Horsley, Joey Rhodes, Jim Beaty & John Nimmo are the 2013 members of the gospel quartet--FORTRESS with new CD REVIVAL.
1988 thru 1997 Doc
has had many outstanding singers who have sung
in FORTRESS beginning in August of 1988 he called
three friends--first Jeff
Dunford, then Jerry Piper &
Joey Rhodes to form a new spiritual endeavor. Duane Jackson replaced Jeff as tenor after
Jeff's son was born and Jerry decided to leave to sing with
his wife. Duane, Joey, and Doc worked as a team for several
years even though the baritone changed from Tom Pigford to Terry
Sprague. With Terry FORTRESS recorded with Sonlite Music
of Nashville, and with Mark V Music of Nashville.
Doc continued as bass and manager through those years until
Duane's job moved him in late 1997.
Terry wanted to travel as a soloist, & Joey travelled as a solo ministry.
1998 thru 2000 FORTRESS reorganized
with new members--Garry Roach & Paul Lowe. Even though the baritone slot changed, Doc, Paul and Garry were the
heart of this edition of FORTRESS until 2001.
Those members recorded four times with Garry Jones
Music of Nashville producing and arranging. But when, Garry moved to Florida for work, and Paul joined the
Shilohs as tenor for less traveling, another edition of FORTRESS began.
2001 thru 2005
manager and bass, Roger Crews-tenor, David Null- lead &
Adam Cannon-baritone. We celebrated an anniversary in 2003 with GOLD CITY in the newly rebuilt Marion Civic Center. While Deon Baker and John Nimmo filled in a few months at lead, Fortress' released several
CDs with Garry
Jones Music. Fortress' single
from one CD was My Savior's Face written by
Since 2005 Bill Schell produced all of our CDs. For a few months in 2006-three young guys Elijah, Josh and Jay filled in to continue the great quartet harmony but were unrecorded.
2008 to 2011 First Joey Rhodes, Greg Flanigan & Jerry Tomlinson joined Doc for two great years of traveling. Their 1st CD-entitled Gospel Blend and 2nd in 2010-entitled All we Need
were produced/released by Bill Schell. For one year Jay Arview & Randy Patton travelled with Doc & Joey and released Return Engagement in 2011. In 2012 Jim Beatty and Carl Sanders joined us and recorded REVIVAL a great CD.
What a super gospel tour for Fortress in these 25 years. As manager & owner
of FORTRESS, I confess that I have
been more blessed to have traveled and sung with men of such
great musical talent than they. We have enjoyed
great events/concerts including singing for the Illinois
governor, for the Illinois State Fair, Illinois Soil/Water Agency Meetings, Illinois Farm Bureau, Trinity Broadcasting,
dozens of county fairs and festivals, opening for nearly every national
quartet in the USA including the Isaacs, Easters, Gold City, Cathedrals,
Kingdom Heirs, JD & Stamps, Statesmen, Steeles, Down East, Florida Boys, Blackwoods, Kingsmen, &
many others. TV 6 in Paducah
KY has used FORTRESS on its telethon of stars
several times. Every member has had real dedication to the work
while they traveled with FORTRESS but some
drove major miles to travel and practice especially Duane,
Tom, Joey, Greg, Paul, Jerry & Mylon. That adds another
dimension to one's dedication to sing for the Lord. Jerry Piper
and Joey Rhodes' dedication and committment required hours of
driving and still they wrote great songs for FORTRESS.
Traveling thousands of miles late into the night and
early in the mornings requires members who have a sense of humor
and a cooperative spirit. The real "crazies" were
Jeff, Duane, & Terry who gave every ounce
of their being to make the sound and stage program the very
best in order that my MC work looked good.
What a loss we all felt when Terry Sprague was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2007. But, thanks also for the long lasting friendships within the members
which will never be lost just because members had to move on
to other venues. Thanks especially for God given & natural talent
among the superior voices of past members. So after all these
years of traveling from Dallas to Detroit to Des Moines and everywhere in
between, FORTRESS continues its ministry of
carrying gospel music to the lost and wounded in this world.
Our travels and concerts would be of no value without the loving
and wonderful support of our wives. To Marilyn Horsley, Penny
Dunford, Lonnie Piper, Rhonda Rhodes, Dawn Roach, Shara Sprague, Cindy Lowe,
Anita Jackson, Darlene Crews, Melissa Beaty, Sara Nimmo & to all of the short term guys' wives-- we say thanks. Today's singing members are highly
skilled, fully dedicated men who want to proclaim His
music for the wounded souls not yet in His fold. Our friends
of years past will be truly blessed to hear the new members along with DOC on low bass
and Joey at high tenor as they carry the message to the world. . Fortress is now in its 24th year.. WOW thanks
SO WHERE ARE THEY TODAY::
1989-2012 ((# indicates recordings with Fortress))
ROGER CREWS-tenor extraordinaire with new Quartet Final Journey ((3))
in 1990s & fill in many times--died tragically on April 22, 2007 in
............a motorcycle accident. Singer Extraordinaire ((4))
ADAM CANNON-baritone 2001-2006-full time music minister in Florida. New baby boy May 09 ((3))
DUANE JACKSON-tenor in 1990s--lives in Murfreesboro
TN/manages industrial engineering
.............sings in church choir--two children-- boy & girl ((6))
JERRY PIPER--original baritone--1989--music director, songwriter/ teacher of music & art in
.................... Oklahoma City.((1))
JEFF DUNFORD--original tenor--1989--manager of QM Bearings equipment supplier
............. enjoys his grown son.((1))
PAUL LOWE-- tenor 1998-2000 is now a US postmaster
with 3 teenagers to follow/support-- ..............sings in church choir((3))
GARY ROACH--lead 1998-2000 is a construction company
owner, a new church deacon &
..............a new first time GRAND DAD-YEH((3))
DAVID NULL--lead vocals in Final Journey and does a video/tape ministry;lives in Marion((3))
GREG FLANIGAN--thanks Greg for two great years Gods blessing and good health(2)
JERRY TOMLINSON- living in Sikeston Thanks for the great work ((2)
JAY ARVIEW-lives in West Frankfort New baby boy Little JAY(1)
.....................................SHORT TERM SINGERS.................................................................
RANDY PATTON-baritone in 2011 One CD "return engagement"
CARL SANDERS-lead in 2012 Thanks for great tour (1)
JOHN NIMMO-fill in at lead in 2006.One CD "Timeless"
TOM PIGFORD--living in Sparta IL baritone 1993 (1)
MYLON HULSEY- two sons. He will be a great father(2)
CHRIS SPRAGUE-fill in at lead in fall of 2007
DEON BAKER--fill in at lead in 2005. Gods blessing brother
ELIJAH BARNFIELD--spring 2007 lead & wed in 08, father in 09
JOSH MADDOX-talented tenor in 2007