Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Alan Celoria Family Singers

I had a most unusual childhood. My family was more than just a family, we were a gospel singing group. From age nine through college, I was a member of the Alan Celoria Family Singers. We sang all over the country at some pretty amazing places. From a little church in Montana with seven members (we doubled their attendance that day!) to the Super Dome in New Orleans at the Southern Baptist Convention, no place was off limits.

There was Mom and Dad and the five kids - Jonathan, Matthew, Me, Beth, and Kathy (and Paddi Bear). We lived in two travel trailers and home schooled using A Beka video school out of Pensacola, Florida. We didn't know our life was weird. It was all we knew. Sure, we knew we'd never have a Senior Prom or play sports, but we figured we weren't missing much from the way other kids complained about their mundane, day-to-day existence. And boy, we were close. Closer than most families. It was a blessing to grow up like I did. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Just today, my sister sent me an email she received from someone who remembers our family and our ministry. From time to time, I get these kinds of communiqu├ęs. It amazes me that people still remember us. This particular email really blessed me, and made me even more thankful for the heritage of faith I often take for granted.

Dear Beth.

My name is Sherry, and I was saved at a revival your family did at First Baptist Fernandina Beach, Fl just about 15 years ago. I was 24 at the time and my husband was 42. We were the first two people saved at that revival, maybe the only two, I'm not sure but I often search the internet looking for a way to contact your family and thank them. I read one time that only 1 in 30,000 people 19-30 will be saved and the age my husband was only 1 in 50,000. We know how blessed we are to know the Lord and since then all three of our children also were born again. I wanted you to know your family made a real difference. I can't tell you how many times I sang "It Runs in the Family" or "Power in the Blood " to my kids. I know that you probably hear it all the time but I really am thankful for your dad's preaching and your family for sharing so much of yourselves. I hope you are all doing well and you will pass on my heartfelt gratitude to your family.

In Christ,
Sherry

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know how grateful she feels -- I was a "1 in 30,000" and am so grateful to the lady who introduced me to Jesus.

Thanks, Mark for sharing so much of yourself with us - I do enjoy reading your blog.

jimmy Sumerall said...

Awsome letter. What a joy to know that you made a difference in so many lives.

Matt Celoria said...

Boo-yah!