Faithway Baptist Church in Hollywood invites the public for an old-fashioned gospel singing on Saturday, May 30, at 6 p.m.
Featured artists will be the Durhams Gospel Quartet and Erica Cookston.
The quartet is a family group led by Mike Durham, his two daughters, Ashley and Lindsay, and son-in-law, Nathan.
The group began more than ten years ago and are called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through song.
Erica Cookston is the daughter of Linda and Eric Cookston of Hollywood.
At just 16-years-old, Cookston has won awards such as, ‘Gospel Female Newcomer of the Year,’ and is already at work on her second solo CD. She is also completing her second compilation CD, which will feature artists such as Guy Penrod, formerly of the Gaither Vocal Band.
“She started singing when she was five and has always loved it,” Linda said.
With musical talent on both sides of her family, Cookston is naturally gifted.
“Almost everyone on both sides of our family sings,” Linda said. “My mom, brother and I sang when I was a girl, but now I’m just a spectator. My husband, Eric, usually plays guitar and piano for Erica when she performs, and both her brothers play piano. They don’t live at home anymore, but I love it when they all get together. There is music everywhere.
“Erica has a very powerful singing voice,” Linda said. “She can make things sound soft, but that’s not natural for her.”
Cookston, who will be a junior at Scottsboro High School has already been offered a recording contract with A&G Entertainment.
“I encourage her to make a life out of it,” Linda said. “But we did not think the contract was the thing to do right now. She doesn’t do this to get famous. She likes helping people.”
Erica practices every day and performs several times each year at Christian venues across the southeast.
“She has performed over ten times in the last two months,” Linda said. “She just loves the Lord and loves to make people happy through song.”
Cookston’s new single, ‘I Already Knew,’ by Rebecca Peck, is an original, previously unrecorded song.
“We’re all very excited about it,” Linda said.
“The CD will hopefully be released by the end of the summer,” Linda said.
On the compilation CD, Cookston has received permission to record a song by Dottie Rambo but has not chosen which one.
Cookston’s upcoming events include a performance at Six Flags over Georgia on July 17 and The Hard Rock Café on July 18.
She will also be performing at the Gerald Crabb Gospelfest in Dalton, Georgia, on July 9,10 and 11 at the Dalton Civic Center with artists like Jason Crabb and Brian Free.
“We are very proud of her,” Linda said. “She works very hard and she is faithful.”
For more information about the singing at Faithway Baptist Church, contact Waymon Venable at: 256-574-2839.
The singing is free to the public and everyone is invited to attend.