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When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder Hymn Story

When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder Hymn History


This song was first published in 1893 under a collection entitled Songs of the Soul. It is the product of James Milton Black (1856 - 1938).

It draws its inspiration from the Book of Life in the Bible and the absence of a child in Black's Sunday school class when attendance was taken. 

He visited this absent child only to discover that she was suffering from pneumonia. After calling the doctor to attend her, Black went home with a downcast face.

This was before the advent of antibiotics and Black knew that the chances of her recovering were slim. With this in mind, Black searched for a song that talked about a heavenly call but found none.

It was then that he felt impressed to write one himself. That was born this hymn When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.

A few days later Black sang this song at the funeral of this girl and shared with the people the circumstances that led him to compose this song. 

It was first published in the hymn book, Songs of The Soul. It is now one of the most popular Christian hymns and has been translated into many languages found in countries all over the world.

The message of the song is that we should all aim to be on the right side when God calls the roll of those to enter heaven.

It is based on 1 Thessalonians 4: 16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first."

James Milton Black

When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder Hymn Lyrics


1 When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound,
and time shall be no more,
and the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
when the saved of earth shall gather
over on the other shore,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

Refrain:

When the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

2 On that bright and cloudless morning
when the dead in Christ shall rise,
and the glory of his resurrection share;
when his chosen ones shall gather
to their home beyond the skies,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. [Refrain]

3 Let us labor for the Master
from the dawn till setting sun,
let us talk of all his wondrous love and care;
then when all of life is over,
and our work on earth is done,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. [Refrain]

For more hymn stories and lyrics click here

When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder Hymn Video


Allison Durham Speer, Ann Downing, Ernie Haase, George Younce, Mike Allen, Joy Gardner, Kim Hopper, Dean Hopper - Official Video for “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (Live)


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