By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
It was announced just last Sunday during services at Jewel City Church that a familiar voice that is part of the Gaither Homecoming shows will be paying a visit to Shinnston. Tenor David Phelps, along with his band, will present their “Classic Christmas Tour” at Jewel City Church on Monday, November 28th beginning at 6:30 p.m.
According to Pastor Robert Shingleton, an immediate sale of tickets attests to Phelps’ popularity!
“We put it out on social media and sold nearly 200 tickets almost instantaneously!” Pastor Shingleton stated. “We think that’s a pretty amazing response.”
Jewel City Youth Pastor Eric Miker said that through his association with DecembeRadio, a Christian group that was signed to the Bill Gaither record label, he knew some people and made some inquiries.
“From my experience, I know what questions they ask and I knew that we could accommodate him, so arrangements were made. Technically, we will be the first stop on his Christmas tour,” Miker said. “We’ve had some good shows here in the past couple of years … some of those performers being American Idol finalists – and they were all sellouts, so we were certain Phelps would draw the same attention.”
Pastor Shingleton added, “When making a commitment like this, we of course hope to sell every seat … and if we don’t, we pay the difference. But we don’t bring in talent to the area to make a profit. All we want to do is bring quality performances to the area, and breaking even is our goal.”
“David Phelps is a very talented vocalist,” Miker added. “He is currently on tour with the Gaither Vocal Band, but will be striking out on his own with this Christmas tour. I’ve been told that his performance is a two and a half hour show, and I’m sure it will be well received.”
Phelps, a Texas native, graduated from Baylor University in 1992 with a degree in Music and Vocal Performance. He has been part of the Gaither Vocal Band since 2009 and has received Grammy and Dove Awards as well as having had several platinum-selling projects.
Phelps is noted for passionate vocals, but he has many songwriting and production credits as well. His voice has echoed in Carnegie Hall, in the White House, and in countless halls and churches around the world.
Phelps is a “sharer”; he and his wife Lori share the same birthday. They also share in raising their four children – who also sing! And, most importantly, he shares his voice through Christian music with the world.
Jewel City Church, located on Haywood Road near Shinnston, has a seating capacity of 650, so there are still seats available. However, judging by the initial response, it would be wise to get tickets early! Tickets are on sale now at the church or through their website at jewelcitychurch.org.
General admission tickets are $20 each; Artists Circle tickets are $25 each; and VIP tickets, which are already sold out, were $35 per person. Any tickets that are not pre-sold will be available at the door for $25 that evening.
This concert offers a dynamic way to usher in the holiday season!