Greatest Gospel Songs Of All Time – The main purpose of gospel music is to serve the soul – not to gain fame or glory. That being said, some gospel songs are more popular than others. We’ve compiled this list of the 100 best gospel songs of all time, new and old.
The main purpose of gospel music is to serve the soul – not to gain fame or glory. That being said, some gospel songs are more popular than others. We’ve compiled this list of the 100 best gospel songs of all time, new
Greatest Gospel Songs Of All Time
Gospel music is a subgenre of Christian music that originated in 18th-century America. The primary characteristic of gospel music is that it has a dominant song with Christian lyrics, often mentioning Bible verses or references.
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Today, gospel music largely owes its continued success to Black and Southern gospel music, which emerged in the early 20th century and changed over time to include rap and hip/hop. Based on African-American tradition, Black gospel music is often the dominant mode of worship in Black churches and Pentecostal churches. This powerful genre of music has influenced some of the most famous artists of all time, including Elvis, Aretha Franklin and Prince.
This article divides 100 of the best gospel songs of all time into two categories: Old and new. Since many gospel songs are covers of classic hymns, we will mainly focus on old gospel songs.
Old gospel songs like “Amazing Grace” have incredible staying power and are still sung today, centuries after their creation. Some classic songs written and performed in the early 20th century have also been covered by many modern artists.
This song, written by John Newton, is one of the best spiritual songs of all time due to its massive popularity worldwide. The song’s message of deep spiritual joy relates to many people, leading to it being on thousands of albums and sung by world-class musicians such as Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson.
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“Farther Along” tells the story of a Christian dismayed to see the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer. The main theme of this song is that somewhere down the line, maybe in Heaven, we will know why good people suffer and bad people prosper.
While the origins of the song are disputed, it has been covered by many high-profile musicians such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Sam Cooke.
After losing his five-year-old son, J.B.F. Wright wrote the song “Precious Memories” about how the memories of the righteous are blessed. Over the years, this song has been covered by musicians like Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton.
Written by Bob Ferguson and performed by Ferlin Husky in the sixties, “Wings of a Dove” tells us that God sends us love “on the wings of a dove”, just as He did for Noah after the Great Flood. The title of the song is a quote from Psalm 55:6:
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“I said, ‘Oh, if I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and rest.”
This song, once performed by Carrie Underwood, was written as a hymn by Swedish poet Carl Gustav Bobert in the late 19th century. Its theme of admiring the greatness of God made it a popular song worldwide, and it was later translated into German, Russian and Maori, among other languages.
Albert E. Brumley’s 1929 hymn “I’ll Fly Away” is the world’s most recorded gospel song, with covers by Bob Marley, Kanye West, and many other artists. Its themes of eternal life in God’s kingdom make “I’ll Fly Away” a popular choice for church services and funerals.
Hank Williams’ 1947 country music classic tells the story of a sinful man who wandered aimlessly before Jesus came and showed him the light. This song is now a beloved standard in both the country and gospel music scenes, even lending its title to the 2015 Hank Williams biopic starring Tom Hiddleston.
Behind The Greatest Gospel Songs Of The 20th Century By Gary Harbin
Originally titled “There Will Be Peace in the Valley for Me”, Thomas A. Dorsey wrote this song for gospel music legend Mahalia Jackson. Elvis Presley further cemented its status as one of the greatest gospel songs of all time after performing it to over 50 million viewers on
This classic gospel song written by Elvina M. Hall reminds us that our sins are forgiven because of Jesus. “Jesus Paid It All” is now a favorite among American Christians, with covers by artists such as Lory Bianco and Colton Dixon.
Ironically, “In the Garden” was composed by former pharmacist C. Austin Miles who lived in a basement with no garden view. This song tells the story of Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus in a garden, as told in John 20:1-18, and is one of Elvis Presley’s favorite gospel songs.
While much of gospel music is artists covering classic songs, there are also many new songs by modern gospel artists. Here are some of the most popular new gospel songs released in recent decades:
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This song by legendary singer-songwriter Prince tells us about the second coming of Jesus Christ and is widely praised as one of the best rock gospel songs.
Musician Marvin Sapp wrote the 2007 hit “Never Would Have Made It” as a tribute to his late father. In this song, Sapp praises God for helping him through it all and that he never would have made it if it wasn’t for Jesus.
In this song performed by Jessy Dixon, the singer prays to God to make him a pure, holy and living sanctuary. Its simple but powerful message makes “Sanctuary” a modern gospel classic.
Contains great gospel tracks like “Follow God”. This award-winning song tells the story of Kanye’s relationship with his father and God.
Best Gospel Songs Of All Time
William McDowell’s 2011 song “I Won’t Go Back” is about someone who has been changed by the Lord and holds fast to his beliefs, not wanting to go back to how they were before finding God. Its message makes the track a favorite among those who want to keep their faith strong.
Opinions differ on what is the most popular gospel song of all time, but “Amazing Grace” is probably the best known worldwide. Among newer gospel music, Mary Mary’s “Shackles (Praise You)” is extremely popular, with nearly 100 million plays on Spotify!
Ultimately, popularity doesn’t matter as much as the message. All gospel songs are created to lift the soul, strengthen your faith and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to both believers and unbelievers.
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Best Songs Of All Time
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