By Terry Harpole
MABEN — A full day began Sunday morning at the Maben Church of God on Crowley Drive.
This was once the Maben Restaurant, where people would go to eat good food, and since about 1986, people now go there to feed their souls. It was about 1986 when the Rev. Leslie Kelly and his congregation bought the building and converted it into what is now the Maben Church of God.
Kelly, from Byron, Ga., brother of the late Leslie Kelly, began a revival service in this same church Sunday night that lasted until Wednesday night.
On Sunday morning, after a men’s breakfast at Trace-Way Restaurant in Mathiston, a bluegrass gospel concert was held featuring a group that has become popular in the last few years. The group was Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers.
Sibley, spokesman for the group, is a native of Choctaw County, and as he says, he became interested in bluegrass music at the early age of 13. Sibley, in the last few years, has had many different group members.
The group that sings with him now includes members from Philadelphia and Alabama. Sibley and others in the group have each written many songs and have performed in many places.
The Rev. Kerry Collins, pastor of the church, estimated around 84 people were present.
After a delicious lunch prepared by the ladies of the church, and a time of visiting and renewing friendships, Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers were back on the road for many concerts ahead, such as at Weir that night, and then onto Alabama, Florida and even Wisconsin, plus many other places.
This group has a website listing all of its news and schedules, which can be checked at www.alansibleyandmagnoliaramblers.net.