HEAVENLY SUNLIGHT written in 1899
Henry Zelley (1859-1942), a Methodist pastor in southern New Jersey (and have you noticed how many of these songs were written from New Jersey?! What happened to the evangelical northeast US since then?). He served 19 different churches over a 41-year ministry. He also found time to write about 1,500 poems, hymns, and gospel songs, including this song… the only song of Henry’s still sung today.
“Heavenly Sunlight” might have been tucked away and lost to history, too, if not for radio pioneer, Charles E. Fuller (1887-1968). He changed the word “sunlight” to “sunshine”, and featured this song every Sunday on his Old Fashioned Revival Hour radio program. Aired nationally, his show opened each week with “Heavenly Sunshine”.
Thanks to his very popular radio program, Charles Fuller is said to have told the gospel story to more people than anyone else in history up until the time of evangelist Billy Graham.
Read this song, and – today – allow God’s Heavenly Sunlight to shine on – and through – you.
Walking in sunlight all of my journey,
over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, I’ll never forsake thee—
promise divine that never can fail.
Heavenly sunlight! Heavenly sunlight!
Flooding my soul with glory divine;
Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,
singing His praises, Jesus is mine!
Shadows around me, shadows above me
never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the light, in Him is no darkness,
ever I’m walking close to His side. (Refrain)
In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
pressing my way to mansions above;
singing His praises, gladly I’m walking,
walking in sunlight, sunlight of love. (Refrain)