BY JOHN E. USALIS
Listening to gospel music is one way to praise God and bring cheer to life, and a recently released CD can do just that.
Schuylkill Haven residents Lois Snead and the Rev. Minnie Porter sing gospel songs that one could argue make angels in heaven applaud after each tune.
Snead and Porter have been giving praise to God all their lives. This time, the sisters are doing it on their CD called “Welcome/I’m Free,” published by L&M God Is Good Ministry.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the creation of the album because hope is what is needed these days, said Porter, who, with her sister, has lived in the area for more than two years.
“People need to be encouraged during the pandemic,” Porter said as the song, “Welcome, Almighty God,” played in the background. “They need to feel that something good is going to happen to them. It brings joy.”
Snead has worked professionally as a Christian music performer and Porter is a retired pastor.
“It’s an interesting CD. We want people to get to know us in their area. We want to be a part of this area,” Porter said.
“We want to feel like family here, feel like home,” Snead said.
Porter is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and Snead is from St. Petersburg, Florida. Porter has lived in Pennsylvania for about 30 years, first moving to Lansdale. A major reason for her wanting to live in the state was her fondness for The Crab Shack in Conshohocken after a friend took her there for dinner.
“I didn’t want to live in Philly but outside the city. I could live 40 or 50 miles away as long as I could get to The Crab Shack,” Porter said with a laugh. “We moved to Lansdale, and I came up this way (Schuylkill County) and I liked it.”
The visit to the county led to moving here, partially because it was close to their church, St. John-Josie D. Heard AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church, Conshohocken, and, of course, The Crab Shack. Porter is the minister of music and minister of the church.
The people in Schuylkill County are another reason for staying in Schuylkill Haven.
“There are the nicest people here,” Snead said. “I mean really nice.”
“It got so nice it was scary,” Porter said with another laugh. “I love it here, and that’s why I really want to be a part of the community and participate in activities.”
“I asked someone what do you do here for entertainment. I was told we barbecue and drink beer,” Snead said with a laugh.
On Snead’s music resume is a role in the then off-Broadway show “Your Arms Are Too Short to Box with God,” a musical based on the Gospel of Matthew.
“When I was in it, it went from Philadelphia to Atlanta, and then it went to Broadway,” Snead said. “I didn’t go to Broadway. I was supposed to, but I was out of town at the time. I was playing all the female parts. When I left because I had some pressing business, Patti LaBelle took the female role and Al Green had the male role.”
The CD contains all original music, performed by Snead and Porter. All songs were written by Snead, with the last one co-written by Snead, Porter and Stacy Hudgens. The songs are:
- “Welcome, Almighty God”
- “For the Lord is Good”
- “Everything is Working Out”
- “I’m Free”
In addition to Snead on vocals and Porter on vocals and piano, the other musicians are Marty Mellinger on keyboards; Donna “Fast Picking” Upson on guitar, chimes and ukulele; Benny Simms on bass guitar and Troy Shaffer on drums.
Songs performed by Snead can be heard on YouTube by searching “Lois Snead.”
For more information about the ministry and the CD, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 484-941-4093. The mailing address is P.O. Box 411, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972. The CD sells for $10, plus a $2.80 purchase fee.
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-628-6023