GVB to appear at Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting is being held this week in Indianapolis, Indiana. That last detail could shed some light on what would otherwise be a slightly surprising item in the schedule: In this morning’s opening session, from 9:05-9:15 AM, the Gaither Vocal Band will be doing a music feature.

What makes this slightly surprising is that at least the Gaither part of the Gaither Vocal Band isn’t Southern Baptist. (I believe his church affiliation is with the Church of God (Anderson). But perhaps it is due to the local connection, as Gaither is unquestionably one of the best-known artists in any genre of Christian music based in Central Indiana.

A link to watch live streaming video of conference proceedings is available on the conference’s main page. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.] So if you want to catch their appearance, tune in at 9:05 AM EST this morning.

Update (6/11/08, 9:28 AM): Here is the video. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.] Interestingly, in the onscreen identification, they’re listed as “Gaither Vocal Band – Contemporary Christian Artists.”

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31 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Why not. (no pun intended) His songs are in the Baptist Hymnal, which is used in many Southern Baptist Churches.

  2. I just caught the last minute or two–it looks as though the program is running early today.

    But I also saw a link on the left for archived sessions, so I’m hoping they will archive it.

  3. Unless Marshall Hall is Baptist, I think GVB is a Baptist free zone at this point! 🙂

  4. Yes, there are Gaither songs in the Baptist hymnal. And no, to my knowledge none of the GVB members attend Baptist churches. However, Bill Gaither has never affiliated his songs, the Vocal Band, or any part of his music ministry with any particular religious denomination, therefore leaving him free to perform/have his music in any type of print or venue.

    Personally, I’ll admit to being a bit jealous towards my pastor and his wife today. I attend First Baptist Church here in my town and my pastor and his wife are at the convention now in Indianapolis. So they we’re among the fortunate ones to hear the GVB this morning. I agree, Daniel, I hope they archive it!

  5. Posted on the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting website:
    “The Gaither Vocal Band performed for more than 7,000 messengers June 10 during the first day of the two-day 151st annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The Christian band gave away five gifts of $1,000 to individuals at the meeting who promised to “Give It Away,” which is the title of one of the songs they performed.”
    When I saw them in Atlanta, they gave out $200 gifts to be given away. Guess they caught more attention by giving out $1,000 gifts at the convention! Wish I could have heard it. I didn’t see anything on the website about archiving the performance, so if anyone knows about this, please let the rest of us know!

  6. To view the Gaither Vocal Band singing at the convention, click on this link:

    scroll down to:
    Special Music by The Gaither Vocal Band
    Music from the GVB

    click on:
    View Now!

    follow the instructions!

    News article about Bill Gaither and GVB at the opening day of the 151st annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention yesterday in Indianapolis.


  7. Thanks! I checked this morning around 6:30 or 7 AM, and it wasn’t up yet, but at least it is now.

  8. Guy Penrod is very much Southern Baptist.

  9. Alan, Grigs (#4) seems to think otherwise. Do you know Guy, or know for sure he’s Southern Baptist?

    I just ask since this is a little interesting, with commenters going each way.

  10. Well, I know he grew up southern baptist his dad being a baptist preacher. He went to Jerry Falwell’s church for many years (It was an independent baptist church but several years ago it joined the southern Bpatist convention) I think he attends Christs’ Church in Nashville quite often – which is a popular church for Nashville celebrities. He also did attend Three Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville at times. He and Larry Gatlin were a frequent part of that music program from time to time. I really don’t know what church he is a member of at this time.

  11. That is a lot of interesting information. Thanks!

  12. Wes Hampton of GVB is also Southern Baptist. He is a member of The Church of Brook Hills in Alabama – where he was on staff before joining the GVB. It is a large Southern Baptist church that does not use the name Baptist. That is very popular now to be a Baptist Church but drop the name Baptist. Saddleback in California (Rick Warren’s church) started that trend.

  13. Seems like we are getting hung up in denominational identity regarding the artists.
    I am a strong believer in belonging to denomination because where you have many followers (members/attenders) that you all in once accord regarding a doctrine which gives the local church the ability to do great and mighty things for the Lord.
    Many members of a denomination choose to serve Christ within the network of a denomination. Evangelists, singing groups, pastors, Christian workers and worship directors find that it is an instant network providing meet the higher calling of God and the maintain the standards of a doctrine statement of a denomination.
    Some choose to go the independent route for a church which is good, too.
    Artist working across denominational lines have more thing to keep in mind these day than just the doctrinal statements of the churches or venues on their schedule.
    Worship style cannot be stereotyped by denomination.
    You might see a southern gospel artist singing the olde tyme gospel songs on Saturday night but on following morning leading praise and worship service with all the extras that goes with it in the home church.
    As far as southern gospel music or any other Christian music, accepting John 3:16 to fullest far outweigh what your favorite artist denomination ties.
    What you do after John 3:16 is between Jesus Christ and you plus your local church.

    Here are some denomination to start:

    By the way, Guy Penrod graduated from Liberty University and Guy’s family were guests of Thomas Road Baptist Church for the opening the new TRBC’s new sanctuary.

    Mark Lowry graduated from Liberty Unversity. Mark is Baptist. I know that as a good comedian do not make fun of other denominations.

