You don’t have to be religious to be influenced by the power of old timeless gospel hymns classics. They never fail to carry you through rugged valleys and take you to spiritual mountaintop experiences every time you listen to them.
In fact, old gospel songs have since become the go-to source for hope and inspiration for millions of believers all through the decades.
What follows next is a list of the best old time gospel songs that’s perfect for taking you to musical heaven.
1. “Amazing Grace”
“Amazing Grace” is among the most adored and immensely popular hymns of the last two centuries. Its soaring words and melody describe the profound spiritual joy that strikes a chord with millions of people.
So, it was no surprise when the classic hymn appeared on more than 11,000 albums and is estimated to have been performed about ten million times every year – with versions of Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and The Statler Brothers being the most popular one.
2. “Farther Along”
There are actually quite a few attributions for the origin of “Farther Along” – with the oldest known print edition found in the 1911 hymnal Select Hymns for Christian Worship and General Gospel Service.
This American Southern gospel song goes into a Christian’s dismay at the seeming success and fortune of the wicked when compared with the pain and misery of the righteous ones.
3. “Precious Memories”
The traditional gospel song is credited as having been penned by J.B.F. Wright, who wrote the hymn after losing his five-year-old son, Everett Jackson Wright, in 1922.
4. “Wings of a Dove”
The country-gospel refers to a number of Christian Bible passages about doves given by the Lord. This includes a verse in Genesis where God asked Noah to send out a dove during the flood.
5. “How Great Thou Art”
The Christian hymn has rightfully gained its place in the hearts of music fans worldwide as it imparts a sense of faith and peace.
Rooted in Swedish origins, “How Great Thou Art” was known in several countries before it finally reached the shores of the United States. Its lyrics were based on an 1885 poem written by politician Carl Gustav Boberg in Monsteras, Sweden.
6. “I’ll Fly Away”
Written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929, “I’ll Fly Away” is said to be the most recorded gospel song, with artists of all genres offering up their own renditions. And with its uplifting lyrics, the classic hymn is also commonly used in worship services by different Christian congregations and denominations.
7. “I Saw the Light”
Most fans would perhaps remember “I Saw the Light” as Hank Williams’ show closer. He actually wrote the gospel country classic in 1947 after one of his shows, and it grew into one of his most notable hits. In fact, it still strikes a chord within the world of country music to this day.
8. “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”
This 1893 hymn was composed by choir leader and Sunday school teacher James Milton Black. It referred to the Bible’s The Book of Life and was inspired by a child’s absence during Black’s Sunday school class when the attendance was taken.
9. “Peace in the Valley”
“Peace in the Valley” is among the first gospel recordings to sell a million copies – after it became a hit for Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys in 1951. It also achieved mass coverage following Elvis Presley’s performance.
10. “Jesus Paid It All”
The classic hymn was written by Mrs. Elvina Hall on the flyleaf of her hymnal, one Sunday service of 1865. It solidifies the redeeming power of Jesus’ sacrifice and our eternal benefit, leaving no room for doubt or argument.
11. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
The great hymn describes a rich understanding of God formed through times of loss and loneliness. It was written by Joseph Scriven, a native of Dublin, Ireland, whose life was full of tragedy.
12. “The Old Rugged Cross”
A popular hymn dating back to 1912, “Old Rugged Cross” has become a country gospel favorite. Its powerful message has been delivering those lost from the Lord back into His loving arms.
13. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”
The iconic Christian Hymn goes way back to 1907.
In 1935, the Carter Family reworked a version of the song intended as a funeral hymn, titled “Can the Circle be Unbroken.”
14. “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”
Although the exact author of this traditional gospel song is unknown, evidence suggests that it dates back to the 1800s, before the Civil War. It gained greater fame during the 1930s, following African-American churches holding musical conventions.
15. “In the Garden”
The gospel song was first published and popularized in 1912. It was written by a former pharmacist “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in Pitman, New Jersey that didn’t even have a window in it, let alone a view of a garden.”
The Best Old Timeless Gospel Songs That Will Uplift Your Faith
Indeed, old school gospel songs are excellent reminders of God’s faithfulness to us and will help us rely on His grace. Here are some more classic hymns to inspire you.
- “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
- “Crying in the Chapel”
- “Life’s Railway to Heaven”
- “I Need Thee Every Hour”
- “In the Shelter of His Arms”
- “On the Wings of an Angel”
- “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
- “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
- “How Firm a Foundation”
- “Crown Him With Many Crowns”
So, which among these old timeless gospel hymns classics is your favorite?
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