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Grammy Award-winning songwriter Bill Gaither sits down with ONU President for historic chapel interview

Posted: Mar 27, 2013

Eight Grammy awards. Gospel Music Association’s songwriter of the year eight times. ASCAP’s songwriter of the century. Bill Gaither has it all. But as he told Olivet students, there is so much more than what the world has to offer.

During his conversation with Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, in the chapel service on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, Bill spoke about what God has taught him.

“After I live my life, I’d like people to say that I was a generous person,” he said.

“Most people don’t ever get to generosity,” he continued. “There’s a step you have to take to get there, and that’s personal responsibility.” He gave examples of several celebrities who lost everything they had earned, including their lives, because they didn’t learn this.

Dr. Bowling cited Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

With more than 50 years of marriage to his wife, Gloria, and a stellar career, Bill said that one of the best days of his life was when he “met Jesus at the Waffle House” by anonymously buying a meal for a homeless man.

Well known for their philanthropy, Bill and Gloria Gaither are involved in many charitable causes, including giving college scholarships at several Christian universities and ministry to the homeless through Wheeler Mission Ministries in Indiana.

“We are thankful for the resources that our awards have created,” Bill said. “And we are thankful for the opportunities to help someone else along the way.”

Bill’s challenge to Olivet students: “You have to start managing your finances today: 1/3 for you, 1/3 for tomorrow, 1/3 for others. Elvis Presley missed the last 30 years of his life because he didn’t understand this.”

Gloria Gaither, Bill's wife, will be speaking at ONU’s Ladies Day event on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Centennial Chapel. More information and registration available here.

Average ACT composite score of last year's incoming freshmen