Gospel singer Billy Gaines lands the role of his life.
Gospel singer and songwriter Billy Gaines can’t wait for the theatrical release of his very first film The path, written and directed by former Today Show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. “I just saw the finished movie and it’s surreal,” says Gaines, who landed the role of Moses after a chance encounter with Gifford that he calls “a divine rendezvous.”
Gaines grew up in Richmond where he attended Mount Tabor Baptist Church and sang at the Open Doorway Coffeehouse. When he met gospel legend Danniebelle Hall at the Gospel Fest in Hampton, she invited Gaines and his band to accompany her on tour. Together they performed at Front Royal’s Fishnet, America’s longest running Christian music festival.
Propelled by local success, Gaines moved his family to Nashville in 1984, where six gospel albums and two Dove Awards – the Grammys for gospel music – followed.
But it was a hooking job for the Takl company that landed Gaines in the role of a lifetime. When he showed up at the client’s home, he was greeted by Angie McCollum, wife of Takl’s CEO, who said, “I’d like to introduce you to Kathie.
“I turned around and there was Kathie Lee Gifford,” Gaines recalled. “I was shocked. Angie asked for my last name; then she said, ‘I like your music. You don’t play the piano? The room was empty except for a grand piano, so I sat down, played and sang and Kathie Lee was quick to join us.
The impromptu singing landed Gaines in the role of Moses in Gifford’s film, The path. After the filming was over, he thanked her profusely for choosing him. “I didn’t choose you,” Gifford told him. “I asked God to show me who He had chosen.” “It was all an incredible experience,” he marvels. “I give glory to God for that.”
This article originally appeared in the December 2021 publish.
Check @virginaliving for updates on theatrical release dates.