AGM “The Red Back Hymnal” Writer Rev. William “Bill” Lloyd Passes Away

Bill Lloyd

WOOD RIVER, IL – November 15, 2017 – Beloved staff writer Bill Lloyd passed away this week. Rev. William “Bill” Lloyd, 71, passed away at 10:57 p.m. Sunday, November 12, 2017 at Rosewood Care Center in Alton, Illinois.

Bill became the author of one of’s most read monthly articles, “The Redback Hymnal” several years ago. He is also the first cousin of the site’s owner and CEO Deon Unthank and brother of sought-after songwriter Janice Crow.

Deon Unthank stated, “Bill was a quiet guy as a youngster. He didn’t join in the baseball games at the family reunions, but he was always there. When I formed my first group, we would practice at my aunt’s house. It was always warm and welcome as my cousins Donnie and Janice who were essential in helping form the group were there for practice and their brother Bill was there too, not singing, but cheering us on and one of our biggest fans. Later in life, Bill approached me about the idea of an article for about the songs of the Red Back Hymnal. It was such a success that the natural thing to do was let him write one every month. It quickly became the most popular article in our E-zine.”

Continuing Deon said, “Bill’s support and enthusiasm about his article and the AGM site continued to grow and was only natural to gravitate to become the biggest fan of his songwriter sister, Janice Crow as her efforts began to gain national attention. Bill was a big supporter and encourager not only of AGM and his sister, but a huge fan of the Red Back Hymnal, becoming an expert on the history of the songs and authors of the widely used song book. Bill was a silent hero of mine and he will be missed greatly.”

Born in Godfrey on July 23, 1946, he was the son of Orban and Opal (Wells) Lloyd.He had worked for J.C. Penney for over 35 years before retiring.

Surviving are his brother, Don (Judy) Lloyd of Bethalto; sisters, Darlene (Jerry) Stein of Greenfield, Janice (Bruce) Crow of Rosewood Heights, Sheryl (Joel) Satterfield of Springfield; and several nieces and nephews.

 Visitation will be from 9:00 until time of service at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the Bethalto Church of God in Bethalto, Illinois. Pastor Shea Hughes will officiate. Private burial will be in Woodland Hill Cemetery in East Alton, Illinois.

Bill had no insurance so a Go Fund Me account has been set up so that you can help with Bill’s final expenses. To help the Lloyd family use the following link: 


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Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.