The Real “Southern Gospel”

Up Country begins when you cross the Nile River at Uganda's Karuma Falls.
We’ll cross Karuma Falls on our journey.


A word from Curt

Today is a travel day.  DeDe, JD Hull and I heading Up Country.  We’ll be at a strategic meeting with dozens of South Sudanese pastors and their wives.

Our speakers are three leaders from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina.

The meeting begins on Friday and we’ll keep you informed on how you can pray.

Check the blog at 

We’ll be Tweeting and FB messaging with #goChadan  #IMB  #UpCountry

We’ve posted my favorite story from Trampled Grass.  I’ve added an audio podcast of

“The Real Southern Gospel”.



Our new ebook, Trampled Grass, is now available. Download a copy on your phone or tablet at Amazon, Smashwords, or
Our new ebook, Trampled Grass, is now available. Download a copy on your phone or tablet at Amazon, Smashwords, or



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Above: A Southern woman from Dry Creek (LA), Eliza Iles, in Belgian Congo circa 1922. Aunt Eliza is second white hat from left.




It means Good News.

It’s a good word.  Gospel.

The following story illustrates how there are multiple ways to spread the Good News.

The Gospel.


 Southern Gospel

Nothing connects with a person quite like truth in their heart language.

I’d never seen anything like it, and I’ve seen a lot. It was just like the Book of Acts.

We are ushered into the thatched roof-open sided church service.

The service is in full swing. If you’ve never been in an African church, you cannot fully understand full swing.

There’s was a radiant joy in the singing and clapping. This is in spite of the fact that a sizable number of the worshippers are refugees. This is Faith Baptist Church in Nimule, South Sudan.

It’s a Book of Acts church. More on that later.

The singing ends and a young pastor begins his sermon. I’m unsure of the language he’s preaching in other than it’s not English or Swahili.

After several sentences, he stops.

A lady to his right translates. I have no idea what language she’s using.

As she finishes, a man on the far right speaks.

I don’t have a clue. As another English speaker from the past said, “It’s all Greek to me.”

A fourth person, a young church leader, translates into something I understand: English.

This quadraphonic sermon continues.

We learn that the original speaker is preaching in Madi, the local language.

The woman on his right is translating into Arabic. Due to The Sudan (heavily Arab/Muslim north) and its occupation of the South during the war,

Arabic is widely used as the Lingua Franca or trade language.

The next man is speaking Murle, the language of most of the refugees present. I’m not sure if the English is only for our benefit or others in the crowd.
South Sudan’s official language is English.
Madi. Arabic. Murle. And English.

It’s just like the Book of Acts. Chapter 2.

Listeners are hearing the Gospel in their heart languages.

Nothing connects with a person quite like truth in their heart language.

My monolingual frustration at only being able to converse in one heart language (English) rubs against my ribs.

The sermon in four languages goes on (and on). I always remind my American preacher friends, “Remember that using a translator doubles the length of your sermon.”

In this case, it’s times 4. 4x.

Madi, then Arabic, Murle, and finally English.

Spoken by four South Sudanese.

The Gospel in four languages.

A real Southern Gospel Quartet.

The best kind of all.

I wonder what these folks would think of our American Southern Gospel Quartet music.

I wonder what Southern Gospel Music lovers would think of the Full Swing African music I hear and experience each Sunday.


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The Four Southern Gospel Translators at Nimule, South Sudan


Enjoy the audio podcast read by the author.


You can download a copy in three ways:


  • Read sample chapters or purchase at Amazon.
  •  You can download the entire book as a PDF at creekbank.netby signing up for our Story Letter.
  • Download the Snippet App for easy reading on your tablet or phone.


You can subscribe to our monthly Story Letter, here.  

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