MECHANICSBURG – Formed six months ago by a group of regular guys with families and regular jobs, “Crossing Over” has become a mission for six local talented musicians.
“We all go to the same church, the Mechanicsburg Free Will Baptist Church, and have known each other for a long time,” said Kenny Castle, who plays guitar for the group.
“About six months ago we thought, hey we can do this, we can start a group, and we all got together and formed Crossing Over,” he said.
“Our group is a traditional bluegrass gospel group,” Castle said. “We play for the glory of God. Our group has actually developed into a ministry to praise the Lord and inspire.”
Although this group is new, its roots are deep and go way back. It’s really quite a family affair.
The group’s banjo player, John Baldwin, is the uncle of group members and brothers Clay Baldwin and Chris Baldwin, who have lived in Mechanicsburg their entire lives.
Clay Baldwin is the group’s songwriter and mandolin player. His brother Chris plays the “doghouse stand-up bass” in the group.
In addition, group member Ray Boggs plays acoustic guitar and his brother Gary Boggs is the lead singer. Both live in Cable.
Clay and Chris’s mom and dad along with Ray and Gary’s mom and dad had a gospel group that played in the ’70s. All members lived in Mechanicsburg and the surrounding area.
Castle, who plays acoustic rhythm guitar for the group, is a lifelong resident of Champaign County and grew up in Mechanicsburg.
This really is a very connected family group with rich musical roots in the community.
“We are all very proud and honored to carry on the traditions and musical roots of our group members’ parents,” said Castle.
The group has played many appointments, several in Springfield and in central Ohio also. From there, it’s on to more churches and other venues on their mission to spread the gospel through their bluegrass music.
An album is in the works for the group sometime this year, Castle indicated. With 25 original songs to date, in just six months, the group has plenty of material to work with.
The group is looking at other opportunities for playing at nearby opera houses, concerts in the park series, festivals and outdoor amphitheater venues this coming spring and summer.
With its “Crossing Over” ministry only six months old, the group has really meshed and taken shape. Members have created 25 original songs, have many more appointments planned, will cut an album soon and are spreading the gospel with their bluegrass music all along the way.
You can follow the group on Facebook at “Crossing Over Bluegrass Gospel.”
Submitted on behalf of the bluegrass gospel group Crossing Over.