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Southern Gospel Music Guild Honors Bill and Gloria Gaither
The SGMG (Southern Gospel Music Guild) recognized Bill and Gloria Gaither with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at a special VIP reception held during the 2008 National Quartet Convention. Newly elected SGMG President, Judy Nelon presented the honor where a group of industry friends and colleagues gathered to share in the special occasion. The afternoon celebration included congratulations and numerous stories from Les Beasley, NQC Executive Vice-President Clarke Beasley, ASCAP's Dan Keen, Ken and Lisa Abraham, Ben Speer and Sue Dodge. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who exhibits and upholds the SGMG Mission Statement which states, "With Jesus Christ as our cornerstone, to create a cooperative environment designed to encourage excellence, education, awareness and growth, while preserving the essence of Southern Gospel Music" over a lifetime. Bill and Gloria concluded the event with separate speeches of appreciation to the southern gospel industry and the SGMG. The celebratory afternoon of recognition was sponsored by the National Quartet Convention.

Judy Nelon, SGMG president and organizer of the lifetime honor stated, "Having the opportunity to pay tribute and recognize Bill and Gloria Gaither for their significant contributions in southern gospel music is one of my greatest honors. It is impossible to separate one from the other as both Bill and Gloria have been successful in their collaborations together as well as individuals: by composing over 700 songs, performing with the Gaither Trio, Gaither Vocal Band and for over ten years now with the phenomena recognized around the world as the Gaither Video and Television series."

Since they first joined their destinies in 1963, the "First Couple of Gospel Music" has written more than 700 songs and forever changed the landscape of contemporary inspirational music. Yet to know the Gaithers is to know humility, an abiding faith in God, a commitment to family and a love of all people. They still live on the 15 acres in Alexandria they bought for $3,800 in 1964, and in between Bill's 150 Homecoming dates and video shoots around the world and Gloria's ever-increasing demand as an author and motivational speaker, they still find time to spend with their three children, Suzanne, Amy and Benjy and their six grandchildren.

For more information on the SGMG, log on to www.sgmg.org.
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