‘That Old Time Music’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

Is Old Time Gospel Music still relevant to people of faith today? The Saint James Male Chorus thinks it is. God speaks to us through his prophets and apostles and calls us to worship, praise and glorify Him.
In faith and obedience to God, we join together as a community of believers in worship services, through study of his word and works of faith, by prayer and in giving thanks, praise and glory in song. This has been the case since at least the time of Moses.
We read in Exodus 15:1 of Moses and the Israelites singing a song of thanksgiving to God for deliverance from the Pharaoh’s army.
Later King David and other psalmists write eloquently and joyfully of raising music to the Lord in the Psalms. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the king, the Lord.”
In the synagogue and later in the church, the Psalms are sung. In Colossians 3:16 we are “with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.”
One form of music popular over the past one hundred years is gospel music. It includes various styles: praise and worship, urban gospel and Southern gospel, to name a few. It is sung in worship by individuals, duets, quartets, choirs and congregations. In the Southern gospel tradition many of the lyrics and melodies have roots in the “old country” and are uniquely Americanized by the religious experience of generations in the South.
Southern gospel music will be celebrated in Salisbury for the benefit of all in our community at Franklin Presbyterian Church on April 27 at 6 p.m. by the Saint James Male Chorus. They will present a free one hour testimonial to God of “Old Time Gospel Music” followed by a fellowship meal at 7 p.m.
The Saint James Male Chorus has been spreading the Gospel through music since 1956. They represent different churches and denominations in the Charlotte area with 25 to 30 men participating. They sing for the sole purpose of glorifying God through song, and their appearances are not a show or performance but a form of witness guided by the Holy Spirit. Join your neighbors at Franklin Presbyterian, 280 Franklin Church Drive, 704-633-2292, to share in this time of joyful witness to the Lord.

Rev. Dr. Thomas LaBonte is interim pastor at Franklin Presbyterian Church.