Charles Wesley Naylor was born January 8, 1874, in Athens County, Ohio. His mother died when he was eight years old, and he went to live with his grandparents. He was converted in the Methodist Church in 1892. That same year he met evangelists and songwriters Barney E. Warren and S. L. Speck and was introduced to the Evening Light Reformation message. The following year he fully embraced the “come out” message and withdrew from the Methodist Church. He began working with the Gospel Trumpet Company in 1896. He became an active minister, songwriter, and author of articles and books.
In 1908 he was seriously injured, dislocating a kidney while helping to remove some timbers under a tent at a meeting in Sidney, Florida. A short time later he was injured again in a bus accident. In 1909 he took his bed, where he remained until his death, February 21, 1950, having spent nearly 41 years as an invalid. His body was laid to rest in the Maplewood Cemetery, Anderson, Indiana.
From this man’s bed of affliction came some of the most encouraging songs that have ever been written, as well as books such as “Heart Talks,” “The Secret of the Singing Heart,” etc. In the last mentioned book he wrote, “The secret of the singing heart consists in learning to be what we ought to be and in holding the attitude we ought to hold toward life. It consists in learning to adjust ourselves to our circumstances and to be happy in those circumstances. … It consists in walking with God, believing in Him, and acting out that belief day by day. Doing this we shall ever be blessed.”
In this picture, C. W. Naylor holds a dictaphone into which he spoke the song lyrics and thoughts the Lord gave him for articles and books. The dictaphone recorded them, then someone would transcribe them for publication.
Charles Naylor was a famous Church of God song writer. Two tragic accidents left him bedfast from 1909 until he died in 1950. In spite of pain and poverty his songs are filled with joy, praise and encouragement. They are timeless gifts still treasured and sung today around the world.
I am the Lord’s
Whole Hearted Service
The Church’s Jubilee
I’m Going On
Shine In Me
Once Again We Come
are a few.
This marker is placed in profound gratitude by his friends who have been blessed by his lyrics.