Dottie Rambo Funeral DVDs

Copies are on sale now through June 30. I think this is what most people assumed would be the eventual outcome when the funeral wasn’t streamed online, as is increasingly the practice with sg memorial services these days.

It’s all being handled through the church of Rambo’s daughter, Reba, and Reba’s husband, and unless I’m missing something, this offer seems to be made without any connection to the “official” Dottie Rambo website, run by Rambo Evangelistic Association, the entity under which Rambo toured and sold her product. The Association’s website shouldn’t be confused with this website, which is sort of a shadow or back-up website for the Association’s official website that was overwhelmed at the time of Rambo’s death. For a while, the shadow site appeared to be releasing statements from both Rambo’s family and her manager, but the video is for sale on neither the official website nor the shadow official website, which suggests … well, I dunno what it suggests … it’s all very confusing. But with all due respect to Dottie Rambo’s family and friends, selling the DVD of her funeral seems more than a little tacky.

Before all you Rambo loyalists unload both barrels, hear me out. For people whose family lives have been an openly traded commodity in the entertainment marketplace for decades, it’s doubtless difficult to find ways of mourning that meet the private needs of those closest to the departed, but also provide some way for loyal fans to express their genuine feelings of loss and sadness and appreciation for what an entertainer’s life meant to them.

I also know it’s common place in evangelicalism to call funerals “home-going celebrations.” And though to me the term diminishes the reality of grief and undercuts the importance of formal memorials and other rites of death in the grieving process by implying that we should really be happy instead of sad, that’s just my feeling about it, and people are entitled to grieve however they like. As a child, I remember members of my family would take Polaroids of different ones standing at the head of a dead family member’s open casket at the visitation, and when I tell many of my friends who grew up on coasts or in the north how this was perfectly normal, they are positively mortified. So there are clearly different cultural norms surrounding mourning practices, and what strikes one person as strange or macabre may be to another a customary way to bury the dead.

But when you film a funeral, package it and put a retail price on it, “home-going celebration” sort of starts to sound less like local custom and more like a marketing campaign (a friend with a better memory than mine reminded me that there are echoes in all this of the Kim Greene/Dean Hopper wedding that was recorded and sold … another quasi-public event turned into a marketable product by a family of entertainers).

Proceeds go to a memorial fund in Rambo’s name, and I have no idea who are what is the beneficiary, though it’ s not unreasonable to infer in this DVD offer an appeal to defray funeral costs (Update: see eletter below). There is a raft of emails in my inbox from different people making very different claims about the status of Rambo’s estate at the time of her death. And though I do think once you start commodifying a funeral service the way this DVD does and then offer it for sale in a way that at least implies the money is to offset the expense of the memorial, you do to some extent make an issue of financial information and other details that would normally be not for public consumption, my point is not to suggest anything untoward is going on here.

In fact, I suppose one could argue that there’s no better way to celebrate the open-book life of a singer/songwriter who spent her career turning private experience into salable commodity than to turn her last appearance in this world into a product for public consumption. As I say, one could make that argument, and plenty of people would (and probably do) find it persuasive. I just won’t be one of them.

Update: Here are a few excerpts from an e-letter from Rambo’s family on May 30.

While literally thousands of you have expressed your love and support, a few have said some very critical and hurtful things to us concerning the way we have shared with you what we’re walking through. Many still believe that because Momma looked like and sounded like a million dollars every time she stepped on a stage or in front of a TV camera, she must have had millions in the bank so that a moment like this would come and go with little or no need for assistance… And the truth is… Mom was, and is, one of the wealthiest people this planet has ever known. But her wealth was not in dollars… Her wealth was, and is, in the millions of people in the world whom she called “Dottie’s Dearest” and they loved her as family.
That’s true wealth!

Though hard for some to believe, Momma Dottie lived a very simple life. Because of the physical challenges she endured the past two decades, the medical bills basically drained her of her life savings and resources. Those physical challenges caused her to be dropped from her medical coverage years ago, and ever since, she has had the distinction of being tagged “uninsurable”… Needless to say, in a moment like this, that increases the challenges. But we, collectively as a family, are meeting the challenges head on and not running from them.

For those who have questioned why we would make her Home-Going service available by creating a DVD or allow it to be aired on Christian TV, please allow me to respond… In no way are we attempting to capitalize on Mom’s home-going by making a commercial piece of product that will be stocked on the shelves of stores across our nation for years to come. It will only be available through our office until June 30, 2008. What we were, and are, attempting to do, is share the moment with thousands of precious people who couldn’t make the journey to honor and celebrate her life the way we were blessed to do.

So, yes, there will be a DVD in a few days… a full 2 hours and 22 minutes of anointed music and ministry. Perhaps not the best quality video you’ll ever view, but it’s put together in a very simple and elegant way that reflects the classiness of the lady we call, “Mom.” Because so many have requested copies of the program from her Home-Going service which includes her obituary, we have included it in the beautiful artwork for the DVD. It will hopefully fulfill our desire to get you as close to this great celebration as you possibly could be without being there.

We are making this DVD available to everyone who has felt the weight of this moment and sent in a gift of $15 or more honoring Mom to the Dottie Rambo Memorial Fund.

We believe God will bless you for your giving, and He will also give us the ability to care for any area of financial responsibility that remains.

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  1. Dottie Rambo « News About Southern Gospel Music on 24 Dec 2008 at 2:13 am

    […] Comment on Dottie Rambo Funeral DVDs by Jerry Boor - Real Dottie Rambo fans know her lesser known songs also. If I didn’t understand the power of the gospel, I’d be very afraid that some of you critical folks wouldn’t even make it to heaven!! If you do, it will only be by the grace of God … […]


  1. jbb wrote:

    This post is not meant to be critical.
    I don’t know why this surprises me, but, why would you do this? I guess you can turn a buck on anything. I think it is sad that something so personal, would turn into something you make money on. I appreciated Dottie’s songwriting, but, I sure won’t purchase a copy of her funeral service.

