The Oak Ridge Boys have been one of the most popular groups of all time, with both secular and religious audiences. They came together in 1973 and have had a musical journey lasting 40 years. This foursome is known for the singing of gospel music combined with traditional country.
What may not be so well known is the group’s bold expression about their faith. While there are many performers that call themselves Christians, some of them turn right around and believe, do, or endorse things that are anything but Christian. And being one means different things to different people. The Oak Ridge Boys have clearly refuted any misconceptions.
Tenor Joseph Bonsall, has this to say in his new book, On The Road With The Oak Ridge Boys: “We believe it’s imperative that prayer and Jesus Christ be at the forefront of our thinking and is the way we live our lives.” They have prayed for safe travel and strength to perform when sick. They have sought God’s direction when choosing songs for albums. In reference to a Christmas show Bonsall writes that “…we’re honored to unashamedly stand tall, proclaim the Gospel, and sing about the birth of Christ, the Lamb of God, our Lord and Savior.”
Their actions have reinforced their words. One time in the 1980’s they declined a sponsorship because the manufacturer was promoting a product not in line with their beliefs and message.
One of their most popular songs is, “Thank God For Kids.” Well, let’s be thankful for a group like the Oak Ridge Boys who have taken an uncompromising position for their beliefs. They have defined being a Christian as one who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They have lived out Colossians 3:17,“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
To this could be added, whether you sing to religious or secular audiences, do it to the glory of God. Whatever abilities or gift you have, use it to draw people to the message of hope and healing found in God’ son. This group has left both a musical and spiritual legacy. What can you do to use your unique abilities, no matter how small, as a vehicle to share God’s love and grace?
Neat story. My parents just saw them about a month or so ago, and they called The Couriers up on stage with them (another beloved gospel group) and were a bold witness. They also told the story of how Elvira was just a filler track and ended up becoming this huge hit 🙂
Oh, and I am a happily married woman but Richard Sterban’s bass still makes me a little weak-kneed (not his hair, though, haha)