Tour Itinerary can be downloaded here!
We are very excited about getting the journey started. The most recent day will be on the top for you to view, we hope you enjoy watching our journey. We will try to update the website as often as there is Internet to do so.
Day 15 – July 23, 2016 – HOMECOMING, St. Joseph, MO at Wyatt Park Baptist Church
This morning started with a tradition where the group ends their tour with a small worship meeting. Prior to the meeting we reveal our secret pals and exchange gifts. We also reveal who each singer voted on for tour awards. One new award this year was for Best Bus Worship. For those of you that do not know while on tour we used to read a bus worship every day. Now instead of reading it they are all videos. So the Social committee created this new award. After this portion was completed we proceeded to the worship part. This is where the sponsors share how they feel the tour went and give some words of wisdom for the coming weeks. It was very moving as Byron and Phyllis wrapped up this part of our mission before we return home. Communion was had by all.
From there we journeyed to Columbia, MO, for lunch, and invaded the Steak and Shake as well as the Bob Evans for a longer than usual lunch. Departing Columbia to head north to Highway 36, mostly this is due to finding ways for us to add some time to our drive so we arrive right on time at 5:00 pm. You could truly feel the energy and excitement from the group as they knew they were close to home. It was a great quiet time, but they woke up fast, and the energy came with it. Honestly it is always great to feel them get excited about being home.
It is even better when we pull into the church and see all of the families there waiting for us with their signs, tears, smiles and hugs. We had a visitor we have not seen for sometime that is a huge asset to our group. Scott Johnson was in attendance to see us in, and visit us for the Homecoming Concert. The group was very excited at his surprise of being there. Renee Paden made an appearance as well with Madison and Kendra. No she did not forget the baby boy, Christian came to wish the group well also. A Special thank you to alum Hannah Adams for giving us our inspiring green room prior to our go time on our concert as well.
It was great to see everyone we have not seen in awhile, as it made the room feel complete, and the energy from our friends and family was felt by the group as they gave the performance of a lifetime. As this tour concludes do not forget about our New G Membership rally on August 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm. We love you all!
Day 14 – July 22, 2016 – St. Charles, MO (New Town)
We woke up and got rolling on-time from our commercial stay last night, and most seemed to have recovered well from being in the sun at Cedar Point. We are starting to make our preparations for our trip home. I know that most of you are excited to see us return, but I must say most of us it is bitter sweet. We realize that this too must end so we can start our next season, but we also are ready to come home for a few days to do laundry and turn around and go do another trip right behind this one!
The performance at First Christian Church was amazing. The camp was very impressive due to what they had going on all at once. They had VBS wrapping up today with 85 kiddos there for the final day. Doing the usual VBS stuff. So they greeted us, and both of our coaches, gave us a place to eat, a place to set up for the show, and a place to change. It was amazing to watch this church handle all the local growth, but the sheer onslaught of people. We are very lucky to be welcomed back to this church again, as we have performed here before.
Now onto a good night’s sleep. We are in the host homes and hotel a bit early, and then preparing for our worship send-off from tour….then HOMECOMING! We will see you soon!
Day 13 – July 21, 2016 – Sandusky, Ohio
If you have not guessed, we ended up in the capital of roller coasters. Yes that is right, we were at Cedar Point for another one of our fun days. We had a forecast of over 90 degrees, and all sun, next to no clouds in the area. So yes, some of us are coming home with maybe a bit of extra color. Most however made it through with enough sun screen and hats that we came out ok.
A great part about this day is Ethan was very brave and rode a lot of the BIG rides with his dad Joseph. One of those rides being Top Thrill Dragster. Just to help paint the picture this one shoots you from 0 – 125 MPH in under 4 seconds, and straight up in the air to bring you right back down. The complete ride takes around 25 seconds.
A lot of our singers where able to get on a lot of the rides today if you planned it out right. One of the popular rides was the Valravan. If memory serves it still breaks 10 world records, so you can say it was pretty cool. I will admit while I was on my tour of coasters it was on my short list, and with fellow sponsor we were front and center to experience it.
A very special thanks to an alumni Singer Kelby for helping provide for our drinks and meal for the day. We sincerely appreciate it!
