Hymn Composers

History Book
History Book
History Book

Over the years, members of the Apostolic Faith organization have composed hymns that are sung from time to time in church services. The first book of 100 well-loved hymns composed by these songwriters was published and copyrighted in 1939. Another songbook, Sing Praises Unto Our King, was produced in 1973.

A ladies quartet sings during one of the services in camp meeting of 2005.

The church founder, Florence Crawford, was a songwriter. One of her well-loved hymns was composed shortly after she had established the headquarters work in Portland. Under the inspiration of the Spirit, in a time of trial, she put to music the craving of her soul: “The Heart’s Cry.” Another beautiful song, “Jesus Reigns Supreme,” was put in verse after the midnight hour when she was awakened and inspired to write on the theme of the coming of the Lord.

Don Wolfe directed the Portland church orchestra and choir for more than forty years.

Her son, Raymond Crawford inherited his mother’s love of music, and also composed a number of Gospel songs. Once, a special burden came upon his heart to write a hymn that would give admonition to prayer, and the Lord gave him the words of the soul-stirring hymn, “Prevailing Prayer.” Another song he wrote dwelt on the heart’s devotion: “He Made Me What I Am.”

A group of young violinists playing in a youth service.

Through the years, Phil Brown, Clifford Baltzell, Ted Friesen, Dixie Matthews, and other musicians in the congregation, both in Portland and in branch church locations, have written songs of praise that have welled up in their hearts. The choir or special vocal ensembles sometimes sing these compositions in church services.

Phil Brown, a prolific hymn writer for several decades, looks over a piece of music with Lena Wallace in the 1950s.

Those who attend the organization’s branch churches around the world also find the focus on music in Apostolic Faith services an enjoyable and inspirational feature. Many hearts have been touched by the Gospel message as it is presented in this manner.

Janice Calhoun is principal pianist at the Portland headquarters church.