Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bethel Apostolic Church, Jamaica - "Hold On Out" (Church Processional Videos & Song Lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases two videos of Bethel Born Again Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic church choirs (Jamaica) singing "Hold On Out" during an offering procession.

The song's lyrics are included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for religious and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer/s of this song and thanks to the singers and musicians who performed this music. Thanks also to Bethel Apostolic Church, Jamaica and those who filmed these videos.

Special thanks to BROTHER TENNYSON for publishing this video on YouTube and posting the song's lyrics.
This post was originally published on pancocojams on June 9, 2012 with the title "Caribbean Church Choir Procession: Bethel Apostolic Church "Hold On Out" (Video & Lyrics)"

Links to other 2012 pancocojams posts that showcase church processionals are given in the "Related Links" section below.

(composer/s ?)

1. When my way ways seems dark (hold on out)
And when the way gets dark (holding out)
I can call on Jesus (hold on out)
He’ll stay on my mind (hold on out)
Whenever I call him (hold on out)
He’s there on time (hold on out)

2. And if my mother won’t hold (hold on out)
I’m gonna keep on holding (hold on out)
And if my father won’t hold (hold on out)
I’ve got my hands on the wheel
And keeps on turning (hold on out)
My soul fire is burning (hold on out)
Make me feel like running (hold on out)

I’m going to hold, (hold out),
hold (hold out),
hold (hold out)
hold (hold out)
Hold out on out until the end,
For when my work is here in vain,
I’m gonna hold to my Jesus name
I’m going to hold, (hold out),
hold (hold out),
hold (hold out),
hold (hold out)
Hold out until the end.
These lyrics were posted in the discussion thread for the video given as Example #1 by Brother Tennyson, the video's publisher.

"Hold out"/"Hold on" out means "to persevere".

For what it's worth, in the videos "Hold out" and "Hold on out" sound to me like the choir is saying "Holding out".

Example #1: Bethel Born Again Apostolic Church (Hold on Out)

Uploaded by BROTHER TENNYSON on Oct 22, 2010

Bethel Born Again Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic, 3 - 5 Oakland Road* ,Jamaica The offering is collecting and the Bethel Born Again Mass Choir is singing "Hold on Out"
This song is sung during the portion of the church service where the "offering" (money from church members and other attendees) is collected.

Example #2: Example #2: HOLD ON OUT - PART 3

choyescodner's channel, Uploaded on Nov 10, 2011

The Voices of the Overcomers of Bethel singing at International Convocation 2011

RELATED LINKS "Marching For Jesus - Black Church Processions Part 1"
This is Part I of a 4 part series. The links to the other posts in this series are given in Part I.

Click for an essay with video samples on "The Sources, Art, And Purposes Of Black Church Processionals" written by Azizi Powell 6/9/2012

Click for the African American Gospel song "Lord Help Me To Hold Out". That Gospel song which was composed by Rev. James Cleveland has a similar theme as the Jamaican song "Hold On Out".

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.


  1. Here's a link to a discussion about a church song entitled "I Am Determined"
    Here are two comments from that discussion:

    Lyrics for "I Am Determined"
    Post by jocerut » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:52 am

    I Am Determined To Hold Out
    C.S. and T.P. Hamilton

    When I first found Jesus something o'er me stole, like lightning it went thro' me, and glory filled my soul; salvation made me happy, and took my fears away, and when I meet old Satan to him I always say:

    I am determined to hold out to the end, Jesus is with me, on Him I can depend, and I know I have salation for I feel it in my soul, I am determined to hold out to the end.

    Vs. 2)
    Satan, he was angry, said he'll soon be back, just let the path get narrow, and he will lose the track; but i'm so full of glory, my Lord I always find, and I just say to Satan, "Old man, get thee behind."

    Vs. 3)
    This old-time religion makes me sometime shout, I don't have time to gossip nor any time to pout; They say that I'm too noisy, but when these blessings flow, I shout, O hallelujah, I want the world to know.

    Vs. 4)
    When I hear the trumpet sounding in the sky, and see the mountains trembling, to heaven I will fly; For Jesus will be calling, there'll be no time to mend, with joy I'll go up singing, "I've held out to the end."

