By J.R. SCHRADER,
A male trio, The Shepherd’s Staff, based in Roanoke, will bring the gospel in word and song to Family Worship Center-First Pentecostal Holiness Church, 955 Memorial Drive, Pulaski, Sunday at 10:45 a.m.
The Shepherd’s Staff is rooted deep in Southern Gospel and has been singing and ministering together since 1998.
Their experiences go beyond the past 16 years in gospel and secular music.
The three members are comfortable with where they are musically.
Pete Roberts, one of the original members, has been a Southern Gospel fan and active with several groups through the past 30 years, mostly behind the scenes until the 1990s.
When asked go fill in with The Virginians Quartet in 1994, Roberts found he preferred to be on stage.
Singing tenor, he also handles sound and other logistical responsibilities.
Ron Porter, a familiar name around the New River Valley and son of a minister, has experience with several groups in Southwest Virginia, such as The Esquires, The Southern Gentlemen and Southern Gold. His lead voice is a significant part of the Shepherd’s Staff.
He brings a background as minister of music and choir directors in churches in Richmond and Roanoke, giving him a background to add color and impact to their presentation.
Gary Spencer plays the keyboard and sings baritone, as well as handling most of the emcee duties.
He brings a wide variety of experience to the gospel field through The Shepherd’s Staff. He spent several years in secular music in Atlanta and Nashville as musician for backup singers for the late Roy Orbison.
His childhood love for gospel music brought him back to the style in the late 1990s.
When a local minister asked him to assist with the music at his church, The Shepherd’s Staff was born.
The group presents a crisp sound of seasoned singers featuring fresh arrangements and a heart for ministry.
Dr. C.R. Conner, pastor, invites the public to hear the Word and Gospel in song Sunday morning. There is no admission and all are welcome.