Stephen Hill Passes Away; Funeral Arrangements Announced

ORIGINAL POST, SUNDAY, 10:04 P.M.: Several Southern Gospel performers, including Jeff & Sheri Easter, Karen Peck Gooch, and Shawn Degenhart (who performed with Hill in the Heritage Harmony Quartet), are reporting that soloist Stephen Hill passed away suddenly today after a heart attack. He was in Lumberton, North Carolina for a concert at Antioch Baptist Church (Wesley Pritchard’s home church) (UPDATE: Early reports that it was Pritchard’s home church appear to be incorrect.)

Hill was best known for his Gaither Homecoming appearances as a soloist. He was also on the Heritage Harmony Quartet’s debut recording, which we gave a five-star rating here.

UPDATE, 7 AM 8/6/12: The Gaither organization has officially confirmed Stephen Hill’s passing. He suffered a massive heart attack during soundcheck for yesterday evening’s concert. They added:

Stephen was a “gentle giant” with a kind, soft-spoken nature and a tenor voice as versatile as it was beautiful. He had a sincere heart for people and for sharing the hope of Christ with audiences throughout his career. He was dearly loved by his friends, family and the music community. 

Stephen is survived by his wife, Kathy, and their three children, Melody, Miriam, and Caleb.

UPDATE, 8:58 AM, 8/7/12: Funeral plans, via Woody Wright on Facebook:

I hope everyone will make plans to be with us on Monday August 13 at Grace Church of the Nazarene near Opryland in Nashville at 1 PM. Kathy, Melody, Miriam and Caleb appreciate your prayers as they deal with the shock and grief of this sudden, unexpected tragedy. They have asked for a great celebration of Stephen’s extraordinary life.

UPDATE, 9:25 PM, 8/7/12: Updated time for service: The funeral will be at 3:00 pm Monday, August 13; visitation will be (before) 1:00-3:00pm.

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!