Watch the Higher Ground - 4 online guitar lesson by Richard Kiser from Gospel Fingerstyle Guitar
The first line of the verse is played simply from the triad of the "C" chord. As you make the move to the "F" chord a cool transition is to play the 3rd string 1st fret along with 2nd string 3rd fret. You will notice that I use this move a number of times in the song. It is really tasteful and makes for a smooth transition. When playing the "G7" chord, I often play the bar chord but not always. One of the cool things about playing this tune in this particular key is that the melody stays right with the chord position in most cases. On the right hand it is pretty simple to use index and middle finger to play the melody and keep an alternating bass going as you lightly mute the bass strings with the heel of your right hand. With a little practice you can get this technique down. One simple practice drill is to just play the "C" chord and play the first three strings while alternating the bass. This will help get that right hand trained to alternate a 5/4 6/4 string pattern. Practice that especially with the first measure of the verse. A good exercise here is to play this pattern: 3rd string twice, 2nd string fretted at first fret "C", and 1st string once. This is actuall the triad of the "C" chord. When you play it in this pattern, and then add the alternating bass line of a complete "C" chord, it will make for a great practice exercise. This is a fairly simple melody to play since it almost entirely rides on the basic chords of C, F, and G. It's a great song to really get the feel of "Chet" style playing.