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Tags: A House Divided, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Union, Confederacy, Slavery, the Founders, modernist, modernism, Christian heritage, Civil War, Abe Lincoln, Peter Cartright, deist, deism, Carl Sandburg, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Kingdom of God, Bishop Ames, Methodist, Eliza P. Gurney, Jesse Fell, Holy Spirit, Gettysburg, Gettysburg Address, Judge J. S. Wakefield, Commander and Chief, Union Army, Robert Todd, Governor Dick Yates, A. G. Hodges, Chicago Tribune, Calvin and Hobbes, General Lee, Robert E Lee, Appomattox, Richmond, a tree is best measured

The Path of the Just

 One Man's Faith

There has been a considerable amount of question regarding whether or not Abe Lincoln was a Christian at all. In 1846 he successfully ran for Congress against Peter Cartright, a famous frontier evangelist and circuit rider. During the campaign, Cartright's men kept the notion going that Lincoln's wife was a high-toned Episcopalian; while Lincoln himself held drunkards to be as good as Christians and church members, was a deist who believed in God but did not accept Christ or the doctrines of atonement and punishment, and said "Christ was a bastard."

The bold Lincoln went to a religious meeting being held by the preacher to hear the words usher from Cartright's mouth, "All who desire to give their hearts to God, and go to heaven, will stand." Now, every one in the building stood but Mr. Lincoln.

This drew the rebuttal, "I observe that many responded to the first invitation to give their hearts to God and go to heaven. And I further observe that all of you save one indicated that you did not desire to go to hell. The sole exception is Mr. Lincoln, who did not respond to either invitation. May I inquire of you, Mr. Lincoln, where you are going?"

To this the politician replied, "I came here as a respectful listener. I did not know I was to be singled out by Brother Cartright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness: I am going to Congress."

How was it, then, concerning Abraham's personal salvation? Was he the deist that he was accused of being by Brother Cartright -- the humanists of this day? Was he a man dominated by his own political ambitions as suggested by our current modernist progressives? Was he no more than a charlatan who perpetrated his self-image of a Godly man to the nation for his own political advancement? Was there sincerity in what he said as it pertained to the God of the Bible?

Carl Sandburg wrote, "Continuously Lincoln gave no definite impression that he belonged to any particular church or endorsed any special faith or doctrine. That he was a man of piety and of deep religious belief was conveyed to large numbers of people by unmistakable expressions in his speeches and messages. The President and his wife usually drove to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church but sometimes walked, accompanied by a guard, arriving punctually and never delaying Dr. Gurley's opening of the services. . ."

But going to church regularly doesn't make one a Christian any more that standing in a garage makes him a car.

In October '63, Lincoln spoke to a group of Presbyterian ministers who came to pay their respects as those who "belonged to the Kingdom of God, and each loyal to the Government." The President replied, "I have often wished that I was a more devout man than I am. Nevertheless, amid the greatest difficulties of my Administration, when I could not see any other resort, I would place my whole reliance in God, knowing that all would go well, and that He would decide for the right."

To delegations of Methodists and Baptists he spoke, "I now humbly and reverently, in your presence, reiterate the acknowledgment of that dependence, not doubting that, if it shall please the Divine Being who determines the destinies of nations that this shall remain a united people, they will, humbly seeking the Divine guidance, make their prolonged national existence a source of new benefits to themselves and their successors, and to all classes and conditions of mankind."

But trusting the Lord for the national welfare does not make one a Christian either.

Lincoln's feelings towards the church ran deep, and he always had a very close relation to the churches during the years of his troubled presidency. To Bishop Ames, chairman of a large Methodist delegation in May 1864 Lincoln replied, "God bless the Methodist Church - bless all the churches - and blessed be God, Who, in this our great trial, giveth us the churches."

Acknowledging a Baptist delegation during the same year the President uttered, "I have had a great cause of gratitude for the support unanimously given by all the Christian denominations of the country."

Late in the summer of that year a committee of black people presented Lincoln with a richly wrought Bible to which he thanked, "It has always been a sentiment with me that all mankind should be free. . .To you I return my most sincere thanks for the very elegant copy of the Great Book of God which you present."

