Friday, June 1, 2018

Backstage with the Old Time Preachers Quartet!

Hey, y'all!

Modesty here, sharing a new group feature with the Old Time Preacher's Quartet.  Don't let the length of the post scare you away, it is definitely worth taking the time to read through it!


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          -(Modesty): Tell us a little about yourselves, and the Old Time Preachers Quartet.
-(Les): "Mike Holcomb and I started the Old Time Preachers Qt almost 3 years ago now.  Our tenor, Tim Owens, has been around a while singing tenor with the Inspirations and Cross for Crowns.  Lee Mcneil recently took a pastorate so he can't go with us all the time.  When he can't go, former Gold City Qt. member, Adam Borden, steps into the lead spot.  7-time Singing News Bass Vocalist of the year, Mike Holcomb, continues to be the best bass vocalist on the road today.  And I do my best to anchor down the baritone spot, emcee work, and pianist.  In just the last year alone we've been blessed with multiple Singing News Top 40, 20 and 10 songs.  We've sang on the biggest stages in our industry.  We won the Diamond Award for Favorite New Quartet.  We've been featured on Daystar TV, Gospel Greats, Singing News and more.  But, far and above all of that, we have seen souls saved and altars filled all across the country.  We appreciate the awards, charts, songs, etc., but we'll take the Spirit-filled services over those accolades any day."
-(Mike Holcomb, Bass):  "My name is Mike Holcomb.  I currently sing bass with the Old Time Preachers Qt. And I have been involved in proclaiming the gospel in song since 1969."
-(Lee McNeil, Lead):  "I am a husband to a beautiful wife, a father of two beautiful girls, the pastor of some of the sweetest people in the world at Rural Point Baptist Church, and I sing lead for the Old Time Preachers Quartet."
-(Tim Owens, Tenor):  "My name is Tim Owens, and I am blessed to sing the tenor part for The Old Time Preachers Quartet and travel in evangelism and solo concert ministry. I am married to the love of my life, Beth, for sixteen years. We have two children. Our son Cameron is 11 years old. He is my traveling buddy. He travels with me most of the time. He is the "Minister of Transportation" for the OTPQ. Our daughter Kynleigh is 7. She has me completely smitten and wrapped around her pinky finger. And she knows it! We also have a daughter Cherith who is waiting for us in Heaven."
-(Adam Borden, Lead):  "My name is Adam Borden.  I am an evangelist as well as one of the lead singers for the Old Time Preacher Quartet."

Les Butler, Baritone/Emcee/Pianist

          -(Modesty): Would you share your salvation testimony with us?
-(Les): "I was saved Sept. 15, 1978 at an old fashioned revival in Joliet, IL.  An old fashioned mountain preacher from WV preached Hell hot and Heaven sweet!  Thank God for that night!"
-(Mike): "It was in summer revival of 1964 on Wednesday morning, July 22nd, when I got born again at the altar in our little country church.  The Holy Spirit convicted me of my sinful condition, through the preaching of God's Word in power.  I ran down to that altar and cried out to the Lord for mercy and true to His promise, He saved me!"
-(Lee):  "As a 12 yr old boy, on Nov 18, 1998, we were having just another normal Wednesday night prayer meeting service. That particular night our youth group was supposed to go the the local nursing home to sing and to minister to some of the folks there. We had around 50 teenagers show up to church that particular night, and my father felt impressed to keep all of the teens in church and to preach to them, because most of them had never been to church before. He preached an extremely convicting message on hell and when he had given the invitation, 5 teenagers came forward and gave their heart to Jesus, and I was one of them!  I’m forever thankful for my father minding the Holy Spirit that night, and obeying what the Lord wanted him to do!"
-(Tim):  "I was saved October 7, 1976. I was four and a half years old. My pastor, Bro. Don Camp, had preached a message on Hell and I had a lot of questions. I talked to my mom, and she led me to faith in Jesus Christ. Because I was so young, the older I grew, the less I remembered what happened that day. I struggled for many years with the assurance of my salvation. In March of 2000, I went down to an old-fashioned altar and told the Lord that I didn't remember what had happened when I was a child, but I wanted Him to be my Lord and my Savior. I got up from there knowing I was a child of the King! Fourteen years later I was blessed to pastor at that very same church. I would often go and pray at that spot at the altar where I received the assurance of my salvation just to thank Jesus for saving me."
-(Adam):  "In July of 1978 on the last Friday night of a 2 week revival at Noah Baptist Church in Cherokee county Alabama, I fell under Holy Ghost conviction, came to the altar, called out on God to save me, and came up a Child of the King."

