Deon Unthank, Founder & CEO of, Passes Away

Charles Deon Unthank, 74, of Lebanon, TN, passed peacefully into the arms of his Savior on Friday, December 17, 2021 at TriStar Summit in Hermitage, TN. Deon was born in East St. Louis, IL on December 8, 1947. He was a faithful member of Church of God Worship & Ministry Center in Lebanon.

Deon was an ordained minister and Gospel music singer. He founded, the industry’s leading website dedicated to Southern Gospel music, over 20 years ago where he gained prominence as an industry leader. In addition, he traveled with his own Gospel music group, The Sunday Edition, for over 25 years. 

He is survived by his current wife Tammie (Gleaves) Unthank; children Aaron (Teri) Unthank, Leslie Unthank, Amy Marie (Mike) Zika, and Christopher (Noel) Unthank; step-children Olivia (Loren) Dougherty, Caleb (Cynthia) Midgett, and Hope (Brandon) Ivey; grandchildren Eli & Anna Cate Unthank; Donavan, Ashlee, & Emma Hill; Reilly, Hunter, Claress, & Layne Zika; Canaan, Asher, Noah, & Eleanor Unthank; Noah, Mary, & Moses Dougherty; Mallory & Aidan Grooms; Amelia & Mariah Midgett; and Benjamin Ivey; sisters Brenda (Harold) Downing and Cheryl (Gene) Gray, along with nieces and a nephew.

Deon is preceded in death by his previous wife Susan (Favre) Unthank, parents Bill & Evadean Unthank, step-son Scott Bandy, and niece Christy Gray.

A funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at Church of God Worship & Ministry Center (1007 Hartsville Pk, Lebanon, TN) at 2 PM. The family will be receiving friends and family from 12-2 PM. In addition, a special Celebration of Life Concert in honor of Deon’s accomplishments in the field of Gospel music will be held after the new year. More details will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Sunday Edition, Inc. (dba to help cover medical and funeral costs. You can donate here: . 

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Absolutely Gospel Music
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.