Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Roebuck, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.
My name is Dan Crance - Roebuck's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.
Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Roebuck, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.
Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.
In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.
As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.
At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Roebuck, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.
With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Roebuck, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.
30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.
FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.
VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Roebuck, SC - Dan Crance.
Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.
FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.
Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.
Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.
While the official start of fall is still a couple of weeks away, fall festival season is already underway.Many old favorites are returning this year after being canceled last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There are also a few new festivals to check out showcasing local artisan, theatre, and brewing talents.Here are nine festivals you won't want to miss:SpartOberfestWhen: Sept. 10, 5-9:30 p.m. and Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.Where:...
While the official start of fall is still a couple of weeks away, fall festival season is already underway.
Many old favorites are returning this year after being canceled last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There are also a few new festivals to check out showcasing local artisan, theatre, and brewing talents.
Here are nine festivals you won't want to miss:
When: Sept. 10, 5-9:30 p.m. and Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: Jesus, Our Risen Savior Catholic Church, 2575 Reidville Road, Spartanburg, SC
What you need to know: This annual German festival features traditional foods and music, live auctions, a Christmas market, Bavarian dancers, 5K and 10K races and other family-friendly entertainment. Free admission and parking.
When: Sep 11, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Greer City Park, 301 E Poinsett St, Greer, SC
What you need to know: This new event, hosted by Round Table Community, The Academy of Leathercraft and Lore, and The Spinning Jenny, will feature knights, bards, dancers and a makers market with whimsical art, weavers, blacksmiths, local leatherworkers and more. Renaissance costumes are encouraged, but weapons must be blunt-edged, peace-tied, and part of the costume. Free admission. Free street and lot parking is available in close proximity to the park.
When: September 17-19, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 697 Asheville Highway, Spartanburg, SC
What you need to know: This classic Spartanburg fall festival will be coming back in 2021 for a second year of the Taste of Greece To-Go. Customers will be able to order favorites like Greek chicken and souvlaki platters, gyros and spanakopita on the festival website or curbside during the festival. A number of pastries are also currently available for pre-order online and early pick-up from 12-6 p.m. on Sept. 15.
When: Sept. 25, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Drayton Mills Marketplace, 1800 Drayton Road, Spartanburg, SC
What you need to know: This new Hub City Brew Fest event, presented by Holliday Brewing, will feature craft beers from 15 South Carolina breweries including 13 Stripes, Birds Fly South, Ciclops Cyderi, Holliday Brewing, New Groove, Plankowner Brewing Co., and RJ Rockers. Tickets are on sale on Eventbrite for $25 until Sept. 15 and for $30 after Sept. 15 and include admission, a souvenir glass and unlimited samples. The festival will also feature live music, a silent auction, a craft fair, and other vendors and activities.
When: Oct. 1-3
Where: Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery, 197 E. St. John St., Spartanburg.
What you need to know: The brewery will release its annual Ciclopstoberfest and Vladiberger Pilsner beers. An accordion player will play from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 1. Oct. 2 will feature games with prizes from 2-7 p.m. with karaoke in the evening. There will be a discount for those who bring in a past year's mug. The brewery will feature a special German-inspired menu through the weekend.
When: This event has been canceled due to COVID-19 and vaccination concerns.
When: Oct 2, 10 a.m. — Oct. 3, 4 p.m.
Where: Walnut Grove Plantation, 1200 Otts Shoals Road, Roebuck, SC
What you need to know: FestiFall is celebrating its 29th year. The Revolutionary War reenactment, hosted by Spartanburg County Historical Association, features battle demonstrations, crafts, music, and family-friendly activities. Tickets will be available at spartanburghistory.org.
When: Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Barnet Park, 248 E Saint John St., Spartanburg, SC
What you need to know: Another Barnet Park festival returns! Spartanburg Soaring offers hundreds of beautiful kites, live music, food trucks, a makers market, street performers and family-friendly activities. Free admission.
When: This event has been canceled due to COVID-19 and vaccination concerns.
Samantha Swann covers Spartanburg County K-12 schools and colleges and the food scene in downtown and beyond. She is a University of South Carolina Upstate and Greenville Technical College alumna. Contact her at JSwann@gannett.com.
Two fire departments with a long history of working together are planning to merge and become the second consolidation in Spartanburg County since 2018.Spartanburg County Council on Monday, Sept. 20, will consider the first reading of the planned merger between Roebuck and Croft fire departments, and the borrowing of $5 million by the Roebuck Fire District to assist in the merger.If approved after three readings, the legal name will be Roebuck Fire District, doing business as South Spartanburg Fire District. Admi...
