FullSizeRender-2NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville based music artist MARK209 announces the addition of Josh Pope of Fort Payne, Alabama, as their bandleader. He will also be playing keyboards and guitar for the band.
Josh began playing at the young age of 4 years old and professionally at the age of 10. He took lessons for 5 years as a child. When he was 13, Josh was featured on the Gaither Homecoming Tour and Video Series. Since then, Josh has played with numerous bands across multiple genres.
Baritone singer Jimmy Reno shares, “I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Josh in a previous group and was excited at the prospect of bringing him into MARK209. Josh is a phenomenal talent that I know our fans will love.”  Josh adds, “The guys in MARK209 are some of the most talented I’ve ever had the pleasure of traveling with. Their musical style and taste is congruent with mine. They have went above and beyond to make me feel like family since day one and I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of us.”
Stay tuned for more information, as MARK209 will be announcing audition opportunities for additional band members in the coming weeks. The announcement of the addition of Josh, comes on the brink of their heavy tour season, which begins in August with their annual New England Tour and continues to their first West Coast Tour in September before rounding out the year with their Christmas Tour.


Nashville, TN – Nashville based music artist MARK209 was invited to perform for the annual Good Friday worship service at Nashville Rescue Mission on Friday, April 14th.

The group led residents of the Mission in classic hymns as well as original songs before Nashville Rescue Mission President and CEO Rev. Glenn Cranfield delivered a short message on the celebration of Easter. “Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” says Rev. Cranfield. “At the Mission, Christ’s resurrection power is constantly at work, moving ‘stones’ and changing lives.”

Tenor singer Nathaniel Justice shares, “We were already in Middle Tennessee for our annual Good Friday evening concert so we were happy to be at the Mission in the morning. We have always branded ourselves as Music From the Heart of Nashville but today it has been an honor to share Good Friday with the residents of the Mission and have the opportunity to give back to the heart of Nashville.”

About Nashville Rescue Mission: Opened in 1954, Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community dedicated to providing hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity to the hungry, homeless, and hurting in Middle Tennessee. They served over 5,000 meals over the Easter weekend.

About MARK209: MARK209 is based out of White House, TN just north of Nashville, but all four members live in different states. The group takes their name from Mile Marker 209 in Nashville that leads to Music Row, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Ryman Auditorium. MARK209 entertains audiences all across the United States with their brand of Gospel, their Family Friendly Country Concert, and their popular holiday show “Christmas from the Heart of Nashville.”

MARK209 NRM Picture


PHOTO CUTLINE #1:  Photo courtesy of April Potter Agency (Left to right: Jym Howe, Jimmy Reno, Nathaniel Justice, Ray Woconish of MARK209 at Nashville Rescue Mission.)



gatlin-brothersNASHVILLE, TN – April Potter Holleman, President of April Potter Agency proudly announces that APA will be representing all Gospel, Christian and Inspirational dates on Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and all Gatlin entities including Larry Gatlin, Steve Gatlin and Rudy Gatlin solo dates and the Gatlin Brothers (Steve and Rudy) dates effective immediately.

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers grew up singing gospel music and have been performing for audiences for more than 60 years. They have played such venues as AT&T Stadium, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Rose Bowl, Ryman Auditorium, Yankee Stadium as well as the National Cathedral (Washington D.C.), Crystal Cathedral (Garden Grove, California) and Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Fort Lauderdale, FL) among others. They have also been featured on Gaylord Opryland’s ‘A Country Christmas’ as well as Opry Country Classics.

Throughout their mainstream traditional country success, including Grammy awards and celebrating their 40th Anniversary as members of the Grand Ole Opry, they encounter their share of trials and hardships but have always held on to their faith. Larry shares, “As the brothers begin their 61st year singing together, we are looking forward to the next adventure.  We are grateful to God for our fabulous run and we can’t wait to see what else He has in store.” April adds, “We are humbled and honored to be working with such a world-wide name such as the Gatlin Brothers and we can’t wait to see how God is going to use them and their testimonies everywhere they go.”