  2. NoNamePerson wrote:

    The fund DOES NOT benefit REA or - furthermore, there IS a fund (not the one mentioned in this article) to help with the hospital costs of Larry Ferguson, and the other parties involved. They had no health insurance:

    Citizens National Bank
    ATTN: Marsha Henry
    3212 South Glenstone Avenue
    Springfield, MO 65804

    Please make checks payable to: LARRY FERGUSON FUND

  3. scope wrote:

    If Reba had truly wanted to share her mother’s home-going with all Dottie’s friends and fans, then she would have allowed it to be webcast. The only acceptable reason to sell the DVD, in my opinion, is to pay the hospital bills of Larry and the other two. Also, according to Rebas’ website, the money goes to the “Dottie Rambo Memorial Fund” with no mention of what the money will be used for.

    I received a card from Larry last week which ended with “Please pray God will make sure that Dottie’s wishes were and are honored.” I don’t think this DVD is one of Dottie’s wishes.

  4. RLY wrote:

    I think it’s an excellent idea to have the dvd available for those that could not attend the service. scope mentioned that they could have webcast it. Did he consider the people out there don’t have computers or would have been unable to watch the service due to work schedules? Perhaps some of those might like to view the service. No one is being forced to make a donation for the video, it’s up to each individual to make the decision as to whether they want a copy of the service or not. It’s being made available for a short period of time. It doesn’t appear that there is a big marketing campaign to sell the video.

  5. Revpaul wrote:

    I, for one, was among the first to purchase the DVD because I wanted to attend the funeral and could not. I’m not especially concerned with who my purchase benefits — it benefits me, and I have paid much more than that for lesser DVDs.

  6. Trent wrote:

    Douglas, I agree with your statement: “it’s common place in evangelicalism to call funerals ‘home-going celebrations’…to me the term diminishes the reality of grief and undercuts the importance of formal memorials and other rites of death in the grieving process by implying that we should really be happy instead of sad….”

    I recently read the account in the Bible of Jacob’s death and his son Joseph’s death in the last chapters of Genesis. In that time, people grieved for weeks, even months. My, how culture is changed. In 2008, if someone were still in a demonstrative mourning period 2 months after the death, people would be saying to “Move on!” That’s not to say that people don’t mourn privately for months or even years, but in that day time was set aside for a public display of grieving for prolonged periods of time.

    The “home-going celebration” is a term that says, “let’s celebrate the life of this Christian that has passed, and celebrate the fact that he/she has gone to Heaven”. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But it does undercut the natural process of of “let’s cry together and hug one another because we’ve lost our friend. Let’s not even try to ‘move on’ just yet.”

  7. Chuck Peters wrote:

    I am concerned about the future of Dottie Rambo Ministries. Who will carry on Dottie’s ministry work.. and will they do it with class? I wonder.

    Did Dottie specify her wishes in a legal document? I wonder.

  8. Marj wrote:

    I purchased the DVD and had it sent directly to my sister (she wanted one). I don’t care if I ever view it. I was so aggravated (though not surprised) at how the family handled the situation. If what I read on another site is correct, Larry Ferguson was never paid for his last two weeks of work. And, what about the “kid” who ran the product table and the bus driver? Who is helping them? Their expenses are escalating, while Dottie’s expenses are over. There has never been a mention about who benefits from the DVD sales after the funeral is paid for. Makes a person sure do a lot of wondering. If the proceeds were 100% going towards accident-related needs, then that would be grand, but to stick it in the family’s back pocket would make me sick. Why doesn’t the family clarify this issue? hmmm I think back to Roger Bennett’s funeral, streamed live and left on the web site for anyone to view at any time with no connections. How generous and loving…a gift of thanks to his fans.

  9. p stewart wrote:

    Because of the physical challenges she endured the past two decades, the medical bills basically drained her of her life savings and resources. Those physical challenges caused her to be dropped from her medical coverage years ago, and ever since, she has had the distinction of being tagged “uninsurable”…but still left her with enough funds for “Joan Rivers” style plastic surgery .

  10. Tracy J. Thompson wrote:

    Revpaul #5, I agree with you. I purchased a dvd because i wanted one. If you don’t like the idea of the family selling them, then don’t buy one. Regarding post # 8 from (Marj)-According to a post i ready on one of the many sites reporting on the death, it stated Larry had not been paid in two weeks and was to receive his check after the concerts on mother’s day weekend. I am sure this is not the first time Larry had gone without pay for a couple of weeks. There are Many groups who are traveling today, that don’t make payroll on a weekly basis. I know many will not believe it, but it’s true! Dottie traveled in a Lease bus with driver, plus
    larry, judy & chris on payroll, plus fuel cost, and many, many other expenses on the road..It does not take a 5th grader to understand a flat of $2,500 -$4,000 does not go very far to pay bills.
    I honestly don’t think reba and dony have to clarify any issues with anyone.
    It’s really No ones business!!

  11. Gimme Acutt wrote:

    As if there weren’t enough stuff floating around…

    I was flipping between local channels and saw a bit of a Dottie Rambo documentary that caught my eye. I watched for a few minutes to see who/what/when it was recorded, only to have Jim Bakker pop on and say it was an “excerpt” from a “tribute” DVD that he would give to people who made a $25 contribution to his “ministry.” It’s online here.

    Oh yeah, for $50 you get the deluxe edition plus a special 2-hr “behind the scenes tribute we shot in my office after a show.” So Dottie’s worth $10 an hour?

  12. matureman wrote:

    All this is none of my business but I didn’t make a public announcement about Dottie’s insurance situation, which will motivate some kind-hearted people to contribute.

