I got to see 11th Hour for the first time in January. I had heard of them, but wasn't familiar at all with their
music. However, it didn't take long for me to become a big fan of the group and its music! The group consists of Amber Eppinette, Candice Jordan, Grant Gibson and Ethan Allen. The four of them all in their 20s help reassure gospel music fans that the future of this genre is in good hands.
Amber was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about their group and how they got started.
Question: When did you become interested in singing Southern Gospel music? What are some of your earliest memories of Southern Gospel?
Amber Eppinette: I was born a bus baby, born and raised in the ministry so Southern Gospel has always been a big part of my life. There came a point where I had to decide what I was going to do the rest of my life and God just showed me this was what I was supposed to be doing. Different genres of music will satisfy and last you for just a little while but Southern Gospel music changes you for eternity. That’s why I became and am still interested in Southern Gospel music.
My earliest memories were traveling and singing with my family group called “Pure Heart”. We traveled every weekend and my family would sing and my Dad would preach. It was a wonderful lifestyle and experience as a kid growing up. Also, Candice’s dad played the piano in the group so we all grew up together being preachers' kids and musical kids.
Q: How did you get started as 11th Hour? How long have you been singing?
Amber: Six years ago at a revival meeting, God was telling me to start a group. He told me to ask Candice (my best friend) to join it with me. What’s funny is, Candice had only sang maybe two specials in church her whole life so this is proof, all of this is a GOD THING. We went through a few singers but she and I always stuck together, and now I believe God has in this group exactly who he wants in it. Everyone’s hearts and minds are into it, and I am thrilled to say as the owner of 11th Hour, I wouldn’t trade them for anyone in the industry. To me, they are the best there is, vocally and spiritually.
I have been singing all of my life. Born and raised in it. Loving every minute I get to do it.
Candice: I have been singing since 11th Hour started for two years and I am thankful for the way God has allowed me to minister.
Grant: I have been singing with 11th Hour for about two months now and enjoying where God has placed me. I have been singing southern gospel for 10 years.
Ethan: I have been playing for years but I have been playing professionally with 11th Hour for two years and its been a joy to watch God work in everyone’s lives including my own.
Q: How did you come up with the name 11th Hour?
Amber: Matthew 20:6-7 - In the 11th Hour, others were standing idle in the vineyard when there was work to be done so the Lord equipped them and said “Go ye also into the vineyard…”
That is what we are trying to do. Go and try to win as many to Christ as we can because we believe we are in the 11th Hour and the midnight cry is about to arrive (when the Lord returns).
Q: Do you have a favorite song that you sing? And what song from another group has ministered to you?
Amber: My favorite song would have to be "Bloodline" because so many times satan tries to fight us in mind and body but we can hold on to the fact, he can tempt and try us but he can’t harm us if we have the relationship (shield of protection) with Christ.
The Perrys sing a song called "Did I Mention" written by Kyla Rowland. So many times we are trying to share the story with others but I love how this song is personally between you and the Lord. Many times the Lord just wants to hear from his children that we love him and this is what this song does.
Q: What artists have been your biggest influence (musically and/or personally)?
Amber: Karen Peck Gooch whom I’ve known since I was a baby has really portrayed what a true Christian lady should be like. She also has a wonderful voice that I have admired since I was younger.
Q: What has been your favorite memory so far in your ministry?
Amber: Seeing the change in people’s lives. Seeing and getting to be a part of someone’s salvation. Hearing the testimonies will absolutely melt your heart with joy and it gives us another boost of energy to go and minister every time we hear these songs are touching lives.
Q: What new things are coming up for 11th Hour?
Amber: We will be singing Saturday night at NQC and we are very nervous yet excited for the opportunity the Lord has allowed us to have there.
Also, in September/October we plan on recording our new project with our new singer Grant Gibson. Help us pray for the right songs.
Wherever the Lord leads us to go, that’s where we will be. We are just very thankful God chose to use nobodies like us and make us somebodies for HIS glory.
Thanks Amber and 11th Hour for agreeing to be part of this series! For more on 11th Hour, check out the group's website, 11thhourgospelgroup.com.