Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs: the Music of Early Oneness Believers


Music has always been an integral part of the Pentecostal Movement. Bro. Howard Goss, an early Pentecostal pioneer, devoted a chapter of his book, Winds of God, to the advent of Pentecostal music, which he described as “joyous” and an attractive alternative to the mournful worship of traditional churches. Songs were sung “almost at breakneck speed,” and the passionate praises penetrated the souls of saints and sinners alike:

This crescendo of joyous, happy people singing unto the Lord was infectious. The sound of victorious Christian living wrapped around you. Unperceived, it seemed to slip down gently into the deeps of your affections, to tap at your heart’s door, and unsuspected, spread warmly through your entire being. (Goss 208-209)

Bro. Goss saw Pentecostal music as an important and indispensable element of the early revival: “Without it the Pentecostal Movement could have never made the rapid inroads into the hearts of men and women as it did. Neither could we have experienced a constant, victorious revival over the ensuing fifty years, one in which thousands have been accepted, sealed, and shipped through the world in bond, waiting for the appearance of the Lord” (Goss 212).

The centrality of music in the promotion of Pentecostal worship and an abiding spiritual anointing have produced a number of prolific songwriters. When the Oneness Movement emerged after 1913, Apostolics began to pen new hymns intimating the Oneness stand for full Bible truth and melodiously conveying the doctrines of the Mighty God in Christ, the New Birth, and holy living.

The catalog of Apostolic songwriters is an impressive roll call of some of God’s finest preachers and early Pentecostal laborers including: Garfield THaywood, Sis. S.K. Grimes, Alexander R. Schooler, Thoro Harris, Robert C. Lawson, William Booth-Clibborn, and George Farrow. *

G.T. Haywood, first Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, is perhaps the most beloved of all Oneness composers. His songs “I See a Crimson Stream of Blood” and “Jesus, the Son of God” gained widespread popularity even outside of the Oneness movement. Many of his hymns, published in The Bridegroom Songs, a hymnal printed at Christ Temple, his Indianapolis church, are distinctly Apostolic. The chorus of “Do All in Jesus’ Name” copyrighted in 1923 says:

Preach in Jesus name, teach in Jesus name,
Heal the sick in His name and always proclaim
It was Jesus’ Name in which the power came;
Baptize in His Name, enduring the shame,
For there is vict’ry in Jesus’ name.
Similarly, the refrain of Haywood’s “The Lord of Lords” says:
He’s Lord of lords and King of kings,
The Beginning and the end,
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The dying sinner’s Friend.
If you will hear His voice,
Be buried in His name,
Then the Comforter will come to abide.

Haywood was a tireless defender of Oneness doctrine; and when he died in April 1931, he left behind not only scores of hymns and a large body of apologetic tracts, sermons, and books.

Sis. S.K. Grimes also authored many songs. She and her husband, Samuel J. Grimes, served as Apostolic missionaries in Liberia for a number of years, and Grimes succeeded Bishop Haywood as leader of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1932. One of her most poignant hymns is aptly entitled “Acts 2:38″:

O what will you do with Acts two thirty-eight?
The way that leads to life is narrow and straight.
“Repent and be baptized,” God is speaking do not wait.
He gives you full directions there in Acts two thirty-eight.

