How many young fans dream of one day singing with their favorite gospel group? How many of those dreams actually come true? Well, sad to say, but most likely not too many of those dreams become reality, but for one young fan, that dream became a calling of the Lord.
It all started with the song, “The Gloryland Way.” When Wyatt Austin heard that song on Youtube, he was instantly hooked on gospel music and became a huge fan of The Chuck Wagon Gang. At just 16 years old, he didn’t exactly fit in with the fanbase of The Chuck Wagon Gang, so he caught the attention of the gospel group. And to his surprise, he was asked to come up on stage and sing with them! 20-year-old Wyatt remembers, “I never sang growing up, not even at church, so this was a huge step for me. So I ran outside to my car and tried to sing along with one of their CD’s and then went inside and tried to sing. Somehow they liked it and asked me to sing every time I came to see them, until eventually, they auditioned me on November 18th, 2017. I didn’t even know that I was being auditioned. After joining them, the group we sang with the most was the Inspirations Quartet.” And before the young bass knew it, he was singing with The Inspirations. He explains, “I became friends with them and would even sing one song with them when we were in concert together. After leaving the Gang, I went to NQC a week later and went on the Inspirations’ bus, and Archie hired me.” And the rest is history.
Believe it or not, Wyatt’s love for gospel music didn’t start until he was 16. Explaining how it all began, he says, “ I haven’t always wanted to sing gospel music. I didn’t even start to try singing until I was 16 years old when the Chuck Wagon Gang asked me to come on stage and sing with them. Then a year later they hired me. So many people work their whole lives trying to be able to sing full-time, so I am definitely blessed to be able to do what I do at a young age. My love for gospel music really started after listening to the Kingdom Heirs at Dollywood. Then later, I found the Chuck Wagon Gang and fell in love with their music.”
Although originally from Morgantown, North Carolina, Wyatt has had some thrilling experiences far beyond his hometown. Wyatt says, “The most amazing experience by far is getting to sing to the Yupik Eskimos in Alaska. They are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.” But no matter where he goes, his favorite part about traveling and singing gospel music is getting to meet all of his brothers and sisters in Christ. Austin says, “ It truly is a blessing to get to meet each and every one of them. It is an absolute privilege to get to sing to them.”
When Wyatt is not singing on the stage, he plays the upright bass. When he is not playing the upright bass, Wyatt says he is most likely “Golfing (although I’m terrible), cooking, and meeting with friends. I’ve also picked up hiking recently, and I’m now a substitute teacher.”
Through it all, Wyatt has learned that it is most important to follow the Lord’s leading. Wyatt says, “If He is not in it, it will be in vain. If He is in it, it will be the thrill of your life to get to travel and sing for His glory!”
Stacy Compagner: What are some of your favorite groups to listen to?
Wyatt Austin: Well, my favorite group was the Chuck Wagon Gang, then I joined them so they couldn’t be my favorite anymore…Then my favorite group was the Inspirations, then I joined them so they couldn’t be my favorite anymore…So now my favorite group to listen to is the old records of the Singing Echoes. As far as current groups I like to listen to, it would have to be a tie between the Perrys and the Primitives.
SC: What is your favorite place that you have traveled to?
WA: My favorite place I have traveled is to Quinhagak, Alaska.
SC: How would your friends or family describe you in three words?
WA: My friends and family would describe me as dependable, trustworthy, and passionate.
SC: Tell us something unique about yourself that not many people know.
WA: I collect Bibles from the 1800s.
SC: Aside from the necessities, what are three things you could never live without?
WA: Three things other than necessities I couldn’t live without would hands down be family, friends, and Bojangles.
SC: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
WA: Definitely a Cajun biscuit from Bojangles.
SC: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
WA: My superpower would probably be invisibility just so I could constantly aggravate our baritone singer.
SC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
WA: Foremost, I hope to see myself closer to the Lord and following His will. I also would like to see myself still singing this great music.