Three Questions with Carolyn Adkins

Starting this week, our “Question of the Week” feature becomes “Three Questions”—for obvious reasons. The door recently opened for me to interview songwriter Carolyn Adkins, who penned the song “Fear Not Tomorrow” (from the Collingsworth Family’s most recent project, The Answer.)

Daniel: What inspired the song “Fear Not Tomorrow “?
Carolyn: The Lord gave the song while I was recovering from the worst case of flu I’d ever experienced, during the Christmas season – a time that I could ill afford to be sick.  During one of those feverish days, I tuned in to one of our Christian radio stations and heard the warm voice of George Beverly Shea.  He was being interviewed and his final words were, “Fear not tomorrow – God is already there.”  This was just what I needed to hear!  I realized that God wasn’t boxed in by time as we are…He was already in those tomorrows that I was so concerned about.  Very soon, my anxiety was replaced by His Sweet Peace.

When I was able to function again, I sat down at the piano and began taking dictation from Heaven as the words and music came together in only a few minutes.  That was in the late 1960′s, when it seemed the whole world was in a state of uncertainty because of the cold war, but now – especially since 9/11, and the recent global financial melt-down, these words hold special comfort for me and I pray, for all who hear them – “Fear not tomorrow – God is already there” – and He’s waiting to guide you and me through all our tomorrows and through anything that may concern us.

Daniel: Has anyone else besides the Collingsworth Family recorded it, or did it actually sit for forty years waiting for someone to cut it?
Carolyn: I enjoyed a 10-year period of solo music ministry in the Dayton, Ohio, area in the 1960′s and 1970′s, with two gifted piano accompanists, Esther Fogarty and Thelma Price. Folks began asking for a record, so Esther and I recorded a LP album. That album was later in CD and Cassette form and is still played on several Christian Radio Networks, especially “Sounds of Joy”, a program hosted by Dave Freelan, who tells me that “Fear Not Tomorrow” has been the program’s most requested song for 40 years.

Daniel: Have you written any other songs that have been recorded by Southern Gospel groups?
Carolyn: Although The Lord has given about 20 songs, no other group has recorded one of my compositions.  The Collingsworth Family’s recording of  “Fear Not Tomorrow” is one of those beautiful “God did it all” happenings!

Daniel, I sincerely thank you for allowing me to tell more of the story behind “Fear Not Tomorrow”.  I praise Him for the way that He is still using the song that He gave for His Purposes!

Daniel: I likewise thank you for sharing the story. The song is still a blessing!

About Daniel J. Mount

Daniel Mount has written 3198 posts.

Daniel J. Mount is the founder and editor of Southern Gospel Journal.


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15 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I have heard Susan Adkins sing the song on the ‘Sounds of Joy’ radio program many times over the last 20 years and never tire of hearing it. I have also known The Collingsworth Family for close to 30 years and went to college with Phil at GBS in Cincinnati, & met Kim when she was only 11 yrs. old :-)

    I love their rendition as well!

  2. Wow…that’s a great story. Just goes to show that you don’t have to be a well-known, Singing News award-winning songwriter with 2,000 compositions for the Lord to use just one song to speak to so many. What a powerful song it is.

  3. That song is a real highlight of their project The Answer. And that’s on a project full of highlights.

    • Yes – their best CD to date.

      And yet, I think it got the strongest response of any of the new songs when I heard them their second weekend out – when the CD was so new that the audience had to have been hearing the songs for the first time.

      • That’s natural. It’s a power ballad, and the ladies deliver it to perfection.

  4. My husband Ben and I had the great pleasure of attending the same church in Dayton, OH where Carolyn and her family attended. We were ALWAYS blessed to our very toes when Carolyn sang. After moving to NC 6 years ago I nearly jumped for joy when I heard Carolyn’s unmistakeably beautiful voice on the radio singing Fear Not Tomorrow. How we would love to have a copy of the sheet music so we could sing her blessed song. We would also like to contact her about singing at our church here in Mooresville, NC. if she by chance lives in the area. We just heard the Collingsworth family recording on the radio and they hit a grand slam!!

    • Jane,

      What a remarkable blessing! The Collingsworth Family is pretty much the only Southern Gospel group out there who still does songbooks – and they have a songbook with the song! http://www.thecollingsworthfamily.com/zenct/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=102

      • Um Daniel, Signature Sound does songbooks too. But then you did say “pretty much.” ;-)

        Come to think of it, there are many sentences you could end with “except for the Collingsworth family and Signature Sound…”

      • Ah, yes, and Gaither does songbooks on occasion. But as I understand, EHSS’s and Gaither’s are released by EMI’s Christian Music Group (CMG) / Gaither Music Group—while the Collingsworth Family takes the initiative to produce and release their own. That’s the distinctive I had in mind but didn’t communicate in an effectively nuanced manner.

        (Of course, it helps that they have the best live musician in Southern Gospel in their group. Wait, did I just say that out loud?)

      • It sure sounded like it to me. ;-)

        Of course, Gordon Mote is nothing to sneeze at. Honestly, I might have to put him at second. Behind Kim of course,like everybody else…

  5. Comment

  6. I would like to know how I might purchase the recording by Carolyn Adkins.

  7. I have known Carolyn Adkins for the last 8-10 years, and what a lovely, sweet lady she is, who truly loves Our Lord!!! I own the CD and cassette on which Carolyn sings Fear Not Tomorrow, and it is just as fresh and new every time I hear, or perform it. Dave Freelan, producer of Sounds of Joy, plays it, and other selections by Carolyn, on his program quite regularly. You may contact me, and with Carolyn’s permission, I will arrange for a cassette or CD, for you. This song has blessed me beyond words!!!
    Bill Thatcher
    2821 North Underwood Street
    Arlington, VA 22213-1514
    703/533-1452

  8. I live in the Faroe Islands, where Russ Taff made a cd with a good producer Jákup Zachariassen.
    Faroe Islands are in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. We are a good country to live inn and we are free to worship God. I come from a Christ gospel church. I first heard Collingsworth with the song God is faithful, the melody was a sample you could playón sogospelnews. I was totally taken away, and didn’t sing anytjing else did’nt play anything for such a long time. Have followed this fantastic and holy living people.
    I am making a cd, and a friend of mine has translated it 100 % to faroese. That isn’t easy, for our language does use long words and frases.

    Do you have any good advisees, to start getting the rigths singing it on my cd??

    • If you contact the artist via their website (www.thecollingsworthfamily.com), they should be able to point you in the right direction. Glad you enjoyed the song and the group! :)