Gaither Family Vocal Band to take Niswonger stage

VAN WERT — The Gaither Family Vocal Band has made a lot of history as one of the premier Christian groups in music.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, the band, comprising of founder Bill Gaither, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb, Todd Suttles and Reggie Smith, will perform at Van Wert’s Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

“Well, I just look forward every night to going out there with Mr. Gaither, who is 87 years old now and just truly a living legend,” Kevin Williams, who has played guitar with the band for 30 years, said. “It’s a unique experience for me to walk out on stage with and so every night is a little different and very special. I love how he can pull a crowd into a worship setting in these big buildings and after a little bit, they’re all singing like they’re in one living room around the piano. It’s truly amazing to see him do what he’s gifted to do and called to do.”

Fans can expect the same great performance that the band has been known for this weekend.

“The Gaithers have always been multigenerational and that’s quite an appeal to younger people too,” Williams said. “So it’s always cool to me to talk with the people afterward as they’re leaving and hear their stories surrounding Gaither music. It was a pivotal part of their life in one way or another as they were going through something or they’ll never forget the first time they hear this song.”

For now, the band is primarily consumed with touring, but Williams said that they have plenty of projects in the works.

“We’re getting ready to release another project very soon that we’ve just about got completed,” he said. “We’re always doing new video content and our Youtube channel just stays busy as it can be. And we’re traveling on what we call the ‘Gaither Vocal Band and Friends Tour’, which used to be called the homecoming tour. But we have more tour plans coming up along with a cruise that we’ll be doing.”

Williams had nothing but praise for Gaither, whom he called a good coach and a visionary, and said that he would hope that would be among the things the audience took away from the show.

“I think it’s pretty obvious when somebody’s committed their life as he has to this art form,” he said. “There is more in it than just singing for him and I think you can come away with a sense of a man who loves the Lord and loves the message and loves singing and creating harmony. And I think you can come away lighter than you went in and uplifted in some way.”

Williams, who also is known as a comedian, said that he likes to make the audience laugh during the show.

“I love to lighten the mood a bit and we have a lot of fun through the evening so that you can relax a little bit and accept an idea that is powerful and that can change you’re life,” he said. “I think you will expect to be encouraged and walk away lighter than you went in.”

Bill and his wife Gloria Gaither were recognized as among the best songwriters of the century by the American Society of Composers and Publishers and have written close to 800 songs.

“The styles come and go, but it seems like they adapt to the times and they’re just as current as they ever were in my book,” Williams said. “It’s really cool to see and we’ll still do some of the hits that everybody knows and loves, but then you’re going to get a lot of new material too. I hope that I’m doing that when I’m their age and that I’m just as viable out there rocking.”

Tickets for the concert are on sale now at the Niswonger website and at


WHAT: Gaither Vocal Band in concert

WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Niswonger Performing Arts Center, 10700 state Route 118, Van Wert

Tickets start at $69 and are available at

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.