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by Allen Smith

          I have thought for several days on what to write in this article. When a legend like Hovie Lister passes on to glory, what can be said about him that has not already been said over and over again? Perhaps I will be 
covering some areas that others have already written about, but I have thought of three things I would like to talk about.

          First, I would like to share with you a little bit about the day I met Hovie Lister. Second, I would like to tell you about my favorite video clip about Hovie Lister. Finally, I would like to share with you the answer that Hovie gave to someone when he was asked an ageless question.

          What a day that was for me. You see, I have seen Hovie perform many times. He has always been one of my favorites. But, I had never had the opportunity to actually meet Rev. Hovie Lister until just a few years 
ago. I remember it so clearly, as if it happened just a few days ago. It was at the National Quartet Convention. The Southern Gospel Music Association had called a press conference to announce a new fund raising project. The S.G.M.A. had commissioned artist Mitchell Tolle to paint a picture of Hovie Lister. This painting was to be hung in the S.G.M.A. Museum, and then Artist Proofs and Limited Edition Prints were to be sold to raise funds.

          Hovie was there that day to unveil the painting. It was a picture of him sitting at a grand piano, giving lessons to a little red headed girl. It is a beautiful picture called "Handing Down The Heritage".

          As a member of the media, I was also invited to this press conference. After the press conference was over, I had the opportunity to walk up to Hovie and introduce myself. What a gracious and humble gentleman. I was truly impressed and blessed that day as I was given the chance to spend a little time talking to him. What a man of God!

          I have an old video clip of Hovie Lister and the Statesmen Quartet where they are doing "Get Away Jordan". This is perhaps my favorite clip of the Statesmen. In this clip, Hovie starts out on the piano, which is his 
normal position. The camera tightens up where you can no longer see Hovie, just those who are singing. Suddenly, Doy Ott leaves, and all of a sudden Hovie Lister is standing there singing. During this exchange at the 
piano, the beat is never missed. What a performance that was!

          There was a time when Hovie was asked the following question: "Is what you do entertainment or is it ministry?" His answer was "Yes and yes. Next question." It was short and to the point, but it got his feelings about the subject across.

          I could go on and talk about his man accomplishments, but I am not going to do that. I'll just close by saying another great legend of Southern Gospel is now gone, and will certainly be missed!

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