It's been over five years since God restored our family.
I had all but given up that Julie could ever love me after who I had been. I even wondered if God would forgive a man that had ran from him for so long. Thankfully, His grace is greater than my sin! His love is patient and his pursuit is relentless!
Julie and I started our relationship just after a terrible time in my life. She was 18 and I was freshly out of a marriage that started early in my teenage years. I was a father of two boys, Will and Caleb. Honestly, I was just barely a man. Within a few months matters only got worse. My mother passed away at 56 years old. I was devastated. I found myself bitter and angry. Heartbroken, I started to step away from the life that I had known since childhood.
I took a position with a local police department. I loved law enforcement, but later, became a bounty hunter. It took me to places I never thought I would go.
Julie and I were married in August of 2008. Six months later, our daughters Jaidyn and Payton were born 14 months apart. We were a normal married couple on the outside: inside, we were a time bomb waiting to go off.
The bitterness inside me turned into verbal abuse. I was gone more than I was home. Work became my God. Then I started to see infidelity going on all around me. My mom used to say, "if you hang out in a mud hole long enough, you will get it on you!" She was right. I started to fall into the trap that the enemy had laid out for me. Finally, I came to the conclusion that marriage was not for me.
One night before work, I remember being so prepared in my speech. I began to tell Julie that I was leaving, I didn't want to be a husband or dad anymore. We were through. I was leaving and not coming back. Julie's response changed our lives forever.
I'll never forget the hurt in her face when she said to me "I Love you! God can fix this! We just need to get things right with him." I replied with " I don't want God to fix it. I just want him to leave me alone! All my life, I have only wanted to serve Him, sing and preach for Him. He took my mother and he won't open doors for us! Why should I try?"
Julie asked me to give her 40 days. I had seen the movie "Fireproof" and was not interested. She then asked me if I loved the kids at all. That one hurt. I just couldn't show it. I was the tough bounty hunter. I couldn't show any weakness. I agreed to the 40 days to let the kids get acclimated to the change coming. I had no idea that I would be the one getting an adjustment.
Julie would call my name before the Lord night after night. I could hear her some nights. I could even feel her tears on my back. Day after day I just tried to go on as if I hadn't heard her. That I didn't care. The truth is that I was being changed and couldn't even see it! Things were slowly turning for the better.
One day I was going to make an arrest. One of the people in the house had a gun. He started shooting at me. He missed me twice. Before I could turn around and return fire, I saw the gun in my face. I heard the hammer hit but no bang. God had spared my life that day.
A few weeks later I woke up to the most beautiful woman I had ever seen standing at the foot of the bed. She was getting ready for church. Something was different but I wasn't sure what. I decided to go with her. When we got inside, the worship team was sing "So Amazing". The whole church was on their feet singing this chorus. Before anyone could speak, Julie ran to the altar. People began to gather and pray. I knew who she went for. I began to tell God all the things that I had done for him in the past: Every message, every song, every testimony. I realized at that moment that my whole life, I had only a head knowledge of God and his love. I needed a heart knowledge!
I'll never get over the moment that I went to the altar. I felt arms wrap around me as I cried and asked God to restore my broken life. When I reached up to acknowledge the person holding me, I saw that no one was there. Jesus met me there Himself. He wrapped His arms around me and loved me with a relentless love!
I promised Him that day that no matter what I did or what platform I'm on that I would share the story of his goodness! We have done just that ever since! We have been blessed to speak and sing all over the U.S. and Canada. We have shared our story with families all over the world and have seen the restoration power of a mighty God! We even have a new baby boy, Allen Todd. He is proof that God can give you a brand new start!
No matter the struggle you face. God is always in control!
Tony and Julie Griffith
Great artists take numerous musical styles and influences, add their own talents and personality, and create a unique sound all their own. Sacred Harmony personifies that. With a sound unlike any other group in Gospel music, the Tennessee-based trio is breaking through barriers with their blended style.
With well over a decade of ministry behind them, Sacred Harmony has seen God do some mighty things in their lives and in their music. In 2016, they signed with Butler Music Group in Nashville, TN. Soon after that, they began work on a new project, 'Believe', which is proving to be a breakout album for the group. They partnered with Grammy award winners and Gospel music icons, the Fairfield Four, to record the song, 'Bury The Workman'. Much like that song, the entire album highlights the abilities of Sacred Harmony to glean from other genres while making a song their own.
