We discovered a new [old] hymnal!

Book Ad

Do you know the story behind the above hymnal, Glorious Gospel Hymns, published by Gospel Publishing House?

We at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center thought we had a complete collection of all Assemblies of God hymnals ever published, so when a donor gave us a copy of Glorious Gospel Hymns last year, we did a double take. Research into old issues of the Pentecostal Evangel yielded the above advertisement (published March 9, 1946, and Feb. 15 and Aug. 30, 1947), so it was likely published in 1946.

Since we had never seen Glorious Gospel Hymns, it must not have received wide circulation. The thick, 670-page hymnal contains The Apostles’ Creed, responsive readings, and other selections not found in the other gospel songbooks produced by GPH during that time period.

This edition of Glorious Gospel Hymns was compiled and edited by Haldor Lillenas, assisted by more than five hundred pastors, evangelists, and other church workers. According to the introduction, the book was prepared because of the “need among many denominations for a hymnal having a combination of the most famous and widely used hymns and the strongest and best loved gospel songs obtainable.” Haldor Lillenas produced a hymnal by the same title in 1931 for use by the Church of the Nazarene.

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Posted by Darrin Rodgers


Filed under Music, News

5 responses to “We discovered a new [old] hymnal!

  1. Jeremy

    I collect hymnals and I have a copy of Glorious Gospel Hymns that was published by the Nazarene Publishing. This is the same hymnal you are showing a picture of above. It is my opinion that your Glorious Gospel Hymns is a reprint authorized by Nazarene Publishing House. The hymnal I have is definitely the same thing. It has been an established practice in the Church of the Nazarene to publish two editions of their hymnals. While the content is the same one edition says “Nazarene Hymnal” in small print at the bottom of the cover, and the forward inside is specifically “Nazarene.” Then there is also an edition published that is more generic and nondenominational (once again the hymns and readings are the same). It seems to me that in this case, the Nazarene Publishing House simply allowed GPH to reproduce the hymnal. The hymnal in my hand is without a doubt the same hymnal shown in your ad above. I hope this helps.

    • PaulT

      This is the first hymnal I ever remember in my church when I was about 5 years old. It is definitely a Nazarene Hymnal, Published by the Nazarene Publishing House in Kansas City at the time. My copy does not give the actual publication date, but in the introduction is does say that preparation for the hymnal was “appointed” by the general assembly of the church in 1915. There was, apparently, some delay in the compilation. I believe Jeremy is probably correct about the actual publishing date, but that would mean it took about 30+ years to actually compile the hymnal. I did not recall that it was a shaped note hymnal until I pulled it off my shelf about 10 minutes ago.

  2. PaulT

    BTW- I grew up in a Church of the Nazarene in Indiana.

  3. PaulT

    I discovered the copyright date on the title page in very small print about 3/4’s of the way down.

    Copyright, 1931, by Nazarene Publishing House. Sorry. My vision needed the help of a giant magnifying glass.

  4. Jeremy

    Interesting, my copy (Nazarene Publishing House) is not shaped note. Many hymnals from this period came in both shaped and standard note formats, but I was not aware that there was a shaped note edition of this hymnal. I am very surprised at how obscure this hymnal has become. It must have been quite popular to be published in multiple editions and by two publishers, or at the very least, the Nazarene Publishing House must have anticipated it being much more popular than it actually was. The hymnal is all but unheard of and is difficult to find. My original copy was water damaged and I had a hard time finding a replacement copy online. Furthermore, my father is a Nazarene pastor, as I was growing up I only ever found one copy of this hymnal being stored in a church. Most people have never heard of it. I wonder what the deal is.

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