POTTSBORO — The McNeills, a gospel music singing group out of Bailey, always ask the people who attend their concerts to pray for them on their journey of spreading the gospel through music. The McNeills journey will bring the family singing group of 12 to Grayson County this weekend.
The McNeills will be performing Sunday at Lakeway United Methodist Church in Pottsboro. Services at the church are held at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the church located at 15015 TX 289 in Pottsboro.
“We have been singing for three and a half years and it has been a whirlwind,” Michelle McNeill said. “Our oldest daughter, Caylie, was the first to have the dream of sharing the gospel through music after attending a Gaither Vocal Band concert for her high school graduation.”
Caylie McNeill brought her dream to her family.
“Chris, AKA Dad, had led worship — both contemporary and traditional — at FBC Garland and me, AKA Mom, had participated in the choir and praise team, but none of us had any musical training, particularly the children,” Michelle McNeill said. “Chris and I were both very reluctant to step outside of our comfort zone and hit the road. God clearly had different plans for us, and we are so thankful for the journey that we are on.”
The McNeills were voted the group of the year at the Gospel Music Artist Association Awards in 2017. This year members of the group have been nominated in the categories musician of the year, female group vocalist of the year, song of the year and songwriter of the year.
“The first time we were nominated, there was a lot of excitement and nervousness,” McNeill said. “It was certainly something that we weren’t expecting!”
GMAA 2018 will be held Jan. 26-27 in Mesquite.
“This (singing professionally) was very unexpected for us and we want to make sure that we always remain in the center of God’s will for us — even if that means going back to singing in the shower,” Michelle McNeill said. “We want to make sure that we remain grounded and true to God’s calling on our lives. The thing is, God gave us any talent that we have. It is not ours. It’s his to share through us. He gives. He can take away.
“We tell our children that talented people are a dime a dozen. There is nothing special about us. We truly love what we do.”
Michelle McNeill who home schooled all of her children on a farm that produces certified naturally grown garlic in Fannin County, believes that recording music has really helped her family grow in faith.
“God has called us so far out of our comfort zones in doing this ministry that there is nothing we can do but to rely on God, to have faith that if he has called us to this, he will make a way, provide, and strengthen,” she said. “He has done some amazing things in our lives and our ministry since we began. I think that is one of the neatest things about our ministry. Our children get to see answered prayers each and every week — not only within our family, but in the many people we meet along the way. They get to see what faith looks like.”
The McNeills are about the release their first radio single, “Right in the Middle” through United Independent Artists.
“We are a family group,” Michelle McNeill said. “We travel and minister as a family. All of our 10 children participate in every concert. We have a main quartet, but everyone sings at some point. We love that this is a family ministry. We work to bridge the generation gaps with a unique style, variety of music and lineup. From praise and worship, to bluegrass, to a Cappella, to country gospel, to the great hymns of old, we work to have something that everyone can enjoy.”