Category Archives: Distant Cousins

Speer – Spear Descendants In America – 2011

This link is for my most recent uploaded database, hosted by


It is as COMPLETE as I have at present. If you find errors, have additional information or family photos you would to share with me — email me. As my schedule allows I will add photos I have found that relate to this “branch” and related families.

Thank you for visiting.

— Cathy Ann Abernathy

Gospel Music of Elvis Presley

Jack Brock Speer is the oldest child of Tom and Lena Speer. He has been a member of the Singing Speer Family ever since he was old enough to stand up. Since the death of Dad and Mom Speer, he and his brother, Ben, have been the leaders of the family singing group. A most congenial and concerned man, Brock has served gospel music in many capacities including Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gospel Music Association. As a record producer for Skylite, he directed most of the major groups in their recordings. He is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. He has graduated from Trevecca College and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is married to the former Faye Ihrig and they have three children, Susan, Marc, and Bryan.

via Gospel Music of Elvis Presley.

Ben Speer

BEN SPEER – Contact Information

PO Box 40201,

Nashville, TN 37204


615-228-4040 (fax)


via Ben Speer.

CMP Articles

One year, I decided that I really wanted to bring in The Speer Family, so I called The Harper Agency and we discussed a date and time and the financial arrangements. I must admit, that the figure we settled on was considerably more than we had ever agreed to before, but I just knew that we simply had have The Speers that year for our Homecoming. I also knew that God would make a way for us to be able to meet our obligation. (…MORE)

via CMP Articles.

YouTube – Speers – I Never Shall Forget the Day

Speers – I Never Shall Forget the Day

via YouTube – Speers – I Never Shall Forget the Day.

The Speer Family: Information from


An important reference point in the appreciation of traditional Southern gospel quartet singing, the Speer Family emerged when there were countless Southern gospel quartets, but continued to perform into the 1990s. Although the Speer lineup had changed over the years, their music in the ’90s was still true to the music they were making when the group was formed by patriarch G.T. in 1921.

G.T. Speer was born in a rural community near Fayetteville, Georgia, and worked as a teacher at the Stamps-Baxter School of Music in Dallas. He also taught at the Vaughan School of Music, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. The first incarnation of the Speers was formed in 1921 with his wife Lena, his sister, and her husband. Until then, virtually every gospel group was made up of only males. G.T. persisted with his original lineup and, much to the surprise of gospel purists, became popular. He also strayed from the norm by having the Speers sing only gospel music, and soon other groups followed suit.

In 1925, his sister and brother-in-law left, so G.T. and Lena added their children Rosa Nell and Mary Tom to the lineup. They eventually left to raise their own children, but returned to become permanent members a few years later. Over the years, the Speer Family often contained other musicians, most notably Harold Lane, who spent two decades with them.

Through the 1950s and ’60s, the Speers were frequent guests on radio station WLAC Nashville. In 1966, G.T. suddenly died and became the first person inducted into the Deceased Category of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; his wife Lena died the following year and became its second inductee in 1972. During their long career, the group has won numerous awards and honors, but one of the highest came in 1981 on the group’s 60th anniversary: the Speers were entered into the Congressional Record and received a plaque that contained their first commercial record. To celebrate these events, the Benson Company distributed a commemorative anniversary album and packaged a multimedia presentation chronicling the distinguished family’s history. In 1993, they released a new album, A Beautiful Day. ~ Sandra Brennan & Bil Carpenter, All Music Guide

via The Speer Family: Information from

– news, reviews, biography, video, youtube videos, discography, books, DVDs, concerts, gossip, pictures and tour dates

Original members of the famous Speer Family delight the students at Ben Speer’s Stamps/Baxter School of Music, Nashville, August, 1994.

via – news, reviews, biography, video, youtube videos, discography, books, DVDs, concerts, gossip, pictures and tour dates.

Rosa Nell Speer

Rosa Nell (Speer) Powell was the original pianist for The Speer Family. Dad Speer felt that the only way to get a pianist like he wanted was to raise one. Thus, Rosa Nell was elected. Rosie, as she is affectionately known by those who love her, is one of Southern Gospel’s finest pianists. She was married to Edwin Powell in 1948, and left the group. They had three children. She and her husband had a group for many years until his death in 1979. She, like all the Speer siblings is singing with The Speers again, and she even plays an occasional piano solo. She, along with Mary Tom, has worked in the office for The Speer Family and coordinates all activities for Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter Music School held each summer.

via Rosa Nell Speer.

Mary Tom Speer

Mary Tom (Speer) Reid was the original alto of The Speer Family. When she married in 1954, and became a minister’s wife, she left the group to support her husband’s ministry and raise her family of three children. After the untimely death of her husband, she returned to Nashville and became the secretary for Ben Speer Music where she still works on a full time basis. Mary Tom has rejoined her brothers and sister and is back singing with the First Family of Gospel Music. She can still hold her own with the best of vocalists. Students of the Stamps-Baxter School of Music, of which she is a staff member and dorm mother, have come to love and adore her. Bill Gaither has said that he gets numerous comments about Mary Tom’s smile and pleasantness on the Homecoming Videos. That smile and pleasantness is not put on for the cameras, but is the way Mary Tom is in real life.

via Mary Tom Speer.

Ben Speer

Ben Speer was an active member of The Speers for the majority of his life. From the time he was a small child to the early 1990’s, he was lead singer for The Speers. In 1997, when the Speer brothers and sisters reformed the group as a family, Ben returned as lead singer for the First Family of Gospel Music. He is also the baritone singer for the Homeland Quartet. In addition to his singing responsibilities, he is a partner of Suite 16 Recording Studio and produces the famous Homeland EZ Key Soundtracks. Shortly after the first Bill Gaither Homecoming Video was released, Ben became Music Director for the video series. He coordinates all music for the videos and is a regular member of each live Homecoming Concert date. Ben owns and operates Ben Speer Music. Each summer, he helps out the youth in gospel music by sponsoring the Stamps-Baxter School of Music. Ben is a member of the GMA Hall of Fame and of the SGMA Hall of Fame.

via Ben Speer.