(By J.D. King) I grew up singing the Ira Stamphill song “I’ve Got a Mansion Over the Hilltop.” Although it was originally written during the economic hardships of the Great Depression, it remained quite popular in rural Pentecostal congregations like the one I attended as a child. The lyrics of the song proclaim that, in the midst of discomfort and duress, Jesus will one day come and take Christians off to heaven. Our earthly poverty will be supplanted with a heavenly abundance and joy. As believers

dwell, eternally, in a mansion built by Jesus, there will no more lack or discouragement. Many of the struggling families in my church took comfort in that song and truly longed for the day they could escape their earthly struggles. They didn’t feel like they had a great life in the dirt and mire of creation, so they longed to go to another place. This beloved song was based on the King James rendering of John 14:2-3. The text reads as follows, CONTINUE