An integral part of what makes southern gospel so special is that worship is at the heart of the music. If you take worship out of this music, then you take away the meaning of the music. This is true especially of Southbound, a newer face to southern gospel music with a vibrant sound melding new songs and a contemporary feel with old classics and timeless harmonies. This talented trio is made up of three pastors intent on worship, Bishop Clint Brown, Seth J. Elbe, and Jody Braselton. Having deep roots in southern gospel music, it is no surprise to see the way in which God has directed these three men and orchestrated the events in their lives so that they are now united in one calling to share the gospel through song. Just take a listen to their new album, and you will hear the special sound that carries the gospel message that God is using to literally save the lives of others.
Stacy Compagner: Tell us the story of how Southbound was started. When did you first form your group?
Seth Elbe: In the fall of 2020, the three of us were hanging out in Orlando, where Clint and I live, while Jody was visiting. We went LIVE on Facebook and sang around the piano at Clint’s House… singing “Songs I Grew Up Singing.” We received such an overwhelming response that we decided to record an album… and it has all continued to develop from there.
SC: How did God lead you all to form this group, and how did the three of you get connected?
SE: Jody and I met at a Church in Lawrenceville, GA in the early ’90s and started following Clint Brown’s Ministry. We met him a few years later and became good friends. I am now the Worship Pastor at Judah Church in Orlando, FL, where Clint & Kendal Brown are the Senior Pastors.
SC: Tell us about the name, Southbound. How did it originate?
SE: All three of us were raised in families and churches that sang Southern Gospel Music. When we were talking about a name, we kept talking about us heading back to our southern roots, and the name SOUTHBOUND emerged.
SC: When you all aren’t out singing, what do you all enjoy doing?
SE: Besides working our main jobs of pastoring and leading praise and worship, all of us enjoy going to sporting events, watching movies and of course, eating good food with friends! We’re big SEC football fans, especially the GA Bulldogs & LSU Tigers.
SC: Tell us about a funny/embarrassing/or memorable concert memory.
SE: I feel like any of our embarrassing moments would only be embarrassing to us because the audience might not be aware of what happened. And even when we make mistakes, like one time when I introduced the wrong song, Bishop just redirected the moment. The fact that we are all on stage on a weekly basis in our regular ministry jobs helps us understand that an audience can be very patient and forgiving, even when we don’t always get it right. It’s not about being perfect but about connecting with those you are ministering to and having a good laugh when things don’t go as planned.
SC: None of you are strangers to singing or serving in the church. What is something that God has taught you along your journey that helps you in your ministries today?
SE: I would have to say when you minister to a local church body on a weekly basis, it’s easy to focus on the room, but we’ve been overwhelmed in our traveling to hear so many of our followers (SouthBounders) tell us that they watch our own church services and our concerts online or on Facebook and YouTube. We are able to fulfill our part of the Great Commission when we are consistently reaching people all over the world.
SC: Who/what has been a major influence/inspiration to your group?
SE: There are so many artists that have paved the way in Southern Gospel Music over the years. Our opening video to our concerts gives honor to some of them. The Hinsons, The Goodmans, The Crabb Family, and The Isaacs are just a few that we celebrate!!
SC: What makes Southbound stand out as a group?
SE: We are all three worshippers and have been worship pastors over many years. Our concerts are not just songs we sing in a certain order; we flow and minister by the leading of the Spirit of God which often includes us sharing our own personal testimonies in very transparent ways that always bring people closer to God’s open and loving arms.
SC: What is each of your favorite lyric from your new album?
Clint : “He’s been there all the time.”
Jody : “Love was the spark that unlocked the dark and brought you this far.”
Seth : “He’s got a way of breaking chains of hopelessness.”
SC: Tell us about a way in which you have seen God work in or through your ministry.
SE: We just received a long message from a lady letting us know that she heard us LIVE online with Mark Lowry. As we sang our song, “He’s Got a Way,” she was moved and healed by the Spirit of God so much that she tore up the notes she had already written to her family saying goodbye and decided NOT to take her own life that night. She’s been delivered & set free from depression and suicidal thoughts and plans and healed from the disappointments of life!!!! We are humbled and moved to tears knowing that God is using us in such a powerful way!!!
SC: What are your future hopes and dreams for Southbound? Is there anything new currently in the works for your group?
SE: We are currently traveling and ministering a lot on the road. We also just got out of the studio with our third Christmas song for the EP that will be released soon.
SC: Is there anything else that you would like to share with the readers?
SE: We truly appreciate everyone for downloading our music and are so glad to hear y’all are enjoying what we’ve been doing so far. For more information about us, our product, and merch, and for booking information, visit our website www.SouthBound.Live, and go follow us on Facebook for videos and updates!