Southern gospel group heads north to AustinPublished 10:02am Friday, April 26, 2013
When Bob Smith leaves this world, he hopes to do so while onstage, singing praise for the Lord. Like his fellow quartet singers, he lives to sing gospel and spread God’s word.
Smith is a member of 4 His Love from Kansas City. The group — Smith, Dan Roberts, Jeremy Pope and Jeff Rudloff — will sing and share life stories, struggles and faith with Crane Community Chapel at 6 p.m. this Sunday. The concert is free and open to the public with a free-will offering.
It may not be the typical music locals are used to, but members at Crane Community Chapel are eager for it.
“They called looking for an opportunity to share their music on their way home, and we thought that would be great,” said Pastor Dale Christiansen. “We have some folks in our church who love that kind of music, so they are looking forward to it.”
The nationally touring act started in 2005 in California when the founder, Roberts, went through some dramatic changes in his life. Smith said Roberts was delivered from methamphetamine; he gave up the drug because of God’s calling.
Like Smith, Bob and the others have gone through their own trials. So along with singing, they share their challenges with spectators.
“We reach out,” Smith said. “We’ve seen a lot of things change. We’ve seen souls won, so it’s a calling.”
A former member went through way more than a dozen kidney treatments, Smith said. Current member Jeff Rudloff was told he wouldn’t live past the age of 5. Smith has beaten prostate cancer. That’s why the group isn’t going to sit silently when it comes to God.
“We knew it was important for us to be spreading the word,” Smith said.
Since reforming the group in 2008 in Kansas City, the men have been all over the country.
“We’ve done a lot of traveling,” Smith said, and added the group takes about 120 bookings each year. “We traveled a little over 21,000 miles last year.”
Sunday, however, will be the first time they visit Minnesota. Unfortunately, Smith is going through more trials as his brother has been undergoing multiple surgeries for complications with his aorta. Smith may not be able to make the trip. Still, it’s reasons like this that Smith continues to sing, rejoice and share his life.
“It’s about reality,” Smith said. “It’s not just about getting up there and singing. It’s about reaching people for the cause of Christ, reaching out to people who are hurting, sharing with them.”
That’s why Smith hopes to sing gospel music until he is “called home” — right up to the last breath.
“I’d like to go while I’m on stage,” Smith said. “I’d like to go with a song in my heart. I really would.”
To learn more about 4 His Love, visit the website 4hislove.com.