MANSON - A concert of Southern gospel music will be performed by The Nelons, of Jacksonville, Fla., at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Manson Mennonite Church.
With a 20-year legacy that includes six Dove Awards, three Grammy nominations, several No. 1 songs and numerous Singing News Fan Awards, The Nelons are considered a standard by which mixed groups in Southern gospel music are measured.
The group's foundation of excellence began with its first single, "The Sun's Coming Up," one of the Top-20 songs three years in a row. Many others followed, including "Come Morning" and "We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown." But the signature song featuring alto Kelly Nelon, "O For A Thousand Tongues," is the group's most widely known single.
Kelly Nelon provides the identity to this group and their sound. Her husband, Jason Clark, is the lead singer and the groups sound engineer. Wrapping up the group is Kelly's daughter, Amber Thompson, who sings soprano and has become one of the most recognized young artists in gospel music today.
The Nelons have performed at The Grand Ole Opry, National Quartet Convention, GMA Dove Awards, Opryland USA, and Bill Gaither Homecoming Videos.
Their musical objective remain the same, Nelson said. "We are committed to represent our Lord and Savior in the best way possible," "God deserves our best."
Manson Mennonite Church is at 1310 Eighth St. A freewill offering will also be accepted.
The church dates back to the early 1890s when eight families migrated from Illinois and settled around Manson. A Sunday School was started almost immediately, meeting in homes. Later, as more people moved in, they held services in rural school houses southwest of town whenever preachers visited them. In 1897, the church was organized with 22 charter members, and in 1899 the first pastor was called to serve.
The first meeting house was built southeast of Manson near Cedar Creek in 1903. By 1913, a larger structure was needed, so the original one was dismantled and used to build the white frame building building in northwest Manson. By 1956, more space was needed, and a brick building was built south of the wooden 1913 structure and dedicated in 1957. In 1979, a tornado ripped through Manson, demolishing much of the town, including the Mennonite Church. During the reconstruction, the Manson Catholic Church invited the Mennonite congregation to share their facilities until when the present building was completed in 1981.
In the late winter of 2010, long time pastor of 20 years, the Rev. Curt Kuhns, followed his call to Greeley, Colo., and the Greeley Mennonite Church. Ironically, the new pastor at the Manson Mennonite Church is the Rev. Orlan Koehn from Greeley.
The Manson Mennonite Church holds worship services at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, with Sunday school starting at 9:30 a.m.