    Jerry Goff is Baptist too. He tells the story about a Baptist preacher taking a lifeguard job at the beach. The preacher’s wife visited the preacher at the beach. The preacher stood up on the chair yelling “There’s one,” oh “There one,” and “Oh, There one more over there.”

  14. They stand in front of the SBC convention and choose to do the John Wayne song?? Scratching my head at that one…

  15. I thought that I read that Wes was Minister of Music at a Nazarene Church. Regardless, I could listen to him sing “There’s Always A Place At The Table” all day.

  16. Here’s the real information about Wes Hampton from his blog:

    (bottom of the page on his blog)

  17. i think Gaither was in the Nazerene Church… or at least he was at one time.

  18. My dad has told me that Bill at least used to be in the Church of God Anderson. (Dunno if that’s at all the same as Alexandria …) That’s the church our landlord belongs to, and I guess he claims that Bill is still a member of the church. But I don’t know what/who their sources are.

    That church is said to be a branch off of the Church of God Holiness, or the other way around – I don’t remember. (I being in another holiness denomination, it’s a topic I’m somewhat interested in.)

  19. Thanks for catching that! I believe you are right that it is Church of God (Anderson), so I edited my original post.

  20. Actually, I didn’t catch anything until I went to type it myself … I scrolled up to see how you’d spelled it, and realized it wasn’t even what you’d said. 🙂

  21. I believe Gaither was first Nazarene and then later Church of God. Alexandria is a small town. Anderson is much larger. I think they are around 10-12 miles apart, but I could be remembering wrong.

  22. #22 is right on the mark with his information.

    Praise & worship styles, way before worship & praise became the “in” the thing, between Nazarenes, Church of God (any kind), UPC, Foursquare or A/G closely were very simliar.
    Yes, you can count some Baptist churches in that number. Matter of fact some Baptist’s had more life than some churches in the above mentioned denominations.
    They had hand clapping, hand clapping on the choruses of the hymns, song leader kept the song service going as the Holy Spirit’s leads, band/orchestra at the service on Sunday nights.

    The above denominations is almost like a farm system that baseball has developed over the years for any kind of gospel music.
    Preschool children start with have a pass with a ball, playing tee-ball, farm league, little league and on we go
    Same in gospel music.
    Like a Anthony Burger or a Gordon Mote who started playing a piano some afternoon with a song like “Jesus Loves Me.”
    The same applies to many children in the Sunday school program at their local church. Sing anywhere and anytime was the cry at these denominations.
    Check out the background of many of your favorite artists either sang or began their formal singing at a bible school, institute or college.

    The uncommon thread between the these denominations is what you do in your deeper life experience or relationship with Jesus Christ after salvation.
    The denominations just take different roads on God’s map to get to Heaven.

  23. FYI. Guy Penrod is Southern Baptist. He attends every Sunday he’s home with all his family and is a member of our church. His in-laws also are members. It’s First Baptist Church of Columbia, TN. A great church filled with a lot of God-loving people. Come join us sometime!!

  24. Thanks for clearing that up!

  25. I was a Southern Baptist for a large portion of my life and these types of opinions are a big reason I left the Baptist church. Nowhere in the Bible does God or God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, say that you have to be a Southern Baptist to praise God or to go to heaven. God loves us all and desires our praise and if that is achieved by listening to someone of another denomination. So be it! God did not set aside or assign denominations. These are a work of man. Jesus did not exclude anyone or require they become a Southern Baptist. Only to accept him as their Savior and be Baptized in the Spirit. I’m sure Bill Gaither has done both of these things. Jesus was baptized in the river not in a Southern Baptist Church. I would listen to any of you sing at my church convention without hesitation because you are children of God just as I am and Bill Gaither is.

  26. #26, I didn’t see any comments on here that even insinuated that you have to be Southern Baptist to make it to Heaven. I’m SB, but I have no doubt that my Pentecostal, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Nazarene, and whatever else friends will be right there with me in Heaven. It sounds like you had a bad experience in a Baptist church, but please don’t paint us all with that brush. AFAIK, the SBC is not an exclusivity denomination (you have to be SB to get to Heaven). I’ve never heard that preached or taught in any SB church I’ve been in.

  27. Wes, you’re right. The Baptists aren’t denominationally exclusive. But—and good for them!—they still teach that you have to be a Christian to go to Heaven.

    I guess some people would call that exclusive, but exclusive or not, it’s the Gospel truth.

  28. Agreed Daniel. I’ve actually belonged to Southern and American Baptist churches (there weren’t any SBCs in WV), and neither held to the denominational exclusivity belief. The couple my parents sang with were Methodists, they used to joke that if they could get along, anyone could!

  29. I guess what I really was trying to say is does it really matter whether any of the GVB are Baptist when they are sharing God’s word at the Southern Baptist Convention?
    Also, while I was in the Baptist church I attended a class taught be the minister which taught us all the things that were wrong with all the other denominations and why we were the only ones that were right and he haad a Doctorate degree from a Baptist University.

  30. We have been looking for you guys for years. You just were having your first baby,so how long has that been. Bill your forgotten bro misses you all and all of yours the best. Please give us a call.

    [edit: Out of privacy concerns, we don’t put individuals’ phone numbers or home addresses online. Bill, if you would like to get in touch with sue, contact editor@southerngospeljournal.com and this information will be forwarded to you.]

    • Att: to Ernie and Cindy Detallo
      We sent a message to the church. hope hear from you soon

      Bill and Mom