Americans this Sunday morning woke to the tragic news of the worst mass shooting in US history.
Over 100 people were victims of a terrorist attack by a lone gunman, who pledge allegiance to the Islamic State on a 911 call while he was killing Americans out on a Saturday night at a dance club in Orlando, Florida.
Of that number 50 were killed. Another 53 were critically wounded, prognosis not yet known.
It happened that those victims were gay, but they were still our sons, our daughters, our brothers, our sisters, our cousins, our mothers, our fathers. They were still Americans struck down by a jihadist.
I recalled listening to my father in sermon after sermon as a child growing up in the parsonage talk of how his father would gather him, his sister and wife together in the storm cellar in Arkansas to wait out a storm, a tornado passing by. Grandpa would pull them all into his arms and hold them until it was once more safe to rise and meet a new day.
On this Sunday when Americans are dealing with the aftermath of a storm of terrorism, it only seemed appropriate to post this gem of hope written by the late, great Mosie Lister as performed while I was with The Crystal Valley Quartet. Take hope and have faith as you listen to “‘Til the Storm Passes By.“
Today’s Gospel music comes from a live recording of a group of children known as The Lighthouse Beacons back in 1987 at The Lighthouse Chapel in Dugger, Indiana where my step-father, the late Reverend Jack Hollifield, was pastor.
Mom (Sharon Hollifield) provided me with the cassette recording from that Sunday morning service with the children singing which was broadcast later that afternoon on WNDI in Sullivan, Indiana on the “Rays of Hope.” I was able to record this on my computer from the cassette Saturday afternoon.
The transfer and the recording are by no means professional or of the greatest quality, but the message of the song and the love of The Lighthouse Beacons shine through. To think some of these children, including my sister Leticia Maxey, are now in their 40s.
How well I remember as a young boy every Sunday morning listening to Gospel Jubilee and other singing shows before heading off to church. One song that always got the heart racing, feet tapping and hands clapping was “The Meeting in the Air“.
But it never could ring and touch hearts and souls like when the congregation would raise the roof on a Sunday night getting happy singing this old Gospel standard.
Here we have The Crystal Quartet performing the hymn at the Mt. Olive Christian Church on the outskirts of Spencer, Indiana.
I am playing the piano and featured on the third verse with the solo lead. But not before making a key change from G to C.