Call To Worship
Thank You Lord! : 975
A hymn which expresses thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled us to obtain salvation is “Thank You, Lord.” The text of the original stanzas and of the chorus was written by Seth Sykes, who was born in 1892, possibly at Springburn, Scotland. Early in his life, Sykes worked as a conductor and motorman for the Glasgow (Scotland) Corporation Tramways, based at the Possilpark Depot. He was also Secretary of the Tramway Christian Association, and received permission from the department’s chairman James Dalrymple to hand out Christian literature and Bibles. In 1929, Sykes left his job to become a full-time evangelist based in Glasgow, Scotland, the third largest city in the United Kingdom, traveling to mission churches throughout Great Britain and abroad. Seth preached, telling stories from the Bible, and wrote lyrics to many hymns. His wife Bessie provided the music for most of his songs. They used lantern slide shows to illustrate their message and draw people to their meetings.
The Sykes were also invited to conduct services in the United States but according to a family member World War II put a stop to that and the moment passed. However, a number of their hymns including “Thank You Lord” and “Love Wonderful Love” made their way to the United States. Seth Sykes died in 1950 and was buried at Lambhill Cemetery in Glasgow, Scotland. Sometime after that, perhaps for a 1951 Singspiration publication entitled Youth Sings, three new stanzas were written and a new tune for them was composed both by Richard Maxwell and William Wirges but using the Sykes’s original chorus. Maxwell and Wirges are credited, but whether both with text and tune, or one with one and the other with the other, is unclear. Richard Maxwell (1898-ca. 1975) was a hymnbook editor with such credits as the BMI Hymnal (1940) published by Broadcast Music Inc., Christianity in Song(1942) published by Edward B. Marks Music Corporation, and Favorite “Hymns You Love”(1946) published by Serutan and Nutrex Company, New York. William Francis “Bill” Wirges (1894-1971) was an American composer, pianist, arranger, bandleader, and assistant conductor of Harry Reser’s orchestra, who was co-writer of the song “Chiquita Banana.” The hymn “Thank You, Lord” has been translated into more than 70 different languages including French, German, Arabic and Chinese, and is sung both on radio and television throughout the globe.
Welcome and Opening Prayer
You Are the Song That I Sing: 990
You Are My All in All: 989
A song which pictures the Lord as our strength, shield, and helper is “You Are My All in All.” The text of stanzas 1 and 2 was written and the tune was composed both by Dennis L. Jernigan, who was born in 1959 at Sapulpa, OK, to Samuel Robert Jernigan and Peggy Yvonne Johnson Jernigan. Soon after his birth, his parents moved to the farm that his grandparents had built and where his father was raised, three miles from the small town of Boynton, OK. There he and his brothers attended school. When he was six or seven, his grandmother Jernigan moved back to the farm in a trailer next to the old farmhouse where they lived, and she taught him to play the piano by the time he was nine years old. Each day after school he could be found at his grandmother’s house practicing piano. The family attended First Baptist Church where his grandfather Herman Everett Johnson had been minister, his parents had met, and his father led singing.
Jernigan’s relationship with his parents was quite typical for that generation. They were not an affectionate family. While he did feel affection from his mother, he never remembered receiving physical affection from his father. Therefore, his erroneous feelings of being rejected and worthless led to his secretly pursuing a homosexual lifestyle, which continued through high school and his four years at Oklahoma Baptist University. He later wrote, “My problem was not my father. My problem was that I believed a lie. Once Satan got his foot in the door of my heart, any rejection – no matter how big or how small – was perceived as a lack of love from my dad (or whomever I felt rejected by at the time).” Upon his graduation from OBU in 1981, he went to a concert by a group called The Second Chapter of Acts in Norman, OK. When he heard their song “Mansion Builder,” he acknowledged the fact that he was totally helpless and turned everything in his life over to Jesus–thoughts, emotions, physical body, and his past– taking responsibility for his own sins and yielding every right to Jesus.
Since then, Jernigan married his wife Melinda in 1983, and they have nine children. A singer and songwriter of contemporary Christian music, he heads a music-based Christian ministry from his home in Muskogee, OK. His ministry is based on his personal experience, which he shares at churches and other locations around the world. He also campaigned against a proposed Hate Crimes Bill (H.R. 1592), saying that the legislation’s passage would strip him of his right to speak freely about his self-identification as ex-gay, though he states that he does not wish to be labeled as “ex-gay,” but instead as “reborn” or as “[God’s] new creation.” Having been set free from bondage and walking away from his old sinful life in 1981, he has produced numerous praise and worship songs. “You Are My All in All” was copyrighted with two stanzas in 1991 (although one source gives the date of 1990) by Shepherd’s Heart Music. A third stanza was added in 1996 by Randall J. Harris. Upon hearing and thinking of the tune on several occasions, some words came to my mind which I have set down in a fourth stanza.
How Great Thou Art: Song 226 v. 1,2 & 4 (Brandon)
Southern Sweden was the place where “How Great Thou Art” had its beginning in 1886.
It was written in the home of author and editor, Carl Boberg, a member of the Swedish Parliament from 1912 to 1931. The song was known in several countries before it finally reached the shores of the United States.
Boberg said of the writing of his song, “It was in 1885, and in the time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest coloring; the birds were singing in trees and wherever they could find a perch. On a particular afternoon, some friends and I had been to Kronobäck where we had participated in an afternoon service. As we were returning a thunderstorm began to appear on the horizon. We hurried to shelter. There were loud claps of thunder, and the lighting flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. However, the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared with a beautiful rainbow.”
“After reaching my home, I opened my window toward the sea. The church bells were playing the tune of a hymn. That same evening I wrote a poem which I titled, ‘O Store Gud,’ (How Great Thou Art).”
The poem was later set to a Swedish folk tune. In 1907, Manfred von Glehn translated it into German, and five years later a Russian pastor, Ivan Prokhanoff, made a Russian adaptation.
In the early 1920s, the Rev. and Mrs. Stuart K. Hine left their home in England and went to Poland as missionaries. It was there they learned the Russian version of Boberg’s song, “O Store Gud.” Hine then wrote original English lyrics and made his own arrangement of the Swedish melody.
Tell Me the Story of Jesus: 622
This narrative hymn was written by prominent two gospel songwriters, lyricist Fanny Crosby (1820–1915) and composer John Sweney (1837–1899). According to Crosby, her friendship with Sweney was formed during summer revival meetings held annually at the Methodist campgrounds in Ocean Grove, NJ. She recalled being there as early as 1877; Sweney was appointed as song leader there in 1878 and served in that role for twenty years until his declining health prevented him from continuing. Crosby said it was “one of the saddest duties of my life to recite a tribute to his memory” upon Sweney’s death.