The Perry’s at Thompsonville First Baptist Church Saturday Night at 6:00 p.m.

by Steve Dunford


THOMPSONVILLE, IL –  For the last two years, the Thompsonville First Baptist church has been booking some of the major names in Southern Gospel Music, the last few have been Gold City, The Kingsmen, The Talleys and the Whisnants.

This Saturday night the Perrys will be in Concert at the Thompsonville First Baptist Church on State Route 34, two blocks from the school.  A love offering will be taken.

Here is the Groups Bio from their  website

Let’s talk about tradition

This year marks the 45th year that The Perrys have been traveling across the country, sharing The Gospel of Jesus Christ. During that time, God has proven faithful to provide everything needed to build a successful ministry. From moving lyrics of traditional songs, along with talented vocalists and musicians, to a genuine heart for people, The Perrys have proven they have what it takes to rise to the top of Southern Gospel music. What a journey it has been!

For Libbi Perry Stuffle, that journey began on Christmas Day in 1970, when her family gathered around a piano and began to sing after the death of their older brother, Johnny. After singing as a trio for several years, the group decided to expand into a quartet. With the addition of Tracy Stuffle, The Perrys not only gained a bass singer, but Libbi also gained a husband. Since then, Libbi and Tracy have been the foundation of The Perrys’ ministry, both managing the group and becoming some of the most recognized voices in Southern Gospel today.

January of 2013 presented The Perrys with a battle they had never before faced. Tracy, who just two years prior, had come through major open-heart surgery, suffered a massive stroke. Much of the next year would be spent in the hospital, waiting for a miracle. But God once again proved Himself faithful and Tracy survived this major ordeal and was able to return to the stage full time at the beginning of 2015. They watch daily as God continues to answer prayer in healing Tracy and bringing him even closer to full restoration.

Tracy and Libbi realize the importance of having gifted vocalists with a passion for music and a heart for the ministry on their team. At the young age of 25, The Perrys’ lead singer, Andrew Goldman, has already been recognized as one of the industry’s leading young talents. Gospel music veteran, Troy Peach, lends his rich baritone vocals to the group and also stands alongside Tracy in being the group’s spokesperson. Last but not least, Tracy & Libbi’s son, Jared, rounds out the Perry team by adding the low notes to the stage. Together, The Perrys produce a classic, yet unique blend that continues to inspire long-time fans while also appealing to the next generation.

In keeping with the tradition of quality music, The Perrys consistently present music that speaks to hearts and changes lives. 2014 the album Into His Presence brought a Dove Award nomination for the song, “I Can Trust Him”. In 2013, their album Through The Night was nominated for a Dove Award and held the 2013 Southern Gospel Song of the Year, “I Got Ahold of God This Morning.” Their previous album, Blue Skies contained three #1 songs and the Dove Award winning song “Celebrate Me Home.” It followed the Dove Award nominated, Almost Morning, which garnered two #1 songs, including 2010 Southern Gospel Song of the Year, “If You Knew Him.”

Both fans and peers alike have repeatedly recognized The Perrys for their talent and hard work by honoring Libbi Perry Stuffle as Favorite Female Vocalist in 2005 and 2013, as well as Favorite Alto Singer nine out of the past ten years. The entire group was distinguished as Mixed Group of the Year three years in a row at The Singing Fan Awards. With countless other honors, awards, and radio success, it is evident that The Perrys have been blessed, not only with musical abilities, but also the gift of communicating a message and touching lives. Now, after overcoming one of the biggest trials of their life, The Perrys have a renewed passion for encouraging others for Christ. As a dedicated team, The Perrys are excited to see what God has in store for the next 45 years.


  • GMA Dove Award® for 2012 Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year – “Celebrate Me Home”
    Singing News Fan Awards 2004 – 2006 Mixed Quartet of the Year
  • 2005, 2013 Singing News Fan Awards – Female Vocalist – Libbi Stuffle
    2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Singing News Fan Awards – Alto Singer – Libbi Stuffle
  • 2006 Singing News Fan Awards – Favorite Album – Remembering The Goodmans
  • 2004 Harmony Awards – Song Of The Year – “I Wish I Could Have Been There”
  • 2006 Harmony Honors Awards – Album Of The Year – Come Thirsty
  • 2010 – “If You Knew Him” – Southern Gospel Song of the Year – Singing News Fan Awards
  • 2011 – Almost Morning – Nominated Southern Gospel Recording of the Year – Gospel Music Association Dove Awards®
  • 2013 –  “Through The Night” – Nominated Southern Gospel Album of the Year – Gospel Music Association Dove Awards®
  • 2013 – “I Got Ahold of God This Morning” – Southern Gospel Song of the Year – Singing News Fan Awards
  • 2014 – “I Can Trust Him” – Nominated Southern Gospel Song of the Year – Gospel Music Association Dove Awards®

Please join Pastor John Robinson,  Andrew Cooksey, a member of Thompsonville First Baptist Church who arranges booking the fine Southern Gospel groups in a night of worship in song.  If the Lord is willing, I plan to be there.

Pleasant Valley Baptist Church celebrates 150 years today

by Steve Dunford


THOMPSONVILLE, IL – The Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church, between Thompsonville and Galatia will celebrate 150 years of continuous service to the Lord in their homecoming service this afternoon at 1:30 P.M.

The church will have Sunday School and Morning Worship.  They will have an old fashioned dinner after the services.

Sons of the Father will be in concert in the afternoon service.  The West Frankfort group recently announced their retirement from the road.  Les and Chris Snyder will still continue in the group, and sing locally.

Don Kragness, who was a music director in several local schools and churches will replace Brent Snyder.  Brent recently accepted a position of Minister of Worship at Calvary Baptist Church in Alton.

The church attendance is approximately 30 at Pleasant Valley.  The Southern Baptist congregation is members of the Franklin Baptist Association, and the Illinois Baptist State Association.  The church is pastored by Mark Cockrum of Galatia.

The church has recently added a fellowship hall and bathrooms on the ground floor.

The congregation would love to have you.  Just follow the signs going north off of Route 34 near the Saline/Franklin County line.

In the days of church closures, this is a testimony to the faithfulness of this congregation to the Lord.  Being a Southern Baptist myself, I believe the rural country churches are the backbone of our convention, and in all denominations the country as a whole.


West Frankfort man killed in single vehicle accident near Akin


Press Release From Don Jones, Franklin County Sheriff

On August 14th at 9:22 a.m., Franklin County Deputies responded to a single vehicle crash on North Thompsonville Road, just south of Knob Prairie Road.  (This would be just south of the railroad trestles).

A 2012 Nissan Rogue driven by Treber Lenich, 19, of West Frankfort, was south bound on North Thompsonville Road, when it traveled off the roadway on the west side and struck an embankment.  The vehicle caught fire in the engine compartment and was extinguished from passers by with a fire extinguisher.

The driver was apparently killed on impact, and was pronounced dead at the scene by Franklin County Coroner, Marty Leffler’s office.

Abbott EMS and Cave-Eastern Fire Protection District also responded.  Lenich was believed to be on his way home from work at a local coal mine.  The crash is still under investigation.




Seize the Day: Surprise party thrown for Thompsonville teen battling epilepsy

William McPherson – WF Gazette Photo

THOMPSONVILLE, IL (William McPherson, West Frankfort Gazette.  Please click on the link above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

The tight-knit Thompsonville community came together last weekend to throw a very special surprise party for a brave young man who is taking the fight to epilepsy.

Garrett Bussick, 13, a seventh grader from Thompsonville, has been battling epilepsy since he was a small child. Garrett is scheduled to undergo a rare type of brain surgery in August, known as a hemispherectomy (removal of half the brain) which will hopefully cure his seizures, but which will mean he will have to re-learn many basic motor functions afterwards.

After surgery, Garrett, an energetic young man who enjoys the outdoors and playing basketball, will have to learn to walk, talk and do everything he currently does all over again. He will have to gain all of his daily abilities back, and will lose his left peripheral vision in both eyes. His mother, Lindsay Bussick added, “He will have to learn how to adapt to a loss of visual field without making it so noticeable that people wonder what he’s doing. The doctors have already said it will be the hardest thing he has ever done.” The process will involve many tools; such as glasses, braces, adaptive clothing, and shoes.

To help with medical costs, Garret’s family has set up a fundraiser at T-shirts can be ordered through Garrett’s mother, who can be contacted on Facebook. There is a minimum order of 12 shirts since they are purchased in bulk from the t-shirt printer.

TFBC youth give their testimony after returning from World Changers

The youth and directors from TFBC that attended World Changers in Huntington. TOP ROW – Cade Dixon, John Dixon Jacob Dixon, Kevin Smith, Gavin Gaylor, Mitchell Kerley, Seth Clark. BOTTOM ROW: Renee Anderson Bailey Clem, Olivia Kerley, Kenlee Smith, Chole Mays, Emma Dixon, Makenzie Crisel. NOT PICTURED: Macy Clem, Ava Isaacs, Austin Lunde, Jared Emberton.

by Steve Dunford

THOMPSONVILLE, IL –  To top off the day of the first Sunday of their renovated sanctuary, the youth group of Thompsonville First Baptist Church shared their experiences of going on their annual World Changers trip.  They went to Huntington, WV this year.

Mitchell Kerley, working on the wheelchair ramp at the job site he was assigned to. He is a recent FCHS graduate. (Marshall University Parthenon photo)

Huntington is the home to Marshall University.  The town is known for having high drug use.  The city leads the nation in drug overdoses per capita.

The week got off to a sad note, as Youth Director Renee Anderson lost her mother-in-law.  Other than one kid getting sick, the rest of the week was event free.

Most of the group was assigned to build wheelchair ramps for the elderly of the city.  The crews were able to interact with the homeowners and share the Gospel with them.

One thing that was impressive was they had some free time on Wednesday.  The group chose to help out in a block party sponsored by the city of Hunnington.  One man was led to the Lord at the block party by some TFBC youth.

