Kenneth Wayne Guffey, 81, of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, departed this life for the many wonders of Heaven on Saturday, May 29, 2021, while surrounded by his loving and faithful family.
A longtime resident of Dade County, Wayne was a native of Jackson County, Alabama, where he was born to the late Rev. Paul & Mae Morgan Guffey, of Swearengin atop Gunter’s Mountain.
In 1960, Wayne married the love of his life, Mary Jo Watts, and to this union was born two lovely daughters, Lisa Gaye and Deanna Lynn. Wayne was a loving and devoted husband and father, raising his children to honor God and to keep Him first in their lives. Today, the family are members of the Scenicland Free Holiness Church, where Wayne received salvation in 1962. Here, Wayne has served as songleader for decades and has also led the congregation in service, following the passing of their minister in 2013. Though Wayne never claimed to be a minister, he was certainly endeared as a trusted elder and reliable leader by all who knew him.
After 30 years of service, Wayne retired from the United States Postal Service on Lookout Mountain, where he had served as Post Master for twelve years. Following his retirement from the post office, Wayne took a parttime job with the Bank of Dade in Trenton, Georgia, where he continued to serve his community until again retiring in 2019. He was always quick to share a smile and always had a funny story to tell, never losing his sense of humor, even after his cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
Wayne’s love for gospel music began at an early age. His great-grandfather was a Sacred Harp music teacher, and the talent for reading and singing shaped-note music was richly instilled in many children and grandchildren of the Willmon and Guffey families, including Wayne’s uncle and mentor, Roy Guffey.
Known to many as K. Wayne Guffey, he was the author of more than 700 gospel songs, many of which have been published and printed by most every major songbook editor for many decades. His first song, “Joy Up There”, was published in 1963 by the M.H. Woodard Company of Cullman, Alabama. Since that time, thousands of singers and pianist have eagerly awaited the arrival of each year’s new songbooks from the various publishers so that they can see what new composition had been penned by one of their favorite writers, K. Wayne Guffey. In 2016, Wayne was inducted into the Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame, being honored for his many years of service to gospel music.
Wayne was very active in the Convention Singing community, having served for many years as the moderator of the Dade County Singing Convention, as well as serving multiple offices with the state and national conventions, including President of the 1997 Georgia State Singing Convention and President of the 2002 National Singing Convention. For decades, Wayne traveled county to county, state to state, spreading the good news of Christ through song and working toward the furtherance of the music he so deeply loved. His contributions to gospel music will be legendary.
He taught hundreds of singings schools. He sang at undoubtedly thousands of singings, including the years he spent with the Sacred Tones Quartet. He sang at many hundreds of funerals. But as with all things in this life, his work is now finished. He has sung his final song on earth below.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Dual Holland and Betty Sue McKenzie. He is survived by his devoted wife of sixty-one years, Mary Jo Guffey; adoring children, Lisa Bailey and Dee & Jeff Duke; grandchildren, Nicole & Chad Floyd, Cressida Bailey, and Brandon & Katie Kinsey; great-grandchildren, Zoe Floyd, Xander Floyd, Arlee Daniels, and Jax Kinsey; sister and brother-in-law, Darlene and Bithal Whitley; honorary son, Ervin Thomas; and a great host of extended family and friends.
The funeral will be held Thursday at 1 o’clock at Moore Funeral Home in Trenton with Bro. Edwin Spurgeon and Bro. Shannon Byrd officiating. Congregational singing will begin at 12. Interment will follow at Lake Hills Memorial Park.
Visitation will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, 2-8, and 11-1 Thursday EDT, at the funeral home
The family would like to extend their appreciation to the many people who have shown special care for Wayne during his sickness, including Jackie Guffey, Lamar Guffey, Johnny Bradford, Wesley & Sharon Bradford, Sue Gray, and Shannon Byrd.
Services will be livestreamed on Thursday beginning at 12:00PM at
Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at