October 6, 2013 12:36:51 AM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
Phillips, Craig and Dean have occupied the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Christian Soft Adult Contemporary chart for eight weeks, as of this writing. With their hit "Great, Great God" -- the latest of more than 20 No. 1 songs -- and multiple awards to their credit, the venerable group is one of the genre's most respected.
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Columbus will bring the chart-topping trio known for harmonies and humor to Columbus for an outdoor concert Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. on the grounds of the church located at 1383 Pleasant Hill Road. Concessions will be available.
"This is an opportunity for us to bring a world-renowned Christian singing group to our area and maybe to give people who normally wouldn't go to church an opportunity to hear good music and enjoy Christian fellowship," said Dr. Bill Hurt, pastor of Pleasant Hill. He counts himself fortunate to have hosted Phillips, Craig and Dean twice in the past, in churches in Natchez and Decatur, Ala.
Pleasant Hill congregation member Lisa Latham said, "We have a wonderful open field and are asking people to bring lawn chairs or blankets. An outside concert in October under the stars and hearing this music and all kinds of people coming together ... it will be a wonderful experience!"
Randy Phillips, Shawn Craig and Dan Dean are not a typical top-tier recording trio: All three are senior pastors in their churches, in different cities in Texas and Missouri.
Being pastors, husbands, fathers and musicians comes with its own unique challenges, but the group, which formed in 1991, has found a way to manage them.
The three-time Dove Award winners have also earned multiple CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) honors, including CCM's 2000 Inspirational Song of the Decade for "Crucified With Christ." Radio listeners may recognize titles including "Let My Words Be Few," Great Are You Lord" and "Revelation Song."
"I would say the concert will be more than what the audience expects -- they (Phillips, Craig and Dean) always are," said Hurt. "They've had so many No. 1 hits, and I think they're going to do all of them."
The pastor hopes such events can be presented annually, but that depends on public support.
"If the community wants to see things like this, they need to support it, and our churches need to support it as well," he said. "If it's successful, we'd like to do something annually."
How to go
Concert tickets are $20 and may be purchased at New Life Supplies in Columbus, in North Gate Plaza, 1920 Highway 45 N., at the church office or online at phillipscraiganddean.com. For more information, contact the church office, 662-329-3921.
Members of the military with ID can attend at no charge, Latham said. "It's just a way to say thank you."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.