And to a Quaker woman, Eliza P. Gurney, Lincoln corresponded, "I am much indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their constant prayers and consolations; and to no one of them more than yourself. The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best lights He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay."

 Yet the love for the church and God's people, a benevolent heart for the downtrodden with a belief in inalienable rights for all mankind, the knowledge and love of the proclamation of God's Word and a constant reading of it in even the most ornate of Bibles, the earnest work of an honest man, a trust in the ends that God ordains, the anticipation of God's goodness in action, or the conviction that God knows best will not afford one with the opportunity of an eternal existence in heaven.

At a later time, a clergyman attempted to formulate a creed that would accurately describe the beliefs of this foremost President of the United States. Part of it read, "I believe in national humiliation, fasting, and prayer, in keeping a day holy to the Lord, devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to such a solemn occasion. . .I believe in Him whose will, not ours, should be done. I believe the people of the United States, in the forms approved by their own consciences, should render the homage due to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done on the nation's behalf, and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to subdue anger. . .I believe in His eternal truth and justice. I believe the will of God prevails; without Him all human reliance is vain; without the assistance of that Divine Being I cannot succeed; with that assistance I cannot fail. I believe I am a humble instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father; I desire that all my works and acts be according to His will; and that it may be so, I give thanks to the Almighty and seek His aid. . .I believe in praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe."

These are words of immeasurable importance to a nation that desires to live under the cloak of God's blessing. Fortunately for all of us the man who held those views, Abraham Lincoln, was President during the greatest national disaster that America has yet witnessed. However, they speak very little about his personal beliefs concerning the salvation that was offered to him by the death of Jesus Christ.

One of the steadfast and loyal friends of Lincoln wrote that it was a "well-known fact" that when it came to religion "Mr. Lincoln seldom communicated to anyone his views."

To Fell though, the President confided much, inspiring the scrupulous recorder to write, "On the innate depravity of man, the character an office of the great head of the Church, the Atonement, the infallibility of the written revelation, the performance of miracles, the nature and design of present and future rewards and punishments (as they are properly called) and many other subjects, he held opinions utterly at variance with what are usually taught in the church. I should say that his expressed views on these and kindred subjects were such as, in the estimate of most believers, would place him entirely outside of the Christian pale. Yet to my mind, such was not the true position, since his principles and practices and the spirit of his whole life were of the very kind we universally agree to call Christian; and I think this conclusion is in no wise affected by the circumstance that he never attached himself to any religious society whatever."

Christianity flowing out of the spirit of a man is the Christian world view we have been talking about. It is the perspective of life that drives the moral fiber of an individual in a manner that causes his actions and words to reflect nothing other than the mind of Christ, regardless of what his personal standing before God is as it relates to eternal salvation.

It is a moral consciousness that brings about blessing in anyone's life. These blessings come to the one who will conform to an acknowledged LAW of God -for God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. (Rom 11:29 niv) It is the obedient moral stance that will bring God's favor upon any nation, regardless of their personal religious persuasion. To acknowledge and obey the inerrant and unchanging LAWS of the Creator is to be blessed. To ignore and defy what God has established from the foundations of the world is to be cursed. It is that simple.

In the case of Abraham Lincoln, Jesse Fell may well have had an acute insight into the President's heart as he wrote of his actual spiritual state. But while looking at the graves at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln began to see his need for a personal savior.

Actually, the invitation to have the President speak at the sight of that historic battlefield was an after thought. After the main orator, Edward Everett, spoke, Mr. Lincoln was "to formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use with a few appropriate remarks."

These "appropriate remarks" were scratched on a piece of scrap paper with a memorandum that Lincoln kept tucked safely in his hat. It was a difficult trip for the President to make, and his mind was wandering towards his family as he boarded the train to Gettysburg. His son Tad was sick and his wife was hysterical over the infirmity. They had already lost their beloved son Willie, who had died just a month before.

The loss of his favorite son had left Abraham inconsolable as well. When the youngster died, a nurse had stood with them day-after-day to tell Abe that God's comfort would not be found in doing good works but in personal faith in Christ.

Lincoln resisted. In fact it was after the death of his son that Lincoln wrote in a letter to Judge J. S. Wakefield, "My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of Scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them."

