The National Quartet Convention, started in 1957, is an annual gathering of Southern Gospel performers and their fans. It was started in Memphis, then moved to Birmingham, then to Atlanta. It returned to Memphis in 1961 and drew crowds of more than twenty thousand in the sixties. It was moved to Nashville in 1972 and remained there until 1993. We were able to attend a few years while it was in Nashville. In 1993, it was moved to Louisville, Kentucky. It remained there until it was moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, this year.
Many of the professional singing groups are from the Southeast, and they were thrilled that the convention moved to Pigeon Forge. We were thrilled, because it is close enough to attend. However, not everyone was thrilled.
The LeConte Center is a new facility in Pigeon Forge that seats 12,000 people, all on one level. It was sold out every night, and many people couldn't get tickets. The parking wasn't great, and many people were not happy. Hopefully, it will improve every year if we can just be patient.
In spite of a little inconvenience, it was a beautiful time. It is good and healing and strengthening for the family to get together annually and share with one another.
We laughed. A lot! We cried some, we praised, we hugged, we planned. It was refreshing.
We enjoyed all the performances, but Guy Penrod was my favorite for the week.
Next year, the Quartet Convention will be from September 28 through October 3. I think I will buy my tickets early for 2015.