Small business award finalist has big reputation
Story by Kyle Morey | 2.4.14
Brianna Dill, General Manager of Gaither Music Co. | Photo by Dale Pickett Photography
Their songs are in church hymnals used across the country. Their music has been embraced and recorded by such famous national artists as Elvis Presley. They have a place alongside Rev. Billy Graham in the Christian Booksellers Association Hall of Fame.
But through all the impressive successes, Bill and Gloria Gaither have remained true to their roots. Because of that, Gaither Music Co. in Alexandria has become a small-town wonder. It is one of three finalists for the Madison County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award. Incorporated in 1971, Gaither Music Co. has continued to embrace simple goals in what has become a complex music industry.
“The music industry is a constantly changing business, from sheet music and albums to cassettes and VHS, then to DVDs and CDs and now digital downloads,” the Gaithers said. “You have to adapt to new technology while staying true to your core mission.”
And that core mission is summed up in six short words – “Loving God and loving each other.”
Some faithful church members may not realize that the familiar hymns their congregation sings each Sunday – like “Because He Lives,” “Something Beautiful” and “There’s Something About That Name,” just to name a few – were written by a couple that continues to reside in Alexandria, Ind.
Bill Gaither was born and raised in Madison County. In 2008, when receiving the Sachem Award, Indiana’s highest honor, Gaither reflected on why Madison County remains his home.
“I am proud of my Indiana roots,” he said then. “Gloria and I have been quite intentional in our choice to reside in this community that loved and supported us before anyone else knew our names.” As voices are raised in their Alexandria studios, the Gaithers are, at the same, raising thousands of dollars for worthy causes. One of their 2013 highlights was a Gaither Homecoming Christmas Concert at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse that raised more than $600,000 for Wheeler Mission.
When asked what single word best describes the culture or attitude of their company, the Gaithers offered a powerful, one word reply.
They have been faithfully serving God and their community since 1971, when Gaither Music and Spring House were incorporated. Gaither Studio was opened in 1994 and Gaither Family Resources followed in 1996.
But Bill Gaither’s musical roots are even deeper than that. He was still a teenager when he formed the Bill Gaither trio with his brother, Danny, and his sister, Mary Ann.
Today, that family effort has gone from its humble beginnings to a nationally-known company, retail store, restaurant, concert touring group and music sales.
Former Gov. Mitch Daniels summed up the Gaithers’ efforts – and the value they have brought to Indiana – when he presented the Sachem Award to them in 2008.
“With all the success they have achieved, the Gaithers still live with us, in the house in which they raised their children, in the way in which they raised those children, in the way in which they and their music have spoken to us and the better angels of our nature now for 50-plus years.”
3 finalists. 1 winner. Who will add their name to the Wall of Fame? The Small Business of the Year award honors a Madison County-owned and MCC member company that has been in business five or more years and has fewer than 100 employees. The company must demonstrate the following characteristics to be nominated and must excel above others to win: demonstrate visible growth and achievements, adhere to the company's brand promise, and invest in the community both through business and community support. > View past award winners
It's a night of celebration. It's a night of toasting. It's a night of standing ovations and surprises. Over 300 business, civic, and community leaders (and family) join in honoring greatness among us. Winners of this award, as well as the Emerging Business of the Year and Non-Profit of the Year, will be announced at the MCC 2014 Annual Awards Gala held on March 6, 2014 from 6 to 9 pm at the Madison Park Church of God.
Tickets can be purchased online or by calling Amy at 765-642-0264.
The 2014 Gala is sponsored in part by Community Hospital Anderson.
> Back to MEET THE AWARD FINALISTS