“Fortunately, a lot of them fit. It's (the concert) a mixture of original Christmas songs and standards,” he said.
First Assembly's praise choir joins Phelps, who said he enjoys the accompaniment. “Choir adds so much energy,” he added.
Phelps, a southern gospel Christian singer-songwriter, is well-known for his three-octave range and for his work with the Gaither Vocal Band, with which he still performs.
“I travel with the vocal band, sometimes with my band and myself. I tried to do them all at once before. It would just wear me out. I have to make sure I'm taking care of myself.”
For this father of four, his wife also helps keep him balanced.
“I don't tour where I'm gone for months at a time,” he said. “My family is very important to me. My wife and I dreamed about sitting on the porch watching our grandkids. Got to keep that together.”
This concert marks the first locally since his sister, Sherri Proctor, died Sept. 25 of cancer.
“She traveled with me for 15 years,” he said. “She was a very integral part of the band. And at this time, with the Christmas tour, it makes it very difficult. We miss her a whole lot. It's hard not just for me, but for my band. We are a family out there on the road. We're making our way through that the best way we can.”
In 2013, he will concentrate on promoting “Classic” through his concerts and will film a PBS special.
He credits his family for his love of music. “Music drew us together,” he said. “It was a great influence in doing this for my life.”
Though he loves all facets of making music, he'll never give up singing.
“I get to look people in the eye and share a moment with them,” he said.
Christmas concertWhat: Christian artist David Phelps performs in concert with the First Assembly of God Praise Choir.
When 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 18
Where: First Assembly of God Christian Center, 1400 W. Washington Center Road.
Cost: Artist circle section is full; $20, advance; $25, at the door; $18 each, groups of 10 or more; $10, ages 6-12; free, ages 5 and under. Tickets at YoYo, 10015 Lima Road and 9930 Illinois Road; and Trinity Communications ( www.trinitycommunications.org or 484-1029).