The following are the Top Five fan-voted winners in the category of Local Southern Gospel Artists as voted on by way of Country Atlanta polling. The Light was a co-presenter of the 2012 gospel polls. Four rounds of polling took place from April through July, and these are the final round winners:
1. FRANKIE WILSON. A gospel soloist based out of Buford, Frankie Wilson leads a busy ministry. In 2011 he released a new CD titled "What He Done For Me," the title track of which became Country Atlanta's Southern Gospel Local Luminary Song of the Month for November, 2011. He was voted Most Promising Vocalist in 2011 by Georgia Country Gospel Music Association. Frankie also runs a regular podcast called 'The Frankie Wilson Gospel Show' at www.spreaker.com/user/frankiewilson, and has performed at well-known venues such as Buckner's Music Hall in Jackson, Six Flags Over Georgia, and the Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge. He is currently appearing with other gospel artists in the area in the Give God Praise Southern Gospel Singing Tour, next to be held at New Beginning Baptist Church in Flowery Branch on Aug. 25 with Changed4 and The Gipson Family. You can find Frankie Wilson online at frankiewilsonministries.freeiz.com and www.facebook.com/FrankieWilsonMinistries.
2. THE MITCHELLS. A trio based out of Athens, The Mitchells are the top group in this year's Southern Gospel poll. They consist of Jerry and Shirley Mitchell, and Perry House. Quincy House serves as the group's sound technician. They describe their music as southern gospel with a country flavor. The group has a busy August, with dates scheduled throughout the month. The Website for The Mitchells can be found at www.gospelgigs.com/themitchells.
3. THE BRIDGEMANS. For the fifth year in a row, it's a Top Five finish for husband and wife duo Travis and Alecia Bridgeman of Cumming. The duo has had the honor of sharing the stage with several top southern gospel artists including The Kingsmen, The Talley Trio, Greater Vision, Squire Parsons and The Collingsworth Family. This year they won the award for Duet of the Year at the Southeastern Southern Gospel Music Conference, held in Valdosta this past June. Travis and Alecia's son, Lee, is gifted on the piano and in musical composition. One of Lee's songs, 'Sea Of Dreams,' can be found on their CD, 'Climbing Higher.' Travis has held the title of senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cumming for the past ten years. The Bridgemans can be found online at www.thebridgemans.com, www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bridgemans/114509688577612 and www.reverbnation.com/thebridgemans.
4. HOLY REIGN. Monroe-based Holy Reign consists of Jerry Taylor on guitar and vocals, Denice Taylor on vocals, Jeff Smith on drums and Lindsey Taylor on bass guitar and vocals. Influences span both southern gospel and contemporary Christian including Chris Tomlin, Dottie Rambo, Steven Curtis Chapman, The Goodmans and Casting Crowns. The group performs frequently at Wild West BBQ & Music Hall in Monroe. You can find Holy Reign online at www.holyreign.com and www.facebook.com/HolyReign.
5. LISA HERALD. For the second year in a row, Lisa Herald of Dalton finishes in the Number Five slot. Lisa has a powerful, soul-filled voice, singing for the Lord in church, homeless shelters and prisons when asked. She is also a multitalented instrumentalist, as she usually includes guitar and piano in her concerts. She also plays bass guitar and drums from time to time as well. Lisa has won an Entertainer of the Year award from the Georgia Country & Gospel Music Association, and was named North America Country Music Association International 2011 Rising Star Entertainer of the Year. Lisa Herald can be found on the Web at www.lisaheraldministries.com and www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Herald-Ministries/167705946622622.