A Moment in African American Faith History – Thomas A. Dorsey
Thomas A. Dorsey, widely considered as “The Father of Black Gospel Music,” was born in Villa Rica, Georgia in 1899.
Initially a popular blues pianist, he committed his work to God following the death of his wife and infant son in 1932. During his mourning, he composed “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
In 1932, he established Dorsey House of Music, the first Black gospel music publishing company. Dorsey would go on to co-found the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. From 1932 until the late 1970s, he served as music director of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago. Included among Dorsey’s more than 400 compositions are the gospel standards “Peace in the Valley,” and “Highway to Heaven.”
Dorsey died in 1993 in Chicago, Illinois.