Homegoing of Cyril A. McLellan, director of the Revivaltime Choir

CYRILCyril 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.

Obituaries have been posted in the
Springfield News-Leader
, in AG-NEWS, and in CBC Alumni News.

Posted by Glenn Gohr


Filed under News

5 responses to “Homegoing of Cyril A. McLellan, director of the Revivaltime Choir

  1. Betty Jones Leslie

    Dear Beth and family:

    I was a soprano in Revivaltime ’62-63, and ’63-64. I just received a call from Ruby Jewell who expected me
    to be at the service. I’m so sorry I
    did not know about this earlier. We
    missed the RT bunch at General Council in 2007, and looked forward to reuniting with RT members each GC.
    Now retired, we try to make most of
    the GC meetings, and I have sung in
    our church choir (Bethesda Community Church from Fort Worth) at several.

    Can you imagine the great reunion he
    is having in Heaven with family & friends who have gone on. Blessings,
    Betty Jones Leslie (photographer at
    recent gatherings).

  2. rev. kay gentry

    i am very sad to hear about rev. dave….i am a product of his calling……i knew him and saw the way he lived and he was truly a man called by God and helped so many people to beome productive well rounded christian…he will be missed…but i know heaven is shouting…we continue to pray for Qwen….and family…kay

  3. I was part of Revivaltime Choir in 1976-1977, while a freshman at CBC. What a privilege for me it was to be a part of this great traveling choir, and radio ministry. Thanks Bro. McLellan for selecting me. Your ministry as a choir director and violin master was great and is fondly remembered.

    Rev. Ken Wood
    Author, The Supernatural Christian
    Pastor, Revolution Church
    Oklahoma City, OK

  4. Rev. Nancy Tofflemire

    Cyril was also a seasoned musician in the orchestra at Central Assembly for years. He had a great sense of humor and was extremely humble. Heaven is more rich with Cyril’s presence!

  5. Lydia (Hartmann) Henrici

    Beautiful, Wonderful memories of listening to the Broadcast Every Sunday afternoon faithfully @ 2:00 PM!!! One of my favorite things to do, as a teenager, in St. Louis, MO!! Went to Springfield, MO., for our Honeymoon in 1955!!! 😃Just to see the Place that put out such Holy Spirit filled music!!! I only have 6 of their albums!! Awesome Music!! Truly appreciate the beautiful report of his life & ministry!!! Thank you!!!

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