In 1982, a young Keith Lancaster had a dream to spread the Gospel through the unique form of a cappella music. Lancaster's dream lead to the creation of Acappella Ministries in his hometown of Paris, TN. The Ministries formed a quartet that became known as Acappella.
Travelin' Shoes, the first recording of the new group Acappella, was released in 1984. Lancaster wrote the lyrics, produced, and sang for this album. He and his fellow lead singer, Rodney Britt, along with different backup singers, sang together on two more albums before Lancaster retired from his on-stage role in 1988. He decided to dedicate his time to the songwriting and production of Acappella.
In 1990, Acappella released Rescue, which gave the group worldwide recognition. The song "Rescue" became a favorite request at the group's concerts. Acappella won four CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Reading Awards) and received nine nominations in 1994. Five years later, the group received a nomination for Artist of the Year by the Contemporary A Cappella Society. In May 1999, Acappella had the honor of representing American gospel music by singing at the International Festival of the Arts held in Kunming, China. Many in the audience had never heard the Gospel before. In 2001, the foursome performed 140 live concerts. By the end of 2001, Acappella performed more than 2,000 concerts in Canada, the United States, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, France, England, Holland, Norway, China, and the French West Indies.
Over the years, the singing personnel of Acappella has constantly changed. At the beginning of 2002, the group consisted of Don Connel (high tenor), Gary Evans (bass), Steve Maxwell (baritone), and Barry Wilson (lead vocals). ~ Diana Moes VandeHoef