Gospel concert will also benefit scholarship

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FRANKLIN—What started out as a conversation about a reunion has become a fundraiser that will benefit a graduating high school student in need next year.

Three gospel singers from Franklin — Earl Bynum, Teddy Cross and Terry Scott — are organizing a concert that’s scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 2. The event will be in the Scott’s Revival Center in the city. Bynum and Cross will be featured performers along with The Scotts.

Cross, a graduate from Franklin High School, spoke about the project.

“Actually, Terry Scott, Earl Bynum and myself were talking about doing a reunion concert and one thing led to another. It got so exciting. The more we talked, the more the ideas flowed,” he said. “We thought it would be great to do a reunion concert. It’s something that hadn’t really been done.”

But the three also decided the event should be even more than a session of praise and song.

“We want to do something that would impact the city, so a scholarship fund was chosen,” Cross said.

Scott said the goal is to raise $2,000 that will be presented to a “deserving high school student with a high grade point average, good attendance and in financial need to attend college.”

He added that the Franklin School Board and mayor will help in finding such a qualified graduate next year.

Admission to the concert will be free, but donations will be accepted and deposited into the newly formed Mary Ellsworth Cross Scholarship Foundation. That’s named in memory of Cross’s mom, who was also the church mother in the Apostolic Faith Church of God Live On, a co-presenter of the concert.

“Her life has never really been celebrated,” said Scott. “God has given us the opportunity.”

Cross is particularly looking forward to the visit because in addition to that evening’s performance, he’ll be at a family reunion earlier that day. For example, he’ll see his brother, Bishop Richard Cross Sr., and nephew, Cross Jr., both of Rose of Sharon church.

“I’m living here in New Orleans, and will see people I haven’t seen in years,” he said. His day job is running a truck company, and gospel music remains a strong avocation, with work progressing on a new album.

He’s also active with Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans; his pastor is Bishop Paul Morton.

“I used to sing with a group nominated for a grammy, the Gospel Keynotes of Tyler, Texas,” said Cross, who is also the son of the late Bishop Willie P. Cross. “I played guitar and background vocals and worked up to lead vocals. We won three Stellar awards and were nominated a Dove Award.”

The other performers are no strangers to accolades. Bynum won the 2014 Stellar Award, and the Scotts earned the 2013 American Music Guild Award. Scott said the group has been nominated for the AMG’s Artist of the Year honor. He added that they’ve gone from No. 25 up to No. 21 on gospel music charts for their song, “Nobody can do it like the Lord.”

“We’re excited,” said Cross about the upcoming concert/fundraiser. “Everybody got excited. It’s just one exciting event.”

Other featured performers will include his daughter, Chiquita, Apostle Joseph Sneed and Andra Cross of Franklin.

The concert begins at 6 p.m., and the church is located at 1816 South St., corner of South Street and South College Drive in Franklin. Call Scott at 613-0597.