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Old Southern Gospel Hymns

Most of the old gospel hymns are still being sung today in the twenty-first century. There are many awesome old southern gospel hymns, which were composed in the 70s and before. 

It is difficult to rate the songs from the best to the worst because all of them were a hit in their day.

The southern gospel hymns someone of the most beautiful and powerful songs, which have ever been written. Most of them were derived from the Bible whereas some were written according to one’s personal experience. 

Mostly, the experiences were ones, which tested the faith of individuals. They found comfort in singing to Christ Jesus and this is how hymn songs came about. Some of the examples of the commonly known hymn songs are as follows;

1. Because He lives


Bill and Gloria Gaither
This is one of the southern hymn songs that are well known. It was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, who are some of the most influential southern gospel musicians in the world. 

Gaither is received well wherever he goes and his song “Because He Lives” is about the living savior. This hymn song is sung and is found in many Christian church hymnals all over the world.




2. Stand up for Jesus


This hymn was written by George Duffield Jr in 1858. The hymn “Stand Up for Jesus” was based on the dying words of Dudley Tyng who had died from wounds sustained in a farm accident.

A few days after the accident Dudley Tyng told his father, "Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus."

At the funeral of Dudley, Duffield preached from Ephesians 6:14, "Stand firm, wearing the whole armor of God", and ended it by reciting this hymn he had written as a tribute.

Duffield was an associate of Dudley Tyng and supported him in the revival of evangelicalism in Pennslyvania.

Dudley Tyng had recently been expelled from an Episcopal congregation for speaking against slavery.

Duffield was also an inspiring preacher who led many people to Christ.

In addition to that, Duffield followed the bible to the letter and was against slavery-like his friend, Dudley Tyng. Their opposition to slavery was very divisive in those days. It made some happy and angered others in equal measure.




3. Count your Blessings


This is a popular song written by Irving Berlin. He wrote the song from his personal experience after the doctors could not treat his insomnia, which resulted from a form of stress, and asked him to try “counting his blessings.”

This hymn reminds us to be grateful for the small things that God has blessed us with, and stop overlooking them. All we have to say is thank you because not everyone is lucky to have the blessings that we have received.




4. Great is thy Faithfulness 

This is a popular Christian hymn written by Thomas Chisholm and derived from the Old Testament, in the book of Lamentations 3:23. After writing the song, he sent it to Kansas, where it was received by William Runyan, who in turn set the poem into music.

The song gained popularity because it was commonly used in international crusades and in Universities.



5. When the Saints go marching in


Despite the fact that this song originated as a Christian hymn, it is popularly played by the jazz bands and recorded by Louis Armstrong. The song is often confused with another hymn which looks similar known as “when the saints are marching in” by Katherine Purvis.

The origin of the song is quite unclear because there are other songs that people think are the same with this one yet they are completely different and written by different people.

It is believed that the original song begins with “When all the saints come marching in” and jazz bands sing it with modern lyrics which begins with “when the saints go marching in”.

This controversy has brought about confusion on the song’s originality.

6. Just as I Am 


The Christian gospel hymn, written by Charlotte Elliot first appeared on Christian Remembrance in around 1836. This song, later on, became the altar call song in Billy Graham’s crusades and even in the twentieth-century churches.

Graham used the song’s title in writing his autobiography and was later sung by Michael Smith as a tribute to Billy Graham.




7. He’s got the whole world in His hands


As seen from the name of this gospel hymn, the Lord Jesus Christ owns everything in this world and sees everything from heaven. This gospel hymn is a traditional African American hymn published in the early 1920’s.

The song is mostly used in teaching children more about the Bible and the nature of God. It is one of the gospel hymns that is still being used today.


8. I will sing the wondrous story


Singing about the wondrous story of the Christ who died for us reminds us of how gracious and merciful God is to everyone. This song assures every believer of eternal life in heaven through the parables and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In addition to that, the gospel hymn also portrays how God pardons people and gives second chances to those who lost their way. This is evidently seen from the line which says “I was lost but Jesus found me”.

He never leaves our side and is always with us, guiding our paths and showing us the right way to follow.

For more stories and hymn lyrics visit here.

I think you may also be interested in the following hymns:

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord Hymn Story and Lyrics

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