1851–1933

Introduction

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Tindley Temple
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Born: Ju­ly 7, 1851, Ber­lin, Mar­y­land.

Died: Ju­ly 26, 1933, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Buried: Ed­en Ce­me­te­ry, Col­ling­dale, Penn­syl­van­ia.

portrait

Biography

Charles was the son of Charles Tind­ley and Es­ther Mill­er. He mar­ried twice, to Da­isy Hen­ry (1868) and Jen­ny Cot­ten (1927).

He is con­sid­ered one of the found­ing fa­thers of Am­er­i­can Gos­pel mu­sic. The son of slaves, he taught him­self to read and write at age 17. He was a driv­en young man, work­ing as a ja­ni­tor while at­tend­ing night school, and earn­ing his di­vin­i­ty de­gree by cor­res­pon­dence course.

In 1902, Tind­ley be­came pas­tor of the Cal­va­ry Me­thod­ist Epis­co­pal Church in Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia, the church where he had ear­li­er been the jan­i­tor. At the time of Tind­ley’s death, his church had 12,500 mem­bers. The Tind­ley Tem­ple Unit­ed Me­thod­ist Church in Phil­a­del­phia was named af­ter him.

His I’ll Ov­er­come Some Day was the ba­sis for the Am­er­i­can civ­il rights an­them We Shall Ov­er­come, po­pu­la­rized in the 1960’s.

Sources

Lyrics