Janet has been recognized for years as the soft and sweet alto/tenor voice that ties the group harmony together while sharing the stage with the most talented artists in gospel music . She is founding member of Sacred Harmony in 2000 and dedicates her heart and soul to this music ministry. Janet feels that music is her spiritual calling. Gospel music is in the bloodline of her family but most recognized is her brother, Wayne Little who has been a member of the legendary Blackwood Brothers Quartet for numerous years just to name her immediate family ties to gospel music.
Brian leads praise and worship unlike no other with his strong lead and baritone voice. He lives what he preaches as a licensed professional counselor and says listening to Christian music can help people to get through life’s difficult times. His practice is a Christian-based practice, so he really likes to integrate Christian Biblical principals into the counseling in every case possible. Prior to joining Sacred Harmony Brian was a sought after solo artist and in years past he sang with was an active member of the ETSU Chamber Choir and ETSU Men’s Ensemble. He also is an accomplished pianist and tickles the ivories from time to time in concert.
Theresa brings that strong harmony to a different level, whether she is singing lead or alto you can expect to be blessed ! Theresa's passion is to share the love of Jesus through song. She is no stranger to the world of gospel music venues as she has been gracing the stage in concert with gospels finest artists for many years not to mention singing praise to our Lord in numerous churches across the country! In past years she has been a featured soloist for "The Christian Country Convention" and is the owner and operator of "Theresa's Studio For Vocal Performance" and recognized as a renowned vocal coach.
Every so often a group comes along that’s in a class by themselves. Cross Anchored is such a group … one that every pastor and promoter should get to know. From the very first note through to the end of the very last song, our focus remains on worship and though many artists glorify God, it is rare to find three gifted individuals in one group, each with a sincere heart for ministry and the talent and wisdom to go the distance.
Todd Baker, Myron Waddell, and Jay Pass bring a sense of excitement about what they do, a deep conviction of the Spirit’s anointing and God’s calling upon their lives. Their commitment to ministry and their desire to see people drawn closer to the Lord are the driving forces behind all that they do.
Cross Anchored remains steadfast in our conviction that God has called us – as individuals and as a group – to a music ministry. We stand apart in the way we seek to use our talent to glorify the Lord but above all, we stand firmly with sincerity and a genuine desire to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a hurting and needy world. Our commitment to ministry and desire to see people drawn closer to the Lord are the driving forces behind all we do.
Todd Baker – Lead
A native of Dobson, NC, Todd began his singing career in 1996 with The King’s Heirs Quartet. After a four year journey with them, he left the group searching for what God would have him to do with his talent. From 2000 until 2005, Todd sang briefly with Crosswork Quartet and had begun a solo ministry. In 2005, Todd joined the group, New Mercy Quartet, and stayed with them until they came off the road in 2006.
“Through all of this I still felt like God had something greater for me to do. Everything started falling into place and things have never been the same since! God has great things in store for Cross Anchored as long as we let Him have control.”
Todd’s hobbies include golf, playing basketball and spending time with his wife and kids. Todd resides in State Road, NC with his wife, Vanessa, and daughters, Hannah & Sydney Claire.
Jay Pass – Tenor
Born in Olney, Illinois, Jay lived in Vincennes, Indiana until the age of 10. It was then he and his family moved to Gastonia, NC. Jay was saved at the age of 13 at the Wesleyan youth camp in Kernersville, NC. Although he started singing publicly in 10th grade (choir) he made his “BIG” debut at the age of 9 when he sang his first solo in church! Jay joined the Chapel Grove Quartet in 1997 while attending college.
Jay enjoys golf, Duke basketball and traveling in his spare time and makes his home in Statesville, NC with his wife Tara and children Carson, Tyler and Kylie.
Myron Waddell – Baritone
Born in the little town of Jonesville, NC, Myron began his music career playing drums in elementary & high school. “Saved at the age of nine, there was never a question of where I should be spending my Sundays and Wednesdays. I never sang in high school or college, but after meeting my wife Sherry, I began singing in our home church Fall Creek Baptist Church. The rest (as they say) is history.”
After singing a few years with his home church quartet, “Solid Ground”, Myron joined Tarheel State Quartet in April 2002 singing with them until July 2006. “After leaving Tarheel State, I immediately began thinking God was finished with me. Todd and I ate dinner together one night and as we talked, everything became clear … thus the birth of Cross Anchored.
