Cyril A. McLellan, a name synonymous with the former Assemblies of God Revivaltime Choir, passed away on Tuesday, May 19th in Springfield, Missouri, after an extended battle with cancer. He was 81.
Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, McLellan’s musical pedigree was impressive. He held a performance degree from the London Royal School of Music, bachelor of arts degrees in music from Central Bible College and Evangel University, and a masters degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in violin pedagogy, where he also excelled in choral conducting. In 1958, McLellan became an ordained AG minister. Being an accomplished violinist, he was also a member of the Springfield Symphony.
Cyril took over the Revivaltime Choir from his brother Vernon in 1952, after he moved to Missouri from Canada to teach at Central Bible Institute (now Central Bible College). He directed the Revivaltime Choir for 43 years, starting even before C. M. Ward became the Revivaltime speaker. He continued as director until the broadcast ended in 1995. According to Barbara Cavaness, a former choir member, “McLellan demanded and trained for musical excellence, but the emphasis of every practice seemed to be the prayer that each note would be anointed by the Holy Spirit.” Lee Shultz, the producer and narrator of Revivaltime for 25 years, said: “He gave his heart and soul to produce the kind of music that reached people. The quality was uncontestable; so many tried to imitate it.”
McLellan traveled with over 100 choir tours and participated in approximately 1,700 radio broadcasts. He produced 35 Revivaltime Choir albums and led more than 800 Revivaltime choir members. He completed more than 170 choir arrangements, including 75 octavos and 24 books as well as personal recording projects.
McLellan received prestigious honors over the years, including: Central Bible College Alumnus of the Year, an award for artistic ability and leadership in music from Word Records, a SESAC award for outstanding achievement in music and ministry, a commendation for music and ministry at the AG 45th General Council (1993) in Minneapolis, and in 2001 he was inducted into the Assemblies of God Music Hall of Honor.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beth; two adult sons, Steve and Bruce; his brother, Arnold L. McLellan; and five grandchildren. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 25, in Greenlawn Funeral Home North, in Springfield, Missouri. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, in Central Assembly of God, in Springfield. Alumni of the Revivaltime Choir will be singing “Room at the Cross” and “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” at the funeral service.
Memorial music scholarship contributions may be given to Central Bible College or Evangel University.
Posted by Glenn Gohr