A Statement Of Faith Becomes A Strategic Marketing Plan

Greater Vision, Legacy Five, the Hoppers, and the Booth Brothers are all including the song “Statement Of Faith” on their latest CDs using the same Lari Goss produced track. I haven’t heard the Greater Vision version yet, but the vocals on the Hoppers and L5 versions appear to be the same. The Booth Brothers version has different vocals.

Usually when groups collaborate, it’s either for a special release by multiple artists or for one group or the other’s release. The group Sisters, for example, recently included the Booth Brothers on their CD for a song appropriately titled “Brothers And Sisters.” Of course, groups frequently cover songs other groups have recorded previously, and sometimes they’ll release similar versions of a new song over the course of a few weeks. Including an identical (or nearly identical) track on multiple CDs rarely happens, though.

I wouldn’t want to see it all the time, but in this case, it makes sense. As the lyric indicates, “Statement Of Faith” is “more than a creed…this is what I believe.” A various artists approach to this particular song yields a sense of unity and common purpose.

By the way, every CD has at least eleven tracks, so no customer is being “cheated” if they buy more than one of the CDs.

Another wrinkle in the mix is a Lifeway choral collection from Lari Goss also titled Statement Of Faith. There are nine songs in addition to the title track including one written by Goss (“Precious Old Book”), plus two each from each group’s CD. Greater Vision is represented by “It Pays To Pray” and “I’ve Been To the Bottom,” Legacy Five by “New Born Feeling” and “‘Til We Meet Again,” the Booth Brothers by “God Did It All” and “I Still Believe In The Church,” and the Hoppers by “Victory Shall Be Mine” and “East Of Jerusalem” (mis-titled at the Lifeway link as “He Will Come,” see below*).

From a marketing point of view, it’s like a new brand (Statement Of Faith) from an existing brand (Lifeway) by a familiar brand (Lari Goss) reinforcing four more brands (the groups)…mega-cross-marketing.

From a practical sense, great tracks for groups don’t necessarily translate into great arrangements for choirs. Goss turned Greater Vision’s Hymns Of The Ages into a musical with mixed results, for example. In this case, though, Goss could pick and choose the arrangements that would work best in a choral setting.

*An interesting side-note to the mis-titled “East Of Jerusalem” on the Lifeway website is that the same song is also referred to as “He Will Come” in the liner notes written by Connie Hopper in the Something’s Happening CD. The song itself was written by Paula Stefanovich. My guess is that “He Will Come” was the original title until someone realized the last line of the chorus could cause people to recollect a previous number one song by the Hoppers also written by Stefanovich.

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David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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  1. Reply August 18, 22:40 #1 quartet-man

    Sounds interesting.

  2. Reply August 19, 12:48 #2 Samuel

    Statement of Faith actually dates back a few years. I have a recording of it sung by Bill Darden from the early 2000’s. The Birdsong Family from Tillamook, OR has recently been staging it.

  3. Reply August 19, 13:44 #3 Nate Stainbrook

    The Dove Brothers did it as well. But not with the Lari Goss orchestration.

    • Reply August 19, 13:58 admin

      I was wondering why I couldn’t remember a Dove Brothers version of that song, so I looked it up and found it’s on _Wings Of A Dove_. That’s one of the few Dove Brothers CDs I don’t own.

      I was surprised Jacob Kitson’s trio (also called Statement Of Faith) didn’t record the song for their first CD. Kitson had definitely heard it (and likely sung on it) before he left Greater Vision. The multi-artist recording that keeps popping up on all these releases was first heard on _Just Stand_ by L5, and that came out before he left Greater Vision.

  4. Reply August 19, 16:30 #4 Nate Stainbrook

    Jacob got a big lead line towards the end of the second verse on that song,(on L5’s cut) I am also surprised they did not cut that song. Speaking of that group their freshman release is pretty solid, it was produced and orchestrated by Danny Crawford of Crossroads, Arthur Rice also had a hand in the production as well. I look for this group to maybe make some noise in the future, I do believe however they would be better suited as a Quartet, but I am partial to Quartets… :)

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