Lookin' Up is a Southern Gospel ministry formed in Pensacola, Florida in 1996. Paul Ernde, Maureen Spirakis, Bonnie Wooton and Chuck Hendrix are the current vocalists for the group. Although the group has gone through several changes through the years and the name of the group has changed, our ministry has not changed. Lookin' Up endeavors to spread the Gospel through a God-directed selection of gospel songs, commentaries and testimonies. The main focus of our ministry is directed toward reaching lost souls for the Kingdom of God.
Lookin' Up is also committed to uplifting the name of Jesus Christ; to encourage, renew and revitalize the faith of Christian believers; and to bring a message of hope and salvation to unbelievers through a quality presentation of the Gospel in music and personal witness.
No venue is too large or too small as we seek any opportunity God presents us through an invitation. We provide a broad range of music, with a focus on Southern Gospel, for all to enjoy. We would love to come to your church or organization and share what God has led us to sing in His name. We have enough material in order to provide a program of one hour or more for an evening service or for a special program or event that you may be having. We are available most evenings during the week and day or night on the weekends.
We are hungry to share what God has blessed us with. We are a motivated group of believers that feel led to share the Gospel though exciting music.
Paul Ernde, one of the founding members, sings lead and baritone for Lookin' Up. He is married to Maureen Spirakis, the alto/tenor of the group. Paul was born and raised in Pensacola and left only one time for an extended period to serve with the U.S. Navy. He has been singing as far back as he can remember. Junior, intermediate and adult church choirs provided an outlet for him to begin doing solo work.
His love for music grew even more as he grew into Christian maturity. He has never been able to stand still when he sings and he can't and won't sing without pouring his heart and soul into a song. He has always said that if he can't enjoy singing and what he is singing about, he may as well pack his bags and go home. He has been in numerous choral groups, choirs and ensembles over the years, but Lookin' Up has provided an outlet for him to express himself through the music and message in a way he has always wanted to. Singing for the Lord has brought him never-ending blessings through his lifetime, and he loves to sing every chance he gets to share his testimony through the message in the music.
Maureen Spirakis sings lead and alto/tenor for Lookin' Up. Maureen was born in Pensacola where she has lived most of her life. Her love of music began at home and as a member of the various choirs and smaller singing groups at East Hill Baptist Church and in school choruses.
When a former member left the group, it was an answer to her prayer when she was allowed to join in 2002. She was introduced to Southern Gospel music while on vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, when she and her husband, Paul, had the opportunity to hear several Southern Gospel Quartets and found the many diverse sounds of Southern Gospel music. She has developed a great love for the way the message in the songs is presented. Every song tells the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that touches lives and heals wounded spirits.
She feels very honored and blessed to be a part of Lookin' Up.
Chuck, one of the founding members, sings lead and bass for Lookin' Up. Chuck grew up attending a small church in his home town of Molino, FL. His ancestors literally built the church, and his family still attends there. At a very early age Chuck was introduced to Southern Gospel music. His father would drive several elderly ladies to church, and he would ride along. They would listen to gospel music on the radio. In church, Chuck's dad would sing bass, and his mother would sing alto to those great hymns of the church. From that came the inspiration to sing Southern Gospel music.
Chuck married his wife, Peggy, in 1984, and they have 2 beautiful daughters: Cari and Avery. They live in Milton, FL.
Singing with this group is like living a dream come true. I thank God for providing the opportunity for this group to share the gospel through song and for allowing me to have a part in the ministry of Lookin' Up.
Bonnie Wooton, sings lead and alto/tenor/soprano for Lookin' Up. Bonnie came to Pensacola in 1971. Though transplanted from Michigan, she developed a love for collard greens, cornbread, and Southern Gospel music. She grew up with a Baptist hymnal in hand, a mother who taught piano/organ, and a father who loved “country-style” music. The old hymns were learned and loved, and her ability to harmonize was cultivated. As a teenager, she sang with her school’s Acapella choir, Madrigal singers and appeared in musicals. In her church, she taught children’s choir, accompanied the congregation, and sang (and still sings) with the church choir. A graphic artist by profession, one of her first jobs in the 70s was typesetting the Singing News, and designing an album cover for the Dixie Echoes. Bonnie, along with husband Ken, travel extensively to hear many great Southern Gospel groups perform. Lookin’ Up has become one of her favorites. A longtime member of a local handbell choir, Bonnie traveled with the group to Germany and Kazakhstan partnering with church planters through handbell concerts. She accompanies a group from her Sunday School class who worship weekly with residents of an assisted-living facility singing and studying God’s word. “I am so blessed to be singing with Lookin’ Up. God heard my heart, and has presented the opportunity to minister to others through Southern Gospel music. I believe SG will help save, heal and restore by bringing His Word to life through song.” To paraphrase I Peter 3:15: “Be ready always to SING an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have . . .”
Look up! for your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:28, and we are Lookin' Up!