASHVILLE — Every Sunday afternoon, the crew of Judah can be found singing and playing at their church — The Church of New Beginnings in Eldorado.
This coming Sunday, they expect to be no different — even though they're fresh off a super high, a career-topping event of performing at a musical tribute at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
The group, who is signed to the Stanley Music Group, a record label run by the grandson of grassroots songwriter Dr. Ralph Stanley, was invited to participate in the tribute. Stanley died in June 2016 at the age of 89.
“It is something that we never would have dreamed in our wildest dream,” said the band’s leader, Lisa Lynn Knight. “We’ve been looking forward to it for about 10 months, and it just seems almost unreal. And we’re sitting here … in the Grand Ole Opry … It’s just surreal. It’s an amazing thing that only God can orchestrate.”
On Thursday morning, they were busy preparing to rehearse all day for the grand event, set for 5 p.m. Thursday evening. That was going to be preceded by a red-carpet event and followed by an after-party.
The band planned to perform "Take Your Shoes Off, Moses." Sometime later, they plan to re-record the song and use it for a new CD release. They have two CDs, “An Evening With Judah” and “Dedication.”
At Thursday's event, the group met country singers and husband-and-wife Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
"It was fantastic," Knight said.
In addition to Knight, the group, formed 10 years ago, includes Samantha Austin, vocalist and guitar player; Amy Gentry, vocalist; Lisa Miles, keyboard; Alexandra Martinez, percussionist; Levi Bennett, drums; and Steve Pennell, lead guitar. Knight is also a bass player and vocalist.
Accompanying them to Nashville was the Rev. Toby Hise, pastor of the church were the group ministers.
She said that the group has been invited to the Grand Ole Opry before, but declined it then, because it was on a Sunday and they promised her they'd be at their own church to minister.
She feels as if their faithfulness to their home church was honored.
"It was their faithfulness to the church and keeping their vow to be there that opened a greater opportunity … this time not a part of a choir but their group playing themselves," she said.
"I have nothing but praise for this group … their dedication … faith in God … and to the church is an example to many," Hise said. "They are really a great group of people that believed it didn't matter where you were, as long as God was in control ... he could take you anywhere."