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930

This Little Light of Mine

Full Text

1 This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine;
this little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine;
this little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

2 Everywhere I go,
I'm gonna let it shine;
everywhere I go,
I'm gonna let it shine;
everywhere I go,
I'm gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

3 Jesus gave it to me;
I'm gonna let it shine;
Jesus gave it to me;
I'm gonna let it shine;
Jesus gave it to me;
I'm gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

see more

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

According to the confessions, Christian worshipers are called to continue in service. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 32 instructs us to think of ourselves as “a member of Christ…[who] share in his anointing.” So we profess “I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a free conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and afterward to reign with Christ over all creation for eternity.” We serve him with good works, “…so that with our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, so that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86). And so we are moved to “…embrace God’s mission in [our] neighborhoods and in the world...” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 41). Christians, therefore, leave worship believing that “to follow this Lord is to serve him wherever we are without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world” (Our World Belongs to God paragraph 43).

930

This Little Light of Mine

Additional Prayers

A Petitionary Prayer
 
Lord Jesus Christ, light of the world, shine on us, shine in us, shine through us, so that your light becomes ours for the sake of others. We pray in your name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
930

This Little Light of Mine

Tune Information

Name
LIGHT OF MINE
Key
G Major
Meter
12.12.12.9

Recordings

930

This Little Light of Mine

Hymn Story/Background

There are two stories behind this song. Some claim it is an African American spiritual from the years of slavery. Others say it was written by Harry Dixon Loes in 1920 for a collection of children’s songs. Wherever it originated, it has become a song of solidarity and hope, and was one of the most popular songs of the Civil Rights Movement. 
— Laura de Jong

Composer Information

Nolan Williams (b. 1969) is a musicologist, theologian, American songwriter, and producer whose professional career defies conventional boundaries.
 
Best known for his work as Chief Music Editor of the bestselling African American Heritage Hymnal—a critically acclaimed compendium of music, with sales now surpassing 300,000 books worldwide, Williams is a noted scholar who has lectured extensively, including keynote addresses for the National Academy of Religion, Yale University’s Parks-King Lecture Series, Festival Musica y Filosofia (Naples, Italy), and Georgetown University Law School. He has also been featured on PBS, BET, the Word network, and internationally in the UK, France, Italy, and Slovenia.
 
Williams has written and produced music for television, film, and live events of national and international prominence. His eclectic compositional library includes: songwriting collaborations on numerous Grammy-nominated projects; commissioned compositions by Georgetown University and the National Symphony Orchestra; musical works performed by some of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Charleston Symphony, Memphis Symphony, and Kennedy Center Opera House orchestras; and, original gospel songs featured on his debut CD, inSpiration, released nationwide in 2010. He has collaborated with a range of industry artists—from Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and India.Arie to Denyce Graves, Yolanda Adams, and Michael McDonald.
 
Through NEWorks Productions, Williams has produced inspirational arts programming with the Smithsonian Institute, the U.S. Army, Georgetown University, the Arts and Humanities Council of Washington, DC, and the Dallas-based Black Academy of Arts and Letters. Williams and NEWorks have been especially privileged to collaborate with the Kennedy Center on a number of landmark projects, including musical direction of the finale for the 77th Birthday Tribute for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and production of the 105 Voices of History HBCU National Choir concert. Most recently, Williams has worked alongside Garth Ross, Director of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone program, to plan an unprecedented nine-day celebration, as the Artistic Consultant for Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America. Williams is also the Artistic Director for the National Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever full concert of African American sacred music on Saturday, April 24, 2010.
 
Williams serves as Minister of Music at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He also consults with numerous churches across the country on matters of music ministry and worship. In October 2010, Williams will return to his alma mater, Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio), to conduct master classes and serve as Music Director for the Northern Ohio Hymn Festival.
— Kennedy Center
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.
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