The Stephens were another group that garnered attention at the National Quartet Convention in the
afternoon showcases. They had the chance to sing twice on the main stage at NQC. The group consists of Melody and Thom Stephens and Bethany, Melody's sister. Get to know a little bit more about this group -
Question - Did you grow up with a strong southern gospel influence? When did you first become interested in southern gospel?
The Stephens - Thom grew up with what he knew as "church music." He, like his dad and one of his sisters, sang in church growing up. It really wasn't until he was a senior in high school (1982) that he really became aquainted with Southern Gospel music. Melody and Bethany, being sisters, grew up singing together in their family group, The Givens.
Q - How did you get started singing and traveling?
The Stephens - We each sang with family growing up. We also sang in local groups for a period of time. Melody has been one of the most sought after sopranos in gospel music. She gave in to God's call in 1999 to become one of the most recognizable voices in gospel music as a soprano with the Nelons. Her position with the famed Nelons allowed her to sing on the very popular Bill Gaither Homecoming videos. She also has Dove Award nominations. Melody, her husband Thom and her sister Bethany started singing together as the Stephens almost six years ago.
Q - What's the one thing that you want people who walk away from your concerts to know about the Stephens?
The Stephens - We want them to know that we are real. We go through storms just like everyone else but we don't go alone. Because Christ is the center of our lives, we are never alone. We want them to be encouraged and if they don't have a personal relationship with Christ, we will gladly show them what the Bible says about being saved. Our goal for every singing is to encourage the believer and save the lost.
Q - Do you have a favorite song that you sing? And what song from another group has ministered to you?
The Stephens - One of our favorite songs that we sing right now is "My God Will Always Be Enough." This is a powerful song that ministers to us as well as those attending the services where we sing. It is on our LIVE CD that was just released. Many songs from other groups minister to us. Trying to pinpoint just one is very difficult. Many times the songs that really touch us just when we need it usually will be an old hymn of the church that some group has re-done. One that comes to mind is Jason Crabb's rendition of "I'd Rather Have Jesus."
Q - What artists have been your biggest influence (musically and/or personally)?
The Stephens - There are so many, a few would be the Nelons, the Isaacs, the Bowlings, the Martins, currently 11th Hour and the Collingsworth Family. This list could literally go on and on. I'm not sure of how much space you have. LOL
Q - What has been your favorite memory so far in your ministry? Do you have a certain concert that stands out?
The Stephens - Just recently we sang on the Regional Artist Showcase at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Ken. We won the daily event on that Tuesday and got to sing on the main stage that night. Winning on Tuesday allowed us to also sing on the Saturday showcase which was composed of all the 20 weekly winners. We won Saturday as well and got to sing on the main stage again Saturday night. The prize was a recording contract with a major record company. This truly was just a God thing and nothing that we can take credit for. We give Him all the honor and glory! However, the most memorable services that we have are those where someone comes to know Jesus as their personal Savior. This is what we pray for before we ever enter a venue to sing.
Q - What new things are coming up for the Stephens?
The Stephens - We just released our latest CD, The Stephens LIVE. It is turning out to be a huge success thanks to our affiliation with Morris Music Group and GAT3 Midsouth studios. We record on their Delta Sky Records label. Morris Music has released a song from our LIVE CD to radio. It's a new version of an old hymn, "Unclouded Day." It currently is #68 on The Singing News Top 80 chart. A brand new CD of all original songs is currently under way to be released some time in 2014. To learn more about us, visit our website at www.thestephensmusic.com. Please pray for our ministry! God Bless!
Thank you Stephens for taking time to answer all my questions!