Legendary Gospel music writer and singer Moise Lister has gone home to be with Jesus on February 12 at 9:07 am (Central Time). He was 93 years-old.
Thomas Mosie Lister was born in Cochran, Georgia to Willis and Pearl Lister who were both musical and attempted to teach their son music at an early age on their farm in the Empire District of Dodge County. They placed the young Lister in the church choir, but soon discovered that he could not distinguish musical tones. It wasn't until he began studying the violin that his ear training abilities began to improve and by the time he was a teenager he was already studying harmony and composition. He studied music at the Vaughan School of Music in Tennessee in 1939.
Lister joined the Navy in World War II. At the end of his tour, he enrolled in Middle Georgia College where he continued to study harmony, counterpoint, arranging, piano and organ. In 1946 he met Wylene Whitten. They married that same year, moved to Atlanta, and gave birth to two identical daughters. After three decades as a Gospel singer, songwriter, and arranger, Lister, became an ordained Baptist minister. He is also an ordained deacon at the Riverside Baptist Church of Tampa.
Lister's first professional singing employment was as a member with the Sunny South Quartet, which also included Jim "Big Chief" Wetherington; whom he left with to form the Melody Masters Quartet. In 1948, Hovie Lister (no relation) invited him to be the original lead singer on bass for the Statesmen Quartet. Shortly thereafter, he retired from professional singing and devoted his attention to writing, and in 1953 he formed the Mosie Lister Publishing Company which later merged into Lillenas Publishing Company of Kansas City, Missouri in October 1969.
As of 2014, Lister's songs catalog over 700 in numbers, with thousands more in arrangements. His music has been recorded by some of the greatest Southern Gospel Quartets including the Statesmen Quartet, Cathedral Quartet, the Blackwoods, the Blue Ridge Quartet, the Jordanaires, and the LeFevres. Legendary solo artists have also recorded his songs such as George Beverly Shea, Porter Waggoner, Bill Gaither, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, and Elvis Presley, who recorded three of Lister's songs in the 1960s: "Where No One Stands Alone" "He Knows Just What I Need" and "His Hand in Mine".