top of page

Chapter 97: Faith is the Victory - Denton Wiggains

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

There are some songs in our Christian heritage that are forever connected with the first person I heard lead them. When it comes to my “Songs of the Church” memories (Red Edition), I associate specific songs with those who led them in worship growing up in our congregation. Higher Ground will always be connected to Coach Hale. Master the Tempest is Raging will always be led by Bill Witt. And when I think of Hilltops of Glory, Our God He is Alive, and Encamped Along the Hills of Light (#97 in Songs of the Church); I will always think of Denton Wiggains.

Denton and Beth Wiggains stepped into my life as a young boy, and to use the phrase from “A Knight’s Tale”, they changed my stars. My earliest memories of the Hooker congregation were sitting in a class with three of my dearest friends led by Denton and Beth. For over a decade they were a core part of my spiritual development. Now that I am grown, I am able to appreciate the countless hours he and Beth shared with us. I realize how many weary hours were offered to us after days and weeks filled with harvest and farming. I can still see a moment where Denton was getting out of a farm truck at the Church building on a Wednesday evening. It was harvest. His truck was covered in dirt. He was so tired. And he showed up to teach class. Again.

I remember learning to lead singing by holding up a coke bottle and keeping time. I remember sitting in the upstairs jr high/high school Bible class for many, many, many hours studying the Bible, and learning to think about God. I remember going to Denton and Beth’s home - both in the country and then in Hooker - after football games and school activities. I still have the first copy of the NIV Bible I ever owned. It was a gift from Denton and Beth given to me in their home.

Denton and Beth took us under their wing as boys and gave us love, confidence, and empowerment. He entered us in a singing contest as a four-part acapella group. He encouraged us to try and sing together at youth rallies, camps and events. He sat w