Charlie Taplin

Charlie Taplin

I was a child when I first met Charlie Taplin. Charlie was a bi-vocational minister. A telephone pole man and later a restaurant owner, he was also our minister of worship. Big in stature and rugged looking from working outside, I remember his strong hand shake and beautiful tenor voice. He was a man’s man. Charlie had no formal musical background, but when he sang you knew he loved Jesus. What he may have lacked in training, he made up for in spirit. He was gifted. It may have been his love for music and his love for Jesus that motivated me to sing. During college and in my early years of ministry, I too, was a worship leader.

One of his favorite songs was “But Until Then,” by Stuart Hamlin. Charlie could never finish the song without crying. I haven’t heard this song in more than 30 years. The music doesn’t fit our contemporary style of worship, but it still captures my thoughts about life, Charlie, and Jesus. The verses of this hymn read,

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for awhile;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.
The chorus then resounds with this commitment:

But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

This week God called Charlie home.


3 responses to “Charlie

  1. Carrie Goswick

    Thank you for honoring my grandfather. You described him perfectly and really touched my heart. My grandpa never could make it through that song and many others as well. I really appreciate it.

  2. I love Charlie Already His heart was on his sleave so thy say. I’d like to be thought of that way when I go to sing with Charlie in our heavenly home. I never met the man but those few words put harmony in my heart and I just had to respond.
    May God bless you for that great story
    In Christ Ed Spiller

  3. Thanks for the touching reminiscence about Charlie. It was your reference to him singing Stuart Hamblen’s “Until Then” that caught my attention this morning–today being the 102nd anniversary of Mr. Hamblen’s birth. (Sorry some churches think it’s too old-fashioned. We still sing it!)

    If you enjoy reading about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.

    And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” With the arrival of fall, we begin to think of the Christmas season up ahead. If you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at mine, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)

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