She’s a little old fashioned
That sweet mother of mine

My Mama quotes this old gospel hymn often when reminiscing about her Mom, who we affectionately called Granny.  Now, Mama Rose carries on the legacy of “Granny” to our children, and her first great-grandchild, Rosemary Jane Myrick.

The Holifield women of Soso, Mississippi (Jones County) are undeniably among the legendary warrior princess women of our modern times.  Rosemary Holifield grew up on a little plot of farmland that her daddy, momma, and siblings worked until they were grown enough to move out on their own, or married.  She married Lonnie (our dad) at 16 yrs of age, and began her whirlwind life of marriage, ministry, and music that would fill the pages of our family Story.  The story continues to this day.  She is now married to Bob Garst and lives just up the road from us.  We cherish every moment we get to spend with her and she continually gives, serves, and leads our family in ways that offer Hope and Peace, no matter what this crazy life throws our way.  To this day, her favorite hobbies include cooking for her family — some of the most amazing dishes you’ll ever taste — and singing classic gospel hymns and songs that we grew up with during our family gospel band years as the “Rosetones”.  What a legacy!

Sarah Jolene Roles Dinwiddie grew up near the coal-mining hills of West Virginia, in a little place called Bill Holler.  I’ve been there once to visit the Roles Family Reunion and yes, it’s as Appalachian as you might imagine.  Oh the stories!   “Jo” married Gene and they raised their girls in Richmond and Williamsburg Virginia.  When the family relocated to Pascagoula MS, their baby girl caught my eye in church one Sunday.  And, the rest, as they say, is history.  Jo Dinwiddie was the ultimate homemaker, wife, mom, and “Nana” to her grandchildren.  She loved being a wife and Mom, kept up with all the neighborhood scoop, knew everybody’s family tree it seemed, and was beloved by hundreds of children who grew up in Nursery and Childrens Ministry at Arlington Baptist Church in Pascagoula.  Her life and love influenced generations of families.  She was and is our beloved “Sweet Nana”.

Sheryl and I enjoy laughing and crying when we recall the fun memories with Jo and Gene.  They were the heart and soul of our lives for more than 35 years of our marriage and left indelible marks on us and our children.  They are awaiting us in Heaven, and what a Glad Reunion Day THAT will be!

By God’s Grace, we continue to enjoy meals, family gatherings, and occasional community outings and special events with Granny Rose. We gush with joy as Granny gets “sugar” from behind baby Rosemary Jane’s soft pink little ears.

Looking back in time, I am amazed by the heroism and fortitude of these mighty women in our family.  Rose and Jo grew up during America’s “golden age” of rock and roll music, sock hops, classic films, and … during America’s most turbulent modern history of civil rights activism, riots, and racial divisions of the 1960s and 70s in the Bible Belt South.

Our moms knew how to stretch a dollar to the last penny. They could heal any wound with a quick home remedy and a smooch on the boo-boo.  They could listen to our childhood fantasies, teenage rants, and coming-of-age questions into the wee hours of the night.

They loved their husbands well, despite the ever-changing roles that women were expected to fulfill in the home, in the church, at the school house, in the community … and, they seemed to never complain nor grow weary.  But, we knew then, and we know now, they were exhausted. But, would never let their weariness defeat their mission — to LOVE their families and to defend their honor.

They loved and cared for their children and their grandchildren, modeling a Christlikeness that caused all of us to want to be more loving, kind, and generous … especially to those who we knew were less fortunate or faced extreme challenges.  They prayed for us, and over us in the night.

They cooked our favorite meals. They bailed us out of last-minute homework assignments and science projects when we frantically called upon them for help.  They repaired our broken toys.  They made sure that our clothes were clean and fresh every day.  They washed behind our ears, and all the other “behinds”.

And most of all … they LIVED for LOVE.  Our moms are our HEROES.  We will never, ever forget the price they have paid for our wellness, for our joy, and for the Legacy of Goodness that we now enjoy.  And, by God’s grace … we will carry their legacy through our children and grandchildren too.


New Year

So, I have not posted here for a minute.  It’s been quite a year!

2022 brought us new jobs, new friends, new connections, and a new GRAND BABY!

This Christmas was quite different.  Our little family traveled back-n-forth from Birmingham (AL) to Nashville (TN) to celebrate our first-born baby girl’s graduation from Belmont University College of Health Sciences and Nursing. Yay, Blaire!

And then, to our somewhat surprise, our first grand-baby girl made her early appearance just two days later.  What a Merry Christmas gift!!  Welcome to earth, Rosemary Jane!  And, thank you Vanderbilt Hospital and NICU staff for your amazing emergency care for our newborn baby girl.  Ya’ll are rockstars!

