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Keep your hand in the Lords
Old Time Religion, Country Style
A very unique thing happened in our family that started the wheels turning for a new song. We had moved to a small community where Dona had attended church and church-school when she was a kid. It was a little white country church that sat in the corner of a cornfield. Two farm roads made an intersection there, and an irrigation ditch ran along one side between the road and the parking lot, a real attraction to little boys, but a real source of irritation to mothers. Dona had a lot of happy memories of her childhood there, and now Carla, our daughter was going to start school there.

After church services one day, we had friends over for dinner. The conversation was centered on the uplifting sermon and how much “just plain fun” it was to go to church there because everybody was so friendly and warm. I commented on how I loved the way everyone joined in on the hymns and literally made the rafters ring.

The conversation went on, but I was caught up in quiet memories of my own as I thought back to when I was a kid. We had attended a small country church, too. It wasn’t in a field. It was on the corner of a very small street in a very small town. Most of the members were from farms nearby. It seems that most of us were extremely poor and came to church in various forms of Model A Fords. I remember I thought my grandpa was rich because he drove a Studebaker with “overdrive.” Those were happy days, and we’d get together after church with friends, and we’d all go to the river below our place where we’d have a picnic dinner of the riverbank, then we’d wade along the edge of the water. Usually we would end up around a campfire listening to the grown-ups tell stories until time to go home. I can still remember riding on my dad’s shoulders, looking up at the stars and asking how they got there. He’d tell me about God and creation, and heaven, and how someday we would all be there together.

Suddenly, the topic of conversation at hand brought me back to reality. Plans were being made to build a new church and sell the old one. I decided to write a song that would keep that “old church” and all its precious memories in our hearts.

It was in a country church where we heard the angels sing,
Though we didn’t have a choir, we made the rafters ring.
Folks would walk a country mile just to hear the spoken Word,
And lift their happy voices, singing praises to the Lord.

Give me that old time religion, done in country style.
Give me that old time religion and I’ll linger a while.
Just to hear hosannas ring, singing praises to the King,
Give me that old time religion, done in country style.
I remember my mama and daddy kneeling there in prayer.
No matter how heavy the burden, they always left it there.
And we felt a little closer as we heard the spoken Word.
Then we’d lift our happy voices, singing praises to the Lord.
© 1974 Chuck Fulmore
Never give up Jesus is coming
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