Phil Campbell woman sings for a national audience

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason FCT Staff Writer
A resident of Phil Campbell sang at the The National Quartet Convention held September 11-16 in Louisville, Kent.
Patricia Gentry, a teacher at Phil Campbell Elementary, performed two songs in the Promoter's Showcase, held Wednesday night during the convention.
Gentry was one of 25 selected to perform for the showcase. Don Gentry, husband and manager, sent her new CD, That Sounds Like Home to Me, to Jim Hefner, president of the Southern Gospel Promoters Association.
The Convention, held annually in Louisville, is a celebration for Southern Gospel Music.
Gentry, like many other performers today, began singing in church. After graduating high school, Gentry received a scholarship to Northwest Shoals Community College for her voice.
"I didn't have the money to go to college, and a friend submitted me for a scholarship to Northwest, and they gave me a scholarship to sing and that's how I went to college," Gentry said.
Since then she has recorded four albums for Southern Grace Recordings. The newest CD, That Sounds Like Home to Me, contains a recording close to the Gentry's heart. Luke Walden and Olen Roberts wrote Julie's Rainbow for the Gentry's daughter, Julie, who died last year from complications from diabetes at the age of 24. The story behind this song was published in an article in the U.S. Gospel News.
Gentry travels across the country performing wherever she is invited, spreading the word of God through her music and voice.
Next month Gentry will travel to Missouri to perform. She hopes to sing full time, and feels like that is her calling from God.
"I know that's what He wants from me and if you don't do what God wants, He won't leave you alone," she says. "So I will go wherever I am invited. I'll be the singing school teacher."
Together the Gentry's have five children, including Julie, and six grandchildren.
The couple's youngest daughter, Heather, still lives at home.
They seem to look to each other for support and God for guidance, and they know that one day they will be reunited with Julie again in Heaven.
"Each day with my family is a blessing, and each day [I live] is another day closer to Julie. So either way, I win," Gentry said.

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