Nonetheless Lincoln felt an imperative to make the journey to Gettysburg, as if he was being called to the spot by pressing duty and conscience. The fact was that God was drawing him to that place that saw the slaughter of so many young men, for a Divine purpose that no one could have ever anticipated.

The principal speaker addressed his squirming audience for one hour and forty-five minutes. The yawns from the captive crowd could do little more than convince the President that he should depart from the platform none too soon. As it was, Lincoln's speech was so brief that the photographer wasn't even able to take a photograph. Now we can only wonder what this distinguished Commander and Chief looked like as he delivered his infamous words on the spot where the Union Army had fought so bravely for the cause he believed in so much.

Only a few moments after it began, the Gettysburg Address concluded, "That the nation, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

It was a high price that our nation paid during those perilous times to assure future generations they would inherit the freedom that was won on that battlefield. It was a confrontation covered with the prayers of the deliverer of this famous address to his war torn nation. He was a man thoroughly convinced that God is a God of black and white and right and wrong -- that God is One who will deliver justice to those who will obey Him.

Interestingly, Lincoln was convinced that his speech had bombed as he commented to his dear friend, "Lamon that speech won't scour. It is a flat failure and the people are disappointed."

However, Harper's weekly observed, "The oration by Mr. Everett was smooth and cold. The few words of the President were from the heart to the heart."

Lincoln was a man who put his heart into his convictions. For that reason he was able to touch people right where they lived, reaching into their inward parts to draw them towards the truth of the matter. Our nation needs men like that today; men of honesty and integrity who, rather than transforming themselves into whatever they feel will make them appealing to those they wish to impress, will stand up for what they believe in -- will build a podium for the Word of God regardless of the cost.

But as Abe looked upon the sepulcher of fallen men, he began to see a reality of the Word that he had never realized before. God appeared to him that day as He never had.

Now the personal feelings of Abraham Lincoln are items that he seldom divulged to anyone. However, many of Lincoln's personal effects were turned over to his son, Robert Todd. Rather than releasing them to the Library of Congress, Robert instructed that they were not to be opened until 21 years after his death. He died in 1926.

So on July 25, 1947, 200 historians gathered to look at the 194 volumes of 18,350 pages to discover the missing information of Lincoln's life. In it they found Lincoln's testimony; how the many who died at Gettysburg induced him to drop to his knees in repentance. He later wrote a letter, as recorded in his personal effects, which declared, "When I came to Springfield, I was not a Christian. When I left Springfield for Washington and asked you to pray for me, I was not a Christian. When I went to Gettysburg, I was not a Christian. But at Gettysburg, I consecrated my heart to Christ."


A New Course of Action

The whole world could see the encouragement that filled the heart of the President from that time on. Governor Dick Yates commented to a group of Methodists in Illinois in 1863, "I have visited old Abe and urged him to use more radical measures and he has said to me, 'Never mind, Dick, it will be all right yet. Hold still and see the salvation of the Lord.'"

Yes, Lincoln had witnessed the saving hand of the Lord Jesus Christ on the day he visited Gettysburg, to discover the message of the Gospel. The One whose words he had read so many times over-and-over again became true for his life.

So it was at the end of 1863 with this decisive victory in his pocket and the beginnings of a new view of God in his mind, that Lincoln began in his annual message to Congress with "renewed, and profoundest gratitude to God" for another year "of health, and of sufficiently abundant harvests."

Just looking back on the war of all wars was a testimony of God's hand working in our nation in order to affect His will. Knowing the conviction from which it originated; the results alone of this great conflict should bring this nation to its knees before the Almighty

Abraham Lincoln confided to A. G. Hodges early in 1864, "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. . . Now, at the end of three years struggle the nation's condition is not what either party, or any man devised, or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find a new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God."

The fact that we have equal rights for the black man today goes back to the faith of one man, Abraham Lincoln. Within the context of that faith was a true belief in the overriding justice and goodness of God who brings about the benefits of value to any society.

The Chicago Tribune wrote, "So far as can be gathered. . . God meant him to be President, or the nation is deceived."

Now either Lincoln was a man of faith, or he managed, through manipulative tactics, to deceive an entire nation of his contemporaries. . . And this deception would have included everyone from the height and breath of America to his closest friends.

