“Where We’ll Never Grow Old”

"WHERE WE’LL NEVER GROW OLD"
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death" (Rev. 21.4)

     INTRO.: A song which emphasizes that there will be no more death or even old age in heaven is "Where We’ll Never Grow Old" or sometimes just called "Never Grow Old" (#204 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #384 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune composed both by James Cleveland Moore Sr., who was born on May 2, 1888, at Draketown in Paulding County, GA, the son of Charles Robert and Mary Ellen Hesterley Moore. Intending to become a Baptist preacher, he was educated at Draketown Baptist Institute, Mercer University at Macon, GA, and the University of Florida. Also, he received musical training under Benjamin B. Beale and J. Henry Showalter.

     In 1914, while a 26-year old seminary student at Mercer, Moore visited to preach in his home church at Draketown, where his aging father had led the singing for years. The elder Moore’s voice failed him and the son said that he knew that he would not be hearing his father sing much longer. Back in school at Macon, James produced the hymn with the incident still fresh in his mind, and wrote, "Dedicated to My Father and Mother." Apparently, it was not published until 1930. As a Missionary Baptist minister, Moore served at Funstron, Alma, Moultree, Glenwood, Willacoochee, and Abbeville, GA, and at Hawthorne, FL. In addition, he was known as a singer, singing teacher, and songwriter, serving as president of the Georgia-Florida-Alabama Tri-State Singing Convention for two years and of the Southern Singers’ Association of Georgia.

     Credited with over 500 songs, Moore also composed the music for "Sometime" and provided both words and music for "I’ll Follow," both of which appear in Sacred Selections for the Church. One of his last hymns, "Thou, O Christ of Calvary," was produced for inclusion in the Baptist Hymnal published in 1956 by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Sales of his phonograph records ran into the millions. Moore died at Ashburn in Turner County, GA, on June 1, 1962. His son, James C. Moore, also became a Baptist minister in Georgia.

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ; the song appeared in the 1938 Spiritual Melodies, the 1943 Standard Gospel Songs, and the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 all edited by Tillit S. Teddlie; the 1938/1944 New Wonderful Songs edited by Thomas S. Cobb; the 1940 Complete Christian Hymnal and the 1960 Hymnal both edited by Marion Davis; the 1940 Praise and Revival Songs and the 1952 Hymns of Praise and Devotion both edited by Will S. Slater; the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2 and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 both edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church and the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

     This song poetically describes the heavenly land for which we hope.

I. Stanza 1 says that this land is one where we never shall die
"I have heard of a land on the far away strand,
‘Tis a beautiful home of the soul;
Built by Jesus on high, there we never shall die, ‘Tis a land where we’ll never grow old."
 A. Like the patriarchs of old, we look for a land or country beyond this earthly life: Heb. 11.13-16
 B. This land has been prepared by God for the redeemed as the home of the soul which cannot be killed: Matt. 10.28
 C. Thus, it will be a land where we never shall die. The basic curse of growing old is that it leads to death, but in heaven we shall eat of the tree of life so that there will be no more death and we shall live forever: Rev. 22.1-5

II. Stanza 2 says that this land is a place where we shall sing praise to Christ
"In that beautiful home where we’ll never-more roam, We shall be in the sweet by and by;
Happy praise to the King through eternity sing, ‘Tis a land where we never shall die."
 A. In that land, we shall never more roam because in it we receive eternal life: Matt. 25.41, 1 Jn. 2.25
 B. Also, this land is referred to as the "sweet by and by" because it will be a place of rest, peace, joy, and comfort: Rev. 14.13
 C. But it will also be a land of activity, and one of the activities of the redeemed in heaven will be to praise God with glory and honor for all eternity: Rev. 21.24-26

III. Stanza 3 says that in this land our voices will blend with those gone before
"When our work here is done and the life crown is won, And our troubles and trials are o’er;
All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend With the lovedones who’ve gone on before."
[Sacred Selections has "saved ones" instead of "loved ones"]
 A. We look forward to the time when our work on earth is done and we shall receive the crown of life in that heavenly land: 2 Tim. 4.6-8, Rev. 2.10
 B. But we also recognize that one of the biggest troubles, trials, and sorrows that we have in this life is the parting of loved ones: 1 Thes. 4.13-18
 C. One of the greatest blessings that we shall have in that heavenly land will be the reunion with those of our loved ones who have done His commandments: Rev. 22.14

     CONCL.: The chorus continues to remind us of the eternal nature of our life in heaven.
"Never grow old, never grow old, In a land where we’ll never grow old;
Never grow old, never grow old, In a land where we’ll never grow old."
As we face the various problems and tribulations of this life, we can find great strength and encouragement to keep on and remain faithful by focusing our attention not on the things of this earth but on that land where we’ll "Never Grow Old."

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7 thoughts on ““Where We’ll Never Grow Old”

  1. This beautiful hymn has comforted many hearts over the years. Although I did not know Mr. Moore, he was a contemporary of my grandfather who served as a music director in Moore's native Paulding County, Georgia for many years. Although the old Draketown Bible Institute no longer exists, the Baptist church where Moore was inspired to write this song still stands today. This song was the first recording in the country gospel music genre to be produced by Columbia Records (1926).

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  2. While rummaging through some old hymnbooks, I came across a fourth stanza that I had never seen before.
    “O then, come, let us go from the toils here below,
    To the city whose streets are of gold;
    The rejoicing to share, with the dear ones now there,
    In the land where we’ll never grow old.”

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  3. He was cousin to my grandmother. I have a Hesterly family reunion picture dated around 1912~13. A young man holding his son.My grandmother was about 16.

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  4. This song touches my heart deeply and encourages me never to relent even in hard times and distractions along this narrow way on which I tread until i get to my heavenly goal… Amen!

    Reply

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