You will find several opportunities around DeSoto County to hear musical groups sing and share their faith testimony to uplift Christ in what they sing and say.
While much of today’s music leans toward the contemporary ‘praise band’, almost Rock N’ Roll sounds that feature guitars, drums and elaborate sound systems, many still savor the simple, yet genuine harmonies of Southern Gospel, such as presented through a husband-and-wife couple, whose ministry is called “Entreating Heaven.”
Jamey and Steve Pirtle have gained a following with their testimony and harmony over the time that they have sung together.
The Pirtles began singing together about three years ago. Steve began with another group about eight years ago, but for Jamey, music ministry has been a part of most of her life.
“I had been singing since I was four with my two sisters,” Jamey explained. “Steve started singing in 2011 in a quartet when they asked him to sing bass. When they decided that they were going to go their separate ways and go with various different groups, I told him at that point that he was going to start singing with me because I missed singing.”
Steve said he looked forward to joining with his wife in ministry, but acknowledged their vocal range differences made for some challenges.
“I was nervous because I’m a bass and she can reach all the way up into the rafters and I knew there was this big gap between us,” Steve said. “We had to work on that to make it gel. We put a lot of faith in the Lord and figured if it was something that He really wanted, He would take care of it and make it happen,” with Jamey adding, “I think it works because he does sing so different than I do. It’s almost like an anointed harmony.”
The Pirtles point out their appearances are meant to be their testimony.
“We’re not here to perform and we’re certainly not here to entertain,” Jamey said. “We’re here hopefully to just minister. It just works; God has just worked it out.”
“We don’t entertain, we’re not telling jokes or anything like that, not even Christian jokes,” Steve added. “When we commence, it’s strictly to praise. It gives us a chance to praise God.”
A lot of prayer goes into the music they select to sing as Entreating Heaven, believing that Southern Gospel is what speaks well to them and their listeners.
“There are a few modern contemporary songs that we sing but for the most part we’re old Southern Gospel,” Jamey said. “Those old Southern Gospel hymns give you a hope and a peace in them.”
“It has to touch us,” Steve added. “Basically, to us the song has to have an anointing on it.”
The name, Entreating Heaven, explains what the couple wants to do, entreat, or appeal to God and is based on Scripture in Second Corinthians, chapter five.
“I really wanted a name that speaks to what prayer is really about, what you’re doing with prayer, or entreating heaven, so that’s where the name came from,” said Jamey.
The Pirtles said they try to stay in the DeSoto County area with their ministry, in part because of Steve’s work as Southaven Police Chief.
“We’ve always said we’ll go wherever the good Lord opens the door,” Steve noted. “I do try to stay fairly local because of my job in the event I’ve got to get back.”
But, when you speak with them about Entreating Heaven, you will hear the word “testimony” used frequently, as it is about sharing their faith and not about performing and entertaining.
“It’s about a testimony and hopefully if there’s someone there that doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ that there will be something that we say or we sing that will open that door for them to have that relationship and take that step to know Jesus,” Steve said.
“God’s given us a new testimony since we started singing and now we want to share that,” added Jamey. “God has been good to us.”
Entreating Heaven has a Facebook page and another page, called Entreating Heaven II, is where they accept prayer requests.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.