Myron’s hobbies include computers and playing basketball. He resides in Elkin, NC with his wife Sherry and children Matthew & Leah.
James is the second to the youngest child of James, Sr. and May and was born in Caro, MI in the mid 1960's and raised on a small farm in Cass City, MI. Being part of a blended family of his, hers and ours, the atmosphere at times could be quite trying to say the least. There were many times that James, along with his younger siblings, found themselves staying with their grandmother, Dolly, while their parents "worked" out their differences. They felt safe loved every minute at grandma's house. It was during those times, they were able to attend church at Caro Nazarene where grandma Dolly was a charter member.
Grandma Dolly began to form the foundation that would later become the very foundation God would use to build the ministry that James has today. When James could not attend with Grandma Dolly, a couple by the name of Jerry and Sharon Hillaker would drive miles to pick him up so he could attend the Ellington Church of the Nazarene where he would continue learning and loving the things of God. His love for the arts began to intrigue him during these formative years.
In 1985, his parents would eventually divorce after years of turmoil and life for James would take yet another turn. He would relocate with his mother to a new town to help her begin a new life. After staying with her for a short time, he would move out on his own and life would begin to spiral out of control because of the decisions he chose to make. He would later take a job at Bob Evans in Saginaw, MI where he would meet the love of his life, Kelly.
In 1988, Kelly and James married and the following year they would have their first child, Travis. Their daughter, Kaitlyn, followed in 1992 and Austin in 1995. After the birth of Travis, Kelly and James rededicated their lives back to God and was eventually called into the ministry. James served in many capacities at the Living Word Worship Center in Cass City, MI under Lead Pastor, Bishop Scott Tysick.
During that time in Cass City, James was called into the ministry and the journey began and he eventually became credentialed with the International Church of God, Cleveland, TN. He evangelized, sang gospel music and would do whatever he could to fulfill the call. After the death of his mother, he and Kelly planted a church in the small rural village of Akron, MI in which they pastored for 20 years. In 2013, they would leave Akron to take the pastorate in White Cloud, MI.
James currently serves as Lead Pastor of the Church of God Ministry Center in White Cloud, MI. In conjunction to pastoring, James is traveling and ministering in Word and song. He and Kelly reside in Newaygo, MI and together they share three wonderful children and their spouses: Travis & Hailey, Kaitlyn & Craig, and Austin & Sarah along with their grandchildren, Emery & Camden.
James has recently released two recordings: " Delivered Again" and "I Choose".
And this is why it is said: "There's more than just a song."
Darrell was born December 25, 1961 and was raised in a small town called Walnut Cove, NC. He is a former member of Wayside Baptist Church , Caanan Baptist Church and Dennis Baptist Church, all of Walnut Cove. Darrell attended Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown, NC where at 10 yrs old, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. At the age of 13, his mother ( Pat) moved with Duke Power from Belews Creek, NC to the Duke Power Nuclear plant just outside of Rock Hill, SC.
In 1978, Darrell met Tricia (His beloved Romana) and lovely wife of 37 years. They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Darrell formerly sang lead (10 yrs) with The Heritage Quartet out of Lancaster, SC and 1 yr with Forever Changed based in Lexington, SC. Darrell is a member of and leads worship at Emmanuel Church Of The Nazarene in Rock Hill. SC when he is not on the road singing with Molded Clay.
The Lord laid on Darrell's heart to form "Molded Clay" in late December of 2016. Please pray for Molded Clay, that we'll ALWAYS be found humble and faithful as we follow God's leadership and direction in this ministry.
Born in Charlotte NC July 16, 1961, Joel became a Christian at the age of 7 under the leadership, guidance and prayer of strong Christian Parents. Joel's love for Southern Gospel music began at a very young age. Some of Joel's fondest childhood memories include riding with his father, Joe, and listening to and singing along with the old gospel songs.
Joel grew up in a family whose DNA included Southern Gospel music. At the age of 16, while living in Lawrenceburg, KY, our family formed The Roberts Family, a gospel group made up of Joel, his father Joe, mother Hilda, two bothers and his sister.
At 17, Joel formed the Lawrenceburg Quartet along with three others from his high school. They sang throughout the state of Kentucky and ministered to inmates in the prison system. Joel continued his singing in 1993 with The Hickory Grove Quartet of Charlotte, NC.
