|The Bowling Family (Terah Penhollow, Kelly Bowling, |
Mike Bowling and John Jeffrey) on stage at the Little Rock
Church of God (excuse the poor quality phone picture)
I’ve seen the group, which consists of Mike and Kelly Bowling and Terah Crabb Penhollow, several times in concert, and both vocally and personally, they impress me more each time I see them. They come across as such genuine people. I love hearing their testimony and the words between the songs. That’s when you know that they believe every word they are singing.
The concert opened with “This Is Your Moment." When normally groups open with a more uptempo song, it was a great choice that definitely set the tone for the night. It was an open invitation for God to enter in the service, and that it was His moment to shine. Mike did a great job on the song. I think he's one of best male vocalists in southern gospel today.
Next, Terah took the lead with “I Go to the Rock,” always a favorite. Then they sang “Your Cries Have Awoken the Master,” which is probably their most well-known song. I’ve heard them sing this song many times before, but I’ve never heard it better than it was Sunday night. At the end, Mike started the chorus again with Kelly and Terah joining in and John Jeffrey accompanying them on the keyboard. Their vocals were absolutely amazing, and it was a great moment.
Kelly spoke and introduced the group. When she started talking, I realized that she was a little under the weather. They referenced later that both she and Terah had been sick some this weekend, but you never heard that in their singing. They showed not only their professionalism by pressing on, but also what great vocalists they are.They sang “I Thank You Lord” next which was the first song they sang from their newest album, It Feels Like Sunday.
Kelly shared the story of their bus accident while pictures and video of the accident showed on the screen. This story of God’s grace and the miracle He performed that day is amazing each time I hear it. Kelly said that even though now she feels like she’s told it thousands of times, she never wants to stop sharing of how God spared them that day. She shared, “The devil had a plan, but God has a purpose.” The thankfulness to God they have of how far they have come in a year and a half is so evident. It shows that they are now more than ever before proud to be professing the name of Jesus night after night and sharing everything He has done for them. And yes, Kelly made sure to point out she was wearing heels and proud of it! ☺ Their testimony led into Kelly’s song “Miracle.” I love the lyrics of this song, and it's so amazing how God gave them this song before anyone knew how applicable it would be in their lives.
Right before the half, they sang “I Still Glory in the Cross.” This was one of my favorite songs from their album Shine, but I haven’t seen them stage this song much. It’s such a great and lyrically-strong song that features each of them. I love the switch-up at the end when Kelly takes the lead on the chorus, such a powerful vocal, and she nailed it!! This song led into “The Old Rugged Cross.” Mike asked John Jeffrey to sing this with just the keyboard. I knew that John sang some, but had never heard him by himself, and was extremely impressed! They had the audience join in on the chorus; it was sweet, worshipful moment before the break.
They started the second half with “Sunshine on a Rainy Day,” another favorite of mine from Shine. The next song was “He Leads Me Each Step of the Way,” which featured Terah, who is I think one of the most underrated altos in the genre.
Mike had his and Kelly’s oldest daughter, Hope, join them next on “How Blessed.” She has a great talent, and can’t wait to hear more from her in years to come.
Mike introduced “Please Forgive Me,” which again featured Terah. This is such a great song that served as their altar call. Again, they had the audience join in on the chorus. Such a great moment that was a needed reminder of how much we need God’s grace to make it through.
To end the night, they sang “We’ll Understand It By and By.” It was a fun, uptempo song to end on, and they did several reprises of the chorus, because we weren’t ready for the concert to end.
If you have not seen the Bowling Family recently, especially since their accident, you should definitely go next time they are in your area. Mike, Kelly and Terah are the real deal, and it's so evident that they believe every word they are singing and saying. Since their accident, it seems that there's even a greater anointing on their lives.
It was a great concert with a sweet spirit the entire night. We weren't simply sung to, we were ministered to and encouraged, and we all worshiped together.