Black History Month: 8 influential African-American Christian leaders

Charles Albert Tindley  

Charles Albert Tindley
Methodist minister and Gospel music pioneer Charles Albert Tindley, (1851-1933). |

A native of Berlin, Maryland, whose father was a slave, Charles Albert Tindley was a Methodist pastor whose contributions to sacred music remain relevant in the modern day.

The mind behind songs like "Stand by Me," "Nothing Between," and "Beams of Heaven," in 1982 the Smithsonian presented a combination musical tribute and colloquium on his work.

"Tindley's compositions influenced Thomas A. Dorsey and Roberta Martin, and formed the base for a new black urban sacred music — gospel," reported The Washington Post at the time.

"Later, the hymns composed during the twilight of Tindley's ministry reflected his faith — 'Spiritual Springtime,' 'A Better Day Is Coming By-and-By,' 'The Home of the Soul,' 'I'll Be Satisfied,' and 'He'll Take You Through.' These and many other hymns establish, without fear of contradiction, that Tindley was the father of gospel music."

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