Almost a decade ago, I was completing a continuing education class at Columbia Seminary. As a final project, each participant was asked to make a contribution to the body of ‘prayer resources’ in Christendom. Most of my colleagues wrote prayers, devotionals or study guides. I decided to write seven songs—prayer songs—that undergird The Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer guide for priests and monks throughout the world. It is a published, daily rhythm of prayers and psalms beginning with Lauds (morning prayers) and ending with Vigils (midnight prayer). I presented the lyrics and simple tunes to a friend who was a pianist/vocalist. We sat on the piano bench in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia, and sang through the songs. We had not noticed the gentleman sitting at the back of the otherwise empty sanctuary. After singing through the seven songs, he approached us and offered to produce a recording of the musical prayers. His name was Pat Terry…
Since then, Pat has become a wonderful colleague and friend. Our paths have crossed at conferences, conventions, churches and over a few cups of coffee. Pat and his band ‘The Pat Terry Group’ had cut the path for contemporary Christian music in the 70s, but in later years, his faith matured…shifted…and found expression in other forms. He has remained committed to his own recording career, but has also written songs for numerous Nashville artists. Pat has contributed songs to albums by Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Sammy Kershaw, Confederate Railroad, The Four Tops, and Kansas. Among his best hits are: “Home Where I Belong,” B.J. Thomas; “Help Me Hold On,” Travis Tritt; and “A Little Too Late (to Do the Right Thing Now),” Tanya Tucker.
Pat Terry will be our guest artist for Summer Music Sunday on August 11. He will share a couple of songs during morning worship and then—immediately following worship—provide a complete hour of songs and stories during a luncheon in the Fellowship Hall. Seating will be limited. Make reservations for your seat and meal online at https://firstbaptistgreenville.com/summer-music-sunday/. I’m personally looking forward to seeing my friend…and enjoying, once again, his kind, gentle and poignant musical expressions of faith. See you there!