While the name Southern Tradition has been used in the past, it can literally be said that the formation of the current version of Southern Tradition was started over 50 years ago! From the musical seeds sown and the influences of the local Gospel music scene in and around the St. Louis area and the impression and impact that those groups had upon young boy growing up in a non-musical Christian family. Having played guitar and sung in few organized weekend groups, local church groups, and choirs, it was always a God-given desire of Greg’s to form a group, in particular a Male Quartet, that would minister on a local basis as God opened the doors of opportunity. Unfortunately, there was one huge hurdle to forming a group, and that was the finances needed to purchase equipment. In late 2020, as the world was still in the grips of the Covid Crisis, Greg and his wife Paula, attended a two night Southern Gospel convention style singing, where there were only 2 quartets scheduled to sing during the entire convention. While many great singers ministered during the convention, this lack of quartets began to weigh heavy on Greg. As he prayed about this, God seemed to lift the “self-imposed” financial hurdle that seemed to prevent the quartet dream from happening. There wasn’t a financial windfall or blessing that occurred, nor was a large loan taken out to cover startup costs. Basically, it was just about trusting the Lord and taking a step of faith.
Every year during that two night convention, they honor two musical pioneers who have influenced the growth of Southern Gospel in the Missouri area and who have dedicated a significant potion of their life to the field of Gospel music. Over the years many well deserving people have been honored. Ironically, in 2020, they honored a man by the name of Eldon Wright who had dedicated over 70 years of his life to the field of gospel music. You can watch the video of this honor here.
What does this have to do with Southern Tradition, you may ask????
As 2021 rolled in and the Quartet dream began to take shape, one of the main things on the to do list is to come up with a name. An email response to an ad for singers came in that simply said “can you please tell me more?” This started an email correspondence between Greg and Eldon over a number of weeks. It so happens that at one point in his career, Eldon and a couple musical friends sang as a trio under the name of Southern Tradition, which he legally owned. After Greg shared the goals and direction of the new quartet with him, Eldon felt that the name of Southern Tradition seemed to be a perfect fit. Eldon offered to sign over the name of Southern Tradition to Greg for the new quartet to use and to be available to mentor the group as needed.
So while there may have been a lack of Quartets singing at the convention that year, there was nevertheless a different type of God encounter that happened that lead to birth of a new Southern Gospel Ministry and the official naming of the quartet as “Southern Tradition”!
We have been honored to minister at a number of events in 2022, what a GREAT way to start this new ministry! We look forward to the doors that God opens for Southern Tradition in 2023! Call 636-789-1089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about scheduling your next event.
We have additional exciting avenues of musical ministry planned once we have the Quartet established, so you’ll want to subscribe to our mailing list and keep up to date as things develop.
Born in Gary Indiana, Greg has lived in the St. Louis area since the age of four. Greg began playing the guitar at the age of seven and still plays today in his home church. Before starting Southern Tradition, Greg was involved with a number of other local groups, The Sons of God, Gene Warren and The Glorylanders, Master’s Touch, Jericho, and Anthem Road. Greg has worked in the Information Technology field for over 40 years and enjoys sports, classic cars, and vacationing at the beach. Greg is married to Paula and between them they have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. Greg and Paula are members of Concord Church in South County.
Born in Illinois, Paula was raised in a Pastor’s home, living all over southern Illinois while growing up. Paula spent over 30 years working in churches as a Music Minister, leading congregations, choirs and praise teams, writing charts and musical parts, and organizing and directing special Church related events. Recently, Paula has transitioned into a different type of ministry as an Activities Director for a Skilled Nursing Facility where she believes that everyday she’s able to minister individually to people’s needs. Outside of work, music, and family, she loves the beach, and gardening. She’s married to Greg and between them they have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. Greg and Paula are members of Concord Church in South County.
Bill has lived his entire life in the Arnold Missouri area and even built his own house, some 40 years ago. Bill is a retired printer and now fills his time with family activities and his passion - working on old cars. Bill has played the trumpet for many years. He has also sung a soloist, in ensembles, choirs, and as tenor vocalist for the mixed Southern Gospel group Crossroads. Bill and his wife Terri attend Arnold United Baptist and have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren.
Terry resides in Oakville Missouri and is retired. His love of Gospel Quartet Music began at a very early age where he grew up singing in Church. In the 70’s he sang with Barney Barrow and The Victory Quartet and later with the King James Version before helping form The Reynolds Family Singers with his Sister and Parents. Terry would eventually answer the call to Pastoral Ministry in the local church for a number of years. In 2008, Terry returned to Gospel Music Ministry, singing with Ralph Green and Jerry Tomlinson in an original version of Southern Tradition. Terry is excited and honored to be “back” with the current Southern Tradition and is looking forward to spreading the Gospel in song where ever the Lord opens the door. Terry enjoys a wide variety of sports and has 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great grand children.
Alan is from the Desoto, Missouri area and is a recent retiree! Alan’s passion is fishing! When not fishing or thinking about fishing, Alan fills his time with singing and family activities. Members of First Baptist Church of Desoto for over 30 years, Alan and his wife LeeAnn have four children between them and eight grandchildren. Before Southern Tradition, Alan sang with The Young Messengers, Golden Street Quartet, Sunshine Quartet, Brush Arbor, and his own Quartet, Jericho.
We are thankful for all the members of Southern Tradition that God has assembled and we look forward to using the talents that God has given each of us to help bring the salvation message to the lost and encouragement to the Christian.