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When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder

Craig Anderson

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An old hymn made new. Here's the story behind this old hymn. Back in 1892, James Black was responsible for the roll call at the Methodist Church in Williamsport, PA. A little girl named "Bessie" had been faithfully attending the Epworth League and Sunday School and with each roll call, superintendent Black would hear her respond. James Black had originally invited Bessie to attend and since she came from a poor household, he had arranged personally for clothing items to make the attendance possible. Then came the Sunday when the roll call was silent. Bessie was absent for the first time. Concerned for the girl's welfare and fearing the worst because her father was a drunkard, James Black quickly made his way after church to Bessie's home where he found a very sick girl. Realizing that it was serious, he summoned his own doctor who diagnosed it as a case of advanced pneumonia. As Black made his way back home that Sunday afternoon, he was unable to throw off the feeling that had come over him when Bessie failed to respond to the roll call that morning. He thought of the greater roll call coming someday in Heaven and oh, the sadness there will be for those whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. That morning he had tried to find a song to express these feelings but could not. Arriving at his home, James Black went into the house, sat down at the piano and without any effort started to write "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder" This song was first sung publicly at Bessie's funeral. ©1893 Public Domain / James M. Black/ 2006 CJ / Brook Alley Music / ASCAP / CCLI 4987396

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Speaker/Artist: Craig Anderson
Video title: When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
Category: Christian Music
Views: 464
Submitted by: Guitar Worship



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