Day 12 – July 20, 2016 – Amherst, Ohio
We had a very easy drive from the Oasis of Love to Amherst, Ohio. For our drive today the social committee helped us pass the time today with bus Olympics. While I must say as a sponsor it often gets loud, and somewhat silly the singers really love it. The theme this year is Christmas in July. So they tossed fake snow balls into a bucket, or pinned the nose on the Snowman, and even an obstacle course. It does get a little competitive…which I kind of like, but nonetheless it is fun for all.
We arrived at Heritage Presbyterian Church in Amherst, and the singers are starting to get excited about being close to home, and being a day away from going to Cedar Point. The performance tonight was another slice of amazing from the singers. They have not had many performances that I would call off nights. The girls where completely hosted tonight, and the men are toughing it out in the church, but it is a great location so they should all be comfortable.
Cedar Point here we come!!
Day 11 – July 19, 2016 – Huntingdon, PA (Still at Oasis of Love)
We woke up to a delicious breakfast, and then off to help support a VBS kids class that was on site at the time. This was fun, and a great reminder for us of the Royal Family Kids Camp back home. We encouraged them all to bring their parents back that night, and a few did.
From that performance we went on a small tour of the National Park. We got to see a great lookout over the lake, and then off to something we did two years ago. A very relaxing boat ride on the river we have heard so much about. The SS Princess is a large enough boat to fit our whole group in it. It has an upper deck, and a lower air conditioned area for those that may not want to be outside in the heat. The singers do enjoy the area. One thing that I am sure most know if they spend time around the dock of just about any lake, is this one has the carp right up close, and the singers are always so enthralled to see how many they are, and LOVE to feed them.
From there back to a great dinner at the Oasis, and then a great performance for the members of Oasis of Love. Again we deeply appreciate the hospitality of all of the churches we perform at. The Oasis went above and beyond with all of the meals, and the extra day of hospitality.
Day 10 – July 18, 2016 – Huntingdon, PA
I must say for the drivers in New York, WOW. We had a great set of drivers taking us through some pretty tough parts of the city to drive a large motor coach. So when I asked our Faith bus driver John to take us back to the hotel to get my phone he didn’t skip a beat to tell me NO! I think he was as ready as I was to be headed off the island and headed to Pennsylvania to see some mountains and some lakes!
We are headed to a church we have not been too many times. You will see in the pictures it is basically a church camp, that has two camp houses outside, a huge playground, and a great gymnasium. After all of that they have a great outdoor kitchen with several covered picnic tables for us to enjoy the super yummy food. They provided us 5 meals in total, and after NYC this was a very welcome item for the singers.
So after arriving and getting our stuff to where we were going to stay, we departed to one of our most favorite outdoor performances that we have done before. We performed in an outdoor amphitheater in a National Park near an Army Core of Engineers lake that was created in the 1970’s and filled by a hurricane that saved millions by holding all the water! The performance for the crowd was very moving, but so was the view of the mountains while singing God’s Word.
After this performance we went back to do snacks, and then Tour Worship. This one was special as the singers focused on Love as the overall theme, and then turned the focus to a surprise that was kept secret very well. It was decided to make Byron and Phyllis a gift on a piece of paper that had a word. This word was to symbolize them in some way with New G. Then each singer individually gave their paper to them one at a time for them to hear each word. It was very moving!
Day 9 – July 17, 2016 – Brooklyn, New York
We woke up this morning in our beautiful hotel right on Manhattan Island, and on a very quiet street I might add, to enjoy a great breakfast that they travel agency and the Myers got negotiated into the price of the hotel. From there at 7:45 a.m. we loaded out to our performance stop, and one of our favorite Beulah Church of the Nazarene. We have been here back in 2000, 2011, and 2016!
It was a simple drive from our hotel to Brooklyn, and the drivers are doing really great navigating this crazy busy city with our two coaches. Once we arrived we waited in a room that we used back in 2000 as the room we ate breakfast in, and from there a small set up to perform. From our perspective it is great to be at this church, mainly due to the energy they offer with the shouts of Amen, Praise God, and boisterous feedback we get while we perform, and while we watch them praise God. Honestly, it is great to worship with this congregation due to the fact it is something different from what may be the norm for most of the singers. In a way it offers a spiritual awaking for us, and in essence helps fill your spiritual gas tank.