For more information regarding hosting Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers or any Gatlin entities at your church or event, contact the April Potter Agency at 615-479-0954 or visit our website at For more information regarding Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, visit their website at

MARK209 Newsletter – The Complete Untold Story of Singing For The Bush Family


Thank you so much for being a part of MARK209 and our ministry.  We appreciate you being a part of it and supporting us.
There’s been a lot of exciting things happen with the group since our last newsletter.  Hopefully this newsletter catches you up.
MARK209 Sings for Bush Family

Mark209 with Bush Family 41 & 43

Some of you may have seen the press releases floating around about us singing at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine for both Presidents Bush and their families.  But you being a subscriber to our newsletter, you are going to get the full extended version.  It’s the news you didn’t get in the official press release … The Complete Untold Story.

This is a testament to how God has His hand on things and just works things out.  Many have posted saying we were lucky.  Actually, we just have the hand of God on us and we received favor … it’s not luck.
This story started a year ago while we were performing in New England in October.  A man named Jim had been invited by a pastor to come and see us at his church.  This guy is from Texas and is a fan of quartet music.  Jim later told us that the morning we were supposed to be at that church, he got up and really did not want to go.  But he told himself that he had promised the pastor that he was going to come and he wanted to keep his word.  So he showed up and to his surprise he thoroughly enjoyed our service.  He came to the group members afterward and introduced himself and told how he also sang with a mixed quartet.  Jim asked the pastor where else he could see us while we were on our New England tour.  The pastor had him contact Steve (one of our New England contacts) and Steve told him of the following dates we had coming up over the next few days.  Jim showed up to the one in Newmarket, New Hampshire and there he introduced himself to Steve and requested that next year we go to a church in Maine.
The next year when we were booking our tour, Jim was called and took a date to bring us into Maine.  After the concert, since we had never been to that area of Maine, Jim offered to take us to dinner and show us the sights on our drive.  It was late and it was difficult to see the beauty of the area in the dark, so he offered to give us a daytime tour if we had a day off.  We only had one day off in this three week tour and it was the following Tuesday.  Jim planned not only sightseeing for us, but also a sailboat ride.  We were excited not to have to spend our day off stuck on the bus.  We met up with Jim and his wife and they proceeded to show us around Kennebunkport.  We saw all the typical tourist stuff, being the nerds we are.
When Jim took us out that first night, he drove by Walker’s Point (The Bush Compound … Summer home of President George H.W. (#41) and Barbara Bush).  All we could see was the lights from the buildings.  Our Jym kept asking to be let out so he could sneak on the compound and take a photo of himself.  Jym swore he could outrun the secret service, but Jim and the guys assured him that he couldn’t outrun the bullets.  It was funny and they all laughed at the idea of Jym trying to outrun the secret service.
View of Walker’s Point (Bush Compound)
from the observation area.

When we returned on Tuesday for our sightseeing and boating tour , we met Jim and his wife and they started showing us the sights in Kennebunkport.  When we came back to the area of the Bush Compound, we pulled back up to the observation area that we had been to a few nights before, so we could take photos of it across the water.  After acting like fools climbing on the rocks and taking photos like all tourists, Jim told us that we

Nate and Ray crawling around on the rocks at the observation point.

needed to leave because we had a meeting we needed to get to.  What I didn’t mention previously, Jim was trying to bring our Christmas Concert into a Music Theatre in Maine and we just thought that we were headed to a meeting with the theatre manager/owner.  We all piled up in one car and took off.  As we pulled up to the entrance to the Bush Compound, Jim turned in.  At first, we just thought he was using their drive to turn around.  But he pulled up to the gate.  We had no idea what was going on.  After talking with the guard at the gate, we were met by President Bush’s aide, Evan, who lead us onto the compound and to the parking area.  We got out and Jim explained to us how he had arranged for us to have a tour of the grounds so that Jym could get his photo on the compound without having the concern of being shot.  Well, as you can all imagine, we were thrilled.

Our typical tourist photos.  Interesting read.
Blow it up to read it.

