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Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Story of Great Hope

Hello, my friends. Just a word of encouragement to you for your spiritual growth.

I discovered the video below while browsing YouTube, and it brought back many wonderful memories and a story I just had to share. I will make it brief.

When I was growing up George Younce sang bass for a well-known quartet that traveled out of my hometown. That is where I first encountered him. I remember seeing him on TV and at the Gospel concerts that his group held four or five times per year in that town.

Then, suddenly, one day he was gone. Poof. Vanished. Out of sight.

I did not know what had happened to him. The group for which he sang never said a word about it. They had a new bass singer on board as soon as George left.

In just a few short years, however, I heard a Gospel song on the radio, and immediately I recognized that bass voice. It was George! But the group sounded entirely different than the one where I got to know him. In fact, this group was different, so different in fact that I remember thinking at the time, even at my young age, that this would one day be THE group in Gospel music, the standard by which all others were judged.

Two of the main reasons for my prediction were, of course, that unmistakable bass voice of George Younce, and the other was a crisp, clear, strong lead voice of someone I did not know and had never heard before. I learned later that this lead singer's name was Glenn Payne. The group, of course, was the Cathedral Quartet.

Shortly the Cathedrals came to my hometown for a program, and George gave his testimony. He said that while he was with the other group he had strayed away terribly from the Lord and turned to alcohol. He said often he sang on stage half drunk. He said that at night on the bus, he kept an open container of whiskey by his bunk in case he got the shakes in the middle of the night.

But then Glenn Payne called from Ohio and said that the Cathedral Trio needed a bass. George said he told Glenn that he was "a mess" and not a very good spokesman for the Lord at the time. Glenn said it did not matter, to come on up to Ohio and he would help him get cleaned up. And he did. Then, Glenn and George made an agreement that as they embarked on this new venture together, they would do it "the right way," the Lord's way, and whatever success they may achieve they would owe it all to Him and would give Him all the glory and honor.

George re-found the Lord and his life totally changed. At that point George began writing Gospel songs. He didn't write that many, but let me tell you when he did, they were fantastic, moving, gripping.

One of those songs George wrote is featured below. It is a song about George's testimony, a miniature story of his life. It is titled, "I've Been Wrong." And it is about a man's conversation with the Lord when he comes to Him for forgiveness. The opening line is, "Lord, you know I've been wrong my whole life long..."

But then he describes the great hope that is available through our faith in Christ. I know this song is true. I saw it in George. The final chorus of the song proclaims that great hope, "Lord, I know, I know you care, you answer prayer, hear my plea, Lord save me."

Shortly after George wrote this song the Cathedrals sang it on the old Gospel Singing Jubilee that used to come on TV every Sunday morning across America. This is one of the earlier versions of the Cathedrals with Glenn and George, and Mack Taunton on tenor, and George Amon Webster on baritone and piano. I think it is a treasure. Hope you enjoy it.