“The Anchor Holds” originofsongs.blogspot

Posted on August 1, 2021.

Lawrence Mendel Chewning Jr. is a Christian recording artist, songwriter, and speaker. He was born in 1949 and grew up in rural South Carolina. He was the son of a cotton farmer, ginner and merchant. At the age of eight he accepted Christ at a country church in South Carolina. After he graduated he moved to Anderson, Indiana to attend Anderson University to major in Religion and Social Work. During his junior year a massive revival outbreak spread throughout colleges which became known as the Asbury Awakening. It started one morning in 1970, without warning, what has been described as a “divine visitation” broke loose during Asbury College’s 10 am chapel service in Wilmore Kentucky. Dr. David Hunt, a Louisville physician who was then a student stated, “You just walked in and sensed that God had indeed sent His Spirit.”
During this same year Chewning started travelling full time with a group of his friends that formed a gospel band known as the Fishermen. They witnessed on the streets, spoke and sung in churches all over. This was the time that Chewning began song writing, and within a couple of years this band evolved into a music group singing original songs he wrote. The group traveled performing in coffee houses, college and high school campuses, Jesus festivals and outdoor concerts throughout the Midwest, the South and the New England states. The Fishermen were together from 1970 to 1977. It is stated that a teenage boy named Ray Boltz accepted Christ while attending one of the Fishermen's concerts at a Christian coffeehouse in Hartford City, Indiana. He is now known as an award winning Christian recording artist. A new band was formed in 1978 called Lawrence Chewning & Eastland Band. In the beginning of 1979 Chewning and his wife moved to Clinton, Massachusetts and resided there for 16 years where Chewning co-pastored a non-denominational church.
The year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for this family. It was a trying time as it seemed like an accumulation of one sorrow after another during this time. They had become discouraged and depressed after their third miscarriage which was a little boy. “We wept as we held the tiny 14-week fetus of our son in our hands. It truly felt as if our visions and dreams had slipped right through like they were only grains of sand" Chewning took a six month sabbatical from pastoring in which he started playing the piano once more to get closer to God. He read some things about the long dark night of the soul when it seems that you just can't find God anywhere. He stated he had experienced this void for a few months. He would play the piano for hours at a time. Then one day he started playing a song he realized he had never heard before. He realized that it was because he was in the process of writing it. It was truly a song coming from deep down as he sang after awhile he realized he had a song over ten minutes long. It was a therapeutic song for him personally that helped him through his discouragement and depression. This song is titled "The Anchor Holds."
In the spring of 1993, Chewning went to Ray Boltz concert in Maine where he told him about this song during a time of sharing together after the concert. A few months later Boltz called him to see if he could sing it. Chewning sent the song to Boltz "in the rough" and told him that he was free to adapt it for his purposes. Ray reworked some of the lyrics, shortened it a bit, and added a musical bridge. Finally in 1994 this song was recorded on Boltzs' "Allegiance" project. "The Anchor Holds" was later released for national radio airplay and quickly rose to #1 position on the Inspirational charts. It remained #1 for three weeks.                                                             

The Anchor Holds I have journeyed
Through the long, dark night
Out on the open sea
By faith alone
Sight unknown
And yet His eyes were watching me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm                                         

I've had visions
I've had dreams
I've even held them in my hand
But I never knew
They would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand

I have been young
But I am older now
And there has been beauty
That these eyes have seen
But it was in the night
Through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved
His love to me                                                                                                                                   "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."                                            Ephesians 6:10-11