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

June 26, 1952, Dayton, Tennessee.

Buttram Cemetery, Dayton, Tennessee.


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 southeastern 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, Winsett finished his postgraduate studies at the conservatory.

On January 15, 1908, he 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 has issued over 60 different songbooks, some in foreign languages. His last compilation, Best of All (1951) sold almost one 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