If this is the same song...
We do a lot of tunes in our Saturday night service that may not have been intended as service music... may have been meant for the concert hall or parlor or home prayer meetings or camp meetings or revivals or cotton field or singing conventions...or....
But our Saturday night congregation, though small, is so mixed in heritage that whatever we leave out would be someone's favorite memory.
I found ANGEL BAND, words and chords only, in a songbook, and the melody and time seemed obvious when I played the chords. I sang it that way on church one week, no one said anything. Later I saw it in a movie, and the rhythm was different somewhat, but I had nailed the tune pretty well. Later still I heard several versions recorded. The movie and all the recordings were bluegrass, and although they varied somewhat from each other, they varied more from what I had done with it. It was a small difference technically, but now I can't seem to get back to how I first did it, and it was pretty that way, very calm, very little bluegrass-type ornamentation vocally, no trilly-twanging around. I love trill-twanging around. I just wish I could get the trillytwang outta the Angel Band.
I would love to hear more from people with actual musicology in their bones, about the answer to your questions. To me, almost anything belongs in church, on the right occasion. I never dreamed they weren't all meant for some application in church. So other views are very helpful to me.
Love to hear your version-- wonder if it is a third approach or another piece entirely.