Other significant hymns celebrating the Oneness of God and the Name of Jesus include “The Great I Am” and “Jesus, the Joy of My Soul.”
A.R. Schooler, one of the original PAW bishops from Cleveland, Ohio, wrote a number of distinctly Apostolic songs such as “The Name”, and “God Died for Me.” His 1920 hymn “The Author and the Finisher” proclaims in part: “His word we will obey/In the water we’ll be buried in His name.” Schooler’s “The Bible Manifestation” is an interesting example of Apostolic hymnody. The lyrics are openly critical of apostate denominationalism, which have “left the path apostles trod.” The song defends Pentecostal norms such as speaking in tongues, the anointing “of the sick/By the bishopric”, foot washing, and communion, and militantly declares: “I’ll arise and stand by the Bible manifestation/I’ll stand until the Lord shall come.”
Schooler also co-wrote many hymns with Thoro Harris, pastor of the Lake Street Mission in Chicago, Illinois, and one of the most fruitful and widely published Pentecostal musicians. Harris, whose most famous tune is unquestionably “Jesus Loves the Little Children”, wrote scores of hymns like “Pentecost in My Soul” and “All That Thrills my Soul is Jesus.” He was one of the first musicians to produce exclusively Pentecostal hymnals: The Blessed Hope (1910), Jesus Is Coming Soon (1914), Songs of His Coming (1919), and Songs We Love (1921).

Robert C. Lawson, who left the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World to found the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, also contributed a large number of songs to the Pentecostal repertoire. In “Praise Our God”, Lawson summates the Oneness view of Jesus Christ:

He overshadowed the Virgin Mary,
Was born a babe in Beth’lem cradle
God vailed [sic] in flesh,
His name was Jesus
Being interpreted was God with us.

Two of his most memorable hymns are “God is Great in My Soul” and “His Name Should be Praised” which boldly states: “I will praise Him for the ev’ning light/That I have entered in/Which shows us that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are One;/Oh praise the Lord ‘’tis finished’, On Calvary ‘twas done!”

William Booth-Clibborn was the grandson of William Booth, the illustrious founder of the Salvation Army. Booth-Clibborn was a powerful Pentecostal evangelist and authored one of the most beloved Oneness compositions, “Down from His Glory.” This majestic song inspired in 1921 declares the glory of Christ, the incarnate God:

Down from His glory, ever living story,
My God and Savior came, and Jesus was His name;
Born in a manger to His own a stranger,
A man of sorrows, tears and agony!

What condescension, bringing us redemption,
That in the dead of night, not one faint hope in sight,
God gracious, tender laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul!

Without reluctance, flesh and blood His substance,
He took the form of man, revealed the hidden plan;
O glorious myst’ry sacrifice of Calv’ry!
And now I know He is the great “I AM”!
Chorus: Oh how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all!
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him!

Perhaps the most well-known anthem of Oneness Pentecostalism is George Farrow’s “It’s All in Him”, which so clearly delineates the inter-testamental Oneness revelation of Jesus Christ as the manifest Jehovah God:

The Mighty God is Jesus, the Prince of Peace is He
The Everlasting Father, the King eternally,
The wonderful in wisdom by whom all things were made.
The fullness of the Godhead in Jesus is display’d.

Emmanuel, God with us, Jehovah Lord of hosts,
The omnipresent Spirit who fills the universe,
The Advocate, the High Priest, the Lamb for sinners slain,
The Author of redemption, O glory to His name!

The Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End,
The Living Word incarnate, the helpless sinner’s Friend.
Our wisdom and perfection, our righteousness and pow’r
Yea, all we need is Jesus, we find this very hour

‘Our God for whom we’ve waited,’ will be the glad refrain
Of Israel recreated when Jesus comes again.
Lo! He will come and save us, our King and Priest to be,
For in Him dwells all fullness, and Lord of all is He!

Chorus: It’s all in Him, it’s all in Him,
The fullness of the Godhead is all in Him.
It’s all in Him, it’s all in Him,
The Mighty God is Jesus, and it’s all in Him!

The hymns of early Apostolic believers were inspired by deep spirituality and the freshness of Bible revelations. They were simultaneously anointed and apologetic, glorifying Christ and intimating the deep truths of the Scriptures. The popularity of many of these hymns lasted throughout the early decades of the Oneness movement. Sadly, today their lyrics and tunes are virtually unknown to Apostolic young people, and many of the Oneness songs are indeed endangered. But the musical contributions of our Pentecostal predecessors make up an important part of our Apostolic heritage, and it is the responsibility of the contemporary Church to rediscover and revive the powerful songs of Zion that remain relevant to our strong stand for Acts 2:38 salvation and New Testament doctrine of the Mighty God in Christ, passing from generation to generation the “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” that so clearly articulate the message of “the faith once delivered unto the saints”, born in the Spirit-fueled conflagration of early Pentecostalism and the rich experiences of our Apostolic ancestors.

