Steve French, founding member of the Kingdom Heirs, issued this statement today -
"After being in full time Southern Gospel music for 30 years, I feel it's time for me to close this chapter of my life, and begin the next chapter to see what God has in store. Gospel music has taken me places I would have otherwise not been able to go, and meet the wonderful people I've met over the years. It's been an incredible journey and the Lord has really blessed me. I'd always dreamed of retiring at 55, and guess what.. I turned 55 in September!
If it's one thing I've learned through all of this, it's that God will give you the desires of your heart - maybe not in the way you pictured it, but He will give them to you in the way that He sees fit.
Thank you all for your support, and please continue to support the guys now more than ever. The Father is doing a great work in them, and I have a feeling it's about to get even better!
As for me, I plan to travel, and maybe look into building a new home somewhere out west. You never know what the next 55 will hold! Ah, the joys of retirement!"
Here's more on the future of the Kingdom Heirs from the group's Facebook page -
For the six active members of The Kingdom Heirs, it’s business as usual. Piano player Andy Stringfield has been pulling double-duty for the quartet, filling in the baritone vocals from his piano. Regarding the new vocal lineup, bassist and now sole-manager Kreis French has confidence in the group’s current voices. “Andy will continue to sing baritone for the foreseeable future and we all know he’s capable of continuing to do it at a high level.”
The Kingdom Heirs are in the early stages of their Christmas season at Dollywood – a schedule they intended to complete. “We are in conversations with the team at Dollywood and everyone wants to continue this relationship – for this season and the next,” said Kreis.
By now, those conversations must sound more like old friends than negotiations – the quartet and theme park are scheduled to celebrate their 30th year together in 2015.
Following year’s end at Dollywood, the group will gear up for their annual Winter Tour beginning late January. “As a group, we’ll do what The Kingdom Heirs have always done – and that’s hit the road when Dollywood is closed,” commented Kreis. “The only difference now – is I’m booking all the dates and doing most of the driving.”
With change comes an inevitable season of uncertainty, but The Kingdom Heirs are doing their best to see the road lying just ahead of them.
To see when you can visit with The Kingdom Heirs, be sure to get latest schedule from the quartet or from Dollywood. 2015 Winter Tour dates will be announced and posted to the website as they become available. For booking information, contact Kreis French.