Sidney Cox delivered what would prove to be his final testimony and message in song in May, 1975 at the age of 87. And he was perhaps never more moving. The music program of my family’s home church, Shades Mountain Baptist Church was putting on the great Bill Gaither praise production, “Alleluia.” Dr. Charles Carter, the then pastor had developed a close relationship and dear admiration for Sidney Cox as he got to know him during his final years in Birmingham. As part of this program, Carter asked Sidney to give his testimony, which was followed by his singing the Gaither song, “The Longer I Serve Him, The Sweeter He Grows,” with instruments and backed by their 100-voice choir. At the appointed time in the program, Sidney took to the stage with the assistance of my father. He was a little unsteady on his feet, but his mind and voice was still strong. And he still had that magic of touching people’s hearts.
There was a very large congregation of 1,600 on hand for this production that night, and as he concluded they were truly moved, and burst into applause, a bit unusual for church in that era. As I watched, I sensed that I was watching the end of a remarkable era, the era in which Sidney Cox could share his testimony and message with others. He had touched tens of thousands in his life, maybe more. He had relationships with people throughout the entire world who revered him, whose lives he had influenced and to whom he had shared the Gospel. As he left the stage, I was very saddened because of this. This proved to be correct. Sidney Cox died later in September of that year.
Following is his testimony from that night.
J. Douglas Cox, grandson of Sidney and Violet Cox. January 2009.