567. We've Come This Far by Faith

Text Information
First Line: Don't be discouraged with trouble in your life
Title: We've Come This Far by Faith
Author: Albert A. Goodson (1963)
Meter: irregular
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Walk with God; Afflictions; Assurance (3 more...)
Copyright: © 1963, Manna Music, Inc. International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Arranger: Richard Smallwood (1981)
Composer: Albert A. Goodson (1956)
Meter: irregular
Key: F Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1963, Manna Music, Inc. International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. = 1 Sam. 7:12

In a manner similar to many of the Old Testament lament psalms, this text affirms God's saving power in the past; God's compassion and providential care for his people throughout history give us hope for the future. Thus the text becomes a marker or milestone on life's journey: "we've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord" (1 Sam. 7:12, “Thus far has the Lord helped us”). With confidence in the Lord's help we can go forward and face "burdens . . . misery and strife."

Albert A. Goodson (b. Los Angeles, CA, 1933) wrote both text and tune in 1956 for the Radio Choir of the Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, where he served as minister of music. The hymn was published as a gospel anthem by Manna Music III, 1963. Goodson received his education at the University of California in Los Ange1es and served Baptist churches in the Los Angeles area as well as the Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago. As organist and pianist, he toured with Mahalia Jackson and has been a prominent figure in the development of African American gospel music.

Liturgical Use:
After corporate confession of faith or personal profession of faith; Old/New Year services; at the beginning of a new season of worship and ministry.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Goodson’s gospel song was included in the African American hymnal Lift Every Voice and Sing (1981). The setting by Richard Smallwood (PHH 365) displays some of the chord structures, melodic decorations, and rhythmic figures that are common in the African American gospel style. The printed score of gospel songs only conveys a guide1ine to actual performance; improvisation is the operative word! The congregation should sing the refrain (framed by "We've come this far by faith") aided by a choir who could improvise a harmony part. A soloist could sing the stanza ("Don't be discouraged. . .") with additional improvisation in the melody line and accompaniment. Try accompanying with piano, guitars, and percussion instruments. Don't rush!

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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