Saturday was the last day at the Lester’s Homecoming (a.k.a. The Cave) and was also a full day at the caverns. Earlier in the day the Lester’s hosted their popular talent contest in the “Little Cave.” (Which was brought back to the schedule this year by popular demand!) The winner was awarded $500 and a small segment on the evening program. So we would hear him shortly! But the most anticipated artist of the evening was no doubt, The Booth Brothers, who were the only artist on the schedule other than the host group and matinee winner.
(My co-blogger for the evening…) 🙂
Every evening Duane would lead the congregation in singing a few hymns and Saturday night we sang When We All Get To Heaven, Mansion Over the Hilltop and Victory In Jesus.
The Lester’s also began their program with a hymn, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus. Some of the songs on their newer project, The Message of Jesus Christ and Anytime, followed. Brian greeted the crowd and said how they have been blessed to have been singing in the cave for 48 years. “The creation, how easy is it to sing in here!” he exclaimed. (The acoustics in the cave are always amazing!) After introducing the group, he brought his sister, Ginger, up on stage to sing their ballad My Family Tree. “Brian!” hollered a man from the crowd, “I want you to do something for me! In honor of the 25th Anniversary, I want you to sing He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away with Ginger singing harmony.” Brian replied, “Well, if you hush up we were going to sing it anyway.” LOL On a serious note, Jon added, “Growing up, Dad heard his father sing I’ll See You Again night after night, but for me the song I heard my Dad sing growing up was He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away.” Then they sang it…with Ginger. By the end of the ballad everybody was on their feet!
Matt Carol, the soloist who won the talent competition in the “little cave” earlier in the day now came to sing for us. “This guy absolutely thrilled the crowd this morning, Matt Carol!” Duane exclaimed and then Matt set up his song, Somebody Died For Me. (Triumphant’s song.) “Matt, in my hand I have some pictures of Ben Franklin…” Duane teased. Then he went on to explain to the crowd that this was the prize for winning the competition.
“Make plans to be here next year,” said Duane, then he went on to list the line-up…
Wednesday – Mike LeFevre Quartet, Freedom Quartet and Pat Barker as an “all quartet night.”
Thursday – The Collingsworth Family and Mylon Hayes Family.
Friday – Wilburn and Wilburn and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.
Saturday – The Booth Brothers.
The Booth Brothers kicked off their set with a medium tempo song called I Wouldn’t Change a Thing. (I almost heard a little “samba” on the track of that one. J ) Feeling Mighty Fine, Lamb That the Shepherd Left the Flock For, Because He Lives, and Tears Are A Language God Understands followed. When Michael began singing Look For Me At Jesus’ Feet the crowd applauded – they seemed to be anticipating that one! That went right into Welcome To the Family. “Okay, we’re gonna’ use the guitar here,” said Michael, “’cause we paid for it.” LOL He went on to tease Ronnie about tuning his guitar before they went on to their next tune, which Ronnie introduced by giving their father’s testimony, The Secret Place. “Is there a secret place in your heart where you’re embarrassed? He already knows about it and He’s not there to embarrass you but clean it up and set all aright,” said Ronnie. Their next song, I’m Free, was the perfect song to follow a message like The Secret Place! “Before we get past this moment,” Michael began, “I’m free from the fear of tomorrow. With all the fear going on in the world, that’s good to know.” After a little while, Michael talked about Jim’s songwriting and how Jim is moving on to sing with his wife, Melissa, in the future. “I’m gonna miss these songs,” said Michael, envisioning the time when Jim leaves and has to choose between giving great songs to the BB’s or his own group. LOL
“If you’re life happens to be challenging right now, listen to these lyrics,” said Michael. Then they sang I’m Only Passing Through On My Way Home, a song to encourage folks to keep on when things are tough. “Isn’t that good?” asked Michael. Then he talked about how the Statesmen had a song the BB’s wanted to record for years and it was very difficult song to learn, but they did and wanted to sing if for us before they couldn’t! If God Didn’t Care was the number and the folks popped up from their seats at the end. When Still Feeling Fine began, they didn’t stay seated again for long. 🙂
It seemed too soon to be breaking for intermission already, but we did. When the BB’s came back on stage their popular He Saw It All started the second half. Though I didn’t blog the second half of the concert I will never forget when they started singing The Old Rugged Cross. One of the park rangers came in from the hall and listened, respectfully removing his cap. The value of the hymn is forever shown in the favorable response they receive from all walks of life!
Now, I have to tell a funny story before we go… It is no secret that my sister takes some pretty awesome photos. (If you’ve enjoyed the pics in these posts – they are samples of her handiwork!) Well, our emcee, Duane Garren, decided that he was going to take full advantage of her talent…so on Saturday night there was an old, wooden ladder set up in the back of the cave and he wanted her to climb up to the tippy top and take a picture while the Booth Brothers were singing! Never one to back down from a challenge, she did! And so we have this wonderful “aerial view” of the cave, the crowd and the BB’s! What do you think?