The Lipscomb's touching story was featured in the article listed below.
The following article appeared in the DeSoto Times Newspaper, Friday, January 3, 2003:
Nine-year-old's CD a tribute to siblings lost in 1999 train accident
LAKE CORMORANT - She can sing like an angel, and Jesse Anne Lipscomb is hoping her song can
be heard as far away as heaven.
One of the fondest wishes the 9-year-old wants is for her two sisters,
Rainey Elizabeth and Lacey Ann, to be able to hear her new compact disc recording,
"For Heaven's Sake," which is a tribute to them and all those who have suffered
the pain and loss of loved ones.
Jesse Anne's siblings died in a March 15, 1999, Amtrak train accident in Bourbonnais, Ill.,
en route from a doll collector's show in Chicago. June Bonnin, the co-founder of the Bonne Terre
Country Inn and Cafe in Nesbit, also died along with her granddaughter Jessica Whitaker.
"We want people who hear this who might have lost someone they loved to listen to
these songs to help them," said Jesse Anne, who recorded the CD along with the Colonial
Hills Church praise team and California recording artists the Denton Brothers,
the Hooker Family and others.
Ashley Bonnin, who lost part of her leg in the train accident, sings on the CD as well,
along with local singing star Ashley Wieronski.
Jesse Anne's mother, Cindy Lipscomb, said the CDs, which are an offshoot
of the ministry and testimony that she and husband Mat give across the country,
arrived two days before Christ-mas.
"It was a great Christmas present," said Mrs. Lipscomb, the co-founder of the DeSoto Youth Theatre.
The CDs will also be featured at May Rising Bookstore in Oak Court Mall in Memphis, Colonial Hills Church
and through the Lipscomb's Web site.
Lipscomb said that since the accident she and her husband Mat have been called
upon to share their testimony and faith in the face of such a devastating tragedy.
"We wanted to involve Jesse Anne, and so we decided to go about it by
contacting a friend of ours, Denise Young in Florida, to write
a song," Mrs. Lipscomb said.
Young penned the song "What Will Heaven Be Like?" and Jesse
Anne recorded the song on March 15, 2002, the third anniversary
of the train accident. That recording session evolved into a 14-song
set CD and a testimonial by Cindy and Mat Lipscomb.
"It's a tribute to her sisters and although it's in loving memory
of Lacey and Rainey, it's about heaven and what it will be like," Mrs. Lipscomb said.
"One of the reasons that we decided to do the CD was that we think about all
the children who lost parents and children on Sept. 11. There were many children
who suffered loss so Denise suggested that we call it 'The Heaven Project.' "
Mrs. Lipscomb said the CDs are being sent to New York Firefighters
in hopes that her family's testimony in song and testimony will be able
to help families there cope with grief.
Four years after the accident, Mrs. Lipscomb is determined as ever
to help people realize what really matters most in life, she said.
"I think people get caught up living in the now
and it's our unfortunate nature to do that," she said.
"When you experience a great tragedy you are likely to stop and
say that some things are not as important as other things," Mrs. Lipscomb said.
"We have a tendency to worry about things which don't make an eternal difference."
Mrs. Lipscomb said she and husband Mat have been able to channel their grief
into a positive message. Recently at a Christian Business Luncheon in Michigan where
the Lipscomb's spoke, 41 individuals came forward and took personal vows as Christians.
"It does make me feel like there is a sense of fulfillment," she said.
"It makes me feel better in that I have helped someone closer to the Lord."
ROBERT LEE LONG/Community Editor