Two fire departments with a long history of working together are planning to merge and become the second consolidation in Spartanburg County since 2018.
Spartanburg County Council on Monday, Sept. 20, will consider the first reading of the planned merger between Roebuck and Croft fire departments, and the borrowing of $5 million by the Roebuck Fire District to assist in the merger.
If approved after three readings, the legal name will be Roebuck Fire District, doing business as South Spartanburg Fire District. Administrative offices will be at the Roebuck fire station on Southport Road. The combined districts will cover 44 square miles.
The new department would become the first since Trinity Fire Department in southern Spartanburg County was formed in 2018 as a merger between Enoree, Hobbysville and Cross Anchor, with Woodruff joining the following year.
The Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation already gave its approval of the planned Roebuck-Croft merger. All that's left is county council approval.
Croft was formed in 1956 and declared a special purpose district by the state legislature in 1960. Roebuck was formed in 1957 and declared a special purpose district by the legislature in 1958.
"We just felt it was time to do it," said Roebuck Fire Chief Brian Harvey. "It will streamline our purchasing and give us a lot more staffing options. We will use the same equipment."
Harvey and Croft Fire Chief Ryan Eubanks will be co-chiefs of the new department.
Both said the merger has been in the discussion stages for years, and that their firefighters, as well as others in the county, support it.
"After gathering input, it became apparent that this was the way to go," said Eubanks, who succeeded the recently retired Lewis Hayes. "We've streamlined, moved resources around, shared staffing and equipment, eliminated redundancies, and there's more of that to come."
The merger will bring about a new fire tax rate. Roebuck's is now 29 mills, and Croft's is 32.9 mills – 27.5 for operations and 5.4 mills for debt service.
The new rate will likely be 31.5 mills – 29 for operations and 2.5 for debt, according to Eubanks.
"For the Croft taxpayer, it will be about the same, and a little increase for Roebuck," he said.
The taxpayer pays $8 per mill for each $100,000 of assessed property value, he said. So a 2.5-mill increase on a $200,000 property will cost a taxpayer $40 more a year.
"We don't want to increase taxes," he said. "But we also have to recognize it takes dollars to run our service. We're going to be prudent about that number."
A couple years ago, Croft District borrowed $2 million to buy two new fire trucks, resulting in the 5.4-mill debt service tax.
"For taxpayers, we've been operating like one department," Eubanks said. "They will never see anything change. They will be getting the same fire protection."
Roebuck Station 1 on Stone Station Road houses two engines, a tanker, a rescue, brush unit and command vehicle. Station 2 on Southport Road is manned with Croft and houses an engine.
The Croft station is on Cedar Springs Road and houses six pumpers and two ladder trucks.
The Roebuck Station 2 on Southport Road has been jointly operated by Roebuck and Croft since 2011 when the former Arkwright fire district was consolidated into Roebuck and Croft. That station has a battalion chief and three firefighters.
Roebuck has 13 paid firefighters, 15 volunteers and provides 24/7 service. Croft has 13 paid firefighters and one volunteer, also providing 24/7 service.
Between the two stations, the departments respond to more than 2,000 calls a year – many for vehicle crashes and assist calls from neighboring districts.
Both departments have operated jointly since 2011, when the former Arkwright Area Fire District disbanded and Roebuck and Croft absorbed the Arkwright coverage area.
For several years, fire chiefs in many of the 35 departments countywide have complained about a lack of finances and dwindling volunteer manpower to keep up with the demands brought by growth in Spartanburg County.
Some have been able to increase their millage rates, but to do so requires a voter referendum. In many cases, voters reject the referendum.
In August 2020, voters in the Cherokee Springs Fire District rejected a referendum asking them to approve borrowing $5.5 million for a new, larger fire station. The vote was 77% against and 23% for. If approved, the tax rate would have gone up by 10 mills.
Last year, a consulting firm presented a study to the county's Fire Prevention and Protection Advisory Committee recommending merging or consolidating fire departments as a way to streamline costs.
Chris Massey, who is director of the Emergency Services Academy in Duncan, is filling in with his second stint as chief of the Trinity Fire Department while the county searches for a full-time chief.
He said he's already seen the benefits of that merger of four departments in the southern end of the county, covering roughly 140 square miles.
"It's definitely improved response times," Massey said. "It's operating like a fire department, 24/7, with four full-time and an assistant chief part-time."
