Richard Blanchard's song "Fill My Cup, Lord" was published in 1964 and was an immediate hit, becoming the number one gospel song in America for about 20 years, after the heyday of "How Great Thou Art." A friend says that his music combines the chords and harmonies of the Big Band era with the Christian message of Southern Gospel Music.

For Dick, as he liked to be called by his friends, writing music was the primary way he communed with God. In times of stress, he took refuge at the piano. "Quite often I will play around with a song idea in my mind. All of a sudden it will gel. A few of my songs have been given to me by the Lord. It took only six minutes to think up the words of 'Fill my Cup, Lord.' I was finished with the music in another 20 minutes. There have been a few moments in my life when things have come from God. There is no other way to explain them," he was quoted in a Miami Herald   interview by Dick Evans, the Herald Religion Editor. The Macon Telegraph writer Erline Cole wrote, "He explained that most of his music is 'by ear' in terms of writing rather than placing on paper in compositional form. 'Most all come by some particular thought or from reading scripture. The melody is never written first.'" Some of his songs were started in the 50's and put on the "back burner" for years until new inspiration came. "One of the Twelve" is such a song. He started it in 1957 and stored it away in his head until 1988, when he re-sang it, changing the melody as he sang, and it had a new life.

Many different factors shaped Dick's ministry: being born to Missionary parents in China, growing up as a "preacher's kid" in poor churches in Indiana where his parents ministered during the depression, serious health problems resulting in removal of two lobes of his lungs, moving to the South during World War II while his dad was an Army Chaplain, the call to preach during his years at Mercer University in Macon, and incidentally, where he met his future wife, Anne, a student at Wesleyan College.

His interest in music came from his mother, an accomplished pianist, from the school band where he learned to play the trombone, from a friend who taught him chords so he could play anything by ear, and from the popular music of the Big Band era. Blessed with a beautiful tenor voice, by the time Anne met him, he was already writing religious songs which spoke of his faith.

Dick's career in the ministry was largely shaped by two appointments: first to a four-point rural circuit while he was in Candler Seminary at Emory University, and second, as Assistant Pastor to the later Bishop John Branscomb at 4000-member First Methodist Church in Orlando. What wonderful ways to learn what being a Methodist preacher is all about! He served nine churches in the Florida Conference, all of which were in major cities. Early on he developed strong emphasis in his ministry: enthusiastic and inspiring preaching, the use of his musical talents in his services, a great sense of humor, visitation in the homes of all his members and encouraging sound financial practices, always including missions and apportionments. HIs churches all flourished.

The tragic accident in which Richard and Anne's son, Rick, became a quadriplegic at age 17, had a permanent effect on Dick's life. As he grew older, hospital visitation became more important to him because of Rick's injury as well as his own health.

In 2000, Richard and Anne moved to North Carolina to be near their daughters Emily and Carol because Dick's health was so bad that Anne needed help. The death of Rick in 1996 and the subsequent fatal illness of Emily made his last years sad. But he found a new ministry over the telephone, making hundreds of calls from his bed to members of his former churches in their times of joy and sadness.

To read more about Richard Blanchard, please visit his official Biography on Wikepedia
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