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Lonnie Saunders, Gospel Singer

31 Aug Posted by in Schedule | Comments
Lonnie Saunders, Gospel Singer
 

Lonnie SaundersMy name is Lonnie Saunders. I was born in Athabasca, AB to David and Elvida Saunders and raised in Amber Valley, AB. I am the youngest of 9 girls and was sister to 8 brothers. Only the last 5 of the family are living since we were born a long time ago. My Mother’s father was the first Parson in the area and I am told that mother opened the services for him – and by the way my mother was no singer – it was likely his little girl just wanted to help out. My father, David, was quite a pianist and loved to entertain.

My earliest recollection of “being on stage” was at our Christmas concerts, which in those days were large productions. When one evangelist came to our area to hold meetings he asked me to sing a solo. Daddy came to hear me and was so proud of me. It would be many years before the church would hold my attention, but when it did I was hooked. The Power and Spirit in Gospel Music, when it connects, is potent. When Franklin Graham came to our city in ’95 I was asked to lead the ladies praise and worship at the Jubilee Auditorium. That was amazing and of course the place was packed. That was my largest audience; not to say size is the key – one lady testified that I give it my all singing to 2 or 3 as much as when I sing to hundreds. Size is not the key, the Spirit is. It’s not gospel without the spirit of God, in my opinion.

I lead the praise and worship in my small church on Sundays with a little band that Pastor Lawrence helped put together, and it is always challenging and rewarding. I am remiss to remember the name of the journalist who coined me “The Golden Voice” from Amber Valley when she interviewed me several years ago for Black History month; hence the message on my answering machine.

The CGMA (Country Gospel Music Association) awards were all around me and I knew nothing about them until 2008. Grace Jacobsen introduced me. Grace was suffering with a recurrence of breast cancer so I offered to help her plan the event in High River the following year. I had no idea the ride that this would take me on. In June 2009 I was awarded the Silver Heart for Female New Artist of the year and Female Vocalist, which had never been awarded to a first timer. In June 2010 in Cranbrook, BC I was awarded Silver Heart for Psalmist of the year and Female Entertainer of the year. In Oct. 2010 in Branson Mo. I was awarded International Female Artist of the year, a first for a Canadian. I am humbled by these awards and am grateful to the voters for their support.


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