Harvey said his Roebuck district has seen a lot of growth with residential and some industrial development in recent years, which brings in more tax revenues, but it also brings higher call volume and stretches resources.
"Manpower in every fire district is the Achilles heal right now," he said.
Looking forward, Harvey and Eubanks said if they get county council approval, they hope the consolidation will take effect Jan. 1.
"I hope this mentality spreads across the county," Eubanks said. "You're going to be able to eliminate a lot of redundancies, (equipment) replacements – all at a benefit to the taxpayer. You need to take a wholesystems approach and stop looking at individual silos of our organizations, and look at a countywide picture."
Contact Bob Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org
ROEBUCK, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - After serving as superintendent of Spartanburg County School District Six for more than two decades, Dr. Darryl Owings announced his plans to retire.The district said the decision marks a 21-yeartenure as superintendent, 31 years in the district, and 36 years in public education. Dr. Owings is the second longest-serving superintendent in District Six, next to Paul M. Dorman.“I am overwhelmed with the amount of support and dedication I have witnessed over the years,” Owings said. &ldquo...
ROEBUCK, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - After serving as superintendent of Spartanburg County School District Six for more than two decades, Dr. Darryl Owings announced his plans to retire.
The district said the decision marks a 21-yeartenure as superintendent, 31 years in the district, and 36 years in public education. Dr. Owings is the second longest-serving superintendent in District Six, next to Paul M. Dorman.
“I am overwhelmed with the amount of support and dedication I have witnessed over the years,” Owings said. “As I prepare to retire, I am indebted to our students, parents, faculty, staff, community, and our Board of Trustees. It has been a true honor to serve in this role and I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved, while working together. I am very excited about this new chapter in my life that will allow me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family, who has fully supported me throughout my 36 years in education.”
According to school officials, the district has effectively managed growth without a referendum, while making fiscally responsible decisions with controlled short-term debt under the leadership of Dr. Owings. His leadership guided the district through the opening of a new Fairforest Elementary, Fairforest Middle, DHS College & Career Center, Fine Arts Center, and a county-wide Master Skills Center, along with much-needed facility upgrades to West View, Roebuck, Pauline-Glenn Springs, Arcadia, and Gable.
Speaking on behalf of the board, chairman Lynn Harris said, “Dr. Owings is a true visionary with an unwavering commitment to the district’s mission and values. He has always led our district with integrity, humility, and authenticity. Since 2002, Dr. Owings has been a trailblazer with innovative ideas that have improved the educational experience for our District Six community.”
Prior to becoming superintendent, Dr. Owings previously served as principal of Dorman High School, principal of Gable Middle School, and taught five-years at Spartanburg High School. As he prepares for retirement, Dr. Owings shared, “The leadership support and teamwork of the District Six Board of Trustees should be a model for other districts to follow. They are a perfect example of authentic governance, servant leadership, and statesmanship. I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to work in a profession to serve children and wake up each day with the purpose of helping others and preparing students for a successful life.”
Dr. Owings’ last day as superintendent will be July 1, 2023. The District Six Board of Trustees voted to name Ken Kiser as acting superintendent. Kiser is currently the Deputy Superintendent in District Six and previously served as principal of Dorman High School, as well as Dawkins Middle. He will serve in this capacity until the selection process is completed, in the months ahead.
Copyright 2023 WHNS. All rights reserved.
UPDATED June 5, 2023: Since this article was published, more charges have been filed against former youth pastor Daniel Kellan Mayfield. An investigation revealed that Mayfield allegedly filmed at least six girls, as young as 14, in the bathroom of First Baptist Church Gowensville. According to authorities, Mayfield set up cameras and recorded video at least three times, dating back to July 2022...
UPDATED June 5, 2023: Since this article was published, more charges have been filed against former youth pastor Daniel Kellan Mayfield. An investigation revealed that Mayfield allegedly filmed at least six girls, as young as 14, in the bathroom of First Baptist Church Gowensville. According to authorities, Mayfield set up cameras and recorded video at least three times, dating back to July 2022.
After Mayfield was charged with five counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of voyeurism, he was denied bond. More charges may still be filed, according to authorities. They stated that Mayfield likely acted alone and that church leaders probably were unaware of the incidents.
ChurchLeaders original article written on June 1, 2023, below.
