The Gibson Gospel guitar originated in 1972-73 and manufactured at Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory. The guitar was designed to be a deep sounding vocal backup instrument. I've played my friend Terry Fisher's Gibson Gospel and I concur. It does have an excellent, big sound.
It was designed with a flat top, had square shoulders, arched back, maple neck, laminated maple back and sides and had a tortoise style body binding and pickguard. The guitars were only available with a natural finish. The headstock featured the image of a Dove below the Gibson logo.
The arched back was unique and used on other guitars with which I am familiar. Guild used the arched back on at least one model and Framus of Bavaria used it on most of their acoustic instruments. The arched back provided its own support, so there was no need for bracing.
The arched back aided in providing that big, deep sound.
The consumer focus of the guitar was for Christian music, perhaps due to this era being known as the Jesus Revolution. The advertisment bears this out by showing a typical Christian coffeehouse singer of the era testifying about the instrument.
But the Gibson Gospel acoustic guitar was also an excellent instrument choice for bluegrass, folk, country music and even blues.
In 1992 Gibson again offered the Gospel acoustic model. The reissue defers compared to the original. Gibson chose mahogany over maple for the reissue. This guitar has multiple white binding, multiply arched back laminate and unbound rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays. The braces were scalloped like those on the more expensive models. The Dove logo remained on this instruments headstock.
This time it also was adorned with black pickguard that was not as large or fancy as the original. Finishes were offered in either natural or sunburst.