The last two weeks have felt like a blur. And yet, with every new day, there has been a sense of calm and peace. Almost, relief. It’s like, we have been anticipating these two major events for the past year, and they have finally come, and we are exhausted, overjoyed, and relieved, all at the same time.

Graduation from college for Blaire has been a lifelong goal.

Our baby girl was born with a strong will and determination to get-it-done. I have never known her to back down from a challenge. Her childhood was filled with lots of love, beautiful memories with family and friends, and the unrelenting support of her parents and grandparents to accomplish anything she set her mind to achieve. And, she has endured her fair share of trauma, challenges, and setbacks.  Yet, she determined in her mind that she would GET THAT NURSING DEGREE.

She gets that strong determination from her Mom and maternal grandfather “Papa Gene”.  And, her incredible musical talents from her Dad and paternal grandmother “Granny Rose”.  She is a winner, in every possible way.  We love you, Blairest!

Marriage and family have been lifelong dreams and goals for me and Sheryl.  We have accomplished 38 years together as husband and wife. We are so grateful for the love, the joys, even the tragedies we have endured; all of which have made us stronger individuals, and even stronger in our marriage.  But, not without hard work and dedication.  Marriage and family are among the most difficult tasks any person will ever face.  It’s the most challenging feat in life, in my humble opinion.

For us … 2022 also ushered in a new grandchild!  And, for my Mom, her first great-grandchild!!

Our second born, Christian, married his college sweetheart Breanna. Through a myriad of jobs, continuing education, and several relocations over the past seven years together, they are now home near us in Birmingham, and celebrating the birth of their firstborn, a precious little girl named Rosemary Jane.  We are all giddy and mushy over her!

Cameron, our third born and second son, is moving onward towards his dreams and goals as a digital media producer.  He has worked diligently in retail sales, merchandising, and inventory management, and continues to hone his skills in computer programming, digital media concepts, and all things technical.  He is a genius with smart devices and is our resident “geek squad guy”, when his old-man Dad can’t remember which button to push on my iPhone. Yes, it happens.

Cameron loves people, is a relentless Advocate for others, and his knowledge of the Marvel Universe is fascinating.  We love our amazing Cam-Cam!

So, 2022 is almost a wrap!  Our prayer for 2023 is simple:  Love God and Love People.  I hope your life this coming year is filled with much Joy, Peace, and Love. Let’s all do our part and make this world a better place.


The SOUND of Music

“Every kid has a sound, and that sound needs to be heard” –  Kyla Duckworth, co-Founder – MusicalityStudio

2022 has brought me ‘back’ to my roots in so many ways. I entered into this year with an intentional personal mission – SIMPLIFY.  And, RETURN to the innocence of your childhood.

I was raised in a home filled with music. My Mom was a prodigy musician by age 10 and was playing church piano at her small country church for adult choirs and gospel music quartets.  By her teen years, she was performing with ‘all star’ musicians across her little hometown region, and even enjoyed some local TV time in her high school years.

As she married our Dad, the young preacher boy, and her kiddos came along — me FIRST — my brother Danny and I began singing alongside Mom, sitting beside her on the piano stool at home and church.  By the time we were 6 yrs old, Mom had us in recording studios, making vinyl records and touring across the Gulf Coast with our little namesake family band, The Rosetones.

Fast forward 50 years, now there are three boys — me, Danny, and Jeff (the smartest of the litter!) — and ALL of us have music woven into our DNA, all because of a little girl from Soso, Mississippi … Rosemary Holifield … Momma.

Back to 2022 …

This year, I partnered with Kyla and Dustin Duckworth at Musicality, and began teaching students with their small startup up business.  The mission is very simple:  every kid has a sound, and that sound needs to be heard.

We just completed our Spring semester at Musicality, with 150-plus students registered, after only two years of literally word-of-mouth and social media marketing in our small suburban cities across North Alabama.  It’s been phenomenal to watch this little dream of a music studio come to life and grow in popularity.  And, it’s changing ME.

I am remembering as I teach these young students, the JOY of playing, singing, and listening to the SOUNDS of music.  I am being transported back in my memories of my own childhood, sitting at the piano bench with Mom in our tiny little houses, in small country churches, and in local civic centers, where we cut our teeth as small town gospel singers and musicians.  It’s all coming back to me!

I love watching our students learn, practice, and perform the sounds of music that come out of their young and bright hearts and souls. I love hearing them sing and play their own unique styles and blends of worship songs, pop songs, country songs, techno-funk, and jazz.  I am fascinated and inspired all over again, and I am fully confident that the world will be a better place … because of the SOUNDS that are emerging from these kiddos.

These sounds come from hearts of LOVE, which have enjoyed life, death, pandemic, pain, suffering, and yes … a longing for our Creator who is the Giver of the SOUNDS that we make.