Mike Holcomb, Bass

          -(Modesty):  How did you get started singing SGM?
-(Les): "My parents were members of the Canaan Record Club back in the 60s and 70s.  Every month we would get a New Canaan Label Album from groups like the Happy Goodmans, Florida Boys, Wendy Bagwell, Lewis Family, Cathedral Quartet, etc.  That's all I heard growing up.  The first song I ever sang in public was, "Had it Not Been".  I sang it as a duet with my mother in 1967."
-(Mike):  "Been singing as long as I remember.  Brought up in a singing family."
-Lee):  "I was raised with a mother who brought my sisters and I up around singing old-fashioned church songs. That grew into a love for SG music."
-(Tim):  "I started singing in church when I was around fourteen or fifteen. We had gotten to know the members of the acclaimed Cathedral Quartet (my all time favorite group) when I was a kid, and I loved Southern Gospel music. That was all we listened to. I always wanted to sing but was too scared. When I finally got up the nerve to sing with our church quartet, I was hooked!"
-(Adam):  "Actually, this is the first SG group that I have sung with.  My dad taught me to play bass when I was 8 years old and I played for our family and at church through my teenage years.  When I turned 16 I started playing bass for a local group of college guys called "Amen" and then with a regional part time group called the Singing Ambassadors.  In April 1995 I went on the road with the Gold City Quartet and stayed through August of 2005."

Lee McNeil


          -(Modesty): What is your favorite Bible verse, and why?
-(Les):  "John 14:1-4.  I love that scripture for its Peace -" Let not your heart be troubled" and for its Promise- "I go to prepare a place for you and if I go prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also!"
-(Mike):  "Ps. 37:4 - "Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."- When I'm right with Him, my soul, my spirit, my love, my mind, my prayers are answered according to His will; because I am in His will.  I'm thrilled with my Savior!  His goodness, His mercy, His grace!  I'm saved, it's settled; I belong to him, and I'm satisfied!"
-(Lee):  "Rom 1:16… The reason I preach and sing is because the Gospel has power to change anyones life who chooses to believe."
-(Tim):  "Zephaniah 3:17  "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." I love this verse! To think that the Almighty God of the universe, my God, my Savior, my Master, and King is with me and He rejoices over me with joy. For 28 years I have stepped on stage and sang for Him, but this verse teaches me that He sings over me. What a thought!"
-(Adam):  "I do not have one favorite, or what some folks call a life verse.  In different seasons, a verse will become an anchor for my soul.  Currently, I am attached to Ephesians 3:8, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;""



          -(Modesty): What is a current favorite song you sing, and why?
-(Les): "I don't sing it, but our current single which Lee leads is my favorite.  "I'll Ride this Ship to the Shore", the first verse contains one of my all-time favorite lines.  "Some folks say you don't have to mention the blood, that's just too old fashioned anymore.  Well, you got here too late, I'm already on board and I'll ride this ship to the shore."
-(Mike): "If You Only Knew" is the song title.  It's my favorite to sing because of the help it has been to so many people, especially me."
-(Lee):  ""I'll ride this ship to the shore" would have to be my favorite song we sing. It takes me back to the Wednesday night I was saved by God’s grace, but it also excites me to know that I’ll make it safely to my home in heaven someday. "
-(Tim):  "My favorite song that we sing is "He Loves Me". I have sung that song for most of my ministry, and I do not plan to stop singing it any time soon! The first verse starts out "Why did He go to Calvary, Why was His life's blood shed for me" and the chorus gives the beautiful answer because "He loves me." George Amon Webster wrote a fantastic song!"
-(Adam):  "Lately we have picked up a classic Cathedrals song, "The Plan of Salvation."  There is nothing greater to sing about than the solution for the individual, the family, the church, the country and the world."

Tim Owens


          -(Modesty): Who has been one of (or some of) your biggest influences in your SGM singing?
-(Les):  "Happy Goodmans, especially Rusty!  And the Hinsons, especially Kenny.  I've got to give a shout out to George and Glen!  I loved those men."
-(Mike):  "J.D. Sumner, London Parris, Billy Todd, and of course my buddy, George Younce.  George gave me some private instruction time many years ago and I'm so grateful for that blessing."
-(Lee):  "My mother is my biggest influence in singing gospel music. She taught my sisters and I how to sing harmony at a young age and we grew up with a love and a passion to sing good gospel music together."
-(Tim):  "Danny Funderburk! He is my hero. I wanted to sing like him, walk like him, talk like him!! Danny has an extraordinary voice, but he also has that ability to make you feel significant and important. He never failed to spend time with me when I was a teenager and answer every question I had. I am sure I must have driven him crazy, but he never showed it. He is one of my dearest friends. I love him and his family! George Younce and Glen Payne were dear friends and mentors. Mike Holcomb was and still is a hero and a mentor. They all taught me so much more than just singing. They taught me to be real. To live for Jesus every day and to sing for an audience of one Jesus Christ. Oh, don't let me forget the most important influence, Les Butler, because I like my job and want to keep it. LOL"
-(Adam):  "I have to say, I have backed up some of the best in every quartet part.  I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from their training and discipline as singers.  Outside of the groups I have been in, I would say Glen Payne, Rusty Goodman, Kenny Hinson, Arthur Rice, and Joseph Habedank, have given me plenty to pattern after."




