Shelby County’s own The Singing Christians/Mercy River Boys were inducted into the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame earlier this month in ceremonies in Dallas. Frank Horton, Calvin Christian and Wayne Christian, originally of Tenaha, were present with several other former members to receive the award and present a mini-concert for the first time for most in over 38 years. Other members of the group from Shelby County over the years include, Jack and Bettie Christian (founding members), Mike Ramsey, Dickie Gilchrist, and Richard Adams. Now Deceased members included founding manager James E. Christian as well as Joe Dan Womack (also a founding member), Bill Horton and Billy Brooks.
Wayne Christian was additionally individually inducted into the hall of fame. While all the 1970s and early 1980s, you could find them singing with his band The Singing Christians, later named, The Mercy River Boys, which was a two-time finalist for the National GMA Dove Award as group of the year; once in 1979 and again in 1980. Also in 1979, The Mercy River Boys were finalist for the Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. But Wayne’s involvement went beyond just singing; he was also active with the Gospel Music Association and served on the National Board of Directors from 1976 to 1979 and after their over one dozen professional recordings a voting member of NARAS (National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences).