Tag Archives: Macintosh County Shouters

A Gullah/Geechee Charge to Keep

“A charge to keep I have. A GOD to glorify!”

I have sung these words for the majority of my life, but I never realized how they would be spoken into existence. As I heard the words lined on St. Helena Island growing up and learned to respond along with the rest of the congregation, I never for once thought of the historical context of the entire ritual. Every praise house and church that I went to in the Gullah/Geechee Nation had this tradition, so I didn’t think it was unique. I found out as a traveled that it was not done in other places. I have come to see it slowly fading away.

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