R. Hilton Griswold, Longtime AG Minister and Gospel Musician, with the Lord at Age 93

Hilton Griswold playing the piano in the E. N. Bell Chapel at the dedication of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Hilton Griswold playing the piano in the E. N. Bell Chapel at the dedication of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

By Glenn Gohr

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center is saddened to announce the passing of a dear friend and saint of God. Rev. R. Hilton Griswold was born on November 12, 1921, and he passed away on May 5, 2015 in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of 93.

Hilton Griswold passionately loved Gospel music. He is remembered for playing the piano and singing baritone for the Blackwood Brothers Quartet from 1940-1950. He was credentialed as an Assemblies of God minister on July 10, 1948, and pastored churches in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.

Hilton has been a friend of the Heritage Center for many years. In addition to singing and playing in the Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center chapel on various occasions, he played gospel hymns and choruses for the opening of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center and museum on January 19, 1999.

In recent years he ministered in nursing homes and senior adult gatherings. He also hosted his own program called “Inspiration Time,” which was released on television, radio and internet releases nationwide. He not only personally knew many of the gospel singing groups and composers, but he often knew the stories behind the songs, which he often shared on his weekly television programs.

For a wonderful example of Griswold’s inspirational music, watch this segment of him playing the piano, bass, and harmonica, and also singing 4 different parts for the song “We Shall Rise” as well as some other selections: https://vimeo.com/3599197

Additional selections of Griswold’s music are found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HiltonsFriends

Hilton Griswold was preceded in death by his wife, Marie, and his daughter, Barbara Chapman. He is survived by his son, Rev. Larry Griswold of Plainfield, Illinois and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He leaves a wonderful legacy of gospel music and singing which will continue to inspire future generations.


Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org


Filed under History, Music

11 responses to “R. Hilton Griswold, Longtime AG Minister and Gospel Musician, with the Lord at Age 93

  1. I have sweet memories of many of us teens in the late 60’s singing while Hilton Griswold accompanied at the AG Camp in Storm Lake, IA. He was our choir director, accompanist, and cheerleader! A great Bible teacher as well. My favorite song that he taught us was, “Just a Little While”. He rocked that old piano!
    To God be the Glory!
    Rev. G is “Sweeping Through the Pearly Gates”!

    • Rhonda Minner

      Becky, it was great to read your commemoration for Hilton. I just listened to Him wrap up another radio show. He was a spiritual patriarch! I too, remember the Storm Lake AG church camp. We would sit around the piano and just learn from him. What a man of God he was! God bless You!
      Rhonda Mielke Minner

  2. Richard Panfil

    I saw that he had passed into eternity after watching his program on WVCY last night. His love for the music he played was an inspiration to me when I first came to know the Lord in 1999.

  3. Donald Pettit

    As a small child I remember falling asleep laying the pew many a Sunday night service with Pastor Griswold singing gospel songs and playing the piano. Now he’s playing for the heavenly host.

  4. David Oseland

    Had the great joy of working with brother Hilton along with his son on the television program “Young At Heart” at WCFC-TV in Chicago. His ministry was a blessing to many, and drew us all closer to the Lord. Peace to his memory.

  5. Bill Larson

    I’ve been listening to Hilton Griswold every Saturday night over the VCY America Network for several years. I loved the way he played the piano and enjoyed his singing and stories very much. His singing range was remarkable, and the quality of his piano and voice work at an advanced age was just as remarkable. I’ll sorely miss him, but I know I’ll see him one day in heaven.

    Bill Larson

  6. Michael Lawson

    My dad loved the Blackwood Brothers and in August 2014, while dropping my daughter off at Evangel U, I decided to look Hilton up. He graciously invited me into his home and for the next two hours Hilton talked passionately about his ministries including preparing for his Sunday class the next day. He showed his memorabilia and photos. What a special blessing that was when we prayed together. It was a highlight of my life. Tonight as I listened to Inspiration Time on VCY Hilton sang Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. I remember him talking about his desire even at 92 to do a few more TV tapings. What a soldier for the cross and a blessing Hilton has been for millions. Thank you Hilton.

    Michael Lawson, Erie, PA

  7. I still listen to Inspiration Time on Saturday evenings out of Fort Scott, Kansas. This past Saturday’s show he sang a “Song for Seniors”. I have been looking for the words to it. Can you help me?
    Bert Diggs

  8. Kwesi donkoh

    Ghanaians have pentecostal history

  9. Hilton Griswold, A spiritual heritage, Storm Lake youth camp, July 20-27, 1970, fiery, keynote speaker, daily during camp, The storm lake youth camp of July 20-27, 1970 was the high point of my childhood. Brother Griswold was our daily and nightly inspirational speaker encouraging us to received the baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. As a non-Pentecostal I did just that week (July 26) So did many others. It was the highlight absolutely of that era and has deeply personal meaning for me to this day. I have clear recollections of Brother Griswold I carry as well, Craig Christensen (then age 17) 2733 Merle Hay road, dsmia,

  10. Pingback: A spiritual heritage – benorasauthorizedversionof1611

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