GMA Hall of Famer Gary McSpadden Dies at 77 After Battle with Cancer

Gary McSpadden (Twitter/The Oak Ridge Boys)

Award-winning gospel music star and pastor Gary McSpadden died Wednesday, April 15, after a weeks-long battle with cancer. He was 77.

McSpadden died at the Cancer Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was transferred from Cox Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, during his struggle with pancreatic cancer.

McSpadden’s wife, Carol, posted the news of her husband’s death on their church’s Facebook page.

“As most of you know Gary and I have been in Tulsa at the Cancer Treatment Center of America,” she wrote. “Gary has been battling cancer along with other complications over the last several weeks. This has been a quick and difficult journey we have been on. We knew this week that God had a plan and his healing would be here on earth or in heaven. As of 8:40 AM Pastor passed peacefully surrounded by his family into the arms of God. 2 Timothy 4:7 says I have fought a good fight I have finished my course and I have kept the faith. Pastor Gary fought hard, finished the race and was an unbelievable man of faith. I would like to thank all the Faith and Wisdom church family and all the many friends who have prayed with us during this time.”

Over 250 comments on Carol’s post expressed people’s sorrow over the loss of McSpadden.

McSpadden was born Jan. 26, 1943, in Lubbock, Texas. His parents, Boyd and Helen McSpadden, were both songwriters and raised McSpadden to sing and worship God in Boyd’s church, Faith Temple. That’s where McSpadden’s passion for music, worship and songwriting began.

At 18 years old, McSpadden replaced Jake Hess’ place as lead singer in the gospel group The Imperials. Five months later, he joined the Oaks Ridge Quartet, which soon afterward changed their name to the Oak Ridge Boys. He recorded three albums with the band: He Whispers Sweet Peace to Me (1962), With Sounds of Nashville (1962) and Folk Minded Spirituals for Spiritual Minded Folk (1963).

In 1964, McSpadden rejoined The Imperials and sang with Jake Hess until 1967. During this time, the band served as backup singers for Elvis Presley.

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SOURCE: Charisma News