December 5, 2020

A Simple Man with a Song

George Beverly Shea, the gospel singer best known for singing on Moody Radio and at Billy Graham’s crusades, died yesterday at the age of 104.

You can read the full obituary and tributes HERE.

Here is the simple song that became his testimony of faith. Rest well in Jesus, Bev.



  1. Blessed be his memory!

  2. When I was little, I thought Shea Stadium was named after him.

  3. It’s easy to miss that George Beverly Shea was as contemporary to his era as Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman are to ours.

  4. He was born just a few miles of where I lived outside of Ottawa. One of Canada’s finest exports.

  5. He was my dad’s favorite singer. I still have some of his old vinyl. I have especially fond memories of his Christmas albums.

  6. Here is background information on Bev Shea’s conversion, his first public singing, and the faithfulness of both his father and the Suffields:

    Born in 1884, Kittie L. Suffield began studying music as a young child. She was a talented musician, both as a coloratura soprano and a pianist. However, her ambitions changed after her conversion at age 19 when she gave up her concert ambitions and began evangelistic work. During a trip, Kittie was on a train that became stuck in a heavy snowstorm. Sensing that the passengers were in danger of freezing to death, a man set out to find help. Fred Suffield was awakened by the man pounding on his farmhouse door that cold winter’s night. Fred dressed, lit a lantern, and went with the man to guide the train passengers to his house. Kittie later wrote Fred a thank you letter in gratitude for his kindness. The correspondence continued and eventually they were married.

    Fred was converted under the ministry of the father of George Beverly Shea, a Wesleyan pastor. After their marriage, Fred and Kittie Suffield traveled as evangelists. Pastor Shea would often invite them to hold services for his congregation. During one of those revival services, George Beverly Shea was converted.

    When Bev Shea was 17 years old, the Suffields invited him to join them at a month-long, Methodist camp meeting in Westport, Ontario. With Kittie playing the piano, Bev sang his first solo in public. He was terribly embarrassed when his voice cracked on a high note. Devastated, he resolved never again to sing in public. Kittie gently encouraged him to try once more, this time in a lower key. Bev sang another solo before the camp meeting ended.

    Kittie wrote many songs, including “God Is Still on the Throne.” But the song that was the theme of her life and she used to influence George Beverly Shea was . . .

    In the harvest field now ripened
    There’s a work for all to do;
    Hark! the voice of God is calling
    To the harvest calling you.

    Little is much when God is in it!
    Labor not for wealth or fame.
    There’s a crown – and you can win it,
    If you go in Jesus’ name.

    Does the place you’re called to labor
    Seem so small and little known?
    It is great if God is in it,
    And He’ll not forget His own.

    Are you laid aside from service,
    Body worn from toil and care?
    You can still be in the battle,
    In the sacred place of prayer.

    When the conflict here is ended
    And our race on earth is run,
    He will say, if we are faithful,
    “Welcome home, My child – well done!”

    – Kittie L. Suffield, 1884-1972

    Hymn commentary courtesy J. D. Sherrow