Nashville, TN (March 5, 2019)
The Hymn Stories Contest has concluded. We received many wonderful stories that will be compiled into a book that is currently in production and will be out soon! Many of these great hymns are included in Les Butler's hit single, "That Old Red Back Hymnal." This song also includes special guests, the Williamsons and it currently sits at #20 in the Singing News Magazine charts.
Here are the winners and their stories:
1st Place Winner: Louise Duke
Runners Up: Micki Stafford and Jerry Daugherty
Louise Duke Gainesville, Georgia What a Friend We Have in Jesus
I am 87 years old and my husband, our two daughters and I left our home in 1965; we went to another city where we didn't know anyone and started a church. There were times when it looked like we were not going to have groceries to feed our children, but every time God provided. For example, one time we didn't have any money and no food, but every week a local store owner would draw the name of one person for $20 worth of groceries and that week he drew the name of Rev. C.R. Duke's (my husband). I could give several more examples about my faithful friend.
Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
In John 10:11 Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
In Joh 15:13 Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
A portion of the lyrics of this great hymn says, "What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear, What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer."
A line of another song says, "He's the dearest friend, I've ever had."
One chorus that we still sing at our church is, Can't nobody do me like Jesus, because He's my friend."
Micki Stafford Aiken, South Carolina Blessed Assurance
My brother and my sister were saved in 1959 and my dad, an old-time preacher, was scheduled to baptize them in the lake since our church had no baptistery. I wanted to follow them in baptism, so I went through all the motions of getting saved and was also baptized with them. I was nine. But something was not right and Sunday after Sunday for the next seven years I secretly lived in fear. So amazing how God works!!!! The summer I was 15, Dad had an old-time preacher come to our church to preach a revival. For three days I literally would hold on to the pew during altar call so afraid Mother and Dad would be so disappointed that I was not saved. The last night when the altar call was being given, the evangelist was talking about the blessed hope of living with Christ forever, Dad was playing soft and low Just As I Am on the piano and I could not stand the pretense of living a lie so I walked down that aisle that Sunday evening and I remember just like yesterday giving my life to Christ. Dad was kneeling on one side and Mother on the other - Heaven surely came down that night... thank God for Old Time Preachers and THE OLD TIME PREACHERS QUARTET!!! I can say today Blessed Assurance JESUS IS MINE! Hallelujah!!!
Jerry Daugherty Milton, TN Sweet Hour of Prayer
I asked Jesus to come into my heart on March 18, 1992. On this day I had been feeling really bad, like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I had also developed an extreme fear of death, I was concerned about what would happen to my soul. I was afraid of where I would be going. I also had a inner ongoing anger against God in regard to my brother's untimely death in 1983. He was a police officer and was killed in the line of duty. He left behind a wife and two young children. I believed in God and was stumbling to find Him. I was reading John Chapter 3 at home, and when I read John 3:5 I had to do something. Right there I cried out loud with my voice to God and said, "Jesus I want you to come into my heart right now.” The second I said that, everything changed! The weight on my shoulders was gone, and I've had never had a fear of death since. God eventually showed me that he has a master plan, and I don't have to understand why, just trust God. I will never forget my sweet hour of prayer, and this song gives me great peace. My son John also plays this song on the mandolin, and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.