Sources:

Goss, Ethel. The Winds of God: the Story of the Early Pentecostal Days (1901-1914) in the Life of Howard A. Goss. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1977.

Hymns taken from The Bridegroom Songs Indianapolis: Christ Temple, 1924 and Pentecostal Praises. St. Louis: Pentecostal Publishing House, 1947.

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39 Responses to “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs: the Music of Early Oneness Believers”

  1. Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs: the Music of Early Oneness … | Famed Story Says:

    […] Continued here:  Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs: the Music of Early Oneness … […]

  2. jesusblogger Says:

    This is a very good post.

  3. Alexander Stewart Says:

    I enjoyed this site, it’s wonderful to see that the old apostolic songs never lost their power. Are there any recordings of these songs available?

    • mcshaw2 Says:

      I am not aware of recordings of most of these songs. They might be on various recordings of camp meetings, revival meetings, etc., but I doubt if they’re compiled anywhere. An Apostolic heritage CD may be in order!

  4. ed Says:

    can anyone get the tabature for the song “Down from his Glory” this is in my opinion the best apostolic song answering phillips’ question. shew us the father and it sufficieth us.

    • Cynthia Green Says:

      If you can acquire a copy of “Sing Unto the Lord” songbook from Word Aflame Press, UPCI, Hazelwood, MO you will find this song on Page 74. One of our pastor’s favorites. As a matter of fact he sang it this past Sunday at the close of evening service.

      EvgGreen

  5. william Says:

    The Apostolic hymn….THEY NEVER LOSE THEIR POWER!!!!

  6. evang Cynthia Green Says:

    There is a dvd of “The Bridegroom Songs” put together by one of the PAW pastors. Willfind it and post. Evang. C. Green

  7. Sister Cox Says:

    I am glad to know thee is a DVD of these songs , my husband, District Elder Virgil Cox, Jr., passed these songs on to us at our church in KCMO – my husband came up under Elder Tobin/Grimes/Haywood and all the great preachers were childhood friend and men of God together with my husband in preaching the word of God – Elder Golder, and all of the passed on to glory preachers – my husband, who was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Christ Temple, retired at 80 from his post as pastor in KCMO..but he, after 68 years of serving the Lord and the PAW faithfully, from Young People’s leading and other activities, is still going strong at 85, just at at slower pace. To God be the Glory.

  8. Shiela Says:

    could you please email me the Lyric Jesus the joy of my soul

    Be blessed

  9. Thomas Smalls Says:

    I was privileged to receive a copy of the later Bethleham edition of “The Bridegroom Songs.” It is a veritable treasure of devotion and doctrine, and perhaps the most succinct collection of what the early Oneness leaders believed. Unmentioned here were jewels by the likes of L.R. Octon and Gladstone T. Harewood.

    • Cynthia Green Says:

      I believe my husband has one of the early copies of “The Bridegroom Songs” songbook. Years ago Bishop Grimes used to place one in your hand and wait for your donation for the book. lol Bishop Grimes was like a father to us as young people. As a matter of fact if you see the nanme Gladstone T. Harewood, I believe that is Bishop G. T. Haywood. Spelling of his name is just different. Such wonderful memories of the Apostolic leaders of yesterday. I am from MA, but my husband and I had a beautiful relationship with Bishop Golder. Miss him dearly.

