Indiana’s legendary musicians and songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither are featured in a new Destination Indiana journey chronicling their faith, family and career. Both Bill and Gloria were greatly influenced by their families and their Christian upbringings. Bill Gaither was raised in Alexandria, where he started music lessons as a child and became fascinated with gospel music. Gloria Sickal grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan, the daughter of a pastor who always had a love of literature and writing. Their paths intersected when they both taught at Alexandria High School in the early 1960s. They soon fell in love and discovered their compatibility as songwriting partners. The two were married in 1962 and, by the late 1960s, they left teaching to pursue a full-time music career.
The Gaithers have enjoyed a long and successful career in all aspects of the music business and beyond. Having written more than 700 songs together, they often write about the ways God works in their daily lives, as well as the lives of their family and friends. Some of their most well-known songs include “He Touched Me,” “Because He Lives” and “I Am a Promise.” Their performing ventures have included The Gaither Trio, Gaither Vocal Band and “Homecoming,” an acclaimed series of concerts, recordings and videos of some of gospel music’s greatest stars.
The Gaithers have received numerous Grammy and Gospel Music Association Dove awards for their songwriting, performances and albums. For their contributions to Indiana, they have received some of the state’s highest honors. In 2006, they were recognized as Living Legends by the Indiana Historical Society and, in 2008, they received the Sachem Award from Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Though their music career has taken them around the world, Bill and Gloria Gaither made family a top priority and kept their home base in Alexandria. Gaither Music Company and Gaither Studios are located there, as well as their retail center and restaurant at Gaither Family Resources.
See the Gaither journey, sponsored by Bill and Gloria Gaither, at the History Center or online at www.destination-indiana.com.