The story behind 'Because He Lives'
The party on Sunday afternoon had been fun, but after the children left my friend Amy’s house, it was a mess. Candied egg wrappers were all over the floor and someone left their Easter basket with the green grass scattered about. Amy sighed, “I sure am glad Easter is over.”
But the most blessed part of Easter is that it is never over. Nothing needs to happen except joyful praise that Christ is risen and he lives forevermore. Because he lives, we can face tomorrow and forever with new hope, peace and power.
Bill and Gloria Gaither never dreamed that worry would be the groundwork for the beautiful song that has captured the hearts of millions since 1960. The country was plagued with turbulent events. Increasing drug traffic, the Vietnam War and riots led to feelings of insecurity. Bill said, “It was a poor time to bring a child into the world.”
They were expecting the birth of their firstborn son and they were concerned about his future. In praying about these fears and asking God for protection, they experienced a peaceful reassurance. Jesus’ words, “…because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19) gave them peace.
So there was much rejoicing when baby Benji was born. He was welcomed by his sisters, grandparents and friends. No one knew that a song would soon be written in response to this great event and travel around the world. The words flowed from their loving hearts as they expressed thanks that their beloved child could face uncertain days because Christ lives to give hope and assurance.
“Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone.”
When the Gaithers’ met, they were high school English teachers in Alexandria, Indiana. As they worked together, they discovered their musical interests. Gloria joined the family trio.
When they married two years later one, of the greatest musical teams of contemporary Christian music was formed. If a special message needed to be shared, the Gaithers wrote it in verse and added original melodies. Of the many requests for those new songs, Gloria said, “We had copies stuffed in boxes under the bed and in drawers all over the house. Our parents helped us fill orders.”
Gaither Music Co. began in Alexandria. They have composed hundreds of songs and have won many awards. Always they lift up the glory of our Lord, his love and power. “Because He Lives” was selected as the Gospel Song of the Year in 1974. It proclaims the basic beliefs of the Gaithers’ messages: “The routine of each day can reflect resurrection, hope and new life.”