Top Southern Gospel Groups

A List of the Best Southern Gospel Groups

In the late 19th Century, Southern Gospel was the genre that started bringing religious songs outside of the church. What started out as all-male, mostly a cappella quartets, has grown and evolved to include solo artists, female and mixed groups and full musical instrumentation.

The Dove Awards first award for Southern Gospel Album of the Year was handed out in 1976 and the first award for Southern Gospel Song of the Year was given in 1989.

Karen Peck and New River 2016
Karen Peck and New River. The Harper Agency

Karen Peck started singing professionally in 1981 with The Nelons. She remained with the group for 10 years before she felt like God was calling her to take the next step in her musical journey.

Karen Peck and New River was born when she and her husband, Rickey, teamed up with her sister, Susan, to form a group.

Karen Peck and New River Members:

  • Karen Peck Gooch
  • Susan Peck Jackson
  • Ricky Braddy

Karen Peck and New River Starter Songs:

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Tribute Quartet
Tribute Quartet. Tribute Quartet

The Tribute Quartet formed in 2006, and within two years, had been named the "Horizon Group of the Year" at the National Quartet Convention.

With a purpose of "preserving the heritage and promoting the future of Southern Gospel music," these four men bring the sounds of yesterday to life while providing a glimpse into the songs of tomorrow.

Tribute Quartet Members:

  • Gary Casto
  • Josh Singletary
  • Riley Harrison Clark
  • Anthony Davis

Tribute Quartet Starter Songs:

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The Ball Brothers
The Ball Brothers. The Ball Brothers

Andrew and Daniel Ball, their brother-in-law Chad McCloskey, and Matt Davis, form the group called The Ball Brothers. The brothers grew up in central Illinois and were singing at early ages.

The band was introduced to the Southern Gospel world in 2006 on the Ernie Haase and Signature Sound Summer Tour.

In 2010, they were nominated as the Horizon Group of the Year by the Singing News, and their CD, Breakthrough, was nominated for album of the year by the Southern Gospel News.

The Ball Brothers Members:

  • Andrew Ball
  • Daniel Ball
  • Chad McCloskey
  • Matt Davis

Past members include Stephen Ball (who left the group in 2012 due to major hearing loss), Andy Tharp, Cody McVey, Joshua Ball, and Joshua Gibson.

The Ball Brothers Starter Songs:

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Greater Vision
Greater Vision. Daywind Records

The trio known as Greater Vision has been touching audiences around the world since 1990.

With over 200 performances a year and 30+ releases, they have become the most awarded trio in the history of Gospel music with awards for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Video of the Year, and Artist of the Year.

Greater Vision Members:

  • Chris Allman (Tenor)
  • Rodney Griffin (Baritone)
  • Gerald Wolfe (Lead)

Greater Vision Starter Songs:

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The Hoppers
The Hoppers. Spring Hill Music Group

The Hoppers got their start in 1957 when brothers Claude, Will, Steve, Paul and Monroe Hopper started singing.

They went on to become The Hopper Brothers and Connie, and before long, Claude and Connie were man and wife.

The Hoppers Members:

  • Claude Hopper
  • Connie Hopper
  • Dean Hopper
  • Kim Hopper
  • Michael Hopper
  • Karlye Hopper

The Hoppers Starter Songs:

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Booth Brothers
Booth Brothers. Booth Brothers

Brothers Ronnie and Michael Booth started singing with their dad, Ron Sr., in 1990. When he retired in 1998, the boys carried on the tradition with Jim Brady.

The trio has been winning awards ever since, including Trio of the Year, Male Group of the Year, Best Live Performer of the Year and Song of the Year.

Booth Brothers Members:

  • Ronnie Booth
  • Michael Booth
  • Paul Lancaster

Former members include Charles Booth, James Booth, Wallace Booth, Ron Booth, sr., Joseph Smith, and Jim Brady.

Booth Brothers Starter Songs:

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Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

In Europe, people refer to Ernie Haase & Signature Sound as "Ambassadors of Joy" because their message of hope and joy comes through every note of their performances.