    Did Reba know Dottie was age-eligible for Medicare at age 65? Her supplemental and Medicare insurance should have been about $300-$400 per month since age 65. Of course, if Dottie didn’t apply for Medicare… I have a difficult time feeling sorry for them.

    Sorry, but this makes the story about insurance ring a little hollow to me. Maybe Reba didn’t know we knew about Medicare …

    Other than that, everything is great!

  13. Elaine wrote:

    I don’t think I would purchase a DVD, but, if anyone wants to that’s fine… TOO me, it’s like taking an 8×10 pictures of Dottie in her coffin and selling them…However, maybe the coffin is never shown in the video… I sincerely hope and pray that all the medical bills will be taken care of… Larry was very good to Dottie and I believe that is what she would want.. It’s a terrible thing to have happen to you, and NO insurance…

  14. onemadeupmind wrote:

    Dropped from her medical coverage provider? Wasn’t she on Social Security Medicare? She was old enough to be included in that coverage. Personally, I can’t WAIT to get there….then I’ll only have to purchase a supplement!

  15. Marj wrote:

    #10 Business IS Business, even is SG music….a 5th grader should be taught economics 101….if you want something and can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Pretty simple policy. It’s not a matter of “ya’ll travel with me…follow MY dreams and I’ll pay you if I can (after all, you should be thrilled to travel with me) and never mind about your family and your bills”. Now, having said that, I want to believe Dottie would not think like that, but who knows about the family? Since we can’t get ‘into their heads’ we’ll watch their actions.

  16. Revpaul wrote:

    #9, your inference is unfounded. What you’re referring to is simply the liberal use of Photoshop’s airbrush tool on a recent album cover photo. I spoke with Dottie in person just a couple of months ago and I assumed she was well beyond her 73 years.

  17. Harry Peters wrote:

    For all of you who are upset over the sale of Dottie’s Homegoing Service. Do any of you doubt for one minute that Bill Gaither won’t package and market it? My prediction is that he’ll sale the funeral on a 24 set dvd, with the first installment already for sale by the day of the funeral. They’ll probably sell Tee Shirts and cotton candy. And just so the internet savy are not left out, for a premium, you will be able to subscribe to the broadcast of the funeral payable by visa or american express. I mean, give me a break, you can’t even see his website for free, so why would you expect anything different? I’ll bet the plans are already on the board and the artwork is ready to go. I can see Ernie and SSQ now, dancin’ on the casket with a wild eyed, hip hop version of Get Away Jordan! I imagine that it will be quite a show to behold. Then, they’ll put the show on the road and it will come to an arena near you. Better get your tickets early, they’ll all be sell outs and the funeral “tour” will last the better part of a year. Far Fetched? Makes Dottie’s seem kind of simple, doesn’t it?

  18. Harry Peters wrote:

    Clarification on #17….the imagined funeral is in a future place and time and concerning Bill Gaither’s Homegoing.

  19. RLY wrote:

    Post # 12 & # 14 makes reference to medicare coverage. Medicare does have a limit on the amount they will pay and there is also a 20% co-pay on every bill, meaning that the insured still has to pay 20% of the bill. Being on medicare myself, I’ve found a lot of medical expenses that medicare does not cover and you have to pay them out of your pocket. If you are planning on medicare covering your medical bills when you get that age, you’ve got another thought coming and you are in for a great surprise.

  20. mwd101 wrote:

    I think folks are missing out on the key word in all this…available. The dvd is AVAILABLE; no one is forcing anyone to buy it.
    In regards to the e-letter, I believe many do assume that because one sings southern gospel music that they have it made financially. Look at the late Jim Hamill, for example, and the struggle his family went through.

  21. Casually Unobservant wrote:

    Re: #20

    Simplistic as it may seem, the fact that it is available is still what’s so…questionable, interesting, etc…in this instance. Call me crazy, but I can’t think of too many country artists selling Johnny Cash tribute black hats after his passing or Porter Wagoner funeral DVDs after he died (anybody else think of anything else like this outside of SG? In Doug’s words, “I’m seriously asking”).

    The southern gospel genre is truly unique in the way it markets itself both to fans and to the public, and this is one of those cases that’s truly an anomaly and (probably) leaves the rest of the music world scratching their heads.

  22. scope wrote:

    #7 Chuck, I have heard from a reliable source that Dottie left her ministry to Larry in her will. I have not discussed this with Larry; but if true I am sure that Larry will continue her legacy with all the love and hard work he has given to Dottie herself over the years.

    #17 Harry, Another source, involved personally with Bill Gaither emphatically says that Gaither had and/or will have nothing to do with the Dottie DVD.

  23. american wrote:

    As far as medicare goes, once you are 65, you are eligible to receive it. Also, within a certain amount of time, a supplement insurance must accept you, regardless of your medical history. That was my experience.

  24. Angie M wrote:

    #21: Exactly. You know, I’m not going to pay $15 for a DVD of a memorial service, but I’d easily pay that much or more for, say, 10 downloads of classic Rambos tunes, or something like that. I realize not everyone has computer access. But I think this would appeal to a lot of people.

  25. SGFAN65 wrote:

    While I believe everyone has valid points here - for and against the purchase of the DVD - it’s still one’s personal choice to purchase the DVD or not. As an earlier post reminded everyone - it’s only available for a short period of time - and not a never ending sales blitz. I think it was a kind gesture to allow it to be available to people that were not able to attend the funeral. Yes - they could have made it available via the internet so people could “attend” virtually - but even then alot of people would have “missed” it.

    I was a big fan of Dottie and her music. I grew up listening to and loving The Rambos. Her imput into the music world will never be forgotten.

    My reason specifically for buying the DVD is to be able to have the collection of the music and artists that ministered her music at the funeral. To have all of those artists on one DVD for such a fair price is amazing to me.

    I do not feel that Dony and Reba are wrong for seeking payment to cover the costs of producing the DVD to send it out. While, true, they may make a little off of the sale of the DVD’s - the shipping costs will eat into that profit since they did not charge extra for the shipping - and they are certainly not going to retire off of the proceeds.

    SG fans are the most critical of all people. It’s simply a choice. They have made it available in a tasteful way - IMO - and it’s up to whomever wants to purchase it. If you don’t - then don’t criticize it.

    Now - while airbrushing is done on photos for publicity - please do not think that we would believe she has not had plastic surgery. Maybe not to the extreme that Joan River’s had - but PLEASE - the whole family - Dottie, Reba and Dony - may have all gotten a family discount - because they’ve all obviously had “enhancements” done to keep them young. But - once again - that’s their choice to do. We paint and remodel our houses to make them look good - why can’t we have a little “work” done on ourselves too, if need be.

    We are all human - we make mistakes and we do alot of good things too - none of us are perfect - so don’t crucify them for their choices - we are christians often crucify our own more than any others…..

    This poor family has been thru alot in the last month or so - so don’t be too mean to them. They are human just as we are - and hateful things hurt them just as much as they hurt us.

    God commanded us to “Love one Another” - Let’s love them.

    I personally believe that Larry and His family - as well as the two other gentlmen certainly need our support financially - because of the present circumstances in their lives. The obstacles that they are having to overcome to get back on their feet after all of this - is more than most of us could possibly endure. Let’s pray for complete restoration for them - physically, mentally, emotionally and especially financially !

  26. LW wrote:

    As far as calling a memorial service a “Home Going” Well in fact wasn’t that what she has done? In fact all of us who are Christians look forward to “Going Home” some day. One key thing to remember, Dottie Rambo is not only a part of the past but of the future as well if you are saved. To say that diminishes the grieving process, I think is just petty and ignorant. And I think if you are offended by the selling of this DVD, then don’t buy it. But Dottie was so well loved by so many who would not be able to attend her memorial. So making that available is no big deal.

  27. philip elwood wrote:

    All you hear is hard luck stories, financially, with these sg ’superstars’ The late great Jake Hess bankrupt twice or three times, JD going round with a hat collecting for his lapsed insurance money coercing a post office official into back-dating the postage date. Vestal, almost with an empty check book prior to the first Gaither tape.So on and so on ad nauseam. Not from me, just quoting popular knowledge.My my, if the Good Stewardship parable had have been brought up at an after concert, you’d likely been trampled underfoot in a rush to the hot food bar,with a ‘Yeah yeah but we need to gorge ourselves and optherwise squander the Good Lord’s money but,hey,don’t forget to come back.we sure need the dough to keep that big ole bus on the road……’

  28. Tom K. wrote:

    For Harry Peters - It appears you are not a Gaither fan; however, how in the world did Bill Gaither and Ernie Haase get into this conversation? It really bothers me that Mr. Gaither is continuously slammed on this site when he has done nothing but great things for a lot of our heros! If it’s true and I personally think it is, he was of great help to artists like Jake Hess, The Goodmans, etc. and also to Ms. Dottie. I subscribe to his site and for the benefits I receive, I will gladly pay the fee! Also, being on medicare, I to have a problem with this venture; but, I have already placed my order. Have a great day and God Bless!

  29. matureman wrote:

    #28 Tom K. wrote…”It really bothers me that Mr. Gaither is continuously slammed on this site when he has done nothing but great things for a lot of our heros! If it’s true and I personally think it is, he was of great help to artists like Jake Hess, The Goodmans, etc. and also to Ms. Dottie.”

    Tom, write on, my friend. It makes the SG fans look like a bunch of ingrates. It would be interesting to know what SG would be today had Bill Gaither not gathered his friends for the first Homecoming taping. He set the table… all we have to do is enjoy it. Gaither has not set SG back as some others have… he literally saved us from ourselves. We should be building on his success, not jealously deriding and condemning him for making money with SG music, something few others have done in the past twenty or so years.

    May God continue to bless the Gaither family and friends.

    Other than that, everything is great!

  30. american wrote:

    #28, Mature man, I’m so glad you posted this about Bill Gaither! I could never understand why he is slammed so much. I could never thank the Gaithers enough for all the joy they have brought me with their music. Thank God for them, they are truly inspired by God. They deserve every penny that they earn!

  31. quartet-man wrote:

    I have said this before, but Gaither introduced me to a lot of SG before we had a station. I listened to the Cathedrals, Gold City, the Stamps, but Gaither introduced me to the Hoppers, The Talleys, and others I’m sure.

  32. gowan brooks wrote:

    sometime backi was laying in bed 1 nite turing channels of the TV, i came across somethingthat i had been missing for a long time.Gospel Music as i watched not knowing that muchabout Bill i begain to listen and watch, Hovie Lister, Jake Hess, The Goodmans ,George (from the Caderals was there, Glenn Paine also, Larry Gatllin, Eva Mae Lafevere and Many More taping “Where could I Go But To the Lord” With MICHAEL ENGLISH DIRECTING them, , We Cant Forget Mark Lowery Can We.
    They had so much Fun, Laughter and Fellowship that gloria told bill when he came with a Homemade tape , that how many people would love to see there Old beloved Heros, We should say that was the beginning of a new Place in History , that ANY ONE WHO LOVES SG MUSIC WOULD ENJOY AND BE Blessed time After time, People who never went to Church or heard there Music before would buy it and play it over and over again for as long as they would live, So Let us Say THANK YOU BILL & GLORIA and May The Lord bless You Real Good.
    Harry YOU STINK

  33. gowan brooks wrote:

    I more thing Dottie Is Taking care Of business as I Speak, & All that knew and loved her Would be blessed if bill Did every bit of footage he had on her , If You Loved Her, You Would Be very Happy for any thing bill could give Us Of her.

