The Wildwood

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

  • Hebrews 12:22-24

We were invited to my wife’s sister’s home on the day we left Minnesota for a brunch.  That caused me to rethink the route we would travel to Memphis, TN.  When I ran the numbers, I saw that we would be passing by Nashua, Iowa.  I just had to stop at the Church in the Wildwood.  I had to “come, come, come, come” to church, even though we missed the worship service.

I had sung the old hymn all my life and stumbled over the town driving back from a job interview in the mid-90s.  It brought back fond memories of my youth, but the hymn also reminds us that God wants us to join in a joyful assembly as the Scripture above mentions.

I grew up in a Presbyterian church in the middle of the Bible Belt.  We may have been called the “Frozen Chosen” by others, but on Wednesday night at prayer meetings, everyone had a smile on their face during the singing of this hymn – unless the old men got serious about drowning out everyone else when it was their turn to do the “come, come, come, come.”

There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier place in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dale

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringin’ bells
It’s tones so sweetly are callin’
Oh, come to the church in the vale

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dale

There close by the side of that loved one
‘Neath the tree where the wildflowers bloom
When farewell hymn shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dale

Oh come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dale

  • Dr. William S. Pitts, The Church in the Wildwood

Below is the Stadler Brothers singing this hymn.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

2 Comments

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  1. I grew up knowing that song Wildwood when my cousins and elders gathered with guitaris and mandolin s and fiddles and harmonicas would join with voices and food
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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