So, as sister #AmyGrant sings in her recently remixed familiar pop tune, let’s all go make our sounds and, “… put a little love in your heart … and the world will be a better place …”


Love Is Love

So, Blaire and Jess did a thing …

Our baby daughter married her best friend and gay partner this October.  The Wedding was THE most beautiful we’ve ever experienced and our endless gratitude goes to the wonderful staff at Drakewood Farm for your amazing talents and skills.

Our little “Blaire-Blaire”, the “Blairest” of them all, came out of her Mama’s womb breach, feisty, strong-willed, and Independent.  Just ask every baby sitter, teacher, grandparent, and friend who’s ever known her!  Jess came into Blaire’s life through mutual friends around Nashville, and they immediately “knew” … she’s the one.  We all knew.  And, it’s been beautiful to watch their love grow to this amazing Day.

Blaire and Jess were surrounded for the past few years by their amazing community of LGBTQ+ friends and family in Nashville.  We had met a few of these beautiful people, occasionally during quick visits to Nashville or Birmingham, but had never truly spent any quality time with them.  We had only learned of their love and care for Blaire and Jess via random incidents of COVID-19 trauma, job changes, errand running, and simple acts of Love.

As I walked our Baby Girl down the aisle last Friday evening under the canopy of Greens, Yellows, Blues, and other amazing hues of nature that our Father provided, my heart leapt into my throat, of course.  This was It.  The Big Day. Her Wedding Day.  I was “giving her away”.  Or, that’s what I felt for a moment.

As the ceremony flowed, so did the laughs, the tears, the joys, and the vows.  Those vows!

Blaire and Jess wrote out their vows the morning of Wedding Day.  Life had been so busy for us all, with our relocation from the Coast, to CV19 concerns, to booking the venue, to preparations for the Day.  So finally, they jotted down the vows that were in their hearts, individually and privately.  Then, at that ceremonial moment, they both spoke words that both had felt for months leading up to this moment, “… you are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.”  

Wow. Tears. Hankies. More tears!

Photos, dance, music, wine, beers, and food followed.  More photos, and more dance!  Then, began the Toasts.  Many beautiful friends shared their love and memories of Jess and Blaire, their “firsts”, their budding relationships, their own individual remembrances and nuances of moments with both our girls.  Then, my brother Danny shared his thoughts and the Love.  Then, his boys shared.  Then, our boys shared.  Then, it was my turn.

I wanted Blaire and Jess to know how deeply LOVED and EMBRACED they are.  By their friends, by their Nashville family, by their family of origin, but mostly by the Father.  He LOVES them.  More than ANY of us can.  More than any of us will EVER love them.  And, He desires for them to know Him — more fully and wonderfully than ever.

I shared a few words from my extemporaneous ADHD heart, many of which were probably my typical filibuster, but from the heart nonetheless.  One thought that I do recall sharing is that … the Love of the Father has become more fully significant to me through this marriage of my Daughter and her Bride.

John 3:16 means SO much more!

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 NLT

So does 1 John 3:16 mean so much more!

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – 1 John 3:16 NLT

Blaire and Jess have lived out these two very simple LOVE passages from scripture.  So have their friends.  So have the plethora of Nashville community connections who have created safe spaces for gay and queer people who have been abused, rejected, bullied, harassed, objectified, and thrown aside.

We have learned, all over again, what Love really looks like.  Love is Love.  The old hymns and the new worship songs call God’s Love … wondrous, greater far, boundless, measureless, strong, enduring, deeper, eternal, endless, reckless, beautiful, holy … and unconditional.

Love is Love. It is all those things from the hymns and songs.  It is all those longings we feel for our beloved spouses and partners. It is all those hopes and wishes that we all feel for our babies. It is that yearning we always feel down deep in our soul for our Father.

So, congratulations Blaire and Jess!  We celebrate You.  We bless You.  We see You.  We embrace You.  And, we release You to go and Love others with the Love that you’ve been so graciously shown.


Daddy’s Home

Home, where there is no night
Home, where the Son is the light
The place I’ve been dreaming of so long
Loved ones there to welcome me
But His sweet face will be the first I see
When my journey’s over
I am going Home

(c)1983 Charles Aaron Wilburn | Rusty Goodman | Tanya Goodman Sykes



Lonnie Myrick went Home to be with Jesus on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.  He was 80 yrs of age and had lived a long and full life.  We are so grateful to the Riemann Family and to the precious caregivers who walked with us through Dad’s end of life here.   Please share and comment on his Obituary page as you feel led.

Dad’s life here was filled with lots of love from his high school sweetheart and their family together, with all sorts of small town boy adventures, with world travels, with a bit of music and ministry success, and with his own very personal turmoils and strife.