    Lyrics for "I Am Determined"
    Post by Guest » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:16 am
    “you'll find I AM DETERMINED TO HOLD OUT TO THE END in the church of God hymnal called CHURCH HYMNAL. printed in 1951 out of Cleveland tenn.

    I wonder if that American song was the inspiration for the Jamaican song "Hold On Out" or vice versa.

  2. I wonder what the spiritual meaning is behind the custom of the choir proceeding around the church sanctuary.

    Could it be that this custom of moving in a circle while singing originally meant that the choir was consecrating the church and its members?

    That Jamaican tradition of marching around the sanctuary reminds me of the African American ring shout. A ring shout is a religious song & movement form. Ring shouts are performed by persons who shuffle counterclockwise in a single file in a circle (ring).

    Here's an excerpt from an online article about ring shouts:
    "The ring shout, rooted in the ritual dances of West Africa and forged by the Atlantic slave trade, is believed to be the oldest surviving African-American performance tradition of any kind. Centered in the Gullah-Geechee region of the coastal South, it differs from traditional black religious music in repertory, style and execution.

    “The shouters, historically, had a separate body of songs that were used expressly and exclusively for the ring shout,” Art Rosenbaum, the author of “Shout Because You’re Free” (1998), a book about the tradition, said in an interview on Friday. “They are not the spirituals or gospel songs or hymns or jubilees that you’d hear in the church.”


    Despite its name, the ring shout entails little shouting. That word refers not to the singing but to the movement: small, deliberate steps in a counterclockwise ring. (“Shout” has been said to be a Gullah survival of the Afro-Arabic word “saut,” the name of a ritual dance around the Kaaba, a sacred site in Mecca.)"...

    Here's information about that Muslim "Saut" tradition:
    "Tawaf (Arabic: طواف‎, Ṭawāf; literally going about) is one of the Islamic rituals of pilgrimage. During the Hajj and Umrah, Muslims are to go around the Kaaba (the most sacred site in Islam) seven times, in a counterclockwise direction; the first three circuits at a hurried pace on the outer part of the crowd, followed by four times closer to the Kaaba at a leisurely pace.[1] The circling is believed to demonstrate the unity of the believers in the worship of the One God, as they move in harmony together around the Kaaba, while supplicating to God."

    Click for more information about African American ring shouts.

    1. The brief Wikipedia article on ring shouts mentions that
      " In Jamaica and Trinidad the shout was usually performed around a special second altar near the center of a church building."...

      Prior to reading this, I wasn't aware that ring shouts were also a Caribbean tradition.

  3. Some scholars such as Robert Farris Thompson indicate that the ring shout comes from the Bakongo peoples of Central Africa.

    Click for a YouTube video about
    Bakongo Cosmograph & Ring Shouts: The Continuance Of Culture Through Sacred Dance.

    1. The above mentioned Wikipedia article on ring shouts mentioned "Easter Rock" traditions in Louisiana (USA).

      After reading an article about that Easter tradition I also believe that the processional movement around the church (as performed by that Jamaican choir-and other Black church groups such as ushers during their annual anniversary services- may be symbolical of the circle of life. Here's an excerpt from that article about Easter Rock (a tradition I've just learned about this evening)

      "A circular ritual in the church, . . . [Easter Rock] is a carry over from the African Diaspora... if you look at the literature and you look at traditional African religions and those in the Caribbean, you find that the circle is very important, not only in the way that they move around the church and around the table but also in the worship and in the life cycle. If you look at life, it's like a circle and this circle was very instrumental in the way that they worshipped and looked at life, or the worldview. When you are born it's like you are at the 12 o'clock position and as you go through life you move around that circle, or the circle of life. And so the circle is very important in African traditions and so again it's sort of a carry over in this rocking tradition." "Everyone Rockin' Together": Continuity and Creativity in the Louisiana Delta Easter Rock
      By Susan Roach, 2013
      "Move around the table" in this quote refers to the long table that is set a specific way for the Easter Rock [service].