“How was lunch this morning?” Scott teased the crowd. He prayed and then the “don, don, don,” kicked off the intro to He Loves Me So, their first song. “This is the very first song that this group ever sang and recorded 15 years ago,” Scott informed, “and people are still requesting it, and I love that.” That ballad was Vessel Of Mercy and when they began the crowd lightly applauded. It was a really special moment. To hear that song at their event and knowing it was one of the firsts for their group to sing, gave it a distinctive effect. Feeling Fine followed. “How ‘bout Trey Ivey? You guys glad to see Trey?” Scott exclaimed afterwards. Scott teased Trey about not being able to see him in the fog from the smoke machine. To the crowd Scott explained, “Don’t let this fog alarm you, it’s on purpose and it’s not an electrical fire. It’s water soluble, it will not affect your breathing.” Right then Howie bent over gasping for air. After an exasperated look from Scott, Howie said, “I’m sleep deprived, leave me alone….” LOL! Scott talked about the red back hymnal and how Trey grew up in the Church of God and knew all about it and even Scott, who grew up in Saint Louis where his dad pastored a Baptist church used the same hymnal. Scott said he remembered asking his dad one day, “How come we are Baptist and sing out of a Church of God hymnal?” His dad answered, “Son, the songs in the church of God hymnal are much more fun than the songs in the Baptist hymnal.” LOL! So, L5 gave us a little taste of a fun Church of God hymn, one written by Albert E. Brumley, Grand and Glorious Feeling. “Good morning vocal chords!” Scott randomly shouted afterwards. He went on to say that a lady came up to the table that morning and her exact words were, “Are we going to get to hear Trey’s beautiful voice this morning?” Scott jokingly told the crowd, “Well, there’s a first time for everything.” Then Scott went on to tease Trey about singing the second verse on I’m Almost There, which was their next song. When Trey stepped up to sing the second verse the audience shouted and gave a quick applause.
As the guys left the stage Scott shared a quick story from when they were in Red Deer, Canada a few years ago. There was a lady there who came up to the table, who wasn’t familiar with how they pick on Trey and that they really do like him and all. This lady said to Scott, “Listen to me; you need to leave Muffin alone.” (So that’s how Trey came about the nickname, Muffin.) Scott assured the crowd that he loves it when you call him Muffin! LOL!
The Freedom Singers were next and kicked off their set with Just a Little Talk With Jesus and a slower ballad called Home. “I am Simon and on the far left is my little older brother, Stephan,” Simon greeted. Then Simon and Stephan put their backs together to show Simon’s height. Simon and his brother are both from Romania and so Simon told a story on Stephan of the time that Stephan first went to Canada. Simon told Stephan that the banks in Canada have what they call, “joint accounts,” where two people are attached to the same account. Back in the village where they grew up in Romania, they didn’t have banks; you had to keep your own money. So the first thing Stephan did when he came to Canada was go to the bank. He told the lady at the counter, “I want to open a joint account.” The lady asked, “Who do you want to open with?” Stephan replied, “Whoever has the most money!” LOL! (If you’re familiar with Stephan’s sense of humor – you can see him doing just that!) They sang an old song called He Washed My Eyes With Tears, then Simon asked, “If I were to ask you how was your year, how would you respond? If your year wasn’t great, how did you pull through?” Then he asked if we went about our days running here and there worrying about things or if we trusted in God. Then he told his story. One of my favorite parts of his miraculous escape from Romania (when Christians were persecuted) to Italy, was when he went up to a door and knocked on it in desperation to escape questioning by the police. Because he had been traveling on foot in a strange country and his language wasn’t clear, most people wouldn’t even give him a chance to state his cause, so he waited in apprehension for someone to open the door. But before he turned away without hope, the door opened and he was face to face with his brother whom he hadn’t seen in ten years! “I wish I could take credit for that,” Simon said, “but I can’t.” Some people have listened to his story and said, “I don’t believe in miracles, you were just lucky.” To that Simon says, “If I was that lucky, don’t you think I would have played the lottery by now?” LOL But his point was that God still works miracles today. Stephan sang Because He Lives in Romanian and the crowd was asked to join in on the chorus…in English. “How do you hope to have next year?” Simon asked, “Well friend, I don’t know how the next year is going to be, but I know Who I’m going to be facing it with – I don’t know how your year is going to go, but there is a promise that God will be with us every step of the way.”