Everyone who knew my Dad realized that he was a restless heart, eager to race towards his calling as a Gospel preacher.  Raised on a south Mississippi farm, Dad knew the value of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.  He knew the hardships of the common man.  He knew from childhood that this life was filled with heartaches and sorrows, but that there was more to this life than just living and dying.  And, he was going to find his path somehow.

Dad answered the Call to Gospel ministry at the tender age of 19 yrs old.  He fell in love with Rosemary, his high school sweetheart, a country girl with amazing musical talents.  They married young, completed “some college”, started ministering the Gospel in rural churches, and soon after started their little family.

Fast foward ten years, and The Rosetones would be fully engaged in touring across South Mississippi and the Gulf Coast, recording Gospel music albums, and singing on stages with Southern Gospel Music’s most famous talents.

Lonnie would proceed to lead some of south Mississippi’s most dynamic evangelical churches, leading hundreds of souls to faith in Christ with his sometimes fiery salvation messages, calling lost souls to the altar for repentance and forgiveness.  He rallied young preachers alongside him in ministry, and built some of the Gulf Coast’s most evangelistic Baptist churches, reaching record numbers of converts in the 1970s and 80s.

But, with all that “hellfire-and-brimstone” conviction … there was also a tender mercy that spilled from Lonnie’s spirit, a Christ-like gentleness that caused the most weary of wanderers to know … maybe God loves even me.

Lonnie and Rose, and their boys, along with several renditions of The Rosetones, would eventually produce seven full-length vinyl records laced with top 40 Gospel favorites.  Their most stellar production was the 1983 Gloryland Gold album which featured Danny Myrick‘s top hits — the title track, along with I Know He’s Coming Back and the #1 hit song Jesus Is The Light, made famous by the award-winning Dixie Melody Boys Quartet, also known as DMB Band.

With great music and ministry sucess also came intense anxiety, leadership demands, and the neverending needs of growing churches, not to mention a touring family band.  Lonnie, by his own admission, was unable to cope with the demands without the relief of pain medications and therapy.  Eventually, Lonnie would succumb to narcotics abuse and addictions, which would end his public ministry and result in more than a decade of very difficult family struggles.

But, God had a greater plan.

Lonnie would find redemption, recovery, and restoration through dozens of addiction recovery programs and ministries, not the least of which was his successful graduation from Home of Grace in Vancleave, MS.  His dear friend and co-laborer in pastoral ministry, Bro. Bill Barton, would extend mercy and help Lonnie through the darkest years of his life.

For more than a decade, my Dad fought through addiction recovery, re-entry into ‘normal’ life, and was eventually able to find refuge and fellowship in the very churches where he had ministered as a much younger and healthier pastor.  God brought another prodigal son home!

As Dad and I tried to recover the ‘lost’ years, we discovered just how grueling the path of recovery can be for the addict.  And, for the family of the addict.  Somehow, God used Dad’s story, his testimony, and his witness of God’s amazing Grace, to help others who struggled with same or similar addictions.  Pastors who loved Dad back into the fold were invaluable to his recovery.  Church folks who showed overwhelming love, mercy, and compassion gave Dad the motivaiton he needed to simply … belong.

I was with Daddy that Tuesday evening before he went to be with Jesus forever.  His frail body was letting go of this life, and racing towards the glory of Heaven … which I’m certain he could see with his spiritual eyes.  I sang his favorite songs to him, cooled his brow, stroked his thick wavy grey hair, and told him how much I love him.  I told him he was a good Dad.  I told him what an amazing preacher he was.  I reminded him of the thousands of faces I see when I think of our travels and revival services.  I recalled our tours with all the great singing groups of the 70s and 80s who loved our family and supported our little band.

And, I told him once again … You are forgiven. You are loved. And you are valued. God loves you. We love you.  And, you can go HOME!  So, he did.  Tuesday night around 10:30pm … Daddy ran to jesus and the Father in Heaven.  The prodigal came HOME!

I’ll miss my Dad.  I’ll miss our talks about the good ole days.  I’ll miss our Waffle House meetings. I’ll miss having him ride along with me to a revival meeting, and sitting proudly in the congregation to support my music ministry.  And, yes … he always requested his favorite, I Know A Man Who Can.  Kirk Talley sang it so much better than me, but Daddy loved to hear me give it my best shot!

Daddy, I love you.  And, I’ll keep telling the Story, as long as folks will listen.

Jesus, thank you for loving my Daddy.  Thank you for Salvation.  Thank you for Grace.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit.  Thank you for paying the price for our sin.  Thank you for being our Friend.

I’ll tell everyone, everywhere, just like Daddy did … I know a Man who can.