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Local woman releases ‘Songs of Faith’ CD

Rachel Hartzog of the Tarentum community does not remember a time when music was not a part of her life. And, she’s almost certain there was never a time like that.

Her dad, her uncle and several cousins played the guitar and sang. Her cousin Lynn Owsley played steel guitar with country music legends, Ernest Tubb and Carl Perkins.

Hartzog’s first stage was on the playground at Pike County Elementary School. She would stand on the makeshift platform and take song requests from her classmates.

If she had any thoughts of taking a bigger stage, she doesn’t remember.

But on Saturday, March 21, she will take the biggest stage of her life at the Tarentum Community Center and, for her, no stage will ever be bigger.

The audience for the CD release of Hartzog’s first gospel recording will be those who have supported her, encouraged her, loved her and given her wings.

Hartzog’s CD is title “Songs of Faith.” She chose each song prayerfully and each one has special meaning for her

“I’ve sung at a lot of different places — churches, revivals, homecomings, camp meetings and I’ve even sung in bars,” Hartzog said. ‘But the Lord changed me. Now I sing just for Him and only for Him.

Hartzog never strayed from God or from his teachings. But as early as her teenage years, Hartzog said she experienced God’s call.

“The Lord was calling me. He was dealing with me and knew it. But I guess I wanted to go my own way,” she said.

Hartzog’s submission to God’s plan didn’t begin as one might think. She was singing at Paradise Palms on the beach in the Florida Panhandle and was approached by a man who was “as drunk as Cooter Brown.”

“This man came up to me and told me that I could really sing,” Hartzog said. “He said he was not a Christian but he believed in God. He told me when I sang, he could feel God all around him. He said he could feel the presence of the Lord. He told me to never stop singing. What he said made a difference.”

Hartzog said the Lord changed life and saved her.

“That’s why I sing just for Him,” she said. “I don’t sing to glorify myself. I sing for the one who made it possible.”

Hartzog has never had voice lessons or any kind of professional training.

“My voice is a gift from God,” she said. “It’s blessing from God and I praise Him for what He has given me and what He has done in my life. This CD was done in praise to him and I’m so excited to release ‘Songs of Faith’ at a praise and worship celebration with my family and friends.”

Terry Tompkins, Malinda Barbaree and others will also sing at the celebration.

The Release of Hartzog’s CD and the Praise and Worship Celebration will be from 4 until 6 p.m. Saturday, March 21 at the Tarentum Community Center in Tarentum on Highway 125, the Brundidge to Elba/Enterprise highway.

Admission is free and everyone is invited.