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July 25, 2008

Hymns – 'Leave It There'

Charles Albert Tindley was born July 7, 1851 in Berlin, Md., to slave parents. He was unable to attend school but had a deep desire to learn. He was not satisfied with being illiterate. So by age 17 he had taught himself to read and write. He was a driven young man and took a job as a janitor while attending night school. He met and married Daisy Henry. Being only 17, he took his new wife and moved to Philadelphia to make a better life for both of them.

In Philadelphia Tindley found a job as a hod carrier and a sexton in John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church. He felt the call to the ministry but could not quit his job to attend school. He had to support his family, so he started taking correspondence courses to earn his degree in divinity. He finished the schooling and passed the examination to become a minister.

After earning his degree Charles pastored churches in New Jersey and Delaware. He was appointed Elder of the Wilmington, Delaware district. Then God rewarded him for his dedication. He received a call from the same church where he had become a sexton when he first moved to Philadelphia. They wanted him to become the minister of the Bainbridge St. Methodist Church, as it was now called.

When Tindley accepted the pastorate, he had 200 members in the church. Tindley used his intellectual ability, eloquence and spiritual singing to start a revival fire burning and membership grew to over 10,000.

He also was credited with being the “founding father of American gospel music.” Tindley became known as the “Prince of Preachers.” He also wrote some great hymns that all Protestant churches sing today. He wrote at least 47 hymns, and five were added to all the Protestant songbooks. One of his greatest hymns is still sung today and has such a powerful message that everyone who sings it with a burden or concern in their heart will surely get relief. God inspired this hymn, because it is a message for us to escape and get relief from our burdens by leaving them at the altar. The title of this hymn is “Leave It There.”

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