Daddy’s all for this date

By Stephen Harris - For The Tribune

Stephen Harris Back In The Hometown


The bluster made me chuckle.

Charley Sealey, a longtime teacher for Wilkes County Schools, once proclaimed to a group of us that “I won’t let her date. No boys are going to come around.”

Right, I thought. His daughter at the time was about 15. Famous last words.

Most of us have heard the quips about jealous daddies and their precious little girls, plus something about cleaning guns, fresh graves in the backyard and alibis.

More than three years later, now comes word that Sealey’s precious little girl has a date. But it’s not what you’re thinking.

On Saturday, Brooke Sealey of the Poplar Springs community will sing in the Exalt! Vocal Talent Showcase at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville just off I-77 on this side of Charlotte. She finished in the top 10 in a Charlotte tryout Aug. 1 to advance to the grand finale.

The winner in the all-star concert in Huntersville will get a studio recording session and an appearance on the “Praise The Lord” program on Trinity Broadcasting Network, TBN, shown locally on channel 30 on Time Warner Cable, broadcast channel 43 and others.

At a church dinner one time the Boss of the House and I came out of the serving line, and I quickly scanned for a place to sit. The fellowship hall was filling fast and much commotion made the venue feel hectic. I feared we might not find a place.

But we found two vacant seats on the far side of the hall, and I wondered whose unattended plates were sitting across the table from us.

Soon enough two young girls came and took their places. Uh-oh, I thought.

I found myself across the table from a high school freshman and her friend, neither of whom I knew. I felt a bit awkward. What will this old man say to two pretty, young girls without coming across as creepy?

But I asked about school and some other things, and a bright young East Wilkes High School student, Brooke, proved a delight. She was quite conversant beyond her tender years and made a pleasant Sunday dinner partner. I made a mental note: keep an eye on this engaging young person.

Since then I’ve been enjoying Brooke in church singings and in appearances with the Elkin-based Witness contemporary Christian band. It’s comprised of her (vocals), her big brother (Luke — vocals, keyboard) and father (drums) plus friends Tim Hodges (guitar) of Elkin Funeral Services fame and daughter Kari (bass). I’ve posted homemade videos on the internet at

Brooke’s alto singing is strong and clear. She’ll do well Saturday.

So at the risk of coming across as creepy once again, I took another chance and arranged for a quick sit-down with Brooke to ask about her singing and the annual talent contest put on by the South Carolina-based Christian medical charity All Things Possible Ministries, which uses Exalt! proceeds each year for its projects.

Now a freshman Surry Community College student, Brooke said she started getting interested in song by turning sheet music for her brother, a talented performer in his own right who not only sings but also plays multiple instruments and writes songs as well.

Her mother, Karen, sings in the church choir and is a D-Rex pharmacist and a fellow Tar Heel alum. Her father sings in church and plays multiple instruments.

Brooke started singing around the house, and when her public singing was well received she began voice lessons. A friend heard about the Exalt! contest on the K-Love radio network and encouraged Brooke to sign up.

She named as her favorites contemporary Christian singers Kari Jobe and Francesca Battistelli. In the talent show Brooke will sing a Jobe song, “Forever.” We got a preview at church a couple of weeks ago.

Brooke is keeping her options open. Music is just one of the paths that is before her, she said, as she explores her interests while in the SCC college-transfer program.

“So if this (singing) is where God wants to put me, great,” Brooke said. “If not, that’s fine, too.”

By the way, the talent-show winner from among the top-three finalists will be decided by a vote of the audience in Huntersville. They may get up a bunch of home folks to travel to the ticketed event, and you’re welcome to hop on board.

Details are on the Exalt! web site,

Stephen Harris returned home to live in State Road.

Stephen Harris Back In The Hometown Harris Back In The Hometown


By Stephen Harris

For The Tribune

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