Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming brand of tent revival gospel music is one the most recognisable and enduring in Christian live performance, CD and DVD recording.
Our calling is not just to make music… but communicating the reality of Christ.
In 2004 Gaither Homecoming events outsold concerts by Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Rod Stewart. With more than 1 million live performance seats filled to date, this global gospel music phenomena had the most humble of beginnings.
Born in a barn in small town Indiana
Listening to the radio in his father’s barn, Bill Gaither took up the passion and style of Southern gospel singers such as Jake Hess and the Goodmans unaware that his music heroes and many others would feature in the Homecoming revival movement.
Born 1936 in Alexandria, Indiana, Bill Gaither formed his first vocal band – The Bill Gaither Trio whilst still at college in 1956. Lining up Bill, his brother Danny and sister Mary Ann, The trio began the strong family character of the Gaither Homecoming sound.
Lifelong songwriting partnership
In 1959 he took up a post teaching English. In 1962, Bill married fellow teacher Gloria Sickal. Combining their teaching careers with singing, song writing, recording and publishing, their breakthrough came with their song ‘He Touched Me’ recorded in 1964.
Musical success in 1967 set Bill and Gloria free to move out of teaching. As well as singing alongside her husband, Gloria’s song and devotional writing spans a range of subjects from social commentary to academic reviews, with a special interest in the works of John Steinbeck.
Shared ministry and shared interests
Serving on the Board of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the United Christian College Fund, Gloria Gaither maintains an extensive schedule of public speaking and advocacy. After decades of music ministry, Bill still insists, “Our calling is not just to make music… but communicating the reality of Christ.”
A father figure to many younger performers, Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming brand of gospel revival music includes many artists they listened to on the radio of their youth. Now in their seventies, Bill and Gloria and the top of their game and breathing new life into the Southern gospel style worldwide.
Homecoming music and ministry to the world
Gaither Homecoming tours began in 1991 bringing together major stars of the Southern gospel scene and sparking a revival of the genre. Homecoming tours travel all through the US and internationally, including events in London, Sydney, Jerusalem and South Africa.
With 700 gospel songs, 8 Grammys, more than twenty Dove Awards and 8 Gospel Music Songwriter of the Year titles, Bill and Gloria Gaither are the drving energy of the whole Gaither Music Company still based in Bill’s Indiana hometown of Alexandria.
If we have done anything right over the years,I hope we have built bridges where people could connect with God and with each other. That is what started us writing and what will keep us going for the rest of our lives.”
Quick Guide to Bill and Gloria Gaither
Who are they?
- Best loved champions of revival of singing in the full Southern gospel style.
- Visionaries behind the popular and growing following of the Homecoming band.
- Focus for Gaither veteran singers and mentors of new gospel music talent.
What will they do for me?
- Give you the best in classic and contemporary Southern gospel music.
- Revitalise for you the glory of tent revival campaigns of the Billy Graham era.
- Provide you a gift for anyone who loves gospel singing and revival music.
Over to You
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Bill and Gloria Gaither are among the most loved and respected of Christian artists and performers.
- What have Bill and Gloria Gaither found that inspires so many to order their CDs, DVDs and books and attend their Homecoming events?
- Do you think today’s ‘contemporary’ Christian musicians will inspire as much love and loyalty as Bill and Gloria Gaither: who might that be, and why?
Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips - beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at Eden.co.uk
February 28th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison