While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) gmail.com. Cite this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. Publication date: Jul 15, 2019. Publisher: OpenBible.info. Christian Images
When Samuel was seeking who would be the king of Israel, He had all of Jesse’s sons pass before him and time after time, Samuel thought that surely one of these young men would be the next king.  Some were tall and muscular but that was not God’s standard.  Jesse didn’t call David who was what we might call the “runt of the litter” but God said that He looks not on the outward appearance but what is inside.  He doesn’t have regard for what a person’s looks are like but He looks at the heart because the most important attributes of a person are never what we see but the things we don’t see and what we cannot see, God can.  That’s all that really matters. Bible Verse Images
Sadly, many people will look at us and judge us by appearances and as we’ve already read, they can miss-read us because they don’t see what’s on the inside which is what is of ultimate importance.  Jesus said “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one” (John 8:15).  Every time that someone looks at us and they judge us by appearances, they are judging us by human standards and very likely miss-judging us.  What they can’t see is what is most important anyway.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were only concerned with what people saw them doing but God knew their hearts and saw that they were inwardly full of sin. Biblical Verses Image
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I’ve always liked the lyrics of the popular hymn that state “It is well with my soul.” It was only when I researched some of the background for this post that I learned some of the story behind these famously sung words. Did you know that words to this hymn were penned by Horatio Spafford after the tragic loss of ALL 5 of his children? You can read the story behind the hymn and the full lyrics here. Christian Images
I’ve always liked the lyrics of the popular hymn that state “It is well with my soul.” It was only when I researched some of the background for this post that I learned some of the story behind these famously sung words. Did you know that words to this hymn were penned by Horatio Spafford after the tragic loss of ALL 5 of his children? You can read the story behind the hymn and the full lyrics here. Christian Images
Jack Wellman is a father and grandfather and a Christian author, freelance writer, and Prison Minister. Graduate work at Moody Bible Institute. His books are inexpensive paperbacks that are theological in nature: “Teaching Children The Gospel/How to Raise Godly Children,“ “Do Babies Go To Heaven?/Why Does God Allow Suffering?,“ "The Great Omission; Reaching the Lost for Christ," and “Blind Chance or Intelligent Design?, Empirical Methodologies & the Bible." Bible Verse Images
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And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” ... Christian Images
When Samuel was seeking who would be the king of Israel, He had all of Jesse’s sons pass before him and time after time, Samuel thought that surely one of these young men would be the next king.  Some were tall and muscular but that was not God’s standard.  Jesse didn’t call David who was what we might call the “runt of the litter” but God said that He looks not on the outward appearance but what is inside.  He doesn’t have regard for what a person’s looks are like but He looks at the heart because the most important attributes of a person are never what we see but the things we don’t see and what we cannot see, God can.  That’s all that really matters. Bible Verse Images
Glory of ChristChrist AtoningThe Effect Of The Word Of GodChrist's Own GloryimagepersonalityThe Beauty Of NatureGod On HighRight Hand Of GodRadiancyGod Sustaining CreationPower Of Christ, ShownHand Of GodGod, Living And Self sustainingRight SidesSalvation, Nature OfKnowledge, Of Jesus ChristCreatorGod's Glory In Jesus ChristMediatorGod, Power OfBeing Cleansed From Sin Bible Verse Images
How true this is.  You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig but inwardly they’re still a pig so Peter writes that “the hidden person of the heart” is precious to God and the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” to God is “very precious” and that’s all that matters eternally.  We’ll all get new bodies someday anyway and so why should we be so preoccupied with what we look like when God only cares about what we are like on the inside? Christian Images
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

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I’ve always liked the lyrics of the popular hymn that state “It is well with my soul.” It was only when I researched some of the background for this post that I learned some of the story behind these famously sung words. Did you know that words to this hymn were penned by Horatio Spafford after the tragic loss of ALL 5 of his children? You can read the story behind the hymn and the full lyrics here.


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