by Thomas A. Dooley
During the 1960's, many of my musician friends moved to Nashville and joined the Composers Guild- and with great success. That appealed my instincts, so I set my goals to follow these dreams. But God had other plans. I believe the Lord closed the “country music door” and opened up the “church window”... as the old saying goes. While searching for a new church, my wife, Joyce and I visited her brother, Don Elmore's church in Burlington, Kentucky. Don helped me to see how the truth of God's words could inspire me to reach out to favor the Lord with my gifts.
When we moved to Kentucky in 1998, I was inspired to write my first hymn, “God's Covenant People”. I do not remember if the words or the melody came first. I just knew that this was a composition from God! It was so inspiring to hear the congregation sing this hymn like a well rehearsed choir. This song became our church's main hymn within a few short weeks.
Soon after, many songs began to fill my mind, almost faster than I could remember them. So I recorded the melody on a tape recorder and had my wife write down the words. Songs like “As Much As the Father” and When We Gather In His Name, He's Here” were introduced to the congregation and soon became favorites as well.
Our dear friend, Sandi Blanchard, transposed 20 of the most popular of the 52 songs that the Lord gave me and had them put into a songbook for our church to use. What a blessing that was!
Although I have not been inspired the last few years to compose, I encourage all of you who have a gift of music and thoughts of creating a classic hymn to bring this desire to the Lord and He will lead you to those who will encourage you and help you to create beautiful sounds.
God Bless You!
Thomas A. Dooley