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Josh Garner Exits Dixie Melody Boys

According to a recent post on Facebook from Josh Garner:

It is with great sadness that I announce I am resigning from my position with the Dixie Melody Boys. Ecclesiastes tells us that to everything there is a season. After much counsel and prayer, it is evident that this season of my life is ending. I am not saying that I am done with Gospel music, but I may need to step away for a while and reexamine my path. I don’t believe for a moment that God is done with me. In fact, I believe He is preparing me for my greatest season of all. I know that it won’t be easy and there are trials to come. However, I rest assured that thanks to God’s faithfulness, I have “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

I know how these departures are typically received, so let me clear the air. I love Ed O’ Neal! I can’t thank him enough for providing for my family these last six years. Working alongside Ed has been a great joy and I will miss being with him on a regular basis. Throughout his wife’s illness, I witnessed firsthand the meaning of a biblical marriage. I came to know his heart through many late night conversations. He is truly a man of character and dignity and it is my great honor to call him friend for over 25 years.

Secondly, it has never been my intention to take over the Dixie Melody Boys after Ed O’ Neal. I told him when I came that I am with him until he retires or dies. Unfortunately, I am forced to break that promise. However, please know I joined the group and have remained with the group because I love Ed and I saw the potential to be an asset to HIS group. As far as I’m concerned, the Dixie Melody Boys will ALWAYS be Ed O’ Neal’s group.

Finally, I have been under personal attack for many months now. My name and reputation have been slandered, but I have remained quiet as I had no doubt that the truth would eventually come out. I appreciate the many friends who approached me firsthand about the false claims and I am so thankful for their confidence in me. Sometimes it takes a difficult experience like this to learn who your friends really are. I am blessed to say that I am rich with true friends.

Unless I am instructed otherwise, I intend to fulfill our scheduled dates through June 2nd. That will be my last official date with the Dixie Melody Boys, along with Jerry Skaggs, who submitted his resignation a week ago. I ask that you pray for Ed as he continues to recover from his automobile accident. Nothing would please me more than to see him on stage one more time. I, also, ask that you pray for me and my family, as I currently have no prospect for employment and am seeking direction. I know the last thing Gospel music needs is another soloist, but if you are so inclined, I would be very happy to come sing for your church, organization, etc. to help with our financial needs.

Thank you all for allowing me to share my talents with you for the last 22 years. I am fully trusting on God during this time of indecision and I am not anxious. I know that He will provide as He always has. God bless you and hope to see you soon!

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Absolutely Gospel Music
Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to AbsolutelyGospel.com. The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.

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