Benefit concert, birthday celebration to kick off reunion


The Barnes family will kick off its 2014 reunion with a benefit program for Ray Spears and a 90th birthday celebration in honor of Viola Veatrice Barnes. The event will be held Friday at Judah Restoration Worship Center (formerly Greater Fellowship), 2401 S. Main St.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. Featured guests will be the Gospel 4 of Memphis. Other guests will include the Spiritualettes, Rev. R.C. Barnes and Another Chapter of Dermott, Barnes Family Choir, Barnes Sisters and Patricia Barnes. Admission will be $10 at the door.

Spears is the former bass guitar player for the Vocalaires.

Viola Barnes was born July 2, 1924, at England, a daughter of the late Roosevelt Miller and Lemmie Williams. She became the wife of the late Robert Barnes Sr. and remained married to him for 49 years until his passing in 1991. During their 49-year union, 13 children were born. She also has a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has served in various capacities in the church throughout the years, such as church secretary, choir member, mission president and Sunday school teacher.