A congregation in Greenville County, South Carolina, fired its youth pastor on May 27 following his arrest for alleged voyeurism. Officials at First Baptist Church Gowensville confirmed that the church immediately terminated the employment of Daniel Kellan Mayfield after his arrest last weekend. Mayfield, 35, had served as the Southern Baptist congregation’s student/youth pastor for seven years.
Based on his LinkedIn profile, Mayfield previously worked as a missions director at Student Life in Birmingham, Alabama, and as a ministry associate at Child Evangelism Fellowship in Roebuck, South Carolina.
Although Mayfield also lists Compassion International as a previous employer, a spokesperson said the organization never directly employed Mayfield. Instead, “he was employed by a company that Compassion contracted for marketing events, from 2013-2014. He has also served as a volunteer at some Compassion marketing events until 2016. Though he applied for a position with Compassion, he was never hired.”
The spokesperson added, “As a ministry with child protection at the very core of our mission, we are obviously distraught over these accusations against a former volunteer and pray for justice and peace.”
Early Saturday morning, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a civil disturbance. A woman told authorities that while she was showering at her mother’s house, she noticed a light shining outside the bathroom window. When the woman stepped outside to investigate, she said she saw the suspect in the backyard.
The report also noted that the victim’s sister drove to the house and noticed someone in the backyard, standing near a bathroom window. As her vehicle headlights illuminated that area, she said, she could see someone fleeing the scene on foot.
When both women approached and confronted Mayfield, he reportedly indicated that he had been filming the woman in the shower. The victim and her sister apparently captured videotape of Mayfield in the act of recording through the window.
According to the sheriff’s report, Mayfield at first denied to deputies that he had been standing by the window or filming anyone in the shower. But when Mayfield handed over his cell phone to the victim, who has not been named, she scrolled through his videos and saw footage of herself showering.
As deputies talked privately with Mayfield, he reportedly confessed. Then they placed him under arrest and charged him with voyeurism. Mayfield was released from the Greenville County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.
In a statement to ChurchLeaders, First Baptist Church Gowensville said:
On May 27th, 2023, First Baptist Gowensville leadership was made aware of an incident of moral misconduct perpetrated by one of our staff members. Proper authorities were notified immediately, and the employee was terminated from his role. Due to the nature of the investigation, FBC Gowensville refers all questions to the law enforcement authorities involved. We remain dedicated to providing a safe worship environment and will be ever vigilant in protecting all persons involved in any of our events.
Correction: This article has been updated to state that Mayfield was never directly employed by Compassion International.
Rudy Blanton’s knees cramped up while he was working under a deck one day, so he asked his grandson to hand him a “hickey and two screws.”“That sounds like a country song,&rd...
Rudy Blanton’s knees cramped up while he was working under a deck one day, so he asked his grandson to hand him a “hickey and two screws.”
“That sounds like a country song,” the grandson said as they laughed and laughed.
Then it was.
That grandson is 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy from the tiny Upstate South Carolina community of Roebuck.
He’s a top 12 finalist on the iconic television show “American Idol,” where judges have heaped praise on Kennedy, not only for his singing but also for his songwriting.
He performed his original song “Nowhere” on a recent show, and country star and “Idol” judge Luke Bryan thought it was so good he wondered who helped him write it.
No one, Kennedy responded.
“The talent is there,” Blanton said of his grandson. “It’s part of God’s plan.”
Roebuck isn’t a town per se, but a census tract, located just south of Spartanburg. There’s no downtown, but a line of fix-it shops, strip malls and a bank along state Highway 221. The crush of apartment complexes and subdivisions seen near Spartanburg and neighboring Greenville have not reached Roebuck. It’s a place of brick ranch homes and pine and hardwood forests and a population of about 2,300.
Cindy White, who lives next door to Kennedy and his mother, Anita Guy, said Roebuck is the kind of place where everybody either knows everybody or knows someone who does.
“We just got an Arby’s and Zaxby’s, but we need a McDonald’s and a Chick-fil-A,” she said.
People move to Roebuck and stay, she said.
“Godly people,” White said.
She’s known Kennedy since he was born.
“We’re all so proud of him,” she said.
Her daughter, Erica Thompson, who was just stopping by her mother’s Thursday morning, said, “He’s ours.”
They remember hearing him play the trumpet when he was in middle school band, but hearing him sing and play the guitar was even more enjoyable.
When Kennedy was making an audition tape for “American Idol,” White and her grandchildren listened from her bathroom window.
Kennedy’s grandmother Barbara Blanton or Nana to him said he bought his first guitar with money he got from family members on his 13th birthday. He used his cellphone to learn chords.
