Group Members

Kathy Wilburn (1980-1987)

Elaine Wilburn (1980-2005)

Jonathan Wilburn (1980-1996)
Ricky Atkinson (1996-1999)
Stacy Adams (1999-2000)
Gary Casto (2001-2002)
Michael Helwig (2003-2005)

Tony Gore (1988-1996)
Tony Peace (1993-1996)
Loren Harris (1996-2001)
Chad Maharrey (2000)
Jimmy McMillan (2001-2002)
Gary Casto (2003-2005)

Jackie Wilburn (1980-2005)

Jimmy Wilburn (1980-1987)

Jeanie Dean (1983-1987)
Rusty Rowan (1996-1997)
Troy Peach (1997-2000) (vocalist)
Dusty Jenkins (2000-2001)
Josh Singletary (2001-2005)

Lee Petros (1983-1987)

Bass Guitar
Johnny Bacon (1983-1987)

Utility Musician
Greg Blankenship (1984-1987)

Position Unknown
Jay Wilburn (1980-1987)

Wilburns (1980 - 2005)


After singing in family groups called the Happiness Quartet (1970-1977) and The Cumberland Valley Singers (1977-1980), Jackie and Elaine Wilburn formed The Wilburn Family in 1980. Other group members included their three sons Jimmy, Jay, and Jonathan, and their daughter-in-law, Kathy. Jimmy, Jay, and Kathy remained with the group until 1987.

After their departure, the group operated as a trio for about a year until Tony Gore joined in 1988 to sing lead. By 1993, Tony Peace had replaced Gore who had left to launch his own group Tony Gore & Majesty.

It had been Jonathan’s dream to sing in an all-male quartet, so he accepted the invitation to join Gold City in 1996. Ricky Atkinson joined the Wilburns to sing tenor after the departure of Jonathan. Loren Harris replaced Tony Peace around the same time.

The Wilburns recorded for Morningstar Records for most of the 1990s. In 2000, they signed with Homeland Records. By this point, Gary Casto was singing tenor. Josh Singletary joined the following year to play piano. After the departure of Jimmy McMillan, Casto shifted to lead and Michael Helwig became the tenor singer. This was the final lineup of the Wilburns when the group retired in 2005. Jackie and Elaine were honored during the National Quartet Convention in 2005 as joint recipients of the Templeton/Norcross Award, which pays tribute to those who have made extraordinary contributions to gospel music.

The only song that reached number one on the Singing News chart for the Wilburns during their 25-year career was “Resting Place” in 1999. The group is also remembered for hits like “When Dust Shall Sing,” “Outside the Gate,” and “God’s Promised Land.” Devoted fans also remember their novelty song titled “I Just Love Old People” which featured Jackie. One of their more memorable albums was 2003’s Reunion which featured several former group members and was recorded live during the Crabb Family’s annual Crabbfest event.


1984 Songs To Remember (Eddie Crook Company): He Wrote My Name; Salvation Has Been Brought Down; Now The Old Time Religion Is Mine; John Knew; Better Farther On; When I Get Up In Gloryand; The Anchor; It's Gonna Be Wonderful; The Hiding Place.

1984 Family Favorites (Eddie Crook Company/ECP-2071): Some Morning Fair; The Darkest Hour; The Voice Of My Saviour; One Simple Prayer; When Morning Comes; Amazing Grace; Meeting In The Air; Pick Up Your Cross; Hallelujah I'm Heaven Bound; House Of Gold; Too Late To Pray.

1985 Blood Kin (Harvest Records/HAR-1023): I'm Following The One; Jesus Won The Fight; What Manner Of Man; Not Even A Million Years; Beautiful Places; The Old Country Church On The Hill; Blood Kin; Things I Cannot Do Alone; When I Am Weary; God Shall Wipe Away All Tears; Old Songs Medley: Going Away To Live With Jesus; Beautiful Home; Joy, Joy Has Just Begun; We'll Go On And Serve The Lord.

1986 Listen To The Stones (Harvest Records/HAR-1060): Battle Scarred Soldier; Child Of The King; The Lord Will Provide; The Lowest Valley; Wayfaring Stranger; Listen To The Stones; Let 'Em Pray Through; Sweeping All The Debt Away; Amazing Grace; I Can Tell You The Time.

1987 Reporting For Duty (Harvest Records/HAR-1106): I've Been To Calvary; Another Safe Crossing; When We March Through; Waiting On The Other Side; Just Beyond The Crystal Sea; Reporting For Duty; Sow On Weary Pilgrim; I Said I'll Go; Whatever You Decide Dear Lord; As Soon As The Rock Leaves The Sling.

1988 Sing It (Harvest Records/HAR-1141): Sing It Brother; A Closer Walk; The Only Fire I'll Ever Feel; My Heart Is In Good Hands; Heaven Is Holding My Memories; I Just Want To Thank You; Better Farther On; Coming Out Of The Wilderness; Somebody Touched Me (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn).

1989 Trouble Free (Harvest Records/HAR-1174): Trouble Free; I Won't Have To Worry; I'm Living Proof; Inheritance; Trail Of Tears; That's The Kind Of God I Serve; Down In The Valley Learning; In The Shelter Of His Arms; Up There; When I Come To The Jordan.

1990 Alabama Lightning (Morningstar Records/MS4118): Death Valley Days; I Found In Jesus; It's Not So Hard To Praise Him; One Step Over Is Home; Behold His Coming; My New Homeplace; God's Promised Land; The Old Story Will Never Grow Old; Death Could Not Hold Him; It's Not So Hard To Praise Him (Reprise) (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn, Tony Gore).

