Music evokes feelings in our lives and also is an avenue for worship. In Christian circles “gospel” music speaks of the good news found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Elvis Presley - Biography
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, to parents Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley. Sadly his twin brother was delivered as a stillborn prior to Elvis birth, therefore Elvis grew up as a single son to Vernon and Gladys.
Elvis and his family attended an Assembly of God church. The music there was instrumental in inspiring him. Elvis has been largely known as one of the 20th century’s cultural icons and is commonly referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”. Over 90 albums have been released by Elvis or in dedication to Elvis. What may come to a surprise to some is that Elvis Presley had written several explicit gospel songs.
Early in Elvis' career, he performed many well-known gospel songs and in 1967 released an album titled How Great Thou Art named after the famous hymn. It won him his first Grammy Award, for Best Sacred Performance. As Dave Marsh wrote, Presley was "arguably the greatest white gospel singer of his time [and] really the last rock & roll artist to make gospel as vital a component of his musical personality as his secular songs."
Top 10 Christian Gospel Songs by Elvis Presley
Discover 10 of the best Elvis Presley gospel songs below with our favorite lyrics and videos.
10. Crying In The Chapel
Favorite Lyric: “You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment. Now I am happy with the Lord.”
When we can find the secret to being content in every situation we experience the joy that is given through our Lord.
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)
9. His Hand In Mine
Favorite Lyric: “I will never walk alone he holds my hand. He will guide each step I take and if I fall I know He'll understand. Till the day he tells me why he loves me so. I can feel his hand in mine. That’s all I need to know”
We serve God, who is Emmanuel – He walks with us.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
8. I Believe In The Man In The Sky
Favorite Lyric: “I believe in the man in the sky. I believe with his help I'll get by. My footsteps may falter. My eyes may grow dim but he's my Gibraltar. I’m trusting in Him.”
Although I would not refer to God as “the man in the sky” necessarily, I do know that many people use this as an expression. It’s my prayer that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit “the man in the sky” can be glorified.
7. Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Favorite Lyric: “Through the storm, through the night. Lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord. Lead me home.”
Ralph Abernathy once said, “I don't know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future.” When storms come we can rest knowing that God knows the outcome and he is working all things for the good of those who love Him (Roman 8:28). He is the one who calms the storms.
“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.” (Psalm 107:29 ESV)
6. In My Father’s House
Favorite Lyric: “Jesus died upon the cross to bear my sorrow. Freely died that souls like you might have new life. But I know that soon there'll come a bright tomorrow. When the saved will all be free from sin and strife.”
“In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2 ESV)
Favorite Lyric: “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, and take me home. What joy shall fill my heart.”
“How Great Thou Art” is one of my favorite hymns. Elvis did an excellent job with this song. When Christ comes there will be praise given Him and His followers will forever worship Him in paradise.
Favorite Lyric: “Amazing grace, oh, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see.”
Another great traditional Hymn is “Amazing Grace.” Originally the song was written by John Newton. The tune has been sung in the quietness of a bedroom and the vibrancy of a cathedral.
3. Working On The Building
Favorite Lyric: “Well, I’m working on the building. It’s a true foundation. I’m holding up the blood-stained banner for my Lord. Well I never get tired, tired, tired of working on the building. I’m going up to heaven oh yeah, to get my reward.”
When we build our foundation on Christ, we will not waver in storms.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
2. Swing Down Sweet Chariot
Favorite Lyric: “Rock me lord, rock me lord–Calm and easy. Well I've got a home on the other side.”
Lyrically, this one is not as powerful as the others in this list, but I loved the beat and everything about it musically. It is true that our Lord will “rock us calm and easy”. He is there in times of blessing and with us in our distress.
1. If The Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side
Favorite Lyric: “When Jesus found me, Jesus found me in my sinful life. He heard me praying, He heard me praying on my knees at night.”
God has a love that finds us in our mess, redeems us, and reconciles our relationship with God. When Jesus finds us, our lives are forever transformed.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
Related post: Southern Gospel Songs: Top 10 List
Image credit: George Hodan