On April 14, 2016, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the unanimously passed Bill SJR0771, which recognizes Bill Gaither for his talent and contributions to gospel music.
The joint resolution was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly. The Friends of Gaither Music facebook page posted an excerpt from the bill and photo from the event. The excerpt reads "BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING, that we honor Bill Gaither for his many contributions to gospel music, salute his talent as a performing artist and songwriter, and recognize his singular contributions to gospel music."
An Indiana-born kid with an insatiable love for music, Bill Gaither 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."