Hymn #293: Sweet, Sweet Spirit

Doris Mae Akers (b. 1922) wrote these opening words after her choir prayed before entering a worship service.  The words of the prayer stayed with her throughout the day.  On Monday, she wrote this gospel song, both words and music, to praise the goodness of the Holy Spirit.

Doris Akers, with no formal musical training, wrote her first gospel song at the age of ten.  She has served as the choir director for the Sky Pilot Radio Church, one of the first racially mixed choirs in Los Angeles.  This song and “Lead Me, Guide Me” are her two most popular compositions.

Doris Mae Akers wrote this musical setting for her own text, and the tune name reflects the opening phrase, SWEET, SWEET SPIRIT.  This hymn, created in 1962, has become one of the most popular gospel songs of the “golden age of gospel” (1930-1969) and appears in numerous hymnals.

Doris Akers was born in Brookfield, Missouri, on May 21, 1922, one of ten children.  She moved to California and joined the Sallie Martin Singers of the Martin and Morris Music Studio.  This studio published her first songs.  Akers has composed over three hundred gospel songs.