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~Ten Thousand Angels

       Rarely has a hymn-writer been led to Christ by his own song, but such was the case with Ray Overholt.

       In 1958, at the height of his show-business career, Ray Overholt wrote his now-famous song, Ten Thousand Angels.

       Here is his story as he related itó

       One day I thought to myself: Iíve written secular songs, Iíd like to write a song about Christ.

       I opened the Bible. I knew a little about it from my mom. I began to read how Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane told Peter to put away his sword. Jesus told Peter that he could ask his Father and he would send twelve legions of angels. I didnít know at the time that would have been more than 72,000 angels. (cf: Matthew 26:53)

       I thought a good title for a song would be He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels. The more I read about Jesus, the more I admired him for what he had done.

       I was playing in a nightclub in Battle Creek, Michigan, when the Lord impressed me to write the song. I wrote the first verse and put it in my guitar case. I then told the club that I was quitting.

       I finished the song and sent it to a publishing house, which reluctantly agreed to publish it.

       Sometime later I found myself singing at a small church. I sang He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels.

       Following my singing, a preacher spoke a message that gripped my heart. I knew I needed Christ. So I knelt there and accepted, as my Savior, the One whom I had been singing and writing about.

       Ray Overholt became a traveling singer and preacher.

óLindsay Terry


Ten Thousand Angels


(1) They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where He prayed;

They led Him thro' the streets in shame.

They spat upon the Saviour so pure and free from sin;

They said, "Crucify Him; He's to blame."



He could have called ten thousand angels

To destory the world and set Him free.

He could have called ten thousand angels,

But He died alone for you and me.


(2) Upon His precious head they placed a crown of thorns;

They laughed and said, "Behold the king."

They struck Him and they cursed Him and mocked His holy name.

All alone He suffered ev'rything.


(2) To the howling mob He yielded; He did not for mercy cry.

The Cross of shame He took alone. And when He cried, "It's finished," He gave himself to die;

Salvation's wondrous plan was done.







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