SGMA Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Pigeon Forge, TN (May 16, 2019) — The Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) is pleased to announce the Class of 2019 SGMA Hall of Fame Inductees: Ruben Bean, Ernie Phillips, Jackie Wilburn and Gerald Wolfe. Each year, members of the SGMA nominate individuals to be inducted into the Hall of Fame that is located at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

SGMA President Arthur Rice stated, “We were so excited with the response of the SGMA members nominating their choices for the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame. The official induction ceremony will take place during the 2019 National Quartet Convention during a fundraising concert held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

Individuals are nominated and selected for their contribution to the industry of Southern Gospel music. After their induction, a bronze plaque will be displayed in the Hall of Fame with a hand carved portrait and a biography of their life devoted to our music.

For more information on the SGMA, log onto the website at, or visit them on Facebook at @thesgma.

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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.