I am huge fan of Christian music family groups, so when I first heard The Collingsworth Family just a few short years ago, I was completely taken back in a great way. As a super fan of The Rambos, The Goodmans, The Freemans, Sneed Family, The Hoppers, The Nelons and the list goes on and on and on. I just love family groups and I was shocked at myself that I did not know how I had missed out on them since they have been touring for the last 15 years or so. Nevertheless, I have absolutely fallen in love with this group, their music, their faith, their personalities and their lives. They are truly one of the most loved groups in the Southern Gospel industry, but their music goes way beyond that genre and style. I love to describe them as true heart music. The founders of the group, husband and wife Phil and Kim, actually started in music ministry together 27 years ago, and then in the year 2000, they went full time traveling all over the country and even internationally. Their children Brooklyn, Courtney, Phillip and Olivia make up the rest of the group. It’s truly a family affair with the spouses of the kids whom are married heavily involved in the ministry of the family. Their list of accolades, awards, top 40 songs, numerous recording and video projects are endless. They really are a top-notch group that has remained unchanged with their sincere love for Jesus and His Word, sharing His hope for all of us and how they love on the people. I love watching them at the product table after a concert or at NQC. They love people…and people love them.
I was able to sit down recently and ask Phillip Collingsworth, Jr. (the son of Phil and Kim) a few questions just to get to know more about him. Phil Jr. has come to the forefront in the last few years as one of the best male singers out there, and I love his personality and what he brings to the group. So here are a few of the questions and his answers. I think you will learn a little more about this fine young man, and you will be able to catch a glimpse of his heart, which I loved getting to see and share with all of you.
Dusty Well: Give a brief history of the Collingsworth Family. How old are you?
Phillip Collingsworth, Jr: We started touring in the year 2000 by doing small concerts, the occasional camp meeting special music, and Christmas concerts in December. Thanks to blessings from God throughout the years, it has grown into what it is today with us touring all over the nation and internationally as well all over Canada and Europe. I was 6 years old when we started and am 22 today.
DW: How long have you been performing with them and have you always done it?
PCJ: Well I guess you can say I was born into it. My parents began singing together when they were first married at revivals and camp meetings. As myself and my siblings grew older, they began to incorporate us into the singing more and the rest is history.
DW: What was your first solo with the family?
PCJ: I can’t say exactly what age I was. Maybe 6 or 7? I was never a shy child on stage so the solos were never a big deal to me.
DW: What are you musical influences? Is there any certain major artist or individual that has impacted your life? You have been able to tell them?
PCJ: I’ve been asked this question quite a lot. I have several artists from which I draw inspiration from to develop my own voice, both Christian and secular. Michael Buble, Larnelle Harris, Jason Crabb, and Brian McKnight are just a few of the artists that I am a big fan of for their talent. One artist that I’ve had the privilege to meet, know, perform with and convey the inspiration that they give to me is David Phelps.
DW: If you weren’t singing/performing, what would you want to be doing? What would be your dream job?
PCJ: Some may or may not know that I do a lot of working with and mixing live audio. Honestly, if I wasn’t on the road touring on the music of things, I would most likely be on the road doing the production side of things.
DW: Tell us about your wife! Do you have any pets?
PCJ: My lovely wife is Sharlenae Faith Collingsworth, and she is the light of my life. We have been married about 2 1/2 years now, and she is currently in culinary school here in Cincinnati. She also has been working for the Cincinnati Reds during the season as an assistant to the head chef. On top of all that, she gets to still tour with me all over consistently. I am a blessed man. As far as pets, we are currently pet less.
DW: What hobbies do you enjoy when you are off the road?
PCJ: Well as I mentioned above I like to do a lot of work with audio, but some may not know that I am also a drummer. So I enjoy recording a lot of drum demos at home. Another thing would be yard work and landscaping. I’m the guy who is frequently on the mower. Ha!
DW: What is your dream vacation spot?
PCJ: Anywhere that has a sandy beach and big waves is a dream vacation spot for us.
DW: What is your favorite recording of all time?
PCJ: This is probably one of the hardest questions for me. I would have to just give a more general answer and say that Christmas albums would be at the top of the list (Carpenters, Michael Buble, Newsong, etc.). I love my Christmas music.
DW: What is your favorite moment from a concert?
PCJ: I’d say one that really stands out to me was when we were performing at the Brooklyn Tabernacle last year. It was the first service of the day (out of 3) and we began to sing a song called “Gotta Get To Jesus” and the Spirit of God came in a strong way. When the song was finished, Pastor Cymbala came forward to the stage and invited folks to come forward if they needed to “get to Jesus”. He then instructed us to sing the song again, so we started again and hundreds of people came forth in that service. The same thing happened in the next two services and over 1,000 had come forward before the day was finished. What an experience!
DW: What is one word that your wife would use to describe you? What about your parents?
PCJ: My wife says that I am “ambitious”. My parents say that I am “strong”.
DW: Do you write?
PCJ: The closest I get to “writing” is the college papers that I’ve had to write. When the day comes that those will be no more, I will be thrilled.
DW: What is your favorite Collingsworth Family song?
PCJ: One of my all-time favorites would be “Healing In His Hands.”
DW: What is your favorite scripture verse?
PCJ: My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” This is my go to verse for life’s decisions, curveballs, and really just daily living as well because of the promise and encouragement it gives us as Christians.
DW: When people leave the Collingsworth Family concerts, what do you hope they leave with?
PCJ: I hope that they leave encouraged and filled with the joy and hope that only Jesus can give.
So there you have a little more in-depth knowledge of Phillip Collingsworth, Jr.
Make sure you check out their website, their music and their dates…you will love them! Visit them online at www.thecollingsworthfamily.com.