The first time I was ever asked to perform a song for church was the Spring of 1972 at the Weslaco, Texas SDA Church when I was at Valley Grande Academy. I had just learned a nice chord progression for All My Trials, the old spiritual and had mastered simple finger-picking. I was so terrified to perform up front that my voice was shaking. Afterward, people complimented me on my "emotional" and "heart-felt" delivery.
Forty years later, I sang the last song I ever performed solo in church at Tyler SDA Church in Tyler, Texas. Oddly enough it was the same song. I'd just learned a new chord progression and had written some verses for it. Over four decades, I had learned the limitations of my voice, so I did a kind of whisper sing and encouraged the congregation to join in on the chorus. As the song went on (my wife says I did too many verses), the congregation gradually picked up in volume and we had a nice little sing-along going, which helped me get through without embarrassing myself totally.
Here is that last performance. Zaida Arante sent me the video. All My Trials, therefore, bookended my church singing career. I'm just glad I got through it without weeping publicly. This was just a few weeks before we left Texas, possibly forever. Given the state of the world right now, all our trials most likely will "...soon be over."
© 2017 by Tom King