The Kingsmen bring signature style of gospel music to Quincy

The Kingsmen | Promotional Photo/
For The Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 21, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 22, 2019 10:47 am

QUINCY - Growing up, Chris Jenkins was a big fan of Christian music group the Kingsmen Quartet, which was formed in 1956.

He went to the quartet's concerts and bought all their records, cassettes and CDs.

Seven years ago this month, his dreams came true. He joined the storied group as its tenor.

Jenkins and the rest of the quartet -- Chris Bryant, Alan Kendall, Brandon Reese and 43-year member Ray Reese -- will be performing at 7 p.m. Saturday at Madison Park Christian Church, 4700 Broadway in Quincy.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and tickets are not required. A freewill donation will be taken up.

Over the course of the Kingsmen's 63-year history, the group has won multiple Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association of the United States, has been nominated for a Grammy Award, and has had 15 number-one songs.

The group also performed on the lawn of the White House for President Jimmy Carter in 1977, and they performed at the opening of the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn.

The group has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Christian Music Hall of Fame.

Jenkins says the Kingsmen have been able to have such a long and successful career because they are always evolving.

"We've always stayed relevant to the music and the times. The Kingsmen have never taken a back seat stylistically," he said. "We're always pushing the envelope stylistically, and not really falling back into doing the styles we've always been accustomed to."

Although the quartet is billed as a southern gospel group, Jenkins considers it to be more of a Christian group because they go beyond southern gospel with their sound.

This weekend, Jenkins says concertgoers can expect to see a high-energy performance with exciting and meaningful music.

"They'll definitely be entertained as well as ministered to," he said. "That is one thing the Kingsmen have always been known for -- incorporating ministry into the entertainment. People come to concerts to be entertained, to hear great music, to relax, but also, being in the Christian music industry, there's a message we want to deliver."

Jenkins is excited to be a part of the Kingsmen and to spread the message of Christ everywhere the group tours, including Quincy.

"I consider it an honor to be here. ... It's surreal sometimes to stand onstage and be counted as a Kingsmen, but I'm happy to carry forth the legacy and expand the legacy and kind of take what the others have left behind and move the ministry forward," he said.