This week’s article features one of the inductees to the South Carolina Gospel Music Association’s hall of fame, Ken Turner. As many of you probably know, Ken grew up in Greer, more specifically in the Apalache Community. In an interview several years ago he shared how his father gave him a guitar and how he learned to play some cords. He said that he sat on the porch at night playing and singing.
In 1954 he saw The Blackwood Brothers performing on the “Arthur Godfrey Show,” and a dream was born that night. Several years later, that dream was realized. I am getting ahead of myself, because a lot happened between that night in 1954 and almost thirty years later when Ken’s dream came true. There were things like school to attend, basketball to play (I was not told by Ken but other sources reveal that he was quite a good ball player) and even a job with Coca-Cola.
Ken sing with a local group that you have heard of called The Palmetto State, then on to The Dixie Echoes and in 1986 began a fifteen-year run singing bass with The Blackwood Brothers. During his time with The Blackwood Brothers he appeared on several television programs, such as Hee Haw, The Tom Snyder Show, Dinah Shore Show and The Barbara Mandrell Show. Ken ministered in fifty-two countries around the world while with The Blackwood Brothers.
In 1986 Ken felt that God was calling him into a ministry with his wife, Judy. After much prayer God led him and his wife to become Christian Cruise Directors. During a three-year time span Ken made 60 trips to the Caribbean Islands carrying Bibles, clothes, toys and medicine to the local churches. Hundreds gave their life to the Lord. Ken and Judy helped build a school in the Dominican Republic and even were able to provide a water pump so children could have a cool drink of water. They also do a similar ministry in Russia where they have distributed thousands of Bibles and booklets. In one trip alone they distributed over 10,000 Bibles and booklets. Once in a blizzard over 900 people came in below zero weather to hear Ken sing.
Should you have an opportunity to attend one of Ken’s concerts I know you will be blessed. He not only is a very talented singer but also adds some comedy and ministers to the children in a very special way. Ken will be part of this year’s Grand Ole Gospel Reunion held in Greenville August 11th through 13th.
For tickets call 864-421-3889 or contact me at (864) 979-9626 or (864) 895 –1287. Hope to see you there.