bransonglobe.com LOCAL • McSPADDEN Continued from page 1 er, a true pastor, said Shawn. “He was a leader in spreading the Word of God through teaching, singing, writing and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” In 2009 McSpadden, and his wife Carol began pastoring church services at The Americana Theatre. They founded Faith And Wisdom Church (FWC) in Hollister in 2010 then moved to Branson, 3950 Green Mountain Drive. Many of McSpadden’s services and messages can be found online at fwcbranson.com and on YouTube. The Celebration of Life Memorial included special songs by the Faith and Wisdom Church Choir, directed by Doug Morris. McSpadden’s five grandchildren Chase, Carley and Cole Smith, Taylor and Brooks McSpadden shared memories of their granddad. Brooks and Taylor McSpadden spoke of how much fun they had with him. ”He loved fiercely,” Taylor said. “He taught me love is a verb an adjective and a noun. Because of my Pawpa, I know how to better love.” Grandson Cole Smith said, “He is no longer on earth, but he is where he has always wanted to be.” Church members Ken Rinsing and Jon Todd were among those Gary McSpadden, far right, when he sang with the original Gaither Vocal Band. (Special to Branson Globe) Gary McSpadden’s grandchildren shared special memories of their grandfather. (Photo by Marshall Meadows) that shared their experiences working alongside McSpadden. Due to limited travel because of the COVID-19 virus Gospel recording artists Clay Crosse, Michael English, The Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin and Bill and Gloria Gaither sent messages to talk about their relationships with McSpadden through video presentations. “I had gone to Memphis for an event,” said Crosse. “I gave Gary a demo tape. He was kind and encouraged me. He said he would listen to the tape and he did.” McSpadden called Clay, left a message and asked to meet with him in Nashville. “It was the beginning of a solid career and meeting Gary opened that door for me,” Crosse said. Crosse then sang a portion of ‘I Surrender All,’ the song that launched his career. McSpadden grew up in West Texas and attended a church with the Gatlin family. Larry Gatlin sent a personal video message and spoke of having known McSpadden as a child. He also talked of the great friend McSpadden had been. “I love that family,” he said, then sang the old gospel hymn, “Precious Memories” accapella. The Oakridge Boys spoke of McSpadden’s love for people. They also spoke of his impact on their lives, then sang “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” a classic quartet number. Michael English said he got to know McSpadden when he called and asked him to join the Gaither Vocal Band. “After spending time with him, I felt like family,” English said. “I loved him so much. Rest in His arms Gary.” His sister Cheryl “McSpadden” Kartsonakis spoke about how her brother had been her protector. “He was strong, stable and committed,” she said. “He was a loving brother, Godly and with a great sense of humor and a teacher, for July 29 - 30, 2020 • 3 sure. I loved him so much. I can’t believe he is gone.” McSpadden enjoyed golfing, fishing, listening to or singing music and writing songs. He loved the church, but his greatest joy was the love and passion he had for his family. McSpadden’s Son-in law Ron Smith, married to their daughter Michelle, brought a golf club up to the podium to share some humorous, as well as touching, stories about his father-in-law. He worked as road manager for McSpadden and spoke of how he learned a great deal from him. “Gary did so much for me,” he SEE McSPADDEN, PAGE 9

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