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KIDSCORNER: Amber Nelon Thompson
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I guess one could say I was singing before I was talking. My mother, Kelly Nelon Clark, loves to tell the story of when I was just 6 months old: she and longtime Nelon soprano Karen Peck would pass the time on the bus by getting me to match their singing pitch. Mom says I couldn’t talk yet, “but she was already singing in tune.”

I am a proud third-generation gospel singer, following in the footsteps of my mom and granddaddy, Rex Nelon. To sing with my family has always been my dream! I don’t ever remember wanting to do anything but sing. Even as a young girl sitting on the bus with my babysitter while my family was inside some venue performing, I was giving my own concert. I would stand in front of the mirror with my hairbrush as my microphone and my baby dolls as the audience, giving what I thought was the performance of a lifetime!

As I said earlier, singing gospel music with my family has been my lifelong dream. It seems that every path God led me down was just another way of preparing me. While my family became “Homecoming Artists” on the videos, I became an official “Homecoming Kid” at the early age of 5! I remember going into that little treehouse on the Homecoming Kids set, my heart pounding with such excitement!

I sang on two children’s recordings when I was 9 years old. Then soon after my 13th birthday the Nelons were in immediate need of a soprano to sing at the Great Western Quartet Convention in Fresno, California. With no one readily available, my parents asked me to fill in. My first concert was in front of over 6,000 people! I was so nervous I began to break out in hives! I guess I did all right though ’cause I’ve been their soprano ever since.

At the onset of my high-school years, my stepfather, Jason Clark, decided our family needed to slow down a bit to let my sister Autumn and me experience more time at home and receive a private education. I loved having everyday friends at school and church and became involved in various sports such as soccer, volleyball and my favorite, basketball. We went undefeated and won the State Championship my senior year! In 2007 I graduated from Grace Baptist Christian Academy and shortly after, we resumed a full-time schedule as The Nelons.

I now am a sophomore at Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Fla., where my entire family has relocated to serve as artists-in-residence. Mom says, “Most parents send their kids off to school, but we just follow ours.” I’m glad though, ’cause we are very close!

God has greatly blessed me. I still feel like that little girl on the bus singing my heart out, except now it is not a dream but a reality! And though I am 21 years old, I still think of myself as that Homecoming Kid, my heart just pounding with excitement!