Southern Gospel Singer &

Songwriter Ann Downing joined

Speer Family in the early sixties

(first row, right)

 

Southern Gospel singer and songwriter Ann Downing was born Virginia Ann Sanders in Pittsboro, Mississippi on June 12, 1945. She showed an early interest in gospel music, which was encouraged by her family. Shortly after graduating from High School, Ann was hired to sing with the Speer Family, a group she stayed with for five years.

It was during this time that Ann met bass singer Paul Downing. The two eventually married and in 1969 formed the mixed group the Downings. Following the disbanding of the Downings in 1977, Ann discovered her talent for songwriting. She has penned hundreds of songs which have many recorded by many solo artist as well as groups.

Ann and Paul eventually decided to reform the Downings, but Paul passed away in 1992 before realizing that ambition. In spite of personal tragedy, Ann continues to sing, write songs, and speak to various groups about coping with life's issues. She also has appeared regularly on the Gaither Homecoming Series since that series began.

 

Ann Downing

 

 

More than likely you’ve seen Ann Downing as a regular on the popular Gaither Homecoming Video series. However the majority of her time is spent maintaining a full schedule of church concerts and speaking engagements each weekend traveling throughout the United States and Canada.

Apart from her affiliation with the Gaither Homecoming Friends, Ann’s own versatile music style appeals to a wide range of musical tastes and age groups, not just the Gaither Video fans  While she is a commissioned song evangelist in the Church of the Nazarene, Ann enjoys sharing her music and ministry with a wide variety of denominations.

Ann’s unique presentation style is also appealing in that she comes down from the platform to communicate with the audience on a very personal level.  Her spontaneous, off-the-cuff delivery gives the feeling of a conversational visit rather than a rigid formal program.

Raised on a cotton farm in rural Mississippi, Ann grew up dreaming of the day she’d sing gospel music all over the world. Right out of high school she began to realize that dream by securing a position with the legendary Speer Family, later marrying the man of her dreams and co-founding a group that helped shape  the face of Gospel music we have today. She won the industry’s highest honor—the Dove Award—for Female Vocalist within a year of co-founding the Downings and went on to be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Ann has been lauded with various awards and accolades throughout her gospel music career spanning over forty years. However, she’s quick to tell you that she’s like you in many ways. Fading success? She’s been there! Crumbling marriage or financial ruin? She’s been there! Lost a spouse or experience a devastating trauma in your family?  Ann’s walked in your shoes!

What do you do when you can’t “fix” what’s wrong in your life or the lives of those you love? What do you do when the circumstances of your life beg the question, “do you really believe what you’ve said about trusting God?” Ann’s intensely personal story is one that reaches us all where we live and helps us hold firmly to the promise that “earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”