For more than five decades, Evangelist “Mama” Maggie Ingram & the Ingramettes brought their music and ministry to congregations in the Tidewater and Piedmont. Born July 4, 1930, on Mulholland’s Plantation in Coffee County, Georgia, Maggie worked in the cotton and tobacco fields with her parents. She began playing the piano and singing at an early age, and developed a great love for the church and the ministry of the Gospel. She formed Sister Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes, a singing group that became sought after for appearances throughout Florida. In 1961 Maggie moved her family to Richmond, where she worked in the home of Oliver W. Hill, the prominent civil rights attorney who represented the Virginia plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. The family joined Love’s Temple Church of God in Christ and began singing in and around the city. With her children, Maggie also began a prison ministry, partnering with the Mount Gilead Baptist Church in the 1970s to institute programs like family day in Virginia prison camps.
Maggie received numerous awards, including the prestigious Virginia Heritage Award in 2009 and a doctor of music degree from Virginia Triumphant College and Seminary in 2011. The Virginia Folklife Program’s production of Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes: Live in Richmond received the Independent Music Awards fan’s choice award for Gospel Album of the Year in 2012.
For Mama Maggie, who passed away in 2015 at 84, music was always a family affair, and three generations of Ingram’s have performed with the Ingramettes. Their commanding, spirit-filled performances demonstrated the extraordinary depth of talent in American gospel music. The group is one of Virginia’s premier gospel ensembles. The family continues on spreading Maggie’s joy, ministry, and music. Now led by Maggie’s daughter Reverend Almeta Ingram-Miller, granddaughter Cheryl Maroney Yancey, and daughter-in-law Carrie Jackson, the group has not only continued but soared to new heights.