Emma Dixon sharing a passage of scripture and Bailey Clem will lead in prayer at The Gathering, which is a worship service at the end of each day at World Changers

I had each student listed.  I am afraid I would miss some details.  Of the group there were three high schools represented.  There were athletes, cheerleaders, one young man for his stance at his graduation, was on Fox News.

The adult leaders stressed the boldness of the youth in sharing the Gospel.

Every kid that spoke had a zeal and love for the Lord.  The group will be going to Puerto Rico.

This group needs to be commended for taking the Great Commission to another part of the nation.


Harris new principal at FCHS

by Steve Dunford

WEST FRANKFORT, IL –  The Frankfort Community District School Board completed their administration team last night, by hiring Brock Harris as the new high school principal.  Earlier, long time FCHS coach and science teacher Jory Dial was named as the district’s athletic director and assistant principal at the high school.

Harris is entering his second year with District 168.  He was the principal at Frankfort Intermediate School last year.  He came to West Frankfort from Webber Township High School in Bluford, where he was high school principal.

Before taking the position at Webber, he was a long time teacher, coach, and served a few years district’s AD at Thompsonville CUD #174.  He lives in the T’ville area also.

If there were any other major personnel moves or action taken by the West Frankfort School Board last night, I will keep you updated.

Broadway Avenue in Johnston City will be closed Wed.-Thurs.

From the Johnston City Police Department

TRAFFIC DETOUR: this Wednesday (7/19) and Thursday (7/20) Broadway Avenue  will be shut down at the rail road tracks. The crossing is getting a complete replacement. Avoid this area and seek alternate routes.

Thompsonville First Baptist Church dedicating renovated sancturary

by Steve Dunford

THOMPSONVILLE, IL – After going through several months of renovation, the Thompsonville First Baptist church will be worshiping in their extensively remodeled sanctuary for the first time tomorrow at 10:45 a.m.

The current sanctuary was built in 1975.  This is the first time any renovations have taken place.  The Original sanctuary is still used as classroom and office space.  It was built around 1940, after the church was destroyed by fire.

The service will be a time of celebration and dedication of the building to the lord.

Pastor John Robinson would be more than happy if you join them tomorrow.  I will be there and looking forward to it.

There are two pictures of the renovation below.




Macedonia High School

MACEDONIA, IL –  (Illinois High School Glory Days.  Click the link above for the full story. Here is an excerpt below.)

Macedonia (population 51) is located on the Hamilton-Franklin County line, midway between McLeansboro and Benton.  Modern-day Macedonia consists of the crossroads of two county roads, with one “loop” street, known as Benton Street.  The 2000 census states that there were 17 households remaining in Macedonia.  The Big Muddy River runs one mile to the north of the village.

The 1930-31 Macedonia basketball team. The mascot is unknown. (Photo submitted to Illinois High School glory days by Dennis Downey)

Macedonia had a 3-year high school from 1928 to 1936.  Under the rules of the time, any elementary district which was not included in an established high school district could operate a high school of 3 years or less, and draw state elementary funds to pay for at least part of the program.  Many small rural villages, particularly in the southern half of the state,  took advantage of this. 

A number of laws were changed in 1940’s, resulting in the virtual elimination of 2 and 3-year high schools by 1948.  In Macedonia, most of the high school classes were held in the IOOF Hall on Benton Street.  It is not known if this building is still standing.  A nearby blacksmith shop was also converted for use as a gymnasium.  A total of 194 students attended Macedonia High during it’s short existence.  Macedonia maintained a grade school until 1946, when it and 10 other rural districts consolidated into the old Ewing College facility nearby.

Logan (Hannaford) High School Rams

LOGAN, IL  (Illinois High School Glory Days.  Please click on the ling above for the full story.  Here is an excerpt below.)

The Logan Grade School gym in 2016. The gym is used for AAU games at times. Center is Dave Brown who recently coached at Carterville High school. This picture was grabbed from long time Logan Grade school coach, and now AAU coach Bobby Melvin’s Facebook page.

Hannaford (population 55) is located in far south-central Illinois in the southeast portion of Franklin County.  County Road 20 is the mnain roadway through Hannaford as Illinois Route 34 passes by the northeast side of town.  The website of lists a small hamlet of Logan on the northeast side of Hannaford too.  We are told that Hannaford is also known as Logan and at one time was called Smothersville.  The 2000 Illinois Census only lists the town of Hannaford however.  The population of 55 is disputed as well, there may be about 200 actual residents of Hannaford.

The history of the Logan School in Hannaford is in need of research.  We do know that K – 8 classes were held at the school at one time.  If high school classes were offered, we believe it was probably no more than a two-year high school.  We are in need of your assistance to verify any of this information. 
Logan Grade School competed in the Little 6 Conference.  Different schools were members of the conference over the years, but they included Akin, Ewing-Northern, Thompsonville, Creal Springs, Crab Orchard, Galatia, Pickneyville District 204.  ,Mulkeytown and Hurst-Bush Grade Schools were also members of the conference at one time..
Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News