In the US, they're known as Dove Award winners and a favorite group in Southern Gospel circles.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Members:

  • Ernie Haase (Tenor)
  • Devin McGlamery (Lead)
  • Dustin Doyle (Baritone)
  • Paul Harkey (Bass)
  • Tyler Vestal (Piano)

​The past members of Ernie Haase & Signature include Tim Duncan, Ian Owens, Wayne Haun, Gordon Mote, Garry Jones, Wesley Pritchard, Roy Webb, Shane Dunlap, Doug Anderson, and Ryan Seaton.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Starter Songs:

  • "Right Place, Right Time" (Purchase)
  • "He Made A Change" (Live Version) (Purchase)
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gaither-vocal-band-2014.jpg
Gaither Vocal Band. Gaither Music

The Gaither Vocal Band, led by the legendary Bill Gaither, started up backstage before a Bill Gaither Trio concert in the early 1980s with just four guys singing around a piano.

They sounded so good that Bill decided they should see what the audience thought. They went on stage and the rest, as they say, is history.

Gaither Vocal Band Members:

  • Bill Gaither
  • David Phelps
  • Wes Hampton
  • Adam Crabb
  • Todd Suttles

The Gaither Vocal Band has had many other members throughout the years:

  • Buddy Mullins
  • Gary McSpadden
  • Guy Penrod
  • Jim Murray
  • Jon Mohr
  • Jonathan Pierce
  • Larnelle Harris
  • Lee Young
  • Lemuel Miller
  • Mark Lowry
  • Marshall Hall
  • Michael English
  • Russ Taff
  • Steve Green
  • Terry Franklin

Gaither Vocal Band Starter Songs:

  • "I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary" (Purchase)
  • "There Is A River" (Purchase)
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Gold City
Gold City. Beckie Simmons Agency

Since 1980, Gold City has been wowing fans and winning awards. They're based out of Gadsden, Alabama. 

Gold City Band Members:

  • Bryan Elliott (Pianist)
  • Chris West
  • Daniel Riley (Baritone)
  • Scott Brand
  • Thomas Nalley

Tim Riley, Jerry Pelfrey and Robert Fulton were previous members of Gold City.

Gold City Starter Songs:

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The Collingsworth Family
The Collingsworth Family. The Collingsworth Family

The Collingsworth Family got their start at a church camp in Petersburg, Michigan, in 1986. In 2000, they shifted to a new, all-concert ministry.

The Collingsworth Family Members:

  • Phil Collingsworth
  • Kim Collingsworth
  • Brooklyn Collingsworth
  • Courtney Collingsworth
  • Phillip Collingsworth
  • Olivia Collingsworth

The Collingsworth Family Starter Songs:

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The Freemans
The Freemans. The Freemans

For the past 30+ years, members of The Freemans have been involved in Southern Gospel music. From Darrell's time with the Pathways to Chris's time with the Hinsons, as individuals, they've learned every aspect of the industry. As The Freemans, they've spent 20 years ministering to fans.

The Freemans Members:

  • Chris Freeman (Vocals)
  • Darrell Freeman (Vocals/Bass)
  • Joe Freeman (Vocals/Piano)
  • Misty Freeman (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar)
  • Caylon Freeman (Drums)

The Freemans Starter Songs:

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The Kingsmen 2014
The Kingsmen 2014. The Kingsmen

Since 1956, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame group, Kingsmen Quartet, has been celebrating Jesus through music.

Known as the Carolina Boys for three years in the early 2000s, the group has been home to many of the genre's legends and has won countless awards and accolades. 

Kingsmen Quartet Members:

  • Ray Reese (Bass)
  • Josh Horrell (Tenor)
  • Randy Crawford (Baritone)
  • Bob Sellers (Lead)
  • Brandon Reese (Sound technician)

See Wikipedia for a full list of past members in the band Kingsmen Quartet, organized by year since 1956.

Kingsmen Quartet Starter Songs:

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