CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 9, 2011 – Southern gospel music legends Bill and Gloria Gaither, along with the “Homecoming” friends – more than 100 gospel artists – were in Charlotte last week to film the Gaither Homecoming Tent Revival special at the Billy Graham Library.
“It’s a perfect place for us,” said Bill Gaither about the Billy Graham Library.
The Gaither Homecoming Tent Revival special is reminiscent of early tent revival meetings, much like the “Canvas Cathedral” in Los Angeles where Billy Graham gained worldwide recognition in 1949. In fact, the Gaither event aimed to recreate the atmosphere of that historic crusade, with its large tent and standing-room only crowd.
“A lot of our folks grew up singing in tent meetings,” Gaither continued. “Going through the Library and seeing one of the exhibitions is that of the old tent in Los Angeles brought back those memories for us.”
“Music has always been a very important part of the Billy Graham Crusades. In fact, the Vocal Band has sung at the last 10 or 12 Crusades, including the last one in New York City,” said Gaither. “And, so to have an entire evening, singing songs about Jesus, singing songs about the cross, singing songs about invitation, I think is a great thing.”
Before the event, private tours were given of the Billy Graham Library to the participating artists. The group was able to see depictions of various scenes from Billy and Ruth Graham’s life, including a replica of the “Canvas Cathedral” from the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade.
Bill and Gloria Gaither were joined by legendary gospel music artists The Crabb Family, Michael English, David Phelps, Guy Penrod, Mark Lowry, The Gatlin Brothers, Buddy Greene, Larnelle Harris, The Nelons, The Martins, The Isaacs, longtime Billy Graham Crusade soloist George Beverly Shea and musical director Cliff Barrows, plus many more.
During the program, Bill Gaither presented 102-year-old George Beverly Shea with a commemorative copy of Billboard magazine, which has listed a Gaither Homecoming special with George Beverly Shea as #3 on its chart of best-selling music videos.
Visit www.gaither.com for more information about the Gaither Homecoming Tent Revival special, including the complete artist list. Future announcements about air dates and the availability for purchase will also be found on the website.
About the Gaithers
The Gaithers, who will celebrate 50 years of marriage next year, have been in the gospel music industry for more than 40 years. The couple spent the first several years of their married life juggling teaching jobs, writing, singing, recording and publishing. By 1967, they were making music full time.
By 1991, Bill had formed a group called the Gaither Vocal Band and had been performing with them for several years. He pulled together some of his gospel music heroes to record a song for what he thought would be their final album. What took place that day was very special, and it was captured on video. Thus, the “Homecoming” series was born.
Over the decades, the Gaithers have won top honors in gospel music, including more than two dozen Dove awards, several Grammy awards, and receiving the Gospel Music Association’s “Songwriter of the Year” distinction multiple times.
Many of the songs sung in churches today were written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, including: Because He Lives, There’s Just Something About That Name and He Touched Me. In fact, together, the Gaithers have penned hundreds of gospel songs still used in worship settings today.
About the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association proclaims the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available. From its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association directs a wide range of domestic and international evangelism ministries, including: large-scale Festivals led by evangelists Franklin Graham and Will Graham; Dare to Be a Daniel, a youth evangelism training project; My Hope World Evangelism Through Television; the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, offering the hope of Jesus Christ in the midst of tragedy; and many others. Visit www.billygraham.org. Get news updates on Twitter at Twitter.com/BGEAMediaPR.
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