Known at Rock Springs Baptist Church as The Bow Tie Quartet, teenagers John Broome, Denton Carter, Connor Daniels, and Carson Edwards love singing Gospel music together to honor their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“Carson loves Gospel music, and, in the group, I’ve really taken a passion for it,” said Denton, in an interview with The Christian View magazine. “And I know Connor likes Gospel music but prefers the old hymns, and I really like old hymns, as well. This church has definitely influenced all of us to like the old Gospel music. You can’t get much better than Gospel music.”
“The harmony is beautiful, and the words are uplifting and beautiful, which is harder to find today, I think,” said Connor.
Each young man began singing at an early age. For Carson, it was as a toddler. “Then, I started playing the piano at the age of four,” he said. “Ever since then, it’s been all music.”
“Carson is excellent at the piano,” said Denton.
“I remember doing little kindergarten plays,” said John. “I started actually singing probably in the first grade, when we did Kidz Praise. I’ve been singing pretty much since kids’ choir.”
“Probably the same for me,” said Denton, “first grade, Kidz Praise.”
“Before we moved up to South Carolina, I went to a church in south Florida,” said Connor. “I sang some with the children’s program there, but, as far as singing parts and that kind of thing, I would have started with the youth choir about five years ago.”
The four became friends through church. None attend the same school. “It’s all from church,” said Denton, “because we go to different schools. So, that’s pretty neat, I think.”
John, a junior at Easley High School, is a son of John Broome, Sr. and Melanie March. Denton, a sophomore at Wren High School, is a son of Keith and Jeri Carter. Connor, a senior homeschooled student, is the son of Brandon and Michelle Daniels. Carson, a senior at Powdersville High School, is a son of Keith and Stephanie Edwards.
Carson noted that his parents have been a source of support and encouragement for him. “It’s been nothing but support from them,” he said. “Whether I have to go somewhere or play somewhere, no matter where I am, they support me in what I do.”
“Both of my parents have been great influences on my life, spiritually,” said Connor. “Also, I would say my grandmother has been a great influence on my life. She led me to Christ when I was very young, helped mentor me, especially when I was growing up and first starting out trying to live a Christian life and understand what it meant to be saved and to follow the Lord.”
“Both of my parents have been great influences on me,” said Denton. “Maybe another one would be Tim Tebow. He was a great influence when I watched him on tv. I didn’t like (University of) Florida, but, when he was in the NFL, I really enjoyed him. He put his passion before his job. Everybody thought that should be his priority, but he put his passion in Christ above what everybody else thought needed to be his number one. So, I thought that’s a really good example of what we should be doing to model after Christ. So, he would be a really good role model for me, too, other than my Dad.”
“My parents have been very good role models for me,” said John. “We’ve been in church since I can remember. I grew up in Georgia in a small town, and we went to the local Baptist church. They really taught me how to live your lifestyle and what you should do and what’s right and what’s wrong, and they led me in the way that I should go and set me up with the right morals and the right plan for success.”
Musical influences in the young men’s lives include well known Gospel groups and also their fellow church members who sing together as Gospel groups in church.
“I know Carson would say Greater Vision,” said Denton. “Definitely, for all of us, I think Greater Vision. “Just One More Soul” was one of the first songs we sang that was not a hymn. That was influential.”
“Greater Vision,” John agreed. “I really enjoy listening to them. I really like the sound, and I like what they produce and what they share.”
“I loved listening to The Cathedrals as a kid, and I love their music now,” Denton added. “The Perrys, Eleventh Hour, the Kingsmen are really good.”
“The people at our church have helped us start out as a group,” said Connor. “Alan Poston, who directs the youth choir, was tremendous in getting us started and helping us learn parts, how to hear parts, sing parts. His wife, Suzanne, played the piano when we first started practicing. Brother Don (Gibson) and all of the quartets here at our church have been influences on us as examples, but they have especially worked with us, getting us started and figuring out how to sing and actually sound halfway decent. So, we’ve appreciated their help. It’s meant a lot to us.”
“Our biggest encouragers are the senior adults,” added Denton. “They always love us. It’s always a blessing to have one of them come up to us and say, ‘When are y’all going to sing next?’”
John said that, of the songs that their group sings, his favorite is “I’ve Read the Back of the Book,” a song once sung by the Gospel group The Cathedrals.
Denton agreed. “I like “I’ve Read the Back of the Book.” It’s fun to sing. It’s a catchy song.”
“I like that song,” said Connor. “It’s either that or “Joy’s Gonna Come in the Morning” (the Kingsmen).
Carson’s favorite Gospel songs are not songs that they sing. “My two favorite songs would be “The Lighthouse” and “Till the Storm Passes By.” Those are my two all-time favorite songs,” he said.
Carson’s favorite Bible verse comes from the book of Psalms. “My favorite scripture is Psalm 46:10: Be still, and know that I am God.”
John’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me. “It sums it up,” he said. “You can do anything if you put your mind to it and you have Christ. There’s nothing you can’t do.”
“I really do like Philippians 4:13,” said Denton. “Other than that, I love Psalm 3:2-3. It’s the song “Thou, O Lord”, basically, in the Psalms. I love that song, and I love it written down (in scripture), as well. It continues the whole chapter. I really like that.”
“Jeremiah 29:11 is probably my favorite verse,” said Connor, “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.”
God and God’s Word have been sources of encouragement to help shape the young men’s lives.
“When I was 12, my parents went through a divorce,” said John. “It was very hard on me, and I felt like there was nowhere I could turn. I just stepped back and thought about it and was like, God’s got this, God has a plan. I have gotten through it. Everything is fine. I’ve gotten through it, and I don’t think I could have done it without God.”
“Probably last year was one of the toughest experiences that helped shape me as a person,” said Denton. “I was homeschooled for eight years, and I was put in public school for the first time last year. That was a huge transition, not necessarily academic wise but social wise and getting use to a different aspect of education. I really think I couldn’t have done that without my parents’ encouragement and teachers that helped me at the school. And friends at church helped me through it. And God helped me get through it. Really, prayer helped me get through that.”
“I’ve been remarkably blessed,” said Connor. “I grew up in a family that went to church, and my parents were all Christians and my grandparents and my great grandparents. I haven’t really had the struggles that a lot of people have had. I was saved at the age of four. I remember before I was saved but not much. So I don’t have perhaps the dramatic conversion story that a lot of people do, but, just growing up as a Christian, you learn you need God every day. It doesn’t matter if anything in particular is going on, each day is enough trouble of its own, and we need the Lord all of the time. I guess I could mention specific things. I was a homeschooled student doing team policy debate, which was interesting for me, because I used to be afraid of public speaking. So, learning to overcome that and sing in a quartet is something that the Lord has helped me through. But, really, in every area of life, we depend on Him for everything we do.
“If I could describe the Christian life in one word, it would be obedience: obedience to God and His scripture and what He has commanded us to do,” said Carson. “And the blessings of following Him and obeying His word, you can’t beat it. He blesses in so many ways. And just us as a group, what we’ve been able to see, it’s amazing. It really is.”
“God has blessed what we’ve been able to do,” said Connor.
“I just want to add just how much I‘ve enjoyed being in this group and how much it has helped develop me as a Christian and develop a love and passion for Gospel music, too,” said Denton. “I really enjoy every outing and every time we sing in front of this great church. I really do enjoy every minute of it. It’s always a pleasure working with these guys and singing for the Lord.”