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January 4, 2014

Services for Rev. Colbert Croft set for Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Valdosta, Ga/Jasper, Fla

Valdosta, Ga. —

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is saddened to announce our long-time associate, friend and one of America’s premier gospel songwriters, the Rev. Colbert Croft, formerly of Jasper, passed away from this life in Valdosta early Jan.1 after a long illness.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Perimeter Road Baptist Church in Valdosta. Viewing and family visitation will be Monday, Jan. 6, from 5 - 7 p.m. at Carson-McLane Funeral Home, 2215 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Ga. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Jasper, Fla.

Colbert Croft was known throughout America as a prolific gospel songwriter with his lovely and musically talented wife Joyce. Their 5,000 plus gospel songs have become standards in the gospel music industry.

The Crofts were part of the Suwannee River Jubilee held at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Fla. for the past 25 years. “He was the fellow who made the key contact with the Florida Boys’ Les Beazley,” said SOSMP co-founder Bob Cornett. "Les Beazley headed up the Florida Boys' gospel group at that time,” Cornett said. “The Dixie Echoes were a part of it, and they put it (the Jubilee) on together. But Colbert was the main man that made the deal originally and called the Florida Boys to set it up,“ Cornett said of the beginning of the Jubilee. Colbert and Joyce hosted the Bean Supper every year on Wednesday night before the three-day gospel sing began. A gospel concert followed the bean supper. Joyce said she and Colbert led the morning worship every morning during the Jubilee each year. Both were involved in the event throughout the first 25 years celebrated in 2013.

The Crofts were married nearly 50 years and were traveling evangelists who spread the gospel through music, song and Colbert's preaching. Colbert’s love of the Lord was exemplified by his willingness to help others, share his music and always offer a helping hand to those trying to break into gospel music or in need.

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