Gospel Pearls (1921)
Published in 1921 by the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Gospel Pearls is recognized as the first hymnal for African American congregations with ‘gospel’ in the title. It cast a profound influence on the African American worship tradition, and became known for its blend of traditional hymnody, gospel songs, spirituals, and songs by a new generation of black composers.
The need for a new hymnal developed after a 1915 dispute over the ownership of the National Baptist Publishing Board, which had published National Baptist Hymn Book (Nashville, 1906) and National Jubilee Melodies (Nashville, 1916). As a result of the dispute, a...
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