HUNTINGTON — Several gospel singers will perform at a benefit sing for Squire Parsons at Seventh Avenue Baptist Church, located at the corner of 7th Avenue and 3rd Street West in Huntington, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.
Parsons, a native of Newton in Roane County, already had suffered several heart attacks when he sang at the funeral of “little giant” tenor singer Ernie Phillips at Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina, on Dec. 3, 2018.
After Parsons sat down, he suffered another attack and paramedics who happened to be there worked for nine minutes before his heart started beating again. Then he had to undergo open heart surgery and subsequently retire from his traveling ministry.
Trinity Baptist scheduled a benefit for him Aug. 20 to help him pay for the portion of the surgery that his insurance didn’t cover. Pastors in the Tri-State area want to do the same thing for him here to give his fans who didn’t know about the benefit in Asheville or weren’t able to make the trip so they can help him, too.
On the program for the Oct. 18 sing are the Brighter Side Quartet, which includes Parsons’ brothers Virgil and Tom; the Calvary’s Hill Quartet; the Victory Trio and Friends; Wayne Mayes of Apple Grove, West Virginia, who was one of Parsons’ students when he taught at Hannan High School; and Gary Sellards, of Proctorville, Ohio.
After serving as a soloist for Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston, Parsons began singing with the Logan-based Calvarymen Quartet in 1969. He moved to the Asheville-based Kingsmen Quartet in 1975 and launched his solo ministry in 1979.
Admission is free, but a love offering will be taken for Parsons.