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During the summer of 1969 "Aunt" Blanche Gist Jennings, who resided in New York City expressed a desire to have the branches of her family come together for a family reunion.  Two years of research and organizational development resulted in the establishment of the initial Gist Family Reunion Committee.  That initial committee consisted of Charles O. Gist (deceased), Aileen Gist Gallman (deceased), Lillie Gist Moultrie (deceased), Johnnie Gist (deceased), Jimmie Gist (deceased), Evelyn Gist Lee, and Max Gallman.  

The first reunion was called the "Gist-Glenn Reunion" and was held in 1972 at Croft State Park in Spartanburg, SC.  In 1974 and 1976 reunions were held in Union, SC and were known as the Gist Family reunion.  Willie Eugene Gallman chaired those successful reunions.

There was a five year period in which there was not a reunion and during that time Lavern Fenwick expressed a desire to form a perpetual Gist Family Reunion.  She diligently researched the various branches of the Gist family tree.  Lavern then invited family members from all over the country to Gaffney, SC in 1981 to formally reorganize the family reunion.  Lavern's vision, effort, and perseverance helped to ignite and unite branches of the family on the path of continual family reunions.  

In 1994, the family voted that the official name of the the organization would be the Gist National Family Reunion.  Since 1981 reunions have been held biennially in the following cities:
  • 1981 Gaffney, Sc
  • 1983 Cleveland, OH
  • 1985 Birmingham, AL
  • 1987 Washington, DC/Oxon Hill, MD
  • 1989 Niagara Falls, NY
  • 1991 Dayton, OH
  • 1992 Gaffney, SC
  • 1994 Daytona Beach, FL
  • 1996 Dallas, TX
  • 1998 Atlanta/Griffin, GA
  • 2000 Oxon Hill, MD
  • 2002 Spartanburg, SC
  • 2004 Daytona Beach, FL
  • 2006 Atlanta, GA
  • 2008 Richmond, VA
  • 2010 Birmingham, AL
  • 2012 Spartanburg, SC
  • 2016 Atlanta, GA