The Freedom Singers left the stage and Scott pulled Simon back up and teased him about not selling any product because he doesn’t talk about it. “If you will do a package for your book,” Scott began, “you will have money to buy me dinner!” he teased in a Romanian accent. Simon corrected, “Lunch!” and the crowd burst out laughing at the on-going joke from the night before. When Scott asked what the price would be, Simon said, “I don’t know.” Then added, “How ‘bout two for 50?” (Everyone giggled because the books were originally $20 each) Scott laughed and told a story about when he was in grade school. He claimed to have great success selling gum for ten cents apiece and two pieces for a quarter. According to Scott, everyone wanted two! “So maybe that would work for you,” Scott said to Simon. Then Scott explained that the Freedom Singer’s take a large percentage of their money back to Romania to buy food for people who can’t afford it – a few photos from their last trip popped up on the big screen.
Scott’s pastor, Rick White, was scheduled to preach next. He began his time on stage by telling a story on Scott. Pastor White shared how he had become accustomed to a lot of people recognizing him because he pastored people like Matthew West, Miley Cyrus, etc. But when he and Scott went to the Nashville airport to fly to Israel that summer, it seemed like everyone knew Scott instead of him. He talked about seeing the Governor of Tennessee and a Congressmen, all who “knew” Scott and called out greetings to him, oblivious to Rick’s presence. He went on to say that while in Israel Scott was ushered into the presence of “important people” and even on their way home, when they stopped in Rome, Scott was the one recognized. According to the “story,” he and Scott were walking around the Vatican when Scott was once again taken away with Rick left waiting. A while later, two men stepped out on a balcony and Rick asked the young Italian guys around him, “Who is that?” The Italian said, “Well, I don’t know who the guy in the hat is, but the guy standing with him is Scott Fowler!” LOL Last year, Pastor White preached a series called: Questions We Must Answer. He took his Scripture from Romans 8:28 and said, “If you’re looking at any other source for your security other than Jesus Christ, you’re eyes are in the wrong place.”
Rick walked off the stage and came back with his arm around Scott, who had a big white hat on his head. Rick announced, “Pope Scott.” Scott answered, “It was a shame that I didn’t get to meet you in Rome.”
The Collingsworth Family was on again that morning and kicked off with Living in Love with the Lord. The next ballad, When He Hung The Moon, featured Courtney on the verses with Brooklyn and Kim adding harmony. That song did a really great job on showcasing Courtney’s lower range, which I haven’t heard too often in her other solos, impressive! “Could somebody please say amen?” asked Phil. Kim went on to play I’ll Fly Away with a “new spin,” and then Phil mentioned that he promised Scott that they would play the violins. So Courtney and Brooklyn played The Prayer. Standing ovation! (And well deserved! I love hearing them play!) “That makes me a proud mama in the right sense,” Kim boasted. She went on to talk of their next song, Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary, and how Sir John Moore, (the writer), came to their concert in Ontario, Canada on Good Friday, in April of 2014. That was a special moment in their career to sing for him. Their set ended with Kim playing a medley of Awesome God, How Big is God, and How Great Thou Art.
Conclusion: It was a lovely morning. I loved the tone that L5 set with their opening songs He Loves Me So and Vessel Of Mercy. Those two ballads alone opened the door for the Spirit to flow with which the Freedom Singers continued. Simon did a wonderful job of taking their story (which I’ve heard several times in person) and relating it to the New Year and trusting in the Lord for whatever problem you will face. The Collingsworth Family did well and kept their set moving along. What I love the most about them is the diversity they bring to the stage – they sing, play piano, play violins – and when you hear all three at one time, you walk away with pure satisfaction.
P.S. Legacy Five and Rick White are going to Israel this year in October! Click HERE for more info.