Early in 1864, Governor Yates spoke of him, "I stand up here to say that from long acquaintance with him, that he is not only one of the honestest men of God ever made, but in clear, cool, statesmanship judgment, he is without peer in the history of the world."

Today, we are faced with a barrage of views that proclaim to us that those who gave us our country were other than what we always have believed they were. In particular, they desire to deface the Founding Father's Christian stance. The Christian base of our country stands as a road block between them and how they desire to live there lives. Changing history is how they justify the application of immoral behavior as a fitting employment of inherent, inalienable rights.

* * *

It is like the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that finds our hero sitting at a table with pencil and paper to discuss his profound insight to his loyal companion. "We really don't understand what really causes events to happen," he explains to his attentive friend. "History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has direction and order."

Now standing erect with hands waving in the air the young wizard continues, "That's why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices."

The tiger ponders on. "So what are you writing?" the fluffy mammal inquires.

 "A revisionist autobiography."

* * *

What is the truth of history? Who is this Abraham Lincoln? Was he a man motivated by political lust, or a man after God's own heart who truly sought the Almighty in envisioning a brighter future for America?

In making any judgment regarding an individual, one must listen to the testimony of those who witnessed the actions of the man. To know the truth of Lincoln, one must go back to the source, to search out the opinions of his contemporaries. They will explain that Lincoln was exactly the man who transferred the concept of equality as established in the Constitution to us today from a position of profound integrity, insight and Godly character. Carl Sandburg in his biography of Lincoln stated, "A tree is best measured when it's down."

The liberal college professors of today desire to pull what ever incident out of Lincoln's life they can, in order to uphold their paganistic view that supports their claims that our past is filled with Christian hypocrisy. They desire to cut the tree down and burn it! They love to focus on a few isolated statements or occurrences to promote their stance, and thus justify their sins.

Yet the Bible indicates that one will know men according to the fruits of their lives. To look back on the accomplishments of our most prominent President, is to see a work that guaranteed the preservation of liberty of such a magnitude that it still stands un-paralleled in American history. Convinced by the Word of the Lord he had grown up with, Lincoln lugged our nation into a conflict of unforetold proportions to assure freedom would remain for our children, and children's children.

Emerson's analysis saw the person of Lincoln in the whirlwind of war as, "no holiday magistrate, no fair-weather sailor. . . He is the true history of the American people in his time. Step by step he walked before them; slow in their slowness, quickening his march by theirs, the true representative of this continent; and entirely public man; father of his country."

Russia's Leo Tolstoy, who could only yearn for the freedom in his country that America has always enjoyed, wrote that Lincoln had become a folk legend through "peculiar moral powers and greatness of character. . . . If he had failed to become President, he would be no doubt just as great, but only God could appreciate it." Of all great national heroes and statesmen of history, "Lincoln is the only real giant. . . . Lincoln was. . . Christ in miniature, a saint of humanity whose name will live thousands of years in the legends of future generations. We are still too near his greatness, and so can hardly appreciate his divine power; but after a few centuries more, our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do."

John Hay, who knew the man better than any other, called Lincoln "the greatest character since Christ," that even the modernist Hofstadter admitted is "a comparison one cannot imagine being made of any other political figure of modern times." Today's intellectuals are attempting to diminish the man in an attempt to augment their Godless beliefs in our minds so that they might be profaned amongst us. They call the saga of Lincoln a "legend" that surpasses any other in "political mythology."

Who shall you believe? The arm-chair historian who is looking back a hundred years through the lens of his own prejudices? The one who uses isolated facts and quotes out of context to make his point? Or are you going to listen to the people knew Lincoln during his time?

Believe the ones who finally witnessed the conclusion of the great Civil war. General Lee ultimately surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. One man who had been celebrating quite extensively climbed up on top of the bar at Willards to proclaim, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." Twenty thousand businessmen in New York took off their hats while singing the psalm "Praise God." Lincoln himself addressed the nation to herald, "we meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart. . . a call for a national thanksgiving is being prepared, and will be duly promulgated. . ." This was a nation who knew where to give the glory for their victories, peace, and freedom. Where can one find such individuals today?

While Lincoln was assessing the damage done to Southern Capitol Richmond, an old timer sprang up upon Lincoln to exclaim, "Bress de Laws, dere is de great Messiah!" while falling to his face with the other blacks prostrate before this great man.