          -(Modesty): What keeps you busy when you're at home?
-(Les):  "Honestly, I have one gear; work.  I own Butler Music Group and Family Music Group.  I am honored to manage some fine artists and do radio promotions for the best artists in Southern Gospel Music.  I am very involved in my home church, Middle Tennessee Baptist Church.  I don't get to do it much, but I do love to fish."
-(Mike): "Being a full time evangelist and traveling as I do, there's always plenty to do if you get the opportunity to be at the house. I do spend time studying, preparing for the privilege to preach.  I've had a ministry for over 18 years.  Once in a while I'll do a little hunting or fishing or maybe swing a golf club.  But there is always plenty of work to be done."
-(Lee):  "I pastor the Rural Point Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA. That, along with being a husband and a father, keeps me plenty busy, and I love it!"
-(Tim):  "Between family, church, and work I stay busy. I can say I have not been bored in a long time!  Beth and I own a small business that keeps me covered up. I am also a chaplain at our local hospital and with our local law enforcement. And I work with area pastors in support of Christians United for Israel."
-(Adam):  "I work about 50 hours per week at Kubota Industrial Equipment as the Tool Crib Analyst.  My wife of 17 years, Angel, and our 2 girls, Abigail (15) and Adelyn (11), fill in the best part of my days.  There are piano lessons, homeschooling, and Addy has been competing with a local 4H BB gun club.  Our home church, Wahoo Baptist in Murrayville, GA is the heartbeat of our family.  We are involved in Awanas on Wednesday evening services and obviously our Sundays are spent there when we are not travelling in evangelism, singing and preaching.  In every spare minute of the day and many very early mornings or late nights I enjoy laboring in the Word as I prepare messages, two weekly devotional blogs on two websites (evangelistadamborden.com and thesingerschapel.wordpress.com), writing for future books, and now producing radio broadcasts for our new radio ministry, Riches From The Pages.  And sometimes I sleep."



          -(Modesty): What is something most people do not know about you?
-(Les):  "Gee, I don't know.  This is my 40th year in Southern Gospel Music and I've been blessed to participate at the highest levels.  I was the publisher of Singing News Magazine and I ran the Solid Gospel Radio Network for nearly 20 years.  Because of that, I think folks know everything there is to know about me.  I'm pretty boring...I preach, sing and promote Southern Gospel and Bluegrass music.  That's about it."
-(Mike):  "Most people don't know that I've been preaching and singing (49yrs.) for over 39 years.  And I even tried to pastor a church for some 7 years during that time."
-(Lee):  "I’m actually a bass singer. I am more comfortable singing bass than I am anything else. The only problem with singing bass in the OTPQ is, well, Mike Holcomb. He’s the man!"
-(Tim):  "I love to drive. I despise talking on the phone, clowns and organ music."
-(Adam):  "In February 2017 I was diagnosed as type II diabetic.  I was on insulin for several months but I have been able to keep it under control with diet and Plexus.  I have not needed to take insulin since June of last year."



