The song Thomas A. Dorsey sang at that funeral in 1932, the one considered not good enough to be sung in church, goes like this: "Precious Lord, take my hand/Lead me on, let me stand/I am tired, I am weak, I am worn/Through the storm through the night/Lead me on to the light/Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home."
While still being criticized, Dorsey wrote "Peace in the Valley" for Mahalia Jackson. (Even though Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley sang it too.)
"Well, I'm tired and so weary/But I must go along/Till the Lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes/And the morning's so bright and the Lamb is the light/And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes/Oh, there will be peace in the valley for me some day/Peace in the valley for me, dear Lord I pray/There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see/There'll be peace in the valley for me."
Music in worship. It's never about us. It's always about God. I'm so glad Thomas A. Dorsey, the father of gospel music, knew that. Aren't you?
Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.