From there we took the singers to Pier 17 to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a bit of the culture near the East River. They got an opportunity to sit and relax while eating on an old cobblestone street, and an easy walk to a great view of the bay. We also drove by Ground Zero and a couple other sites on our way back to the hotel. After we were done it was off to have an early night in the hotel to get rested for our performance for tomorrow. I think most of the group are looking forward to the extra rest because load out is 9:00 a.m.!!!
Day 8 – July 16, 2016 – New York City
Today is the day that we take two large coaches into a very difficult place to maneuver. While in the past we have had some difficulty, we have inherited a driver that has had YEARS of experience here. As a matter of fact he was so knowledgeable of the city that he was able to lead two buses, and a city tour. Now while it was difficult to keep both buses together, we got to see almost all of the major sites.
After our tour we ended up being dropped off in China town where Bemo lead us through there, and into Little Italy. From there we let them go to try some of the great Italian places that was available to them, and it was a great experience for all. We had some great food too. After leaving Little Italy, we headed to the Hotel and got checked in. This year we are staying in Manhattan, I think for the first time ever, which is kind of cool, because we are so close to the Empire State Building.
After checking in we quickly changed and headed to Times Square. For those that are familiar with it, we started in the front of the bleachers, and allowed the students to go and eat dinner to meet back there before the show. From there it was a walk to the Theater district and to see School of Rock. Everyone LOVED it, and to top it off the Myers were able to arrange for us to meet the cast (Pictures are included). This was a LIFETIME memory for most of the singers.
Day 7 – July 15, 2016 – Bridgeport, CT
A very simple day, but it started pretty early, we had a load out at 7:45 a.m. day. This was very tiring, but the kids like always did this with the charm and class we expect. Honestly we cannot be more proud of how they handle stuff like this with no complaints, and always ready to perform.
This particular stop was something new for us and another good experience. What they lacked in overall size of attendance they did not lack in enthusiasm, and willingness to support us. This was one of the first that they group had heard from the audience several people praising out loud along with them, and that drove some great energy for the group. On top of that Bemo invited them all up to join us for the complete Amazing Grace.
Then from there a little surprise for all of the singers…a visit to Jennings Beach! I must say this was a very peaceful, clean, and limited waves beach. So while I know there was not water crashing up against us as we where in the ocean, it was very easy to just relax!
Sponsor Couple Matt & Renee Paden also welcomed a New Baby Boy to the New G Family on the 14th at 11:49 p.m. Both mom and baby are healthy.
Day 6 – July 14, 2016 – Cohoes, NY
One of the best thing about the start of this day was that we got to load the buses by 10:00 a.m. That is right, 10:00 a.m. is what I said. The singers were so excited about this, as was the sponsors. Extra sleep at this point is necessary due to by about day 6 you really don’t realize it, but you start to physically know you are tired, and the little things can build up. Bemo sometimes says your shields are down to 10%.
So a great drive through the NY countryside, and a simple stop for lunch on the Turnpike. There was something pretty cool about the town this lunch stop was in though…Port Byron, NY. Who new Byron had is own town?
We got into the area of Cohoes, NY, we did run into our first bit of big city traffic, but it was no problem with our expert drivers. The senior center was pretty large, and once we arrived we were fed a great NYC pizza, and were able to eat with some of the Seniors. After we were done we took down the tables and chairs to set up a concert venue, and the singers did a great job getting that done. A very moving part was when we got to the Benediction, Byron stood up and took an audience members hand, and it was infectious, and very moving.
Lastly, there was a beautiful little girl there that just loved us, and we loved her. At the end of the concert several of the singers brought her up on the risers to sing with her, and it was simply a blessing. At the end we gave a cross to be a part of our family!
Day 5 – July 13, 2016 – Niagara Falls, NY
What a great day for most. Several of us where chatting about the last time we have taken the group on the Maid of the Mist Voyage to the Canadian Falls, and also seeing the American Falls. We are pretty sure the last time was when sponsors Matt Paden and Emily Howell were in the group.
