What makes a successful Southern Gospel recording artist? Some may insist that it involves some combination of talent and dedication, of appearance and perseverance. Yet, when you meet the members of Gold City, when you sit down with them away from the stage and the crowds, you see something more than mere talent or dedication. Instead, you soon learn the reason for Gold City's success collectively has more to do with their love for God individually.
There's no questioning the success of Gold City. Since the group's formation some 25 years ago in the historical gold rush town of Dahlonega, GA, this Southern Gospel quartet has consistently remained at the top of their field. Songs like "In My Robe of White," and "I Think I'll Read It Again" were immediate successes during the group's earliest years. Since then, number one plaques have continued to compete for shelf space with industry awards in the Gold City office.
Each night for these performers is filled with the sight and sound of fans and well-wishers clapping their hands and singing along with their favorite songs. From city to city, state to state, few other groups stay as busy as these guys do. From the time their bus rolls into town, the tremendous amount of support they receive across the country makes every stop for Gold City a true night to remember.
But it's in the quiet stillness of the early morning, when most people are getting ready for a busy day at the office that the members of Gold City are busy with their own preparation. Spending time alone with God is an important part of Gold City's daily routine. Tim Riley, retired bass singer and owner of the group, explains.
"Our job is to sing, to minister to that person sitting in the middle of the back row at a concert that may be his only chance to hear the gospel ever again," states Tim. "How can we expect God to honor our efforts if we don't honor our own relationship with Him."
While Riley, like the rest of the group, makes no claims of being perfect, he does see how God has worked through the years in his life and in the life of this quartet. And what he sees today is success that is a direct result of each member's relationship with Christ.
"We can't say that we never have bad days, or that we don't miss our families," admits Tim, "but that's what a relationship with God is for. There are times when we feel too frustrated to act like a Christian.
But that's when God says, 'Look, I know what you're feeling, and I'm here for you . . . to hear your prayers and to grant you the desires of your heart.'"
Each member of Gold City will tell you the single most important thing in their lives is their relationship with God. All things come from this. Family, ministry, and profession all stem from knowing that being a Christian requires making decisions every day that reflect the image of the God we serve.
A successful Gold City, according to its members, has everything to do with daily walking with God, following his lead every step of the way. Ask Tim Riley on any given day what his plans for the future are, and you're likely to hear him say, "Just to walk the talk."