Lincoln gazed down at this spectacle of humility, while knowing everything he had done for these people. Rather than receiving glory for himself he pronounced, "Don't kneel to me. You must kneel to God and thank Him for your freedom."

These profound words from the one who preserved liberty for all ring out their cadence throughout our land now filled with decadence and decay. They are words that must be heard. They embody the only truth worth considering.

About the Author

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About the Author


Don Wigton is a graduate of the prestigious music department at CSULB where he studied under Frank Pooler, lyricist of Merry Christmas Darling, and sang in Pooler’s world renown University Choir alongside Karen and Richard Carpenter. During this time Don was also the lead composer of the band, Clovis Putney, that won the celebrated Hollywood Battle of the Bands. After giving his life to God, Don began attending Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa to study under some of the most prominent early Maranatha! musicians. Subsequently he toured the Western United States with Jedidiah in association with Myrrh Records.

Eventually Don served as a pastor at Calvary Chapel Bakersfield to witness thousands of salvations through that ministry. As the music/concert director, Don worked for seven years with most major Christian artist of that time while producing evangelical concerts attended by thousands of young people seeking after God. Don’s Calvary Chapel Praise Choir released the album Let All Who Hath Breath Praise the Lord on the Maranatha! label.

The next years of Don’s life were spent as the praise leader of First Baptist Church in Bakersfield during a time of unprecedented church renewal. Don teamed with the leadership to successfully meld the old with the new through a period of tremendous church growth. During this exciting time, Don’s praise team, Selah, produced the CD Stop and Think About It.

Today Don is the leading force behind Wigtune Company. This webbased project located at www.praisesong.net has provided several million downloads of Don’s music and hymn arrangements to tens of thousands of Christian organizations throughout the world. More music can be found at Don's Southern Cross Band website at www.socrossband.com.

The book Holy Wars represents Don’s most recent effort to bless the church with biblical instruction and direction in praise and worship. This heartfelt volume is an offering not only to God’s people, but also to God Himself.


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This first of five books looks into a pivotal moment in American history that changed the world forever. It was a time when the United States was on the brink of destruction. It was and era when an American prophet and patriot stood up to eco the words of Christ: "A house divided cannot stand." Today we live in a similar era today where America is torn asunder between truth and error. And the wrong decision will bring dire consequences!

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free contemporary Christian praise and worship music, contemporary Christian rock and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

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Wigtune Company believes that the current contention among Christian generations over church music is unnesessary.  One does not have to chose between the classic traditional hymn and the contemporary praise chorus and song.  Solomon declared that there is a place for everything under the sun. The worship musical material and the worship Bible study book offered at the Wigtune website support this theme. Vision Statement    Don and Vanessa Wigton share the vision of Wigtune Company.  Going to this page will inform the WEB surfer the circumstances that lead to the Wigtune offering of praise song and hymn along with the worship Bible study book that lends theology and history based support to the use of traditional Christian hymn singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.   Wigtune Story    The Wigtune Company free on-line worship Bible study book is a manual for the use of the pastor, teacher, music minister, Bible study group, sunday school and any situation where a theological and historical lesson regarding worship is desired.  The Bible study is presented in outline form with questions that require thoughtful answers to the biblical and history based information that is presented.   Free On-Line Worship Studybook   

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.  Free Praise and Worship Music Mp3s and Charts   Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Wiggy's Top Ten Praise MP3s Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Radio: Listen to Wigtune Worship Music on Live Internet Radio

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.    Wigtune Praise Worship and Hymn CD's

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Click here to find out what organization are utilizing Wigtune contemporary Christian and traditional praise and worship music, chord charts, and online worship Bible study.  Where's Wiggy? - List and Links to Christian Organizations

  Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.  Statement of Faith

Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.   Special Report: Christianity in Russia - Has Anything Changed?

 The Wigtune Home Page: Free mp3 praise music and hymns sung in a contemporary fashion.  On-line worship study book for Bible students, music ministers, song leaders and pastors is also available!

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Wigtune Company Praise and Worship Music Resource Center

Last updated on 01/08/13 This worship site for Christians was created in Front Page


Copyright 1999 Don Wigton. All rights reserved.