For a lot of the kids on tour this was the very first stop to the Falls, so that was pretty exciting to see them get this awesome first. We offered a few facts that some do not remember, and I encourage you to look it up because it is amazing if you think about it. The American side of the falls have been shut off before for repairs of the falls after a Rock Slide. They are even talking about doing it again for some bridge maintenance. The kids had an opportunity to take lots of pics, and even get some souvenirs to take home.
NOTE: There is a great group pic, and sponsor pic in this one!
Day 4 – July 12, 2016 – Colden, New York
Today was a great drive from Mansfield, Ohio, to Colden, New York. The drivers took us through some windy roads that took us to some really cool little towns in Upstate New York. Before we got to Upstate NY, we were able to stop at a great little town at Genevieve on the Lake to eat lunch! I think I heard Bemo tell the drivers that this was one of his favorite scenic drives that he can remember in New York. He also took the time to remind the kids that it is kinda cool when you think about the way Manhattan looks, and the way the small town feels.
We were trying to remember the last time we where in this church, and we settled on it was 10 years ago. This was Pastor Dom’s first experience with seeing us, and we hope he felt as blessed as we did from this performance. Honestly this was the first time in my 13 years being associated with New G, that the church was so on fire after our performance that they were hugging and celebrating right along with us after the performance was over.
One of the greatest things to also happen was a very generous church member that had a home only about 2 blocks away from the church that we were invited to go swimming at. That was very refreshing due to the church was particularly hot, and the water felt oh so great! They even got us ice cream. Then a second night on the church floor, but the kids really like the opportunity to be together as well.
Day 3 – July 11, 2016 – Mansfield, Ohio
Another smooth start to our day leaving Illinois headed to Mansfield, Ohio. We were excited today knowing that sponsor Carol Myers and B.J. where catching up with us after taking care of their respective roles in St. Joseph, MO wrapping up “Oklahoma”. They were definitely missed.
On way to Illinois we ate at a Travel Plaza, which was pretty nice, and they did not do too bad getting us in and out. The drivers hit a bit of traffic, but it really did not slow us down much.
Tonight we sang in another familiar church that we where in two years ago. It escapes me on how we met the person that owns the church we perform and sleep in, but he has been very open to having us every time we are out this way. An interesting story about where we are at, the person that owns it bought it, and has an opportunity to also make it his home. So in essensce we have coined the phrase, Chome, Church + Home = Chome!
More importantly he loves having us here, and always encourages us to sign his wall on the way down stairs to eat, and they are always so gracious to feed us as well.
Enjoy some performance pictures!
Day 2 – July 10, 2016 – Clarendon Hills, Illinois
With the day starting back in the church we sang at Saturday night, we had a great crowd to perform to that morning. There was some great energy from the night before that carried over, and you could tell that some of the singers took their first opportunity to spend some time with each other, but got plenty of rest to perform their morning performance very well.
We think all of the setup jitters and what jobs we are supposed to be doing is beginning to work itself out, and I am sure in the next couple of days we will be running as smooth as always.
The trip to Clarendon Hills, Ill., allowed Bemo an opportunity to find a stop along the way that would let him be able to eat at Steak and Shake. As I am sure you know this makes a lot of the singers pretty happy to join him.
Our final stop of the day brought us to a familiar stop. We had been here back in 2014, and remember this big beautiful sanctuary with its curved roof. The singers did a great job, and have begun to really find new levels in their performance. Oh, and we took a selfie with our audience, and even did some live feed on Facebook, so if you are not watching for us, you might start soon! So proud of them all….Still =)
Day 1 – July 09, 2016 – Auburn, Illinois
What a great day, we had great weather to start, and everyone worked very well together to get the buses loaded, and ready for a great worship upstairs in the Sanctuary. Thank you to Rich and Barb Crumley for giving us such encouraging words to get ready to go off on tour.
We also was able to receive some great words of wisdom from the new minister of Ashland United Methodist Church Rusty M.
We had a great uneventful trip to our first lunch stop in Macon, Ill. Then off to Auburn United Methodist Church. We remembered our stop here from two years ago, and they remembered us. We noticed that the crop was particularly impressive around the area. So we saw a LOT of corn and beans looking pretty good. Such great food and hospitality. To top it all off Pastor Brian jumped in and played with us on Lean on Me!