The Kennedy Center

Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes


Born July 4, 1930, on Mulholland’s Plantation in Coffee County, Georgia, Maggie Ingram worked in the cotton and tobacco fields with her parents.  It was a hard and humble beginning, but the Lord had a special place for her in life and she accepted the call at an early age.  She began playing the piano and singing at an early age and exhibited a great love for church and for the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  At 16, she married Thomas Jefferson Ingram whose family also worked as sharecroppers in Georgia.  The couple had five children, John, Lucious, Tommie, Almeta, Christine and moved to Miami, Florida. It was there that Mr. Ingram was called to the preaching ministry.  Ms. Ingram and the children worked with him as he preached in the rural areas outside of Miami and though times were tough, the family was determined to help in the ministry. She took odd jobs as a domestic and taught her children to sing harmony.  It was from these humble beginnings that the Ingramettes were formed.  Sister Maggie Ingram and The Ingramettes were soon a sought after group to sing at churches, gospel festivals, auditoriums, church conferences, and other places throughout Florida.  After her husband returned home to Georgia, Ms. Ingram found herself a single parent, but depended on her faith to help her raise her five children. 

In December 1961, Ms. Ingram moved her family to Richmond, Virginia because her second eldest son suffered from rheumatic heart disease that was caused by the year round sweltering temperatures in Miami.  She had been to the city before when touring with a Richmond based group known as the Silver Star Quartet and knew the climate to be more moderate. Ms. Ingram found employment in the home of an energetic attorney who was working on a civil rights case. Oliver W. Hill, Sr. and his family welcomed the Ingrams into their house with open arms. He helped Ms. Ingram gain employment with the City of Richmond, where she worked until retiring to open her own daycare business.  She also began a prison ministry with her children and partnered with the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church in the 1970’s. On the fourth Sunday of each month she and her children would travel to Unit 13 in Chesterfield where they sang and played for the prisoners, along with speaking of the word of God.  She continued with her prison work, and provided transportation to those family members who wanted to make visits but could not due to the expense of travel. Ms. Ingram also initiated the legislation that would allow family day programs at minimum security prisons so inmates visit with their children.  She later opened her home as a Halfway House to female inmates who were released, so that they could have ties to the community as they began to re-establish themselves in society. As the prison ministry grew Evangelist Maggie Ingram was presented with the Greyhound Corporation Woman of The Year Award.  In the early 1980s, she received her call to the preaching ministry, and was licensed Evangelist Maggie Ingram by the Church of God In Christ, State of Virginia,  Second Jurisdiction, under the leadership of Bishop Samuel Green, Jurisdictional Prelate, 2nd Jurisdiction.   Her children have followed in her footsteps as Christine was ordained in 1995 and Almeta in March of 2003. 

The Ingramettes continue to grow as Ms. Ingram added her oldest granddaughter Cheryl Beaver to the group.  Over the years, others have joined the ministry and continue to work faithfully with Mother Maggie to spread the gospel in song.In 2008, the Ingramettes celebrated their 52nd year in gospel music and Ms. Ingram celebrated 58 years in the field of gospel music. Because of their collective body of work in the field of Gospel Music, the group has received numerous awards from the Governor, the Lt. Governor, and the Mayor of the City of Richmond. Today at age 78, she continues to celebrate her life of service to God and to humanity.
Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes