Gospel music lovers on both sides of Hernando County will have an opportunity to attend concerts by the Collingsworth Family next weekend.
The group will perform at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Brooksville Wesleyan Church and at 10:50 a.m. Feb. 6 at Spring Hill Baptist Church.
The family has been giving concerts at both churches for the past several years.
"This will be their fourth time here," said the Rev. Raymond Phaup, minister of music at Brooksville Wesleyan Church. "We invite them back because they have such a strong appeal to our people. Musical excellence and wonderful communication are two of the reasons our people love them so."
The Rev. Ray Rouse, pastor at Spring Hill Baptist Church, said the group has been to his church five times.
"We keep inviting them back because of their spirituality and the way they share the Gospel through their musical gifts and talents," Rouse said. "They bring a sweet fellowship to our congregation — a wonderful time of special Christian music that everyone can enjoy."
Phaup admires the family's commitment.
"It's wonderful to see a family involved in ministry like this and to see them all committed to this ministry," Phaup said. "When they minister, they bring the love of Christ to us. Besides being talented in singing and playing instruments, they have a wonderful way to point people to Christ."
Phaup thinks commitment makes the group unique.
"The whole family is committed to Christ and to each other, as well as to presenting the message of salvation to people everywhere," he said.
Rouse also noted the strong family connection in the group, as well as "the love this family has for the Lord."
Phil and Kim Collingsworth began performing together in 1986 as musicians for a church camp in Michigan. They both had begun their base of ministry in college, where Phil completed professional trumpet studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and earned a bachelor's degree in sacred music with a double major in trumpet performance and education. Kim, who is known for her mastery of the piano, attended Union Bible College in Indiana, where she arranged most of the music that was performed by the college's traveling music groups.
For the first 14 years, the couple included some public performances for church camps and revival campaigns with their music ministries at a church and two colleges.
As children came along, they became part of the family's musical ensemble. The group now includes son Phillip Jr. and daughters Brooklyn, Courtney and Olivia. Brooklyn and Courtney also play the violin, and Brooklyn joins her parents for vocals.
In January 2000, Phil and Kim transitioned to an all-concert ministry and began recording professionally. They exclusively use one of Nashville's award-winning producers, Wayne Haun, for their musical projects.
According to their website, awards garnered by the family include artist and musician Ovation Awards and artist, musician and DVD project Harmony Awards. They have 16 vocal and instrumental CDs and eight national video releases.
The Collingsworth Family has sung and played all over the United States, as well as internationally, and currently performs 110 concerts a year.
The ministry is regularly featured on gospel radio and television, including the Gaither Homecoming series. They also appear at many Gaither concerts in the United States and Canada.
Phil Collingsworth said they will be performing material from their newest recordings, A Decade of Memories and Fear Not Tomorrow, at the concerts next weekend.
"They were recorded this past year in Flint, Mich., before a live audience, along with the Flint Symphony Orchestra," he said. "Kim will be performing two new arrangements she did on the piano with master Nashville arranger David Clydesdale — My Tribute and The Holy City."
Collingsworth believes God uses music in a powerful way.
"The emphasis of the concert events is to use the God-created medium of music to encourage and uplift fellow travelers on their journey to heaven," he said. "Music is probably one of the most powerful tools God has created."
Rouse said the Collingsworth Family will have the entire Sunday morning service time to share its music and testimonies.
Phaup hopes people will respond to the Collingsworth Family's message and be drawn closer to God.
Collingsworth has a similar hope.
"Our hope is that someone … who comes to the concerts discouraged will receive that boost of faith they need to continue their journey," he said. "Also that someone might attend who has nearly given up on God and will once again renew their relationship with their heavenly Father."