In 1997, he joined the Kensmen Quartet (currently The Heritage Quartet). Joel looks forward to seeing what God has in store with Molded Clay and this ministry.
Joel is blessed to be married 24 years to his beautiful wife, Jackie Roberts. They have 3 wonderful daughters; Beth, Lindsay, and Savannah and 3 grandchildren; Devin, Noah, and Mason. Joel owns and operates a full service insurance agency in Gastonia, NC and he is a member of Hope Community Church of the Metrolina in Charlotte, NC.
Molded Clay is blessed to have Joel singing lead and we're praying for many years together!!!
Merlin was born in Loris, SC and was saved at the age of 27 when he felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, on a swing in his front yard. He loved Southern Gospel music at a very young age. His love for gospel music came from his role model....his father.
At the age of 8 years old, he began singing with the Powell Family Quartet, which included Merlin, his father and his sisters, until he was 24. Merlin has sang with a few groups such as, The Carolinians Quartet, The Gateway Singers and The Melody Singers Quartet.
Merlin has also held worship leader positions at several area churches such as Beulah Baptist Church in Greenwood, SC (1972-1978), Oakdale Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC (1979-1999), Inspiration Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC (2000-2004) and he is currently at Trinity Baptist church in Charlotte, NC, where he's been since 2004.
Merlin has been married to his lovely wife Janet for 50 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters, Lori & Susan, and 4 grandchildren!!
Molded Clay is blessed to have Merlin singing baritone and we pray for many years together!!
The Foresters are a family band in full time Gospel Music Ministry. They travel all across the United States and Canada, holding more than 200 meetings each year. They have also held three tours in Europe.
The Foresters sing southern and traditional Gospel Music. They are a family group with a live band. They play a large variety of instruments including, Piano, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica and Drums. They write much of the material they sing. They also sing many of the great old hymns and gospel songs of the church. Mark is also an ordained minister and holds revival and preaching services in addition to their concert ministry.
The Foresters consist of: Mark (vocals, piano and guitars) , Andrea (vocals and bass guitar) , Tyler, age 15 (drums and guitar) and Trevor, age 11 (vocals and bass guitar).
Mark and Andrea started this ministry June of 2000, the day after their honeymoon ended. That first weekend they sang in two churches and have been busy on the road ever since. Today, Tyler and Trevor play a vital role in the music and ministry alongside their parents. Both boys are serious, dedicated and exhibit exceptional musical gifts.
Now together, The Foresters have released 39 recordings in 20 years. The newest is a project called, 'Living In The After'. It has a great mixture of styles with strong, moving lyrics. It was recorded in Nashville, TN and produced by award winning producer, Scott Godsey.
The goal of this ministry:
1. To see souls come to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
2. To encourage the body of Christ.
3. To be a help to the local church. We want to be a help to the local church.
The Foresters are members of the Dixie Baptist Church in Clarkston, MI. Dr. Todd Vanaman is their Pastor. The Foresters are available for Church services, Revivals, Concerts, Banquets, or any other special event. They would love to bring their ministry to you!
From the hills of East Tennessee comes one of the most exciting performers in some time. His high energetic piano playing combined with fresh, original songs makes Cooter a must see!
Cooter started in Nashville working for country music legend, Conway Twitty, as a staff writer in Twitty Bird Publishing.
Cooter celebrated a Billboard Chart Buster single he co-wrote titled, 'Where Are We Going From Here' and rose to the top with a #1 single in 1992-1993 on the Indie Charts, and Song Of The Year, 'Farmers Rap'.
Cooter started his career in the Southern Gospel market with a Top 20 song, 'Walk With Me On Bended Knees', and followed up with the Top 40 chart buster, 'The Mighty Paul'.
It is Cooter’s desire to spread the Word and the name of Jesus to a broad audience with his southern piano style and inspirational lyrics. He rocks you with music you can’t resist and lyrics that feed the soul.
For over 25 years now the Phillips Family has been sharing the gospel through song. As three brothers and a sister, they have traveled the country harmonizing the good news of Jesus Christ.
First of all, the Phillips Family gives ALL glory and praise to the one who has made this all possible; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Next, we would like to thank our parents for their support, prayers, and constant life of faith. They are the foundation of our family and ministry. We would also like to thank all churches and pastors, that we have had the privilege and honor to minister with. We truly count it a blessing to be able to serve the Lord with you.
We encourage all Christians to stay with the truth, and keep looking up because your redemption draweth nigh.