  34. Kay wrote:

    I have to say that I see nothing wrong with the family selling DVD’s of this funeral service. Why Not? Dottie Rambo was so widely loved by a lot of folks that couldn’t be there and want to see how she was honored.
    And have you thought about the fact that it cost a lot of money to pay for a funeral and all kinds of expenses, medical and such left behind.
    My thoughts & prayers are with the family. I have nothing negative to say about them.

  35. Loved Dottie wrote:

    I ordered the DVD and just finished watching it. The making of the DVD is a treasure, but it should not have been made a vessel of money making. I felt so uneasy watching it. Dottie would not have approved of this at all!!! She would have won’t it shared openly and freely as she did with her God given gifts in life.
    May God forgive me for falling into this
    heathen trap.

  36. cynical one wrote:

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Dottie, knowing her financial and health conditions were both frail, might have requested this dvd be made available for sale?

    I’ve not heard anything to that effect, but it would be a very real possibility. Thank about it.

  37. RLY wrote:

    I ordered the dvd and received it and enjoyed it very much. Glad I ordered it. Looking at the dvd I don’t think that it was made for a money making project. Where can you get a dvd that is over two hours in length with all the artist that was on it for $15.00. Most dvds are $20.00 & up. I think it was going to be taken off the market today.
    It will be a collectors item.

  38. Moonpie wrote:

    Wow! I can’t believe all the haters here. Dottie was a wonderful and awesome woman of God, as well as her daughter Reba. Reba and her family have been through so much. She will miss her mom for the rest of her life. Leave her be! This is the most incrediable bickering back and forth I have ever heard. Who cares if someone has had a face lift or sold a dvd. God knows the condition of the heart and it is not your place to judge anyone. I know Donny and Reba minister to thousands of broken people just like Dottie did. How can anybody be a bad person for doing that? I am a nurse and I know what healthcare costs. I am for certain that Dottie’s health problems drained her fianancially many years ago. Even on medicare! and I am sure that Reba is not gaining some big time money from the sell of this dvd. I also am certain that her and Donny’s church put a lot of money out to people who are broken and hurting. Quit hating and start loving one another like God has commanded us all to do. We will all will be better people because of it. Rest in Peace Dottie! and Reba and Donny God bless you for all that you do in your ministry.

  39. adrian wrote:

    it is very interesting how many people add to the story and they never really knew dottie. She was a great inspiration to a lot of people but the real problem is fans and people in general put these kind of people sometimes above god and this was the case with dottie/donnie/ reba They have lived there lives off the generosity of people for so long that it is very common for them to expect people to still look at them like royalty never thinking about tomorrow always just living for the day

  40. Sam Thomas wrote:

    I bought the dvd out of love and respect for Dottie. it was a blessing and a comfort to me.
    i dont care where the money goes.
    The Bible says JUDGE NOT.
    So pray that you can get over yourself and give Dottie some respect.

  41. kari eckert wrote:

    I visit Nashville several times a year. I always attend Reba and Donny’s church.when I am there! It is full of Love and I am amazed how generous they are! I Loved Dottie’s Song’s, She gave us so much, I am Thankful for how much her music inspires me, “Thank You Dottie and most of all for letting me Celebrate in Your “HOMECOMING”! Reba, I’ll see you in Your Church next time I come to Nashville, Thank You, for sharing Your Beutiful Mother with Us.

  42. jean h wrote:

    The Devil is on his job I have never read so much hate for someone who has just buried a loveone. What is this world comeing to shame on you people. If you can’t say something nice then don’t say nothing at all.SHAME_SHAME_SHAME Love You Donnie Reba & Family God Bless You.

  43. Faye Beasley wrote:

    How discouraging and sad this all makes me–unfortunately most of these are probably written by people who claim to love and serve the Lord. Let the Lord judge! Bill Gaither and Dottie Rambo’s music has blessed me for years and God has used it in my life in many ways. People show be ashamed of the slander–instead we need to be praying and showing the World the ways of Jesus.
    I have no musical talent, but music given by the Lord to the above and others has touched me and guided my life.

  44. Marlene J.W. wrote:

    I just leaned of Dottie Rambo’s passing today, while watching Reba tell of her mother’s death on TBN. I regret that the date for purchase of the video has passed. I think that it was a wise thing to do, to allow people who loved Dottie and her music, to get an opportunity to share in her final tribute. I regret that it may no longer be available, at this late date. I would love to have had an opportunity to purchase the video of the tribute that she so well deserved.

    Dottie was a legend, and her music will live on in the earth, as her spirit will in heaven.
    I believe the family was generous to offer this opportunity to thousands of people, who were unable to attend her services, to be able to share in the celebration of her life, her ministry and her legendary talent.
    My love and sympathy goes out to her family to ease their pain in her sudden, unexpected departure. This always causes added pain to the loss of a loved one. We know that even though she is in heaven, her family will miss her, and will be in shock and grief that she will no longer be with them to share in family activities, holidays, and in ministry. Reba was her only child. Please think about her no longer having her mother to share with, and how she will feel whenever she hears her mother’s music. Even Jesus cried at the death of Lazarus.
    Have a heart, people! This family has done nothing wrong– they have only offered others an opportunity to celebrate with them Dottie’s life, her talent, her ministry and her final tribute. There has been none other to compare with Dottie Rambo since Fannie Crosby. She was the most prolific writer of gospel music in the 20th Century. If Bill Gaither does a tribute
    to her, I believe her family should share in
    the profits. They deserve the royalties
    from her music. Her incredible talent will
    live on in the hearts of anyone who hears
    her music. It was a gift from God.