1991 Excellence (Morningstar Records/MS4134): Waiting For A Call; When Dust Shall Sing; This Thing Is Real; The Hand Of The Lord; First Look; I Won't Bow; It Is I; I Need No Mansion Here; Sing About Heaven; God Will Take Care Of You (Tony Gore, Jonathan Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jackie Wilburn).

1992 First Class (Morningstar Records/MS4155): Outside The Gate; Don't It Make You Want To Go; Walking A New Road; Open The Windows; I've Had A New Birth; Hallelujah I'm Going Home; I'll Just Start To Live When I Die; He'll Walk On The Water For Me; Discover The Joy; He Won't Just Get You By, He'll See You Through (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn, Tony Gore).

1993 Win The Lost (Morningstar Records/MS4172): When The Shepherd Comes Home; Looking Through The Eyes Of Love; Trumpet In The Ground; Amazed By Grace; This Is Just What Heaven Means To Me; Win The Lost; Something In The Upper Room; I'm Gettin' Ready; We'll Shake Hands; Cast Your Faith Upon The Waters (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn, Tony Gore).

1994 Some Things Never Change (Morningstar Records/MS4191): Strength For The Journey; When The Clouds Roll Back; I'm Saved; Going For The Gold; Let The First One Be Me; John Chapter Three; Some Things Never Change; Teach Me Lord To Wait; Endure Till The End; In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death (Elaine Wilburn, Tony Peace, Jackie Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn).

1995 Blessings (Morningstar Records/MS4215): I Thank My Savior For It All; Crowned With Glory Now; Jesus Is Enough; When I Speak His Name; Uplook Is Bright; Looking For A Place To Cross; I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You; Sweet Bethlehem; Coming Out Of The Wilderness; Had It Not Been (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn, Tony Peace).

1996 Classics Collection (Morningstar Records/MS):

1997 Where He Leads (Morningstar Records/MS4254): March To Victory On Your Knees; Scars Won't Matter; Old Campmeeting Days; Refuge Behind The Cross; Singing In The Heavenly Choir; Back To The Cross Under The Blood; A Victory Song; What He Was Dying To Say; I Can Still Pray Through; Tell It Again (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Loren Harris, Ricky Atkinson).

1998 Resting Place (Morningstar Records/MS4294): Resting Place; Get Your Knees Acquainted; The Forces; The Day The Lord Found Me; Plead The Blood; Inside The Gate; Out Of The Dust; I Think I'll Go With God; We Have A Hope; The First Time I Called (Loren Harris, Ricky Atkinson, Elaine Wilburn, Jackie Wilburn).

1999 Hymns From Our Childhood (Custom Records): I'll Live In Glory; What A Day That Will Be; In The Garden; O I Want To See Him; I Cannot Find The Way Alone; If We Never Meet Again; Near TheCross; I'd Rather Have Jesus; The Glory Land Way; He Whispers Sweet Peace To Me.

2000 More Than Religion (Homeland Records/HED0076): Moved Up, Moved Out, Moved On; That's My Boy; Shoutin' Sounds; Remember The Mountain; One Little Baby; Crying For Crumbs; Touch Me Again Lord; More Than Religion; I Want To Tell The World; I Know Jesus In A Very Special Way; He Has Never Changed; Keep Walking (Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Chad Maharrey, Gary Casto).

2001 We Will Stand (Homeland Records): We Will Stand; Monuments; Spread The News; Telling The Old Story; I Simply Cling; Death Valley Days; Where Would I Be; The Blood Is Still Enough; Love Signed My Pardon; Better Farther On; I Just Love Old People (Josh Singletary, Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Gary Casto, Jimmy McMillan).

2002 Dedicated - Songs From The Heart (Custom Records): Peace In The Valley; Look For Me; Living By Faith; The Love Of God; Jesus Hold My Hand; I Know My Name Is There; The Unclouded Day; Amazing Grace; I Feel Like Traveling On; How Great Thou Art (Josh Singletary, Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Gary Casto, Jimmy McMillan).

2003 Reunion (Tanglewood Music): Death Valley Days; Sing About Heaven; Introductions; The Hand Of The Lord; Let The First One Be Me; God's Promised Land; It's Not So Hard To Praise Him; The Old Story Will Never Grow Old; Better Farther On; We'll Shake Hands; Coming Out Of The Wilderness; Outside The Gate; The Unclouded Day; We Will Stand (Jonathan Wilburn, Tony Gore, Elaine Wilburn, Jackie Wilburn).

2003 Let It Rain (Tanglewood Music): Let It Rain; Roots And Wings; Then The Hammer Fell; Go Tell The World; Come Away; Claim The Name; It's Good To Know; Campmeeting Fire; I'm Saved And Forgiven; He Rose A King; Home At Last And Free From Sin (Josh Singletary, Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Gary Casto, Jimmy McMillan).

2004 Sharing Christmas (Tanglewood Music): There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays; The Christmas Song; Silver Bells; Piano Medley: All I Want For Christmas/Here Comes Santa Clause/Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer/Jingle Bells/Holly Jolly Christmas; White Christmas; Come On Ring Those Bells; Silent Night; Away In A Manger; O Holy Night; Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem (Gary Casto, Elaine Wilburn, Michael Helwig, Jackie Wilburn, Josh Singletary).

2004 Let It Rain Live (Tanglewood Music): Go Tell The World; Home At Last And Free From Sin; Roots And Wings; I'm Saved And Forgiven; I've Got That Old Time Religion; It's Good To Know; Let It Rain; Then The Hammer Fell; He Rose A King; Claim The Name; The Old Story; Campmeeting Fire; Come Away (Gary Casto, Elaine Wilburn, Michael Helwig, Jackie Wilburn, Josh Singletary).
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