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Paul Rader

The Story Behind “Only Believe”

The General Council of the C&MA convened at Toccoa Falls in May 1919. The delegates were housed in army tents supplied by Fort McPherson in Atlanta, and the guests considered this “camping out” experience to be most meaningful. Rev. Paul Rader, elected president of the C&MA at that Council, was greatly moved by stories of the hardships and difficulties that the Toccoa Falls family had faced since 1913, and others, that the school was still facing. In his room in Staley Cottage, Rader wrote a song that has been widely used in evangelical Christian circles of succeeding generations. The song entitled “Only Believe,” became precious to Toccoa Falls because the “little flock” of that song was none other than the Toccoa Falls family!

After Mr. Rader’s visit to the school, he gave the following testimony:

“Look at what I found! A light under a bushel. I found it away down in the hills of Georgia. I found “something” that took a girl from the humblest country environment, equipped her, fired her soul and sent her forth into the world fully prepared as a leader.

“I found this same “something” that dug out and prepared those fine young fellows who took gospel tents and put them in neglected spots of the South and preached to many thousands of people and had hundreds of converts last summer. This wonderful “something” is the Bible school known as the Toccoa Falls Institute, at Toccoa, Georgia. This school has a wide field and meets a great need. It is doing a wonderful work, in a great way. It fires my soul!”



Fear not, little flock, from the cross to the throne,
From death into life He went for His own;
All power in earth, all power above,
Is given to Him for the flock of His love.

Fear not, little flock, He goeth ahead,
Your Shepherd selecteth the path you must tread;
The waters of Marah He’ll sweeten for thee—
He drank all the bitter in Gethsemane.

Fear not, little flock, whatever your lot;
He enters all rooms, “the doors being shut.”
He never forsakes, He never is gone—
So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.


Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe;
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe.
—Paul Rader

Paul Rader

The Rev. Paul Rader (fifth from the left) is pictured with a group of TFI students and faculty members. He is the author of the hymn “Only Believe,” which was written on the Toccoa Falls campus.