Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Mansion Over the Hilltop"

This song was written in 1949 by Ira F. Stanphill. He was born on February 14, 1914. He was a  very gifted musician.  By the age of 10 he was playing the piano, organ, ukulele, and the accordion.  He was singing and composing by the time he reached 17.  He participated in revival crusades, prayer meetings, and ten campaigns.  He graduated from the Junior College in Chillicothe, Missouri, and later was made an honorary Ph.D. from Hyles-Anderson College in Indiana.  He preached and sung all over America and 40 other countries.  He was inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame in 1981 and published his autobiography, This Side of Heaven, in 1983. He wrote over 550 gospel songs throughout his life. Rev. Stanphill departed this world on December 30, 1993 and is buried in Johnson County Chapel and Memorial Gardens in Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas

A story told by evangelist Bro. Gene Martin, who was preaching at Bethel Temple Assembly of God Church in Oak Cliff, Texas. Inspired the pastor, Rev. Albert Ott to make the suggestion to Bro. Stanphill to write a song about the mansion that waits for us over there in heaven and he immediately wrote the lyrics and sang the song that very night.  Unfortunately, Bro. Gene Martin was not present that night this favorite hymn was born. 

This is the way his story was told.  One day a wealthy man facing bankruptcy took a drive through the rural part of the country. As he passed one particular house it caught his attention. It was needing a paint job and repairs of all kinds. The broken window glasses were replaced with oil paper. Many shingles as well as part of the roof were missing which made him wonder how the house was even still standing. A young girl about the age of 8 or 9 and poorly dressed was playing in the front yard. The man was compelled to stop and talk to the young girl. In their conversation, he mentioned how sorry he was that she lived in such a poor surrounding. The little girl excitely asked him, "Why haven't you heard? My daddy just inherited a fortune and he's building us a mansion just over that hill over there. Don't know when it will be done, but I won't have to live in this house forever.

Song Lyrics
Verse 1
I'm satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold.
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one thats silver lined.

I've got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we'll never grow old
And someday yonder, we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are pure as gold.

Verse 2
Though often tempted, tormented, and tested
And like the prophet, my pillows a stone
And though I find here no permanent dwelling
I know He'll give me a mansion my own.

Verse 3
Don't think me poor or deserted or lonely
I'm not discouraged I'm heaven bound
I'm but a pilgram in search of the city.
I want a mansion, a harp, and a crown.

This is the earliest version I found this song posted.
Polly's story on this YouTube page is a must read which promoted me to use this video here.

Other songs he wrote that I love:
Room at the Cross for You copyright 1946
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow copyright 1950
Suppertime copyright 1950

Southern Gospel History webpage
posts made from different people on Name that
Baxter, pp. 19-21
Osbeck, pp. 231-2
Reynolds, p. 434

Update:  March 7, 2014 So far out of all of my posts about songs this has received the most hits 1159 to be exact the others have not even hit 1000 mark yet. 


  1. I am sharing this on my sons site as I don't have one of my own. (Denise Roe)
    I wanted to share my story on this song with you and what a blessing it has come to be for me. As a young girl, taking piano lessons I loved to play hymns. My mom loved this song and had me play it for repeatedly. I ask the church pianist to show me how she played it. She played in the bombastic tent revival style. I got my All American Hymnal out and she marked the chord progressions for me. I could then play it for my mom in that manner.
    My mom passed away on June 22,2014. One month ago tomorrow. Now, I have not thought of that hymn in years. This morning as I was waking up from a dream the last thing I remember was "...we'll walk on streets that are purest gold.". I then remembered that we were in a revival setting singing that song.
    Now where did that come from. I got up and went to the my library and found that old hymnal...even remembered the page number. I had to smile, there it was. Chord progressions and all.
    I felt that she was telling me thru a dream that it was all right.
    The hardest thing was seeing her and the funeral home, knowing that it was the last time I would ever see her this side of heaven. I had lost, next to my husband of35 years and son, my best friend. My dad is 91 and had lost his best friend. They grew up together and have known each other for 84 years and married for 60 years. It would have been 61 on August 7th.
    I knew at the moment that she passed that she was seeing her mom for the first time (her mom died when she was 18 months old), her daddy and sisters. But most of all she was in the arms of Jesus, her Lord and Savior.
    Thank you for having this site where I could tell my story of this hymn.

  2. First, I send you my condolences for your loss and heavens gain. I am grateful that you shared your heart felt story with us. It really makes this site even better to hear others personal testimonies on how these songs are such a part of our lives, and not just stories of mine own. Thank you for taking your precious time to leave this breath taking story with us. You are in my prayers. God Bless.

  3. As a family, my Mom and Dad would often sing this as we drove about 30 minutes away from our home so my Dad could bowl in a league. Of course, all four of us would join our parents in singing this beautiful song. Now that my parents are gone, it is a treasured memory to hear this beautiful song.

  4. That reminds me of another old favorite. Precious Memories. Thank You so much for sharing. Though you are separated for the moment you prepare yourself to see them again on the other side.
    God Bless.

  5. Christian song lyrics. "Please stop running from God".

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  7. Good music will help create good ringtones. They keep up to date with the latest ringtones and allow free downloads.

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  9. The music is wonderful, with the meaning of conveying to everyone. Good songs if used to create great ringtones for phones. a crazy idea but also great at

  10. This song already take me to heaven. I lived in a broken house and the song is my hope to live in a mansion which I am a child of a king.

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  14. Known this song since a youngster in church...where folks used to sing this as solo or group song - it is quite enriching spiritually, pointing to a hope we have as written by John...John 14:1-3