Celebrity status isn’t required, but it’s looking like the Grand Strand is the place to live for those on their way.
Meet Barb Prosser Winder, who came all the way from Canada with an award-winning gospel ministry and a husband of 18 years, Arend Laagland Winder, to make Myrtle Beach their second home.
Winder’s ministry consists of “just her” and in 2010 she was bestowed with a Covenant Award for Best Female Country/Bluegrass/Gospel album.
To date, she’s recorded four albums; three gospel and one Christmas.
A multi-faceted performer, the songstress, musician and author is a self-described “no new little chicken” who garnered three nominations from her album “Blessings” of which she wrote the title song.
“Blessings” won “Country/Bluegrass Album of the Year” and included two songs “You Brought Me This Far” and “Jesus Medley” (a compilation of three songs) both nominated for recognition as “Song of the Year” and “Classic Song of the Year.”
She explains she “likes to make it personal” when writing music/songs and her goal while here is “to get out and share her message.”
Winder recently sang at Socastee Baptist Church and says she was invited back to sing again when they return to the Grand Strand in March.
She’s also honored and excited that she was asked to sing at their Realtor’s nuptials: “This [was my] first time sing[ing] at a wedding in Myrtle Beach,” adding, “I’m sure Sandra Brown had plenty of other people she could ask.”
What brought the Winders to Myrtle Beach?
“That’s a funny story,” says Winder, and one that goes back more than a few years:
After a few vacations, and on one particular visit, her husband told her “I want to call a Realtor ‘just to ask a few questions’ ” he said.
Winder suspiciously warned against it.
However, they looked at several homes and it turned out the first they looked at wound up becoming their new home.
Winder has more than a few of “those stories”; she met her future husband in 1993. After hearing her sing “Amazing Grace” at a 60th wedding anniversary celebration for her grandparents, he became a man on a mission: to make her his wife while finding places for her to sing.
“He talked to everyone and people he didn’t even know,” says Winder. “He never gave up.”
In 1995, the man who Winder said “was not a fan of country music – at all” said “I do” in a wedding chapel on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn. Country music celebrity photographer Larry Hill captured the moment before they set off to honeymoon and camp in the Smokey Mountains.
Currently, Winder is working on a children’s book series inspired by the ducks and geese from the pond near her back yard while preparing for the next trek back to “the big house in Canada” to tend to tenants and plow snow.
She says they’d both like to be here full-time because she feels like they “fit in,” adding: “My heart feels like it was made in the South.”