  45. Jason wrote:

    I want to respond to all of those people who think the taping of Dottie Rambo’s funeral is “ghoulish” or “inappropriate” or even express any concern because they think it is “out of place”: It’s a funny thing to me that there was neither any controversy nor did anyone demean or question when they televised the funerals of Princess Diana, Tammy Wynette or any other political figure. James Brown had what…five funerals or so? Why criticize when someone wants to remember a gospel icon? Sounds like prejudice to me. If you are offended or bothered by my comment, then I am talking about you and I have no regrets for what I said.

  46. sockpuppet wrote:

    I don’t think people were disagreeing with the taping - as you have noted, televised or even streamed footage of funerals, memorials or what have you has become commonplace for the famous. Seems to me that some were objecting to the “selling” or making a profit from the funeral.
    I don’t have a problem with it, since only a very few know what all of the circumstances were, perhaps we should withhold judgement.

  47. judy l long wrote:


  48. nikki heart wrote:

    I would like to give my heart felt deepest sympathy to the family of Sister Dottie Rambo. I sang “I go to the rock” in church and when I am by myself to get through some hard times I have had in my life. Ms. Reba your mothers songs have healed my broken, sorrowful heart a many times. Ms. Reba please, please remeber what God words says, ” Weeping may endure for a night but joy will come in the morning. I would like to purchase your mother’s homegoing service, even though, I know the last date to purchase has pasted. I did not know that the funeral service was on DVD. Ms. Reba don’t worry about the critics and what they say you knew your mother best, and what she wanted, just hold your head up high, keep the faith and let me leave you with this little encouraging poem, i wrote
    Remeber when things get hard
    & you can’t get any love
    Look to Jesus who sits high
    & loves you from above.

    You have a special Angel
    who sits in heaven
    She is smiling down on you
    saying tha’s my daughter
    & I love her.

    As sure as the birds fly
    high in the sky
    God surely loves you
    And that is no lie.

    Peace long life & happiness.

  49. intheknow wrote:

    What kind of relationship did Reba have with her mother in the years before her death?

  50. Terrance Peterson wrote:

    I am actually shocked at this website! You are all a bunch of gossip-mongers. It is none of your “busniess” who profits from the sale of the DVD. It is none of your bursiness “why” the family allowed it to be made available to the public.
    I was one of the first to purchase a copy and I have been blessed every time I have watched it. It wasn’t a “funeral”- It was “church”!!!!!!!!!
    Now GET OVER IT!!!
    Try praying for everyone involved in this tragedy and stop running your mouths!

  51. no name wrote:

    i don’t think reba should have alowed mae rambo bucks wife any where near her dear sweet moms body she acted at the funeral home as if she was hosting a cocktail party it was no secret dotties dislike for her reba it was ok for your dad to come for a short time but in no way should you alowed him to bring her shame on you shame on you all for the hurt you brought to dottie.

  52. PEGGI BAIRD wrote:







  53. Yvonne wrote:

    I loved Dottie Rambo ander music….she brought me closer to the Lord. I still mourn her passing but God gained an angel. I stll would like to purchase a DVD of her Homegoing…any help?? And I am AMAZED at some of these comments….unbelievable.

    God bless

  54. Amazing wrote:

    Rest in Peace Dottie Rambo!

    Rambo Evangelistic Association is not an active corporation in the state of TN. Makes me wonder about Larry…yes, he helped propel Ms Dottie back into the active ministry…but perhaps his motives weren’t exactly pure…he did get to sell his book AND his kid sang at Dottie’s funeral.

    At any rate, Dottie shall remain forever in our hearts, regardless of the way we acknowledge her passing or ‘discern’ her living.

  55. Martha Black wrote:

    I would like to say that it probably was a mistake to offer a dvd of the funeral for money just because of all the evil and ungodly comments it has brought out from some very strange people about someone I have loved so well since I was a child growing up and listening to. Someone that sang to me about a God that loved me more than anything and told he he could get you through anythiing. Someone that kept my heart tender and open and reception, rather than allowing it to grow hard, closed and cold.

    Had I known about the dvd when it was first made available for a short while, I probably would have purchased it because of what a fan I have been of Dottie’s music and inspired by the overcoming adversity lifestyle she has displayed and would loved to have been present at her funeral (don’t want to offend anyone by calling it a “homecoming” - get over it).

    What we need to remember is that we are all a diverse people and do not always do everything like everybody thinks we should, but it is not our job to judge each other and it certainly is not our job to run our mouth and run each other down. Nobody (well me anyway cares to hear it and it’s done nothing but cause harm and hurt - aren’t your proud?) None of us know what the other has to walk through or face unless and until we have to walk through it or face it for ourselves. We do not all handle the same sort of situations in the same manner. That is not to say one is wrong and the other is right - it’s just how it is.

    As it is, in hindsight I am glad I did not know about the dvd and missed it, because I am so sad at this point by all that has been said, I would just rather wait and “Talk It Over In The By and By” and talk about “How We Got Over” just Dottie and I when we have a wonderful visit in Glory. Until then, I will leave her in the just and loving hands and arms of a wonderful alll knowing, all seeing, God where I hope to be someday.

  56. Jerry Boor wrote:

    Wow!!! I knew there were a few disgruntled people who had criticized Reba and Dony for making Dottie’s homegoing service DVD available, but this really shows how much we all need Dottie’s songs! Songs like “He Looked Beyond My Fault,” “Where Did All the Good Folks Go?”, “He See Me Through the Blood”, “I Don’t Want To Do Anything To Bring Reproach To My Father’s Name,” “He Could See the Eagle in Me,” “Take Me for a Cleansing”, “Marvellous Grace,” “How Graciously Grace Has Covered My Sin,” “Touch Through Me,” or “The Mercy Throne” - all songs that talk about God’s grace, mercy and love. Real Dottie Rambo fans know her lesser known songs also. If I didn’t understand the power of the gospel, I’d be very afraid that some of you critical folks wouldn’t even make it to heaven!! If you do, it will only be by the grace of God, which Dottie’s songs talk so much about!! Please re-think those hurtful comments and ask yourself: “Would Jesus have said that?”

