Published October 5, 2010

Shelia Shares....
"Come Angel Band"

Monday evening of last week, I couldn't sleep. From about 1 a.m. to 3:30 a.m., I was wide awake. Tony Greene was on my mind. In fact, so much so that I got up, turned on my computer and went to Facebook to see whether there was further news about his health condition. There was nothing new.

I prayed for peace for Tony. I prayed for peace for his family. I prayed for comfort for him and understanding for his family and friends. I prayed, but I could not pray for Tony's physical healing. I was blocked from voicing or even composing the thought of asking for God to heal him.

Tuesday on our way to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for the Hall of Fame Induction and Singing News Fan Awards ceremonies, we were listening to a CD of various Gospel artists. About 4:07 p.m., we heard the song "O Come Angel Band" sung by Kim Hopper. Knowing Tony's state of health, it seemed so appropriate to hear his sister sing this song. It triggered more prayers for peace for Tony and the entire Greene family.

About a half hour later, we received a phone call from our office about Tony Greene's passing.

Because of the song, in my mind, I saw that angel band swoop down and gently lift Tony from his physical body and into the arms of Jesus. The song felt like a benediction – a blessing for God to take him home. And, He did.

On Tony's Facebook page, he listed two favorite quotes. The first one is "Never Fear, He is Close!" I don't know when it will be for you or me, but for Tony, Jesus was as close as He could get last week on Tuesday at 4:25 p.m.

Tony was prepared. Are you?

- Shelia

PS: Although the above was written several days ago, at Tony Greene's funeral service last evening (Monday, Oct. 4th), "Oh Come Angel Band" was one of the songs sung by the Bill Gaither Homecoming choir, including a short feature by Kim. A reprise of the song was, appropriately, the very last song sung at Tony's Homegoing service.

Comments on this? shelia@thegospelgreats.com .

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