The Lord First, Then Cindy

Song: "Lord, Be Glorified"


"I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart:and I will glorify thy name for evermore" (Ps. 86:12).

Bob Kilpatrick is the middle of five children born to Southern Baptist air force chaplain August Kilpatrick and his wife, Delores, in 1952. His mom declared that he was singing by age two and could harmonize with others on such songs as "Ain't Gonna Study War No More." Bob remembers happy times in the car when the family would pick out things to sing about as they drove along. His music interest continued into high school where he played in the orchestra.

Bob related: "Once, in my early life, while living in Georgia, a friend took me on a retreat where I really was drawn to Jesus. I felt strongly that I needed him. I stood up in a meeting and committed myself to Christ. Then when I was eighteen years of age, our family moved to California, where I had an overwhelming experience of total commitment of my heart to the Lord."

Concerning the writing of his songs, Bob said, "When I became committed to Jesus, we went to the streets trying to tell people about Christ, all up and down California. I seemed to continually have an acoustic guitar in my hands, so it came naturally to make up songs to sing for the people who would listen. After a while I realized, Maybe I have a talent for this. Maybe I should give the rest of my life to it.'"

Bob has written approximately 400 songs, with about 175 of them being recorded or published by most of the major Christian music companies in America. He confessed, "After the Lord gives me a song, I play it for my wife, Cindy. I want to please the Lord first, then Cindy."

As Bob zeroed in on the writing of "Lord, Be Glorified," my interview with him took on a wonderful atmosphere.

"In 1977, at age twenty-four, I was alone in my mother-in-law's living room in Atwater, California. Others of the family were in another part of the house watching television. I had my Bible open on my knees and my guitar in my hands. I paused and prayed, Lord, I'd like to write a song, and I don't want others to sing it. I want it to be a private prayer of dedication for Cindy and me to sing before our concerts.' At that time Cindy was traveling and singing with me. I then said, Lord, I'd like the song to be for the three of us.'

"I then began to put the song together. Presently Cindy came into the room and asked, What are you up to?' I said, I'm writing this song, but I'm having a little trouble with a certain part of it.' I sang it for her, and she made a suggestion that I thought sounded great. She then said, You know what, you should sing that tomorrow morning at church.' I had been invited to sing for the chapel service of the Castle Air Force Base. We were to visit there with Cindy's family, who were military people, as were mine. The next day I sang it for the small congregation.

"A week later I met up with Karen Lafferty, who was leaving almost immediately for a tour in Europe, and I shared the song with her and her keyboard player. She took the song to Europe, and the keyboard player, who didn't make that trip, took it to Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, where Chuck Smith was pastor. They sang Lord, Be Glorified' every Saturday night for the next two years."

The times the song has been recorded are too numerous to calculate. Maranatha recorded the song fifty times in a two-year period. Other major companies began to record and publish it. It has been placed in chorus books, hymnals, and choral arrangements with an inestimable number of copies being printed. It truly is a song that has been sung in many parts of the world.

Christ should "be glorified" in our very lives-mere words are not enough. Someone many years ago said, I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day."

© 2008 by Lindsay Terry. Used by permission.

Lindsay Terry has been a song historian for more than 40 years, and has written widely on the background of great hymns and worship songs including the books I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (2008), from which this piece is excerpted, and The Sacrifice of Praise (2002).

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