Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Worshipping with Declaration - Concert Recap

I had the chance to see Declaration in concert for the first time on Aug. 16. Thanks to social media I felt like I knew the group already. I even had the chance to interview them last year. The group consists of Kasey Kemp, Jake Sammons and T.J. Evans who joined the group in January. It was great to hear them live.

The concert was at a small church in Conway, Ark. The pastor mentioned that he grew up in North Carolina where Southern Gospel was plentiful. He had lived in other places though where it was not as abundant. I believe this was the first time the church had a group and certainly hope it's not the last. I'm glad he's doing his part to bring it to Arkansas and very happy that he decided to start with Declaration!

Declaration - Jake Sammons, Kasey Kemp and
T.J. Evans
The night started with "Come to the Water," and then they picked up the pace with "One More Time." It's fun song that had the audience clapping along! Next they sang a song written by Jake called "I Know He Loves Me." This is an incredible song. T.J. took the verses of the song and proved what a great addition he is to the lineup! Then they sang the familiar "Feeling Mighty Fine."

Kasey introduced the group and said that the most important thing that Declaration wanted the audience to realize that night was that Jesus loves you. Then they sang, "All the Way" followed by "Feel Like Traveling On."

Kasey talked about how they carefully pick songs and always want to make sure their songs line up with scripture. He talked about how precious the old hymns are not just because they are old, but because of the theology behind them. They recently recorded a collection of hymns and sang a few from the collection including "In the Garden," "He Touched Me" and "Put on a Crown."

Kasey told the story of a revival they had done a while back in Illinois. He said that they had had some really good services. During the revival on the third night about three songs into the service, they noticed a lady come in the back. She was a biker type and sat in the back. About three or four songs later, the lady jumped out of her seat and ran to the altar in tears. She threw up her hands in surrender and said that she couldn't take it anymore. She was on her way to a bike rally and something told her to turn around and go in the church. When she ran to the altar, she made the decision to ask Jesus to be Lord of her life. Kasey said that in talking to her after the service, she actually used to be a member of the church and members of the church had been praying for her. Kasey said that God taught them all a lesson that night. It doesn't matter where you have been, what you have done or who you have been in the past, God is interested in where He wants to take you.

They then sang "Whosoever Will" which they said they consider this to be their testimony song. They closed the first half with "It Wasn't Me." I love this song! Jake does an incredible job on it!

The second half started with the familiar favorite "Heaven's Jubilee." Before the song, Kasey talked about growing up on the Red Back Hymnal and how they had gotten to be part of the tribute to the hymnal on TBN.

Declaration changed the style up a bit for the next one. They sang a soft shoe, rat pack type song "I'm Glad I Know." They had the audience snap along during it. "Standing on the Solid Rock" was next with the audience clapping and standing enjoying every note!

They slowed things down a bit next. They took seats on the stools, and Jake picked up the guitar. They did a hymn sing inviting the audience to join them on the songs.

Kasey then gave his testimony of his recent illness. He had been having severe headaches. He had planned a trip to see his family in Illinois. When he got home his blood pressure was extremely high. He went to the hospital and the doctors ran several tests. Through all the tests, they found no bleeding or aneurysms. But the years of traveling had caused pinched nerves in his neck and spasms. After spending the night in the hospital, they got his blood pressure down and were able to regulate his medication. He still was not feeling 100% but praised God for him being on the mend. It made him think about how good God has been to him, no matter what comes our way. Then he was featured on "In Good Hands." Loved hearing him sing this! Great job and powerful moment after hearing his testimony!!

T.J. then sang "He Is Here" just before the offered the invitation for the evening. They really brought the focus back to a worship service and not just a concert.

They closed the night with "Don't Try to Tell Me" which had everyone standing and clapping along!

It was an incredible night of worship. I'm so glad I got to see these guys for the first time live. I hope it's the first of many trips for them to Central Arkansas!

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