BEYOND THE SUNSET written in 1964
Virgil Brock (1887-1978) was ordained as a minister of the Christian Church at age 19. In 1914, while serving in Greens Fork, Indiana, he met and married Blanche Kerr, who served as the team’s composer and pianist. They wrote many songs together, including this song.
The writing of this song happened just before dinner one night in Winona Lake, Indiana; Virgil Brock and his wife, Blanche, were admiring a beautiful sunset with Virgil’s cousin and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Horace Burr. Just above the setting sun was a large thundercloud with flashing lightning. Conversation stopped as claps of thunder roared in the distance. Then the sun’s rays disappeared, and all that could be seen were the storm clouds.
At that point, Virgil remembered that Horace was blind; while the other 3 were admiring the sunset, Horace could see nothing.
But, it was Horace who spoke about it first: “That was the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen.” There was awkward silence in the group until Horace spoke again, “I see through other people’s eyes, and I think I often see more; I see beyond the sunset.”
Virgil Brock was struck by that phrase, “Beyond the sunset”, and he spontaneously began to sing a tune with those words. Then they went in to a piano, and he sat down, playing that tune, and writing the first verse. Before the evening meal was finished, all four verses were written and they sang the whole together… a song of hope and anticipation.
Read this hymn, and – today – try to look beyond the sunset.
Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,
when with our Savior Heaven’s begun.
Earth’s toiling ended, O glorious dawning
beyond the sunset when day is done.
Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather;
no storms will threaten, no fears annoy.
O day of gladness, O day unending;
beyond the sunset eternal joy.
Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me
to God the Father whom I adore.
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
will be my portion on that fair shore.
Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion
with our dear loved ones who’ve gone before,
In that fair homeland we’ll know no parting.
beyond the sunset forever more.