Charles Tindley grew up in Philadelphia during Reconstruction.  Though not a slave, his pay was almost as bad. He worked as a janitor at a Methodist church before becoming its pastor. He grew up in poverty and never went to college, but still managed to read 8,000 books. Among the many hymns he wrote was, “Stand by Me.” Each stanza focuses on a poor person’s pain: tribulation, storms of life, faults and failures, and persecution. At the end of each stanza, he points to the character of God and pleads, “Lord, Stand by me.” That’s how the author of Psalm 140 prayed during his troubles: “O Lord, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent, those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long. Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me.” Now we may or may not have troubles exactly like Dr. Tindley or the psalmist. Yet we should stay so close to God that when our troubles come, we will have faith to trust Him until the storm passes over.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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