John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Saturday 6th August 1966


In the NOTES section for this week, I wrote:

AND → • ?
I was evidently trying to encourage myself to resume a life of faith, overcome the habit of “”, and resume my doing the religious census on the knocker (as indeed happened yesterday). The diary-entry proper for today is as follows:


     NOT BAD.
Raymond Reece is not a good
singer but what he sings is great.

Post Lesson 1 to Jones again! (Didn’t do this): Precisely what the significance of the notes in my diary for Saturday 6th August 1966 and Tuesday 9th August 1966 is, I don’t remember. Had Jones returned Lesson 1 itself as well as the answer sheet? I’d already sent Lesson 2 to him on Thursday 4th August 1966. See Tuesday 8th March 1966 for more information about the Soulwinning Course.

For weeks before the series of special meetings, or “convention”, started today or this evening at Fleetwood Full Gospel Church, Pastor Stanley Smith had been raising our expectations by saying what a wonderful singer Raymond Reece was. So when he finally appeared, and opened his mouth, the tremulous squawk that assaulted our ears came as a shock.
Tha wa n-a-a-a-a-a-nty and n-a-a-a-n that safely lay
In the sh-e-e-e-e-e-lter of the fold…
His tempo and general manner of vocal delivery are fairly well represented in the first video, below. And somewhat like in the Tennessee Ernie Ford version, also below, the final “Rejoice…” was repeated. This was accompanied by a wave of cheering and hallelujahs in response from the congregation.

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There rose a cry to the gate of Heaven,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

This hymn was evidently still being sung, in North Carolina at any rate, on Sunday 25th January 2009.

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