Charles Albert Tindley

Charles Albert Tindley, whose father was a slave, became one of the prolific gospel songwriters of his time!

Although he didn’t attend school, he learned Greek through a correspondence course with Boston School of Theology.

Later he became pastor of the East Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia—a church where he had been a janitor—one that during his tenure grew to over 12,000 members.

Largely self-taught, he said: “I made a rule to learn at least one new thing a day.”

Reading more than 8,000 books, and also taking Hebrew at a synagogue in Philadelphia, he also wrote hymns with biblical references, including, "I'll Overcome Some Day"—the basis for the civil rights "anthem": "We Shall Overcome!"


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