Ceres pastor and local radio ministry personality Herb Henry will be celebrating 25 years of promoting Southern Gospel Music through concerts and radio with a Saturday, March 22 program.
The 6 p.m. concert event will be held at North Modesto Church of God, 1918 Sherwood Ave., Modesto. Admission will be $10 at the door.
Herb Henry became pastor of Richland Faith Assembly of God in Ceres in 1986. That same year, he began teaching his children to sing and harmonize with Herb and his wife Nancy. The family started out attending singing conventions and concerts throughout California, becoming acquainted with other Gospel singers, including the Speer Family. It was in January of 1989 that Pastor Henry received a call from their booking agent, asking him if he would like to present the Florida Boys in concert.
"I did not hesitate to take up this opportunity," said Henry. "I rented a local school auditorium and then went to a Christian radio station in the area to buy advertising. There, I was invited to come aboard with a Gospel Music program on Saturday night radio. Again, I stepped forward into this opportunity."
That was the beginning of his weekly radio ministry on KPLA AM 770, an Oakdale radio station that reaches into the Bay area.
That first concert with the Florida Boys turned out to be a great success, so they booked other groups, including the Weatherfords, the Speers, The Stamps and the Songfellows. In the years following, the Nelons, Hoppers and Kingsmen appeared. The biggest promotion ever, came in 1994 when Henry hosted the Cathedral Quartet to Modesto that drew over 2,000 in attendance.
Henry's radio program expanded to two hours in 1992. The program is now heard at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
"What a joy it has been to be a part of the Gospel Music world, over these many years," said Henry, "to become acquainted with so many wonderful gospel singers, as well as dear friends and supporters of this music."
The featured guests at this Saturday's event will be Southern Raised from Branson, Mo., for their west coast debut. The program will also include Ken Hurley & Reliance of Fresno; and soloist Sheri Stambaugh.
The event will include the newest version of the Herb Henry Family, consisting of Henry, Richie Hartsfield, and Chris and Amanda Henry.