The pages of history have been written by ordinary people who had something extraordinary to say with their lives. Bill Gaither is just such an individual… an Indiana-born kid with an insatiable love for music who grew to become an industry leader who would change the course of gospel music history through the songs he has written and through his influence as a mentor for other artists.
An avid fan of gospel quartets throughout his childhood, Bill founded his first group, The Bill Gaither Trio, in 1956, while he was a college student. He began teaching English in 1959 because his musical aspirations couldn’t support him full-time… yet. In 1962, Bill did one of the best things he has ever done. He married Gloria Sickal, who became the best writing partner Bill could have found anywhere. The couple spent the first five years of their married life juggling full-time teaching jobs, writing, singing, recording and publishing until music became their full-time career in 1967.
The collaborations of Bill and Gloria have resulted in more than 700 popular gospel songs, including the hymnal standard “Because He Lives,” “The King Is Coming,” “Something Beautiful,” “He Touched Me,” “It Is Finished,” “There’s Something About That Name,” “Let’s Just Praise The Lord,” and “Loving God, Loving Each Other.” Bill and Gloria have collectively won eight Grammy Awards and more than a dozen nominations, and they have received more than two dozen Dove Awards from The Gospel Music Association, earning the title of Gospel Music Association’s “Songwriter of the Year” eight times.
After decades of unprecedented musical successes, Bill and Gloria still operate their business from Bill’s hometown of Alexandria, Indiana, and they dwell in the same home in which they raised their family. They live a lifestyle focused on investing their resources into eternal things.
“Our calling is not just making music… but communicating the reality of Christ. That might mean birthing a song about Him or simply offering a cup of cold water to someone who needs it. Gloria and I have never claimed to have God figured out, but we do know that if He could use two imperfect people like us to communicate His Truth to the world, He can use everyone sitting in the audience, working on our staff or singing with us. 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.”
Married for more than forty-five years to her soul-mate and writing partner Bill Gaither, Gloria’s life has been an adventure. Bill and Gloria have shared a mutual commitment to a “larger purpose” and to that which is lasting. As a result of this philosophy, their union has produced over 700 songs, hundreds of recordings, numerous awards, a dozen musicals, a collection of books; and best of all, three children and seven grandchildren. In affirmation of their vast contribution to the gospel music industry they have been recipients of many Grammies and Dove Awards, the ASCAP Songwriters of the Century Award and have been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Gloria’s writing spans a wide range of subjects and genres; from children and family themes to devotional encouragement for women; from social commentary to scripts for video format; from song lyrics to magazine interviews. A lover of words, all of her written offerings grow out of an irrepressible habit of journaling. Gloria has always been a student of literature, with special interest in the works of John Steinbeck, and has contributed papers and reviews on his writing in a variety of academic settings. She has written over 40 books including titles for adults and children and created scripts for over 100 videos. All of these pursuits have won her the respect of the academic community with Honorary Doctorates from six universities. Out of a sincere heart to help young adults pursue excellence in their respective fields through Christian education, she has been a dynamic voice serving on the Board of Directors for both the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the United Christian College Fund. Gloria maintains an extensive speaking schedule. As an advocate of family preservation, living in the moment and unadulterated discipleship, Gloria has touched the hearts of audiences everywhere with her simple, yet profound message.