As we walked the grounds, Evan pointed out what each building was … Jeb’s new home, the Secret Service building, the grandchildren playing in the distance, Pres. H.W.’s Office Building … and then we went inside.  We were being shown President George Herbert Walker Bush’s Office … SO COOL!  When we came around the corner, we were surprised to see people in the

 office (Let me interject this: we were not cleared, nor supposed to see any of the Bush family).  Sitting in the office was George (NOT BUSH … but the man who owns the theater where Jim was wanting to bring our Christmas show) and Margaret Bush (Daughter-in-law to President George and Barbara Bush).  Margaret is an actress/singer and she was running lines with George.  It was simply by chance that they just happened to be in there.  Jim had been wanting to introduce us to George to talk about bringing the Christmas show to his theater and this was awonderful opportunity.  Small talk ensued and pretty soon we were talking about the Christmas show, our wives and kids, etc.  George and Margaret then asked us to sing a song.  So we did.   Before  beginning to sing, we were joined by
MARK209 singing in President George H.W. Bush's office
MARK209 singing for Margaret Bush  in President Bush’s office.  Note what we are wearing.
President Bush’s  Chief of Staff who came downstairs from her office.  We sang “In The Garden” (or “In The Gahden” as they say in New England).  We were then asked to sing “Amazing Grace” which we were glad to do.  Jym said before he began to sing that he had sung in front of thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands and he’d never been nervous.  But for this small group in the President’s office, he was terrified … even scrambling his brain for lyrics to two church hymn standards.
After this impromptu performance (or as it was, audition?), we left the office and continued with our tour of their property.   We went to President Bush’s fishing hut, where he stores his rod and reels and ties his fishing flies.  As many of you surely know, President Bush loves to fly fish.  Again, we are just tourists, taking photos as we go along.
We then headed to the Gym to see that and as we turned the corner Evan instructed us to stop and go back the way we had come.  He told us that President George W. Bush (#43) was around the corner.  Remember, we were not supposed to be around them.  So we backed away and waited.  As we were waiting, a golf cart came flying past us.  It was Barbara Bush and she had her two dogs with her.  Evan greeted her and she passed by and said, “Can’t stop, on a mission” as she waved.  She went the same direction as President G.W. Bush, so I assumed she was headed to see him.  Now we have two of the Bush family around the corner and we were stuck.  To stay out of the way, we walked back toward the fishing hut.  We watched all the people across the water at the observation point looking toward us and we got to talking about that and how it was like living in a fish bowl.  Dustin came up with the bright idea to take off running across the lawn and have Evan tackle him so that all the tourists across the water would be wondering what was going on.  Evan explained that if Dustin took off running, he wouldn’t have to tackle him .. (ha ha).  Dustin then began to talk about the “ducks” in the water and how they were probably “not really ducks … are they, Evan?”  To which Evan said, “We don’t talk about the duck!”  And we all had a good laugh.  Ray was up to something and Dustin told him that he all the sudden broke out with red dots all over his face (insinuating that it was laser pointers from guns).  Evan looked at Ray while pulling on his RIGHT earlobe and said, “As long as I don’t pull on my LEFT earlobe.”  It was really funny.  We were having a great time laughing.  We were getting ready to end our tour when Barbara Bush came riding around the corner in her golf cart.  She drove up to us and said, “Mission completed.”  She greeted Evan and we introduced ourselves.  Her two little dogs were with her and as soon as she stopped, they hopped off and began to run around our feet.  Ray loves dogs, so he was all over that.  After a short visit, she called her dogs, they jumped aboard and she pulled away.  She is a very kind and fun lady.  We ended our tour after she left.
We left the compound and decided to stop by the theatre where we wanted to bring our Christmas show before we headed to the boat.  Remember, we were going out on a boat that day.  After we toured the theatre, Jim told us that we were not going to be able to go out on the boat.  Some lie about the weather.  And then he said, but instead, you have been invited by the Bush family to come back to their home and perform for them after dinner.  What!?!?!  Holy Cow!  First let me explain this … we were dressed to go out sightseeing and boating (you can see what we are wearing in the photo above).  It was our day off.  We were wearing shorts and t-shirts … no one had shaved … Dustin had paint on his shorts and sneakers.  Probably most of us hadn’t even put deodorant on.  It was our day off!!  We’d traveled up there in a car and Yellow Bus was 2 hours away.  It was 4:30p and we were supposed to perform for them at 6:30p.   We had less than two hours until we had to be back at the Bush Compound!   Jim suggested that there was a department store up the road, so away we went.  That is the fastest shopping we have even done.  Shirts, pants, shoes … Oh the horror, Jym couldn’t find a paisley shirt (it’s only special high-end stores that carry those).  We then ran to Walmart to get toiletries.  Most of us were wearing baseball caps, so we all had hat hair … needed to shave … spray on some foo-foo (southern for “cologne”).