  10. Michael Riemer Says:

    I would like to find a web site that has not only the words to the hymns, but also the music that goes with the hymns. I have found a number of web sites that have both, the words and the music to hymns, sits such as, “Heavenly Midis Songbook.” Is there a pentecostal site like that? I would love to hear the music to the Hymn,”Jesus the Son of God” and “The Great I Am” I have never heard of those hymns before I read about them on this site. I know and just love the hymns “It’s All In Him” and “I See a Crimson Stream of Blood.” It is good to “keep alive” the Old Hymns.

    Thank You

    Michael Riemer

  11. vivian jones Says:

    my aunt was always singing this song= the sun is always shining somewhere this I know ,this I know can you please send me the words of this ai believe was an apostolic song Kind Regards vkj321

  12. Joaquin Elias Says:

    I am looking and wanting to learn the song, “Contrast”. found in page 379 of the songbook. I know the chorus, but I do not know how to start it. I only heard it once in its entirety. I Love this song and have look for it on youtube and with Sis. Joan Ewing site, but she does not sing it. Is there anyway I can find it on a CD or on a DVD, so I can learn it? It does not matter who sings it. I just want to learn it. Thank you

    Joaquin

  13. rebecca kling Says:

    ifound a hym book songs of zion by torch publishing company of lawrenceburg, indiana it has alot of songs by thoro harris ..some are copyrighted 1914.. it dosent have a date..but the price on the front was 35 cents..

  14. Grady Powell Says:

    I would love for someone to teel me where I could get copies of these songbooks. chaplainpowell@gmail.com

    • mcshaw2 Says:

      You may be able to order them directly from Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly in Indianapolis. They have a bookstore. Their telephone number is 317.923.7278.

  15. rcottrill Says:

    Your reference to Thoro Harris caught my eye, as today is the 136th anniversary of his birth. “All That Thrills My Soul” is a beautiful song, as is “He’s Coming Soon,” for which he used a Hawaiian tune. But I’m wondering about your statement that he wrote the melody for “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Unless there is another song by that name, the one most familiar to me was written by C. H. Woolston, with the tune by George F. Root.

  16. tina Says:

    hi i am oneness from the top of my head to the soul of my feet and the soul within me.. got some very old albums and I would like to find more of the old songs.. any info? thanks, tina

    • TheOldLandmark Says:

      It can be tough, but I recommend looking up information on the specific hymns and hymnists. There are some wonderful old song books offered from Christ Temple (Indianapolis) as well that include some of the early Oneness standards.

      • The water way Says:

        I need a copy of the song. “It shall be light in the evening time”

      • Marjorie Kinnee Says:

        Replying to “The Water Way” comment…

        The title of this song is, “The Water Way.” The line you mention is the first line of its chorus.

        You will find a copy of the song (hymnal-style) with verses in the UPCI Hymnal, “Sing Unto the Lord” – see page 202. The hymnal is available through the Pentecostal Publishing House. (A link to the PPH is provided here – http://www.upci.org/

        Also, as mentioned above, there is a YouTube video of a church singing the song… The commenter provided a link directly to the video.

  17. Marjorie Kinnee Says:

    Someone already mentioned the UPCI Hymnal, “Sing Unto the Lord.” It has a number of songs by G.T. Haywood and others; both words and music…

    All in Him – pg 369 – GTHaywood (GTH)
    All That Thrills My Soul – pg 400 – Thoro Harris (TH)
    Baptized Into the Body – pg 208 – GTH
    By His Stripes We Are Healed – pg 266 – TH
    Caught Up – pg 13 – TH
    Coming as a Thief in the Night – pg 200 – GTH
    Down From His Glory – pg 74 – Wm. Booth-Clibborn
    God is Great in My Soul – pg 297 – RCLawson (RCL)
    His Name Should Be Praised – pg 192 – RCL
    I Love Jesus Best of All – pg 151 – GTH
    I See A Crimson Stream – pg 91 – GTH
    I Was Lost But Jesus Found Me – pg 232 – Andrew D Urshan (ADU)
    I’m Glad I’m One of Them – pg 181 – JGMartin (JGM)
    Jesus the Son of God – pg 12 – GTH
    Pentecostal Fire is Falling – pg 240 – George Bennard
    Send the Fire – pg 100 – Author unknown
    Sunshine in the Shadow – pg 229 – ADU
    Thank God for the Blood – ph 207 – GTH
    The Day of Redemption – pg 194 – GTH
    The Great I Am – pg 5 – Mrs. SKGrimes
    The Water Way – pg 202 – Hattie E Pryor
    To Be Like Him – pg 347 – LROoton
    What Did They Do? – pg 301 – LCHall

