“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” II Corinthians 5:17. NHIM Trio was birthed in the heart of three men in 2004 from this scripture. In 1985, Allen Hoover and Chris Bennett found themselves singing together in one of the premier quartets of Southern Gospel Music, Heritage Quartet. As with any group, personnel changes will eventually occur as it did in 2003 when Chip Distin joined his lifelong friend Chris on stage creating a unique sound like no other group. Allen Hoover, Chip Distin and Chris Bennett would in 2004 make the move and form NHIM Trio based in Olive Branch, Mississippi. There was not another personnel change with NHIM until 2015 when Kevin Cleghorn began to fill in singing baritone when Chris took a leave of absence. In January of 2016, Kevin accepted the position of baritone when Chris decided to step down leaving a vacancy. Allen, Chip and Kevin all have deep roots in Southern Gospel Music and have been ministering most of their lives and each brings a unique talent to their ministry together. Chip states, “When we take the stage it is not a concert, it is a service and we sing to an audience of one and that is Jesus Christ”. All agree that anything that is done in ministry should be done with excellence and that is what NHIM strives for in every aspect of their ministry. Allen with his soaring tenor, Chip and his unique lead vocals and Kevin with a strong, rich baritone creates a sound all their own mixing a blend of classic southern gospel with the sounds of today’s Christian music. When these three men take the stage you never know what is going to happen but one thing is for sure; you will enjoy the presence of God.
Since the debut of NHIM in 2004, personnel changes and a progression in style have sent the group hurtling to the forefront of gospel music in Arkansas and surrounding regions. Allen, Chip and Kevin blend their amazing voices to create a sound that is distinctively NHIM. Their swirling harmonies enchant audiences and draw them into an undeniable spirit of worship. God has richly blessed each of these individuals with great talent, but make no mistake about it! These men understand this is a union designed by grace and created for God’s own purpose.
NHIM consists of three men who share a passion for God and gospel music. Their primary desire is to glorify Christ and see souls brought to the Kingdom through their music. A second component of their ministry is to bring laughter and joy to the church body. “When we walk into a church, we bring in the weight of the world, “ says Kevin. “If we can lay it down and enjoy the presence of God in laughter and fun, then we have accomplished something. After all, the Bible says laughter does the heart good as medicine.” NHIM’s musical style is a nice blend of the old classics, southern gospel and today’s more progressive tunes. Their versatility and depth enable NHIM to take a congregation on a spiritual journey through gospel music. Listeners have commonly described their ministry as “anointed”.
Allen Hoover, tenor, with his wife Susan makes their home in Olive Branch, Mississippi and is the last of the founding members of the group. Allen has over thirty years of experience singing with several groups throughout his career including the Sojourners, Heritage Quartet and Southern Heritage Quartet. Allen’s vocal ability is, in a word, stunning. He has a range that can be equaled by few, and his versatility has provided limitless musical choices for NHIM.
Chip Distin, lead singer, and his wife Sunni make their home in Greenbrier, Arkansas. Chip began singing at the age of twelve in his home church. Over the course of his music career he has been a member of groups such as The Melody Boys playing the bass guitar and singing with The Gospel Crusaders and Southern Heritage. He became the lead singer for NHIM in 2005. His voice is like no other you will hear in gospel music. There is an excitement and an anointing each time he takes the stage to minister. He truly has a gift for appealing to the emotions of all who listen. Chip’s high energy manner, modest sincerity, and peculiar sense of humor, added to his spectacular singing make him perfectly suited for NHIM’s mission.
Kevin Cleghorn is the newest member of NHIM singing baritone. His career began at the ripe old age of three when Kevin sang his first solo in church. In his early teens, Kevin played the bass guitar alongside his father with the New Horizons Quartet, and he also ministered with his family group, The Cleghorns. Anyone who has heard Kevin’s velvety baritone voice knows that he has a sound like no one else. Worshipers settle into the Spirit, clinging to every word as he sings. Combine his rich vocals with those of Allen and Chip, and one thing becomes obvious. These men are together by no accident!