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Heaven's Roll Call

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Dear Precious Saints of MBC,
 
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to the Lord's Day.
 
James M. Black was a Sunday school teacher and musician. One day he met a 14 year old girl named Bessie who was poorly clothed, the child of a drunkard who sadly did not enjoy the nicer things of life. Black invited her to attend Sunday school and to join the young people's group.
One evening at a youth meeting, when each member answered the roll call by repeating a scripture text, Bessie failed to respond. This situation brought the thought to Black's mind that it would be a very sad thing if our names are called in heaven and we should be absent. The thought, although not biblically sound, brought this prayer to the lips of Black: "Oh, God, when my name is called up yonder, may I be there to respond!"
That evening when Black reached his home, all of a sudden, the first stanza of a hymn came to his mind. He then went to the piano and played the music just as you will find it in the hymnals today - note for note. It has never been changed. The words he wrote were:

"When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound

And time shall be no more,

When the morning breaks, eternal bright and fair;

When the saved of earth shall gather

Over on the other shore,

And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there."

Chorus:
"When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder
I'll be there."
That hymn has been included in most hymnals and was translated into at least 14 languages and sung all over the world in a variety of Christian denominations.
James M. Black died in an auto accident in Colorado in 1948. When the roll was called up yonder, James Black was there by faith in Jesus Christ.
See you this Sunday,
 
In the light of His glory and grace,
 
Pastor Doug