“Papa” Rudy Blanton said they took Kennedy for guitar lessons, and the teacher said he knew more than they did.
His talent ran so deep he could hear a song and play it. Then he started hearing his own songs. One he wrote was called “That’s My Papa.” It’s a tribute to Blanton and includes the hickey line. After Kennedy’s parents divorced, Blanton became a major figure in the young man’s life.
Blanton, a carpenter, said he’d take his grandson with him to jobs, and Kennedy spent time with him and Barbara after school while his mother, who works two jobs, worked.
For a time, Kennedy wanted to be a carpenter, too.
“Then the guitar struck,” Blanton said.
“My little ole buddy standing up on that stage is a wonderful thing,” he said. “It’s an amazing story.”
Hannah Bynum’s favorite memory of her brother is the almost daily rides through the South Carolina countryside after school in her Chevy Equinox listening to country music on Spotify.
“We’d roll all the windows down and escape from everything,” said Bynum.
Hannah and the little brother she calls Bubba especially liked Jason Aldean. And so it was a particular thrill when Kennedy was paired with Aldean for some coaching and a duet of “Fly Over States” on “American Idol.”
“That couldn’t have worked out any better for him,” she said.
Afterwards her brother called and asked if she would be ready for a phone call in 20 minutes. The producers wanted to tape him talking to her. The phone rang. She answered.
It was Aldean.
“I’m just out here in Hollywood hanging out with your brother,” she remembers him saying.
“I didn’t know what to say,” Bynum said. “It was just crazy.”
The siblings also spent hours at Guitar Center in Spartanburg, where Kennedy would pull guitar after guitar from the wall and play.
“He does stuff like that, like nobody’s watching. I knew this was going to get big,” said Bynum, who is married and lives in Savannah.
Drew Spencer, who runs the house band at FR8yard in Spartanburg, where Kennedy played just about every open mic night for the past few years, said he started attracting an audience immediately.
Kennedy would have an original song to perform about every week, Spencer said.
Once, he saw Kennedy write a song while waiting to perform, then get up and sing it.
“From day one, I could hear his songs on modern country radio stations,” said Spencer, who will soon be touring as the lead electric guitar player for the band Blackfoot.
Spencer said Kennedy’s songs have a depth to them way beyond what anyone could imagine a teenager could write.
“The melody, chord progression, structure,” he said. “I think the kid was just born with it.”
Spencer and others said they see the deep connection between Kennedy and his mother, who arranged all his gigs.
One show featured a conversation between him, his mother and stepfather. He ended by saying, “I love you.”
Thomas Thornton, the children’s minister at Woodruff Church of God, where Kennedy and his family are members, said he has known Kennedy since he was a small child. In fact, he and his wife looked after the boy while his mother worked.
“He has a very giving heart,” Thornton said. “He’s always been very plugged into church.”
Kennedy steps up where needed, whether it’s a role in a Christmas play or planting blueberry bushes for older church members.
Once, he was shy.
“He’s broken out of his shell,” Thornton said, noting the ease with which Kennedy has performed on national television.
He said he’s proud of the way Caleb has overcome obstacles and followed his dreams.
“It’s only going to get better,” Thornton said.
Kennedy attends Dorman High School, which has a student population bigger than all of Roebuck.
The school has gone all out in supporting and encouraging his “Idol” run, making a video, posters, writing him letters. There’s a “vote for Caleb” sign — contestants earn the right to stay on the show by viewers’ calls — at every entrance.
“People keep taking them,” said principal Bryant Roberson, laughing. But school officials just add another.
Robeson described Kennedy as a “down-to-earth kid.”
“You couldn’t ask for a better student,” he said.
Last year, as a freshman, Kennedy played junior varsity football.
Certainly in the Upstate if not the entire state, Dorman is known for its football prowess, with more than a few players going on to the NFL.
Daniel Wyatt, one of the football coaches, said during summer drills Kennedy, an offensive lineman, was grouped with wide receivers and defensive backs due to COVID-19 restrictions.
They all did the same drills whether they pertained to their positions or not.
“Caleb put forth great effort. He did all the things we asked,” Wyatt said.
By the end, the coaches were impressed and just knew he was going to be one of their better players.
Then came “American Idol.”
Kennedy told them he was going to have to give up football, Wyatt said, describing it as a “very good decision.”
“He needs to chase his dream,” Wyatt said.
American Idol airs at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday on ABC.
This story was originally published April 18, 2021, 6:00 AM.