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2013-04-05 / Other News

Stories Behind The Hymns

Stand By Me


By Warren Shiver By Warren Shiver Stand By Me Author: Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933) Composer: Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933)

Charles Albert Tindley was born July 7, 1851 in Berlin, Maryland. His father was a slave and his mother was a free black. His mother died when he was just a child, and he was soon separated from his father because there was no one in the home to care for him. His father worked long days in the fields and never had time to care for his son. Charles was born to a free mother but was sent to work in the fields with the slaves after his mother died. Charles set his mind at a very young age to become someone that his mother would have been proud of.

He plowed in the fields all day and then walked and ran about 14 miles to visit a schoolteacher every night. He studied the Bible and with the help of the teacher he learned to read and write.

After the American Civil War and emancipation the world changed for America’s black people. Charles married and moved from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He took a job as a “Hod” carrier at the Bainbridge Street Methodist Episcopal Church to support his wife and himself. Charles attended night school and took correspondence courses from Boston Theological Seminary. He felt the call of God to enter the ministry.

The Calvary Methodist Episcopal church gave Charles the janitor’s job in the church. This gave him more free time during the day to go to school. He received his doctorate from a local Bible Institution. He taught himself Greek and Hebrew through correspondence courses.

In 1902 Charles Tindley became pastor of the Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he had been janitor. He was 51 years old. Charles’ greatest asset was his “Faith in God.” It has been said, and I quote,” There was a time during his ministry that he and his wife were facing a bare table, nothing to eat. He told his wife to set the table. Why? She asked, knowing the cabinets were bare. He insisted. Shortly there was a knock on the door, a man brought them dinner, saying his family had cooked to much.”

God rewarded Charles for his faith. First, he had a booming voice and was a great song leader, and then he became the pastor of Bainbridge Church. When he became pastor, the church had 130 members. After 25 years the mixed congregation experienced a great revival and the church had a great membership growth. The congregation had to build a new and bigger sanctuary.

Not only was Charles Tindley a great song leader and pastor, he was also a great hymn writer. He wrote many hymns with deep spiritual overtones. One of his best-known hymns is “Stand By Me,” written in 1905. Charles wrote most of his own music. He died of gangrene that infected an injured foot. He was 82.

Stories Behind The Hymns is written by Warren Shiver of Biscoe, NC. Shiver has been fascinated with the true stories behind the hymns since he was a 12-year old attending East Gaffney Baptist Church in Gaffney, S.C. He began studying the stories behind the hymns in 1957. If you have questions or comments, he can be reached by email at wshiver99@embarqmail.com or by mail at PO BOX 775,Biscoe, NC 27209.

Warren has written two books, the first is a 300-page soft back, 104 Of My Favorite Hymn Stories Vol. 1 costs $14.95, the second book, 340-page soft back, 104 Of My Favorite Hymn Stories Vol. 2 costs $16.95. You may buy both books for $25.00. You may pick up your copies of both books at The Gaffney Ledger office on Floyd Baker Boulevard. Warren may be reached by email at wshiver99@embarqmail.com, or by mail at PO Box 775, Biscoe, NC.27209, you may also purchase the books on his website www.myfavoritehymnstories.com. Shipping for both books is $4.00, for one book $3.00. If you would like for Warren to come speak at your church, Sunday school class or any meeting you may contract him at 910-428-9911 or 910-428-4078.

Stand My Me
Verse 1
When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the world is tossing me
Like a ship upon the sea;
Thou who rulest wind and water,
Stand by me (stand by me).
Verse 2
In the midst of tribulations,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the mist of tribulations,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the hosts of hell assail,
And my strength begins to fail,
Thou who never lost a battle,
Stand by me (stand by me).
Verse 3
In the midst of faults and failures,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of faults and failures,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When I do the best I can,
And my friends misunderstand,
Thou who knowest all about me,
Stand by me (stand by me);
Verse 4
In the midst of persecution,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of persecution,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When my foes in battle array
Undertake to stop my way,
Thou who saved Paul and Silas,
Stand by me (stand by me);
Verse 5
When I’m growing old and feeble;
Stand by me (stand by me);
When I’m growing old and feeble;
Stand by me (stand by me);
When my life becomes a burden,
And I’m nearing chilly Jordan,
O Thou “Lily of the Valley,”
Stand by me (stand by me);
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