  57. Gloria Hills wrote:

    Wow, our Christian World needs a great revival to purify hearts so that jealousy will not control the thoughts and turn words to such deep judgement.
    Being a widow; I understand exactly where the family is coming from (decisions at times like these are not for everyone’s understanding as it’s not for us to decide) ….I too wish I had known in time to receive the DVD that Reba was making available. If there is a way I can still get one; I would appreciate it. My prayers are w/you Reba & family.
    The last picture I had taken w/Dottie at the NQC was in 2006 — such a personable person who took time for all her fans and supporters….Reba & her family have a big job to follow in her shoes (in what God has called them to do). They are well able and my prayers are that Reba & Dony will be used more mightily in the River at Music City…an abundance of provision and a harvest of souls will be seen afresh in this new year 2009.

  58. Pedantic wrote:

    #56, Jerry,
    Um, how exactly are you planning to get into heaven? It’s sound biblical doctrine that the grace of God is the only way ANYbody is getting in, whether they know Dottie’s lesser known songs or not. *Just thought I’d bring that up so you can check your policy*

  59. Eve wrote:

    MATTHEW 7:1-5 Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged and with what measure ye measure IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU AGAIN. And why behodest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considers not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye and behold a beam is in thine own eye? THOU HYPROCRITE, FIRST CAST OUT THE BEAM OUT OF THINE OWN EYE AND THEN SHALT THOU SEE CLEARLY TO CAST OUT THE MOTE OUT OF THY BROTHER’S EYE.


  60. diane wrote:

    I pray for healing, reconcilliation, restitution, forgiveness and settlement in the tragic accident that caused Dottie Rambo’s death. Words are not enough. Only GOD can put the pieces of broken hearts back together again.
    GOD Bless Reba, Dony, and their family

  61. Larry Ferguson wrote:

    Yes, I was the benefactor of the Rambo Evangelistic Association however as to day it has not been returned to me.

    Also, Dottie did share she didn’t want her funeral sold when she heard rumor of another artists that would be selling their funeral.

    And yes, she had medicare and upgraded to Healthspring Health Insurance.

    Though my family has benefited from some donations made by wonderful people the DVD never paid anything in the way of our expenses as some one asked. I hope that clears that up for everyone.

  62. Denver wrote:

    I strongly agree with you Larry. Dottie is one of my favorite and inspirational singers. Well, it does not mean that if you sell Dottie’s funeral DVDs, you’ll turn to a millionaire. The purpose, I bilieve of doing such is to show how a christian who has touched many lives is loved and missed.

  63. Connie Stoll wrote:

    I was just wondering if all the dVD’s were taken. I would like to have one in memory of Dottie’s songs and lift praise to God with her songs and the service. If any aren’t available, thank you anyway and God bless everyone involved. Money does not bring happiness but I had seen a video where Dottie talked about her illness and that could happen to any one of us.

  64. Eileene Ward wrote:

    My sister sent a donation for the cd to give to me. As of today, March 10,2009, she has not recieved it.
    If at all possible, please send a cd.
    I met Dottie and Buck when Reba was three years old, at Bro G.D. Peters’ church in Kingsport,Tn.
    My sister’s address is: [edit]

  65. Rickey Johnson wrote:

    Does anyone know when Dottie’s last album, “Sheltered” will be released?

  66. Fezzik wrote:

    I’m sure a few people on here will tell you that they know, but they just aren’t free to share that information. Maybe because some woman in Mexico sued some TV stations and Magazines.

  67. Richard wrote:

    To Fezzik:

    Are you joking?

  68. Fezzik wrote:

    Making fun of the hoopla on another thread, yes.

  69. bj mcmillan wrote:

    I feel Larry her manager was done wrong. Why was not Dottie on her way to see her own daughter on Mothers Day, interesting. I wouldn’t and didn’t buy the funeral CD…to pad old Bucks pocket and his wife..shame…I think it is a disgrace that Reba and Donnie have this man and his wife in their ministry…I am in a state of shock that Reba allowed that Other Woman at her mom’s funeral…not to mention…the old Buck…shame

  70. Carol wrote:

    I am so pleased that the family thought to record the service on DVD It is the only way I could have viewed the service of Dottie Rambo, a singer I have enjoyed and loved for over 40 years.

  71. RAW wrote:

    As many of u I loved Ms. Dottie.. She touched my heart and soul with many of her songs. I heard her say she did not perform at Elvis’s funeral because it turns into a show, and that is disrespectful too the family… As long as it don’t bother her family I guess it should not bother us… Dottie is probaly laughing at all of us for our silly blogs, where she is stupid stuff like this doesn’t matter… Can’t u just hear her sing HOLY…. God bless u all

  72. Jerry Boor wrote:

    This is just an update to let you all know that Dottie Rambo’s new CD, called Sheltered, (recorded before her death, but never released), will finally be released on September 15, 2009! It is long overdue because of matters concerning her estate, but at least it is finally going to be released. Continue to pray for her manager, Larry Ferguson, as he is still recovering from the serious injuries received in the bus accident. You can reach him via e-mail through Dottie’s website

  73. Wisdom wrote:

    Wow..all I can say is Wow” People have voiced their concerns and opinions. Larry Ferguson has been kind enough to make comments. The comment that rang so wrong in my ears and not in the spirit that is should..was this so called Niece of hers…Peggy Baird ! First of all , did you think everyone needed to hear you screaming as you capitalized everything so we knew who you are and what you are furious about?. That sure was done in the love of God..right? Then you go and judge all these your first couple of sentences!!

