Former city resident earns honor with choir
Published 11:14 am Saturday, January 25, 2014
CHESAPEAKE—A former Franklin resident and his choir are enjoying the earthly success of one of their spiritual endeavors.
Earl Bynum Jr. and The Mount Unity Choir have won the 2014 Stellar Award of Contemporary Choir of The Year for “Bishop K.W. Brown Presents Earl Bynum and The Mount Unity Choir Live.” The recognition of this group’s CD/DVD was made during last weekend’s ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. The other nominations included choir of the year and for recorded music packaging of the year.
To celebrate, a concert will take place at 8 and 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, better known as The Mount, 215 Las Gaviotas Blvd., Chesapeake.
Bynum, who was once assistant band director in Franklin public schools for four years, is executive minister of music at The Mount. There, he directs the choir in worship and concerts. Bynum also co-produced the live album, which was recorded in September 2011.
“It’s the highest award you can receive in gospel music,” said Bynum. “We didn’t know we were going to win. This is our first time and first record for the choir and all that. The album has been out only seven months. People have gravitated to it. We’re grateful it made the ballot.”
He is hopeful for the album to be nominated for the Dove Awards, which also honors Christian music. There are no immediate plans for another recording
“Right now we’re just celebrating,” said Bynum. “We’ve been doing a lot of touring. We were in Italy last month; five cities in the north and five in the south. It was amazing.”
Although this overseas trip was the first for the choir, he was on his 15th tour.
“My name is kind of recognized, and that made it easier for the choir to be accepted. We were well received. It gets better and better.”
Bynum is the son of Geneva and Earl Bynum Sr., who still live in Franklin.
“I was so excited,” said Geneva Bynum. “Thankful, because it was a blessing for him to have received it. There were so many to compete with, so many deserving. For you to be chosen that’s a great honor.”
In addition to the album and award, the choir has two songs on the gospel Billboard charts, “Bless The Name of The Lord” and “I Have No Doubt.”
Most recently, there’s been an appearance on CBN, and also past performances on the Inspiration Network for its Camp Meeting, The Word Network and TCT Network.
For more information about the choir, visit www.themountunitychoir.com. You can follow Bynum on Facebook or Twitter. To learn about the church, call 547-3388 or visit www.themountleads.org