By Hannah Brown and Steve Fry,
Frankfort natives, and sisters, Lisa Agee and Donna Parker, are no strangers to gospel music having won the Christian Voice Magazine’s Southern Gospel Duet of the Year for the last two years. The duet, “South of Heaven Ministries” is in the top ten again this year.
Parker sings lead, and is the spokesperson for the team. As is typical for small groups, their spouses act as close support. Skip Agee is the musical engineer and James Parker is CEO. Other family members, including their aunt Karen Stoops and her son, Daryl, travel with the duet and help set up equipment.
Both attend North Frankfort Baptist Church, and both are ordained ministers. They enjoy singing, and have a rotating performing arrangement with the “cowboy churches” in the area.
Parker has performed weddings and conducted funerals, and has also led jail ministry services. She teaches Sunday school and works with an addiction program at their church. Agee has worked with church youth for years.
They also sing at revivals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, as well as fundraisers. To book the group, call Agee at 502-682-0022.
FRANK.: Did you sing growing up?
Donna: We were typical kids. Lisa sang country music growing up. I started singing a little bit when I was about 16. I sung country music. When I got saved at the age of 19, I sang gospel music only.
Lisa: I started performing on stage with a band at 9 years old. The oldest one in the band was 12. We won trophies all over the state. We sung everywhere. We sang country music. I started singing gospel at 18.
FRANK.: When did you start singing together?
Lisa: We’ve always sung together.
Donna: Our mom would always have us stand up and sing. In 2008, there was a fundraiser at the church that we were asked to sing at. That was when we sang as the group “South of Heaven Ministries.”
FRANK.: What’s your personal mission with your music?
Donna: When you start out, God opens the door and we went through it. We had a song to sing and God wanted us to lead it to people and help them.
God wants us to minister to them. We do a lot of fundraising. People call us all the time to help raise money for funeral expenses.
That’s the whole purpose of missionary work.
FRANK.: What’s it like to sing together?
Donna: It’s just like anything else brothers and sisters do. It can be a good thing and a stressful thing, but we work through our stress for a good thing in the end.
Lisa: After traveling hours on end sometimes to get to the show, we’re exhausted. But, Donna drives a happy bus. No matter how we feel, we just go in with a song on our heart and a smile on our face. Whether we’re singing for three or 10,000 people, we give it our best.
FRANK.: What are your plans for the future?
Donna: We’ll just keep traveling and ministering until God tells us otherwise. We’re not about awards. We just want to be in God’s perfect will. If he says come off the road, we’ll come off the road. We have some stuff coming up in Georgia in the fall and Virginia. We might do the circuit to Texas.
Lisa: This past year, we’re affiliated with the Cowboy Church circuit. There are five in the surrounding area, and we go there once a quarter and sing. We go to the spring roundup in Georgetown. We traveled this past year through Tennessee and Carolinas and sung at Cowboy churches for a week.