    Are you truly cognizant of what your aunt went thru? Was she your aunt by blood or by marraige? I mean really…if someone is a public figure it goes with the territory. For your aunt to be estranged by her daughter…you do not think that is devestating to carry with you..your only child? I mean really come on..what people were questioning here was integrity!! Did you not read Larry Fergusons comments about Dotties wishes? Were you privy to the reason Dottie and Buck divorced? Do you not think for one moment that your aunt was not hurt and suffered being lonely? That another family opened their arms to her to help fill a void.

    Your comments showed a lot of anger. Now on one hand I can understand because it hurts you..but on the other take into account who she was, what she truly endured and her wishes. I wish you would of done that before throwing stones!! Furthermore you do not want people to judge and rightfully so..having said that, dont judge others as well. Understand where people may be coming from..what they may or may not know.


  74. Omeomy wrote:

    It is 9/09 and I just found out about a month ago that Dottie passed away. I was very grieved and heartsick. I’ve read the comments and oh my…. Her niece spoke out of love and anquish…I FEEL IT TOO! I thought it was wonderful that the family was willing to share that wonderful service. ( I saw some videos on youtube) What does it matter the motives secret intentions imagined purposes, for Petes sake, She was a servant who gave her all for the public good…her and her family…We, though far away, want every minute we can have with her even to the very last moment she had in this life. I knew that her homecoming service would be first class and I wish I could have gotten in on getting a DVD. At least it helped to see some of it on video.(awesome….truly,truly awesome) My deepest love to You Reba, Dony, your children, to Buck and to all of Dotties nieces nephews cousins, aunts uncles brothers sisters in life and in the Lord. God bless and comfort you all. Love, Sue (We’ve never met, I went to a concert your mom and dad had in Rogers, AR. A friend had given us some records of your music and that how we got to know of you. My Husband and I still love to listen to the older songs which I recorded on cassettes before the records went out of style and we love the new music.) So Sorry for all this negative stuff on here. I quess you can see not every one feels that way. I knodded in agreement with everyone who was rooting for you

  75. South Africa wrote:

    Hi Larry
    It hurts me very much of how the Christian American Army can kill their own soldiers. I loved Dottie and enjoy her music till today. You even “gave your life” to her and her ministry. Reba and her family should be ashamed of themselves. If the will states that you must get the ministry, let it be like that. They do not even respect her will…?How many of the other dear gospel singers children and family (like the Goodmans’ son) is just waiting to cash in. These people are not a good example of the real christian life. No wonder so many is laughing at us. Yonggi Cho once said” It’s amazing what the Americans can do without God.” Reba shows it hey? Nevertheless, God is in control and will handle things for you. Trust Him. He provides and will work everything good for you and your family and for the people that were so much involved in Dotties ministry.

  76. Rev. Shirley Garrett wrote:

    January 18, 2010: Dear Reba and Family: I had no idea that there would be DVD’s of your precious mother’s home going available. I am deeply saddened that they were available only until June, 2008. I would be willing to pay whatever the cost to have what would indeed be a treasure of mine if I could have a DVD of dear Dottie Rambo’s Home Going Service. Please let me know if there is any way in this world that I could get a copy of this. As I aforementioned, I am willing to pay whatever it costs.

  77. SHAWN O'BANION wrote:


  78. SHAWN OBANION wrote:




  79. teresa atchenson wrote:

    I loved Dottie Rambo.She looked like an Angel.I know she is in Heaven.People that are true Christians,do not judge others.If you do,judgement comes on you.NO-one has any right to criticize people for the way they take care of their end of things.I thank GOD that Dottie does not know how people are treating her family.GOD knows.I pray that GOD gives her family the strength they need to endure the trials of this world.and That GOD will pass Dotties anointing to Reba.This LADY, DOTTIE RAMBO was chosen by GOD to sing his word through songs.He is watching over her children and grands ,&greats,as the word says. LOVE,to all TERESA ATCHENSON NORTHPORT,AL.

  80. Rev Dr. James Verner wrote:

    “The crowd all went home, and Jesus climbed the mountain to pray.”

    When the needy, but gawking, crowds were finished with Jesus they went home… Jesus, however, was above and beyond the ‘crowds’ because He and father still had a high calling to fulfil. So does Dotty.

  81. Mary Fawcett wrote:

    Are there any more DVDs available?

  82. sherri wrote:

    commenting on dottie’s past debts, if she were concerned she would have sold elvis gifts herself so we don’t want to hear that garbage. if reba wanted to stop any bad press she could have posted paid debts versus donations and estate sale tallies. reba and buck are not $ makers on talent like dottie so they are supported by donations from the pay check to pay check citizens out there. once you* choose* to become a performer and public figure you give up the right of privacy, that’s the business.

  83. Pamela Sheppard wrote:

    Oh my, my, my. People, please, wake up and smell the roses and love, love, love each other. That’s why JESUS came and why GOD sent HIM. That’s what Christianity is ,,,,, LOVE FROM GOD, FOR GOD, AND FOR OUR FELLOW-MEN AND WOMEN. You are breaking Jesus’s heart by all of this bickering at the loss of our lovely, blessed and talented 1st Lady of Gospel music, CHOSEN BY GOD, MS. DOTTIE RAMBO. And I beg you to leave Bill and Gloria Gaither alone, they too, are irreplaceable. May God bless and keep the family of my sister-in-Christ, the ONE AND ONLY DOTTIE RAMBO, who will never, ever be forgotten. From Matheny and Beckley, WV…Pamela Stewart Sheppard

  84. Mark Cochenour wrote:

    If someone can share with me how to purchase the Dottie Rambo celebration video please email me at

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