  18. jan Says:

    Hello: Praise God to you all!!
    . this seems like a good site..

    I am searching deligently for a song with the following lyrics.
    it is a Apostolic song. The verse goes like this:
    “It shall be light in the evening time.”

    Young and old repent of all your sins..
    and the holy ghost shall enter in

    The evening time has come
    Its a fact that God and Christ are one..
    i am missing some of the words because I don not have all the words..

    Can anyone fill in the blanks for me? It will be greatly appreciated. I wish to be able to sing all the words to the song.. I believe the title of the song is the “Waterways” .. Thank you…!!

    God Bless you all!!

    • TheOldLandmark Says:

      Here is a link to a YouTube video of the song, which is called “The Water Way,” a great Apostolic anthem! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCLUjX_T11I

    • Tim Dever Says:

      There shall be light in the evening time
      The path to glory you will surely find
      It is the water way
      It is the light today
      Baptized in Jesu name
      Young and old repepent of all your sins
      and the Holy Ghost will enter in
      ‘For evening time has come
      It’s a fact that God and Christ are one

  19. jan Says:

    Thank you for your response .. I will see what I can do

    In the meantime be Blessed..!! Stay Blessed.!!

    Jan

  20. Charles R. Free Says:

    8-27-2010
    I found your site today. After 65 years of Apostolic ministry I am now writing and hoping to publish on the internet.

    I was so soothed and plesed to read your page, and to hear in my mind again those wonderful old songs. Thank you for putting this up. I found you by searching for the lyrics of one of the Haywood songs with which to end a chapter in my book not yet published, God bless you and all yours.

    • Dwayne Christensen Says:

      Bro.Free,
      Happy to know that you are in the land of the living!Contact me when your book is available.
      A former AMF compatriot!

      Pastor D.Christensen

  21. Charles R. Free Says:

    I haad great joy in reading your page here. I have 65 years in this blessed way.

  22. The water way, by G. T. heywood Says:

    Thanks for your kindness.

  23. The water way, by G. T. heywood Says:

    Please send me a copy of song entitled “The water way.”
    Thanks for your kindness.

    Welton

  24. Daniel Says:

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS HALLELUJAH TO THE ONE TRUE LIVING GOD LORD CHRIST ALMIGHTY

  25. JACK K JONES Says:

    PRAISE THE LORD THIS BROUGHT BACK OLD MEOMRIES. THE APOSTOLIC SONGS. THERE IS ONE IAM TRYING TO REMEMBER, MY PASTOR USE TO SING THE LATE BISHOP WILLIAM TUCKER PHILA PA. IT WAS CALL EACH DROP OF BLOOD. THATS ALL I COULD REMEMBER

  26. Jeff Jones Says:

    I just came from a wonderful service where “The Waterway” hymn was sung. I have been known as a resource of hymns. But that song was sung in that service, and I like so many others only knew bits and pieces. Thanks for this site.

  27. Robert S Says:

    Does anyone know of the story behing the Song “I can See a crimson Stream of Blood?” I heard the story when i was young and would like to know details and hear it again to refresh my memory! Thanks =)

    • TheOldLandmark Says:

      I heard Nathaniel Urshan once tell that Bishop Haywood wrote the song during an extended period of fasting and seclusion for prayer. After leaving his prayer chamber, he came to the Urshan home and sang the song to Andrew Urshan with tears literally squirting from his eyes as he sang!

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