1876–1952

January 15, 1876, on a farm in Bled­soe Coun­ty, Ten­nes­see.

June 26, 1952, Day­ton, Ten­nes­see.

But­tram Cem­e­tery, Day­ton, Ten­nes­see.

portrait

Winsett grad­u­ated from the Bow­man Nor­mal School of Mu­sic in 1899, and founded the R. E. Win­sett Song Book Pub­lish­ing Com­pa­ny around 1903.

His first book, Win­sett’s Fav­o­rite Songs, became pop­u­lar in the south­east Unit­ed States among the Free Will Bap­tist, Gen­er­al Bap­tists, Ho­li­ness, and the new­ly emerg­ing Pen­te­cos­tal Church.

In 1907, he pub­lished Pen­te­cos­tal Pow­er, which ap­pealed to the fast grow­ing Church of God in the moun­tains of North Car­­o­li­na. The same year, he fin­ished his post­grad­u­ate studies at the con­ser­va­tory.

On January 15, 1908, Win­sett mar­ried Bird­ie Bell. They had three sons and two daugh­ters. In their ear­ly years of mar­ri­age, they made their home in Fort Smith, Ar­kan­sas, where the mu­sic bus­i­ness was well es­tab­lished and suc­cess­ful. While in Fort Smith, he became ac­quaint­ed with the Church of God (7th Day) and be­came a rec­og­nized min­is­ter of that de­nom­in­ation in 1923.

Early in 1927 Wins­ett had a dream of two new­ly dug graves, one nor­mal size, the other small. His son Grady died at age 18.

After the death of his wife, Win­sett returned to Ten­nes­see and started a music pub­lish­ing bus­i­ness in Chat­ta­noo­ga. His most pop­u­lar song book, Pen­te­cos­tal Pow­er, was en­larged and was called Pen­te­cos­tal Pow­er Com­plete.

In 1930, he mar­ried Mary Ruth Ed­mon­ton; they had one son and two daugh­ters. His wife said that when he wrote, his in­spir­a­tion filled the house be­cause he lived the Gos­pel so strong­ly.

The blue eyed, gray haired Win­sett was a homebody. He didn’t mix with others much ex­cept at camp meet­ings and singi­ng con­ven­tions, where he would lead the live­ly sing­ing.

His on­ly rec­re­a­tion was hik­ing in the woods, where he would touch the leaves of the trees and the wild flow­ers that grew in abun­dance in the Ten­nes­see moun­tains. He would stay in the woods for hours, com­mun­ing with his Cre­at­or, then re­turn to his of­fice for work. Mrs. Win­sett said nev­er was there a more sin­cere per­son about his re­li­gious con­vic­tions.

Winsett wrote and com­posed about 1,000 Gos­pel songs, many of which are found in Pro­tes­tant song­books to this day. His Je­sus Is Com­ing Soon was vot­ed in­to the Gos­pel Mu­sic Hall of Fame. Win­sett was list­ed in Who’s Who in the South and South­west in 1947, Who’s Who in Mu­sic in 1951, and in a His­to­ry of the True Church, by Dug­ger and Dodd.

Win­sett Pub­lishe­rs is­sued over 60 dif­fer­ent song books,  in Eng­lish and oth­er lang­uag­es. His last com­pil­a­tion, Best of All (1951) sold al­most a mil­lion cop­ies. Ov­er­all, more than 10 mil­lion of Win­sett’s books have been sold. He was in­duc­ted into the South­ern Gos­pel Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Hall of Fame in 2002. His works in­clude:

  1. Hallelujah, I’ll Be There
  2. How Will It Be in Eter­ni­ty?
  3. In the Great Tri­umph­ant Morn­ing
  4. Jesus Is Com­ing Soon
  5. Living by Faith
  6. Message of His Com­ing, The
  7. When the Brideg­room Comes
  8. When We All Get to Hea­ven
  1. Called to For­eign Fields (har­mon­iz­er)
  2. In the City Where the Lamb Is the Light
  3. Over There
  4. When Je­sus Re­turns for His Own