Want to go?
What: The Guiding Lights homecoming concert, featuring The McKameys and The Inspirations
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6
Where: Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College
Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Children 12 and under admitted free.
Details: 253-5546 or 754-4437
Sue Wescott insists that The Guiding Lights homecoming concert isn’t about her group, which is based in Brunswick County.
In some ways, it’s about The McKameys, the Southern gospel singing group from Clinton, Tenn., that’s been together since 1954. And it’s about The Inspirations, the all-male Bryson City group that has put out 70 albums since 1964.
Both of those groups travel extensively, delivering the message of Jesus Christ across the eastern half of the United States.
No. 1 songs and Christian music awards serve as recognition that The McKameys and The Inspirations are among the best at what they do. But accolades aren’t nearly as important as delivering the message, Wescott said.
“It’s touching and humbling to see people with hunger and thirst for gospel message,” Wescott said.
Wescott sings with her father, her brothers, her daughter, her niece and her nephew. Like The McKameys, The Guiding Lights have ingrained gospel music into the lives of another generation.
The Inspirations have also added younger voices to their mix, but their group is a fraternity that has included more than 20 members that have contributed to albums that have sold more than a million copies.
The Coastal Carolinas have turned out en masse for the homecoming concert for the past 27 years, first at West Brunswick High School and then Shallotte Middle School before the annual performance moved to the Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College. Gospel music fans have nearly filled the 1,500-seat auditorium in past years.
Wescott’s brother, the Rev. Anthony Clemmons of Mount Olive Baptist Church (The Guiding Lights’ home church), said the event has come within 75 tickets of selling out the auditorium.
And if it does sell out?
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Clemmons said.