Arthur Rice, lead sinnger of Kingdom Heirs, is leaving the band. Rice has accepted a call to be the music director of a church after months of prayer.
When the group was made aware of Rice's resignation, it was greeted with a lot of tears and a lot of love. Group owner and bass guitar player Kreis French says, "I was surprised because I had thought this group of guys would take me through to the end, and Arthur has been a friend and mentor for 27 years. But I realize that God sometimes has different plans than we do. I am happy for him and his family."
As a result of Rice's departure, Loren Harris is moving to sing lead vocals and Andy Stringfield will be singing baritone and playing keys. French says "Going forward, there is excitement within the group as we adjust to our new roles. Our goal has always been and will continue to be to spread the word in the most upbeat and positive way possible. We plan to continue to travel and perform at Dollywood for as long as the Lord allows."
Upon asking Rice about this move he said, "In 1995, I moved across the mountains to a new home and a new family. The Kingdom Heirs have been my family for the past 27 years. We've had many ups and downs, triumphs and tragedy, but through it all God has been faithful. Even when others thought we'd never survive, we never lost hope or even gave the devil a chance to put doubt in our minds. We were determined to finish what The Lord had begun in us.
"Even during the pandemic when most groups were sidelined, God provided us a place to present a message of hope. I'd never even thought about retirement, as long as the Lord would allow me to sing I had a message to give. And then about 7 months ago, God started dealing with my heart about a change. No one likes change and especially after this long. Surely I was misunderstanding what was going on.
"So I started really prayingand seeking God's will. I had no idea what it was or what He wanted me to do but as the days, weeks and months moved on the Lord confirmed He had something else for me to do. About two months ago I started a conversation with a church. After much prayer and careful consideration, I have accepted a position to serve as music director. I will be announcing where in a few days. I've realized that this opportunity is the right path and direction for me and my family. We covet your prayers as we moveforward.
To Kreis and Dennis; we've been through a lot together but our friendship andresolve has never faltered. To the rest of the guys, y'all are my boys; ain't nobody anymore consistent, day in, day out. Solid as a rock. It's been an honor serving with youall. To the fans; thank you for loving us through it all, the best is yet to come.To Dollywood; thank you for a platform to tell the world about Jesus. What anincredible place to work. Please be praying for the guys as they move forward. I'veheard them and it's going to be awesome. I look forward to continuing to helpproduce some music for them. I love y'all."