          -(Modesty): Would you share a funny story from your time on the road?
-(Les):  "This isn't necessarily a road story, but I did fall "up" the stairs on live TV trying to get on the stage to accept an award from the Southern Gospel Music Guild.  And the camera was literally an inch from my face when I went down!"
-(Mike):  I've had the privilege of being in on some funny things that happened on the road, most of them at someone else's expense.  Once during my time with the Inspirations Qt. we locked the bus door and couldn't find the key.  Back then I was very skinny and could get into some small places so I was elected to get on someone's back and climb through the driver's small window- to the driver's seat and then unlock the door from the inside.  We were parked downtown Gatlinburg, TN in a public lot. About that time, a police officer came along and we had a difficult time convincing him we actually were part of the group that owned the bus."
-(Lee):  "I sang bass for a local group in NC called Lumber River QT and we were on a cruise singing one year. One of the evenings every group had to do some sort of skit and so I had gathered all the guys together to rehearse an idea I had. Before we had boarded the ship, we all had purchased some “Bubba Teach” along with some “Country-redneck” outfits. When it was our turn to do our skit, we walked out on the stage and looked like we just escaped from jail in the movie “O, brother where art thou.” We goofed around while trying to sing “Unclouded Day” and the place fell apart! They enjoyed it so much that when the word got out, people were requesting that we do that at the concerts. From what I understand that group is still performing that skit even now, some 10 years later. CRAZY"
-(Tim):  "Wow! There are a lot of funny things that happen on the road. Some I can share, some I can't! One of my favorite stories was when I was traveling in a group (names are left out to protect the innocent) and we had a bus that had a "buddy seat" up front close to the driver. Driving late at night someone would always sit up in that seat to help keep the driver awake. One of the guys was notorious for getting up there, and five minutes later he was fast asleep. One night about 3 am we were all up front, and he was sitting in the buddy seat snoring like a log truck. We came up with a plan to "bless" him. I told the guys, "When I hit the brakes scream like a bunch of school girls." I hit the brakes, we all screamed, and he came out of that buddy seat screaming like a little girl. In all the commotion he missed the small ledge in front of his seat and down he went into the hole where the stairs are by the front door. He screamed and yelled all the way down. He was sure he was about to see Jesus face to face. Needless to say, when he realized that we had not hit anything, that he was still alive, and we were rolling on the floor laughing at him he decided to yell a little more!"
-(Adam):  "Back in my Gold City days I normally slept better on the road that I did at home.  But, I can recall many nights in my bunk on the Gold City bus having dreams that I was being buried alive or closed up under gymnasium bleachers.  I would wake up screaming and waking up the whole bus.  None of us thought it was funny at the time but hilarious to think back on."



          -(Modesty): What is one of the most challenging aspects of doing what you do?
-(Les):  "There's not enough hours in the day!"
-(Mike): "Keeping the right attitude and focus that what we do is beneficial and needed."
-(Lee):  "I find it challenging trying to juggle everything when it comes to being a husband, father, pastor, and lead singer for the OTPQ. The Lord has shown me that I need to depend and rely on him in everything that I do. I thank God that I can be used by him for his glory."
-(Tim):  "Being away from my family and the hectic schedule we keep on the road. We travel in our own personal vehicles and not in a bus, so there is not much time to rest. Saturdays are the most challenging. Many time we will sing on a Saturday night then drive for four or five hours and have a load in time of eight the next morning. Not much rest or sleep. But it is worth it!  I am blessed to be able to do what God has called me to do."
-(Adam):  "Driving through the night at the end of a weekend, arriving home and going straight to work is pretty tough but doable.  The most difficult things are to always be prepared to sing your best, remember words when you haven't sung together in 2 weeks, and most of all, be mindful of the moving of the Spirit of God when it is time to preach the Word.  People need the encouragement of a gospel song but more than that, they need the truth of the Scripture to guide their lives."



          -(Modesty): Do you have anything else you'd like to add for our readers?
-(Les): "I've been married to Bev, the greatest woman in the world, for 35 years.  I have two kids, both of whom are involved in Southern Gospel Music.  My daughter, Amber, works for the Singing News Magazine and Singing News Radio.  My son, Matt, is my lead engineer and studio manager, as well as being one of the best musicians in Nashville.  And we love our sweet daughter-in-law, Kimberly Butler.  I am very blessed!"
-(Mike): This nation, this world is in turmoil because we have left the old paths; the good way to live; and the truth of God and His Word.  It is my heart's desire to be an instrument of the Lord to help folks return to the way, the truth, and the life only found in Jesus Christ."
-(Lee):  "If there is anything I could say to everyone it would be Rom 12:1-2… "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Find out what God’s will is for your life and pursue it with every ounce in your body. The Lord need’s laborers, and if he can use a donkey, he can use me and he can use you!  God Bless You!"
-(Tim):  "Jesus loves you! There is nothing you have ever done or thought that would make Him not love you. Jesus died on the cross to pay for all of your sins. All of it! He took your place and mine. He wants to be your Savior. If you will repent of your sins and ask Him to be your Savior and Lord, He will! He did it for me, He will do it for you!"
-(Adam):  " I would only ask people to pray for the Old Time Preachers Quartet and our individual ministries.  Today I listened to a message from RG Lee from the 1970's called I Love Jesus Because.  His first point was that we can pray in Jesus name.  There is no greater privilege, no greater power, no greater peace, no greater person to speak to than the Almighty in a sweet hour of prayer.   Pray for us."


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Thank you, all of Old Time Preachers Qt. for joining us today!  We enjoyed getting to know your testimonies, backstories, and some of the moments on the road.  Readers, be sure to head on over to the website where you can view their tour schedule, shop in their online store, etc.  While you're at it, Like their page on Facebook to stay up to date on their latest news!

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