It was a never-to-forget concert that honored a great mother
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
SAN DIEGO, CA (ANS – May 15, 2017) — The Verna Linzey Singers, named after a great mother and Christian leader who passed away last year at the age of 97, gave a stunning Mother’s Day concert on Sunday, May 14, 2017, at the Airman-Marine Memorial Chapel, MCAS Miramar, in San Diego, California.
Simply put, “The Verna Linzey Singers brought the house down. They greatly impacted the crowd with spirituals and hymns with unbelievable harmony and excellent voices,” said retired US Marine Officer Lt. Col. David Yorck, who is the president of the California Military Officers Association of California.
The expertise behind this event was none other than that of the Command Chaplain, Commander Don Biadog, who recently received the “Outstanding Chaplain of the Year” award for 2017, and literally pulled a coup with another phenomenal event.
Numerous mothers, many now without their own mothers, left the unique chapel service in tears, sharing their appreciation for such an event with such talent.
The musical group comprised of Chaplain Jim Linzey, the State Chaplain for the California Military Officers Association of America and who also preached for the event, Donald Dillon, who some years ago played guitar for the group “The Five Blind Boys,” Jean Crump and Debra Chavez, who are also recording artists. The Verna Linzey Singers were accompanied by Dan Bailey, a professional pianist.
“It’s these kinds of chapel services, consistently planned as Chaplain Biadog does so well, which comprise the nuts and bolts of excellent chaplain leadership,” said one visiting retired Air Force chaplain, under conditions of anonymity.
Also impressive was the polished delivery of the Mother’s Day homily by retired Major, Chaplain Jim Linzey, son of Vera Linzey, who is a skilled orator. Dr. Linzey’s eloquence has been refined by years of speaking in seminars, 24 years as an Air Force and Army chaplain, and speaking on television. With initial training at Fuller Theological Seminary under Warner Brothers actor John Holland, who taught speaking and Scripture reading at an advanced level at Fuller, Dr. Linzey fluently recounted the story of the birth of Moses and the pivotal role Moses’ mother had in saving Moses’ life and rearing him until he was old enough to live in the palace of Pharaoh.
Dr. Linzey also commemorated the life of his late mother, Verna Linzey, and showed the documentary of her life which he significantly tied in with the homily he delivered.
Dr. Linzey, who has demonstrated his oratorical skills at several base-wide events, really had heads spinning when he joined his late mother’s singing group as the lead singer for one of the songs titled “Supper Time” by Ira Stanphil, a renowned hymn writer who grew up in Coffeyville, Kansas, with Verna Hall Linzey, and who helped her family from time to time in the local Hall Music Store.
“The life of Verna Linzey which has been in documentaries on film and on television puts her in a class with Ruth Graham, Catherine Booth, and Corrie ten Boom,” said Jean Crump, who sang lead on most of the songs including Verna’s hymn.
“The event was such as I had never witnessed in my entire life. The featured song of the concert was Verna’s hymn ‘Oh Blessed Jesus,’ which had s great impact on the mothers present at the Mother’s Day event. But no one expected Verna’s son, Jim, to sing lead on ‘Supper Time.’ It was a surprise performance since the crowd thought he was present strictly to deliver the homily.”
She added, “In fact, we sang ‘Oh Blessed Jesus’ all the way home to Los Angeles.”
Commander Biadog’s powerful execution of the Commanding Officer’s religious program once again proved that his organizational skills are obviously second to none.
Verna Linzey has now left this earth, but she is certainly is not forgotten for her extraordinary life that touched millions during her 97 years with us.
Photo captions: 1) Verna Linzey filming for a musical production near Palm Springs, California, in 2012. 2) The Verna Linzey Singers at the Airman-Marine Memorial Chapel, MCAS Miramar, May 14, 2017. 3) Another picture of the singing group at the Mother’s Day event, with Jim Linzey on the far right. 4) Dan Wooding hosting his radio show at KWVE in Santa Ana, California, on which both Verna and Jim Linzey have appeared as special guests on several occasions.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 54 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Besides running the ASSIST News Service, Dan has written some 45 books and hosts a weekly radio show and two TV programs in Southern California.
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