I first heard these songs on my first visit to the Cincinnati Vineyard in August of 1987. The church met in the cafeteria of Scarlet Oaks Vocational school and after singing for forty minutes or so, visitors were asked to raise their hands and ushers distributed a cassette tape of worship music.
In today's recording I've tried to include the songs that were on the "Welcome Tape" that I received in 1987.
There are a couple of things that are of interest about these songs...
The first thing is their simplicity. Many of the songs simply say "I love you Lord" or repeat the words Hosanna, Alleluia, or Hallelujah.
(The word Hosanna can be translated as "We praise you" while Alleluia/Hallelujah can be translated as "Praise the Lord".)
The second thing of interest is that in addition to using many popular worship songs of that period, there are a number of songs that were written by musicians in the worship band...including Dave Workman, Kelly Wiseman and Jim Hitchcock. (A few years later, the worship band did a live recording of their own songs called "Homegrown Hosanna").
A final note of interest about these songs is their ability to instruct. I'm convinced that God used these songs to help me learn more about Him...especially His incredible grace and mercy...and to help me respond back to Him in worship. I found these songs so helpful that I literally wore out my "Welcome Tape" by playing it so much on the cassette player in my small red Chevette.
There were others who liked the "Welcome Tape" as well. When I visited my first small group sponsored by the Vineyard Cincinnati in North College Hill, the leader played the entire "Welcome Tape" for the group to sing along to (we even had to pause to flip the cassette tape to play the second side). Later, in a small group in Oxford (that was led John and Pam Bertram) we sang many of these same songs while John led us on his acoustic guitar.
Shortly after I received my "Welcome Tape" I gave a bunch of the "Welcome Tapes" to friends, figuring that they would like it as much as I did. Interestingly, nine years later I was talking to a friend in Michigan and she told me, "Do you remember that tape you gave me a long time ago? I still get it out and play it when I need to focus my thoughts on the Lord."
One big difference, as you'll hear, is that I've recorded these songs in my home office with just my own vocals and guitar - the songs on the "Welcome Tape" were recorded with a full band and with several great singers...so feel free to add your own harmony as you sing along.
So, for my friend Kevin (who celebrated his birthday this week) and for my friends at the Cincinnati Vineyard who are celebrating their 25th anniversary tomorrow...here are some worship songs from 1987.
I’m a Christian writer, trainer and consultant. Over the years I have had the opportunity to help a number of ministry leaders with resources. This blog is designed to keep friends up to date on the latest things I’m working on.