The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

October 31, 2011

Gospel-music ministry picking up for Joplin family

JOPLIN, Mo. — When Tim Gould prayed for his family to be used in a musical way to achieve God’s will, he may not have expected such immediate results.

However, the last year has been nonstop, not to mention exciting, for The Goulds, a talented Joplin family which has already started to carve its own niche into the world of gospel music.

Gospel singing is no stranger to Gould, who has been the lead singer with The Missourians for the past seven years but recently resigned that position to devote his time to his family’s endeavors.

Kelsey, 17, a Joplin High School junior, and Christa, 11, an Irving Elementary fifth-grader, have grown up listening and watching their father sing. Two years ago they approached him and asked if they could start singing as well.

“I let it rest for about a year to see if they were serious,” said Gould, a native of Arkansas City, Kan., who has shared the stage with such renowned groups as Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and Brian Free and Assurance. “Then, they came back about a year later and asked again.”

That’s when Gould and his wife, Deb, who doesn’t sing but runs the sound and handles business affairs, decided to venture forth with the girls and their father singing a couple of songs for their home church, Christ’s Community United Methodist. Following that, they put together six songs for a Crosslines banquet.

They took a bigger step forward when they were asked to open for the Mark Trammell Quartet at a Joplin concert. Gould said Trammell encouraged them and gave them some pointers.

“By February of this year we had recorded our first CD, entitled ’Looking Up,’ and were officially traveling and doing concerts,” said Gould. “This year has been very busy and we have been traveling up to two hours away.”

That may pale in comparison to what seems to be coming up in the next 12 months.

“We are looking to book 75 to 100 dates and travel up to 10 or 12 hours away from home,” Gould said. “We are also currently talking with one of the nation’s leading gospel recording studios to produce our next CD, which will contain new/unheard material and will include two or three national single releases.”

With all the hard work that lies ahead for the Gould family, the bottom line has to do with how effective they can be as a ministry.

“The most important thing to our family is using the talents that God has given us to further His purpose and to spread the good news of the gospel,” Gould said. “We are excited about what God has in store for us and we never cease to be amazed at the people we are able to touch with our music, and we give all the credit to our Lord.”

While many girls their age face enough of a challenge just keeping up their grades in school, as well as the extracurricular activities, Kelsey and Christa have to balance that with their family’s singing dates.

Not only does Kelsey spend countless hours at practice and games as a varsity pitcher on the softball team, she also takes part in Sound Dimension, a dancing and singing choral group at JHS.

Her sister also makes time for softball, as well as other sports.

“Christa truly enjoys being the youngest member of the group,” her father said. “It seems as if everywhere we go, she gets so much attention and encouragement.”

Just like their mom and dad, the girls have many responsibilities, as well as sacrifices, when it comes to their singing ministry.

“They help set up and tear down at every concert,” Tim Gould said. “There are many miles spent sleeping in the van and they both sacrifice normal activities in order to do this. They miss out on slumber parties and other things most kids their ages are doing, but they know that this is an opportunity that very few people get and they love doing it.”

Gould added that his wife has the most important job of anyone in the group.

“She has to keep the other three of us in line,” he said.

With all the work required to keep their ministry going, there are still great rewards.

“We truly love spending time together, traveling, meeting new people and making new friends,” Gould said.

Anyone wishing more information or to book The Goulds may visit their website, www.thegouldfamily.org, or visit their Facebook page.

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