Matters of Faith 8-12 African American Hymns

Music is an important part of worship in most churches.

But at the Beaulah Baptist Church in Bessemer..

The hymns are considered a part of the rock of faith.

Earnest Wright is a worship leader. He says, "Devotionals from deacons that have passed on... sang songs passed on we have learned them that is part of the tradition pass them on.... that is part of church heritage to pass them on."

Here at Beulah Baptist in Bessemer at about 10:30 on a Sunday morning you hear line singing from the deacons.

Earnest: "Line singing where the deacons would sing a line and the congregation would repeat the line behind it."

Carolyn Norris is the church musician. She says, "The melody the slaves would hear the songs sung by the European types... they would hear the songs they would take them and when they would sing them there was a change in the melody... that old... because of the African American influence.

{}The songs got generations struggling for equality... and through many struggles.

Carolyn says, "Not only are they sung at church.... you might hear your mother singing at the house... because they're not on. Sometimes when things go wrong that brings comfort and strength.

Earnest: " They tell a story of how far we've come how god has kept us how god continues to keep us..even the it doesn't seem like it... that's the rock... hymns symbolize."

Pastor Arron Johnson says, "We are blessed by it. Many find comfort and sing those songs till the next Sunday."