(photo of Guthrie Dean)
THE TRINITY SONG
“…Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19)
INTRO.: A song which offers thanks to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit) for the role of each one in our salvation is “The Trinity Song.” The text was written by Guthrie Davis Dean, who was born at Farmerville in Union Parish, Louisiana, on May 18, 1927, to George Washington Dean (1888 – 1974) and Exa Odom Dean (1893 – 1981). He had three older siblings, Lloyd William Dean (1915 – 2006), Garland Lee Dean (1917 – 2009), and Christine Dean Albritton (1921 – 2004). A 1948 graduate of Harding College (now University) in Searcy, AR, he was awarded the Master’s degree at Sul Ross College in Alpine, Texas, in the spring of 1950 and that fall became the preacher with the church of Christ at Judsonia, AR. Guthrie married Mary Muriel Larkin Waller on January 8, 1953, and they had one daughter, Georgia Ann. He also adopted her son, Michael Waller.
The Deans left Judsonia in the fall of 1954, and Guthrie began work with the Northside church of Christ in Malvern, AR. After one year there they moved to Ruston, Louisiana, and then back to their home in Judsonia, where Guthrie worked nine years with the Bald Knob church of Christ. From 1965 to Oct. 1974 he labored with the Park Hill church in Ft. Smith, AR. Dean’s next move was to Franklin Road church in Nashville, Tennessee, and from there back to Fort Smith as preacher of Blair Avenue church as long as his health permitted. Dean did extensive writing for several gospel papers, published a number of tracts which have received wide circulation, for one year edited and published a semi-monthly religious newspaper, “The Arkansas Christian Herald,” and published a book, “Handy Bible Helps.” He also provided the words to a hymn, “The Trinity Song,” with the tune composed by Tom Reed, that was copyrighted in 1976 and published by the Literary Research Institute of Nashville, TN.
In his later years, Guthrie had bypass heart surgery, gall bladder surgery, and a hip replacement. After his retirement, he and his wife were members of the River Valley Church of Christ. Muriel was bed-fast and on oxygen constantly for three years before her death on July 25, 1996. Guthrie, age 73, died Friday, May 26, 2000, in a local hospital at Fort Smith. The funeral was at Lewis Funeral Chapel with burial at Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith under the direction of Lewis Funeral Chapel of Fort Smith. Preceded in death by his parents and wife, he was survived by his daughter and son; his sister and two brothers; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church for use in churches of Christ, the only one in which I have seen “The Trinity Song” is the original 1978 edition of Gospel Songs and Hymns, compiled and edited by V. E. (Verna Elisha) Howard with Broadus E. Smith as associate, and published by Central Printers and Publishers of Texarkana, AR. In the revised edition, known as Church Gospel Songs and Hymns, published in 1983, it was replaced with “Holy Father, Loving Master” by Bob Connel.
“The Trinity Song” identifies the three persons of the Godhead and what they have done for us.
- Stanza 1 mentions all three members of “the Trinity”
We thank Thee, dear Father, for Thy loving care,
For sending us Jesus to die for us here,
For Thy Holy Spirit to comfort and cheer
Through Thy word of power, the gospel so dear.
- We thank the Father for His loving care: 1 Pet. 5:7
- We also thank Him for sending His Son Jesus to save us: Jn. 3:16
- And we thank Him for sending the Holy Spirit to comfort us through His revelation: Jn. 14:16-17
II. Stanza 2 mentions the pardon offered by God the Father
We thank Thee for pardon so full and so free,
For life that now is and for eternity,
For the blood that was shed at old Calvary
To bring full salvation to creatures like me.
- Our heavenly Father is a God of pardon: Isa. 55:7
- This pardon makes possible life that is now and for eternity: 1 Tim. 4:8
- Such wonderful blessings are available through the blood of the Son whom God sent: Eph. 1:3-7
III. Stanza 3 mentions the Son who was sent by the Father
We thank Thee, dear Father, for Thy precious Son,
Who came forth from Hades a victory won,
Who went back to heaven, His earthly work done,
To make intercessions for us, every one.
- The Son gained victory over Hades by His resurrection: Acts 2:25-32
- He then went back to heaven: Acts 1:9-11
- There He ever lives to make intercession for us: Heb. 7:25
IV. Stanza 4 mentions the Holy Spirit who was given to comfort
We thank Thee, dear Lord, for Thy Spirit so fair,
The promise from heaven all Christians to share,
Who lives in us daily with much fruit to bear;
Through Thy word of power He leadeth us here.
- The Holy Spirit is promised to all those who obey Christ: Acts 5:32
- When His influence lives in us, we bear His fruit: Gal. 5:22-23
- The means by which He does His work is the word of God: Eph. 6:17
CONCL.: The chorus gives glory to the name of the Father, the risen King, and the Spirit.
Glory, glory to Thy name,
Glory to the risen King,
Glory to the Spirit sing;
Free salvation we proclaim.
Some people do not like the term “Trinity” because it is not specifically found in the Scriptures. However, I believe that it can be understood and used simply to refer to the existence and equal-deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as plainly taught in God’s word. With this understanding, we should be able to sing “The Trinity Song.”