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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Latter Rain songs


by Archibald Thackeray

In addition to distinctive teachings and practices, the Latter Rain Movement also developed its own collection of songs.

First there was the publication of James and Phyllis Spiers' songbook, Spiritual Songs by the Spiers in November 1949. The Library of Congress catalogue of copyright entries (January - June 1950 edition for published music) says that this songbook contains, "many new latter rain choruses by Phyllis C. Spiers."

Phyllis wrote the very popular Latter Rain song, He's the Lord of Glory, which can be heard at this link. She and James were from Winnipeg and ministered with the Hawtin brothers and others from the site of the Latter Rain's initial outbreak in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. They would later go on to be affiliated with both Elim Bible Institute in Lima, New York and radio evangelist Thomas Wyatt.

Also in the fall of 1949, a convention at Elim saw a development in Latter Rain music that ran parallel with the Spiers' efforts. Marian Meloon writes,
This convention also marked the beginning of Psalm-singing as we know it today, through the ministry of a blind sister on Elim's staff - Rita Kelligan. This gift developed over succeeding months and years, giving us the rich heritage that forms part of the charismatic renewal worship today [in Ivan Spencer, Willow in the Wind: A Spiritual Pilgrimmage, Logos International, 1974. Kelligan's 1952 book, Scripture Set to Music (Elim Bible Institute) is still available for purchase]. 
Other songs by people involved in the Latter Rain revival include: Edie Iverson's The Lord Reigneth and Thanks Be To God; James Lee Beall's It Shall Flow Like a River and Let the Oppressed Go Free; Eleanor Stern's Fresh Oil from the Throne; and Garlon Pemberton's Abraham's Blessings are Mine.

Below is the sheet music for two more Latter Rain songs. The May 1953 edition of Bethesda Missionary Temple's Latter Rain Evangel said, "These songs were given to us by the Lord during the Convention that is still in progress."

River of God is attributed to James Lee Beall and Frieda Campbell, whereas Sing, O, Barren, Sing! is attributed to Modest Pemberton with Frieda Campbell credited for the arrangement.

BETHESDA MISSIONARY TEMPLE trio - Frieda Campbell, James Lee Beall, Betty Treas

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