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Two of Christian music’s favorite voices are coming to Lancaster this weekend.
Ivan “The Voice” Parker will perform at 7 p.m. tonight at Second Baptist Church as part of the 2010 GlennMark Concert Series.
Christian recording artist Janet Paschal will sing at 10:30 a.m. Sunday during the morning worship service at Springdell Baptist Church.
Regularly featured on Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Video and Concert Series, and a member of the Gaither Trio, Parker was the lead singer of Gold City quartet for more than 10 years.
Parker still vividly recalls the night he was saved while listening a fiery evangelist preach on the rapture of the church and heaven.
“I was sitting on the back row with all my friends. When the invitation was given, I couldn’t get to the alter fast enough,” he said. “My mom and dad had always told me that whenever it came to salvation, I couldn’t get to heaven on their experience. I had to have my own.”
After Parker joined Gold City as lead vocalist in 1983, the quartet achieved seven Favorite Group Awards and 19 top 10 hits, including the 1993 Dove Award winning Southern Gospel Song of The Year, “There Rose A Lamb.”
Parker launched a solo career in 1994 and joined the Gaither Trio in 1996 with prolific sacred songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither.
His signature song, “Midnight Cry” has become a Southern gospel classic that draws a worldwide audience.
Parker still recalls the reaction he got when performing the song in Africa. He said everyone in the crowd was singing.
“It was amazing to see all these people on the other side of the world singing this song word for word and worshiping God,” Parker said.
“When I was notified in 2007 that this song had gone to the number one position on the radio charts in Europe, I was astounded and reminded that all things are possible through God.”
A father of two, and a grandfather, Parker considers Bill Gaither as one of his biggest singing influences.
However, Parker said the greatest influences on his life had been his parents.
“My mom, Katie Parker is a real prayer warrior,” he said. “She has always prayed for God to use her children.”
In reflecting on his dad’s life, Parker sees what he does as a reflection of his father’s ministry.
The elder Parker was a Pentecostal preacher in Sanford, N.C.
“My dad was a singer and musician, but when he was called to preach, he put his music on the back burner,” Parker said.
“It’s almost like he passed the mantel to me, and I’m fulfilling the musical side of his ministry.”
Born in Reidsville, N.C., Janet Paschal grew up dreaming of becoming a gospel singer and recalls penning those words in her daily journals.
The granddaughter of a preacher, Paschal got that chance. After graduating high school, she joined The LeFevres, which later became the Rex Nelon Singers.
She joined televangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s crusade team and started a solo recording career. Paschal moved to Nashville in 1992 and kept recording.
Paschal’s 1997 album, “The Good Road,” and a book by the same name caught on with listeners and readers. Since then, she has released seven albums and is regarded as one of gospel music’s top female vocalists.
Her 1991 hit song, “Written in Red” is considered as one of the Top 10 inspirational songs of all time. Like Parker, Paschal has sang at Carnegie Hall. She has also performed for presidents, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C., and is a featured performer in the Gaither homecoming videos.
Her career was sailing on until 2005, when she was diagnosed with cancer.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I never even got a cold,” she said in a previous interview. “That started a journey I never anticipated taking. Nobody in my family ever had cancer so all of this was new.”
In a past interview with The Toledo Free Press, Paschal said the experience never made her lose faith.
“I never did ask God why or why not; I never questioned him about it at all,” she said.
After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Paschal was declared as cancer free in 2007.
Since that time, Paschal has not only performed more than 100 concert dates a year, she has also become an international spokeswoman for cancer awareness and often speaks of how it impacted and changed her life.
On Sept. 18, Paschal teamed up with the National Quartet Convention to host the second annual NQC Cancer Walk at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Today; doors open at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Second Baptist Church, 1426 Great Falls Highway
HOW MUCH: Adult tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets for children ages 7 to 12 are $5 and can be bought at the door. Children under age 6 are admitted free. Advance tickets are available at Cooper Furniture, 311 S. Main St; Mahaffey Funeral Home, 201 N. Catawba St.; and Mungo, Nichols and Hess, 1107 Chesterfield Ave.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Sunday
WHERE: Springdell Baptist Church, 1420 Springdell Church Road (off Springdale Road near Village Food Mart)
HOW MUCH: Free, a love offering will be taken
INFORMATION: (803) 246-1031 or www.janetpaschal.com