We got everything we needed at the stores.  Now we needed a place to change and get cleaned up.  You know we were singing for TWO Presidents and again Yellow Bus is two hours away.  We asked Jim if there was a gas station or  truck-stop nearby that we could run into and clean up.  He made a phone call and started driving.  Where was he driving, you ask?  Back to the Bush Compound.  He had gotten permission for us to get ready in President Bush’s
Dustin and Ray trying to clean up in President Bush_s restroom.
Dustin and Ray cleaning up in President Bush’s restroom.
restroom in his office.  So there we were, just good ol’ southern boys shaving and doing our hair in President Bush’s restroom!  We had no tracks so our only option was to sing a cappella.  We were told to be prepared to sing 3-4 songs, so we put together a short list of possibles and stepped into the office to warm up and run over a couple of numbers that we hadn’t sung in a while.  We no more than finished one song when Evan came around the corner and said, “Let’s go … they’re ready for you.”  We were instructed not to talk, just sing (Do you know how difficult that is for Nate?!?); only speak when spoken to and don’t sit down.  Remember we were just entertainment for them after dinner. Evan said that when he gets the nod from the Bush family, he will cut us off and take us out.Here we go!
We rode up to the big house and walked up to the door.  We were greeted by Margaret Bush and Barbara Bush’s two little dogs.  While admiring the dogs we heard, “Welcome fellas, come on in!” … it’s President George W. Bush.  Jym looked up and said out loud, “Oh my gosh, it’s George W. Bush!”  George began asking everyone their name.  Nathaniel introduced himself to which George responded, “Nathaniel … I’m gonna call you Nat.”  George and Margaret escorted us toward the living room where we met Marvin Bush (Margaret’s husband), Laura Bush, President George H.W. Bush and Barbara and Doro Bush Koch.  George and Barbara were sitting in chairs and Laura and Marvin were on the couch to the left.  After quick greetings, George W. arranged everyone to stand around his mother and father for a photo (That is the photo at the top of this newsletter).  He asked us where we each lived.  Jym told him “Cut and Shoot, Texas” and George responded “Montgomery County!”  Marvin asked where Cut and Shoot was and George explained it was just north of Houston up by Conroe.  Ray told H.W. how he had seen him at his brother’s graduation at Liberty University.  Barbara asked if Ray graduated from there and Ray responded No, to which George W. said, “He didn’t graduate”, and laughed We were just laughing and having fun.  Small chit chat about where we were from and how MARK209 came to be continued and George W. sat down on the couch and invited us to all sit down and visit for a while.  Since we had been told not to sit, we all looked to Evan as to get permission.  He kind of shrugged his  shoulders  and motioned his hands for us to go ahead. Marvin scooted  over on the couch so Nate could sit down between him and Laura.  Dustin sat next to G.W. and visited with him and Barbara.  Ray sat on the couch with Doro and Jym stood near them.  During this time the talk went from everyone in the room talking together about the same subject to individual conversations with the people near us.  They were very welcoming and we really enjoyed getting to visit and share with them.
Someone mentioned about us singing for them and we began to stand at one end of the room and tell them more about us and what we were going to sing.  Right around this time, Marvin looked up and said, “There’s my favorite little niece, let’s wait on her.”  Then Georgia Bush (5 year old daughter of Jeb Bush) came in the room.  She sat with Marvin and we quickly decided to start things with a song for Georgia.  Nate told the story of how when we sang at Potters Grove Tabernacle in South Glens Falls, New York, we were taking request and a young boy on the front row frantically raised his hand.  Nate called on the boy expecting him to request Jesus Loves Me or something of the sort.  Instead he loudly exclaimed, “Itsy Bitsy Spider!”  To which we did for the Bushes the same thing we did at Potters Grove … we broke into Itsy Bitsy Spider  in four part harmony, even with hand motions.  So the first song we sang for TWO former leaders of the free world?  Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Singing for the Bush family in their living room.
Barbara Bush, Pres. GW Bush, and Margaret Bush shown seated to left.
We sang In The Garden and I’ll Fly Away.  Nate told them about us singing at Elvis Week and we then sang Sweet Sweet Spirit.  It was requested we sing Amazing Grace, which we did next.
While talking with them previously about MARK209 and what we do, we had told them about our Family Friendly program and us performing on the SeaShell stage in Hampton Beach and some of the songs we did there.  Marvin spoke up and said that “Dad” would love to hear Elvira, so we broke off into it.  We announced that we would end with How Great Thou Art and Laura asked if we could sing something of Elvis before we finished.  So we sang Cryin’ In The Chapel and followed it with How Great Thou Art.
MARK209 dinner at Federal Jacks
At Federal Jack’s after performing for Bush Family

We then went around and shook hands and hugged necks with the family before leaving.  As Jym was shaking hands with President Bush, Sr., he pulled Jym up close and said how much he enjoyed it and wanted to know who to contact to have us come back and do a full concert.  Jym gave him the information and we all left to head to Federal Jack’s for dinner (we had not eaten all day).

When leaving the Bush Compound, Evan gave each of us a gift from President George and Barbara Bush.  It was a President of the United States lapel pin.  Engraved on the back is President Bush’s signature along with the number 41.
Gift to each of MARK209 from Pres. George & Barbara Bush
We had a wonderful time visiting with the Bush Family.  They were all very welcoming and just regular folks.  Not only were we invited to return to their home in Maine for a full concert, but this week, when talking with Evan on the phone, he asked if we’re in the Houston area during a certain period and if we are, to please give him a call and they would love to have us come to their winter home in Houston.
This was the biggest thrill as far as performing that we have ever had.  It was a very small audience compared to what we normally do … but WOW, we sang for two of the Presidents on the United States.  Whether you agree with their politics or not … they were both President of the United States.  The greatest nation in the world.
God keep your hand on the United States of America and continue to bless us.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing the details about what happened.  Please understand, this is not luck.  This is God’s blessings.  I mean, seriously, how many Christian artists have sung for a President … let alone, two of them … in their private home?  We tell people all the time to stay true to what God called you to do.  Don’t listen to man … pray and listen to God.
Be sure to share this newsletter on your Facebook so others can read the story.
You know what?  We never did get to go on that sailboat trip.


HENDERSONVILLE, TN – Christian music artist, MARK209 based out of Nashville, TN was invited yesterday evening to do an impromptu concert at the home of President George H.W. and First Lady Barbara Bush at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, ME. MARK209 was in the middle of a 23 Day New England Tour and this was their only scheduled day off as they were planning to spend time sightseeing and touring the area when the opportunity presented itself for them to sing a song while touring the Bush Compound for Margaret Bush, an accomplished singer and actress. After leaving the property they were continuing their tour and received a call inviting them back to do a concert that evening for The Bush Family.

“Only a handful of people get the opportunity to sing for distinguished people let alone Presidents and today we were humbled by the opportunity to sing for not only one, but two Presidents at their private residence,” shares Jym Howe, lead singer for MARK209.

They sang several songs including Amazing Grace, Sweet, Sweet, Spirit, Crying In The Chapel and even Elvira by special request. Among those attending the concert were President George H.W. and First Lady Barbara Bush, President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush, Marvin and Margaret Bush, Doro and granddaughter Georgia.

Nathaniel, tenor singer for MARK209 shares, “When we came to the door, we were greeted by President George W. Bush. I was humbled by their gratitude, generosity, and willingness to invite us, someone they did not know, into their home last minute.”

Before leaving, the guys were asked by President George H.W. Bush about returning to perform a full concert sometime in the future.

MARK209 just recently signed a booking and management deal with April Potter Agency and will be in the studio working on a new project later this fall.

For more information on MARK209, you can visit their website at or April Potter Agency at or call April Potter Agency at 615.479.0954.


PHOTO CUTLINE 1: Left to right first row – President George H.W. Bush, First Lady Barbara Bush – Left to right second row- Nathaniel Justice, Dustin Hood, First Lady Laura Bush, President George W. Bush, Jym Howe and Ray Woconish. Photo Credit: Evan F. Sisley, Aide to President Bush


PHOTO CUTLINE 2: The Bush Family enjoying MARK209 during live impromptu concert at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, ME. Photo Credit: Evan F. Sisley, Aide to President Bush