The other name for this is gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD. Medications that can help, but also measures that you can do which are really the most important.
This usually starts when the valve at the end of the esophagus does not close properly. This can happen for several reasons. Sometimes it may be due to weight gain.Or it may just be genetic. The stomach digestive juices in the stomach can "splash" up into the esophagus since the valve is not closing properly and this causes the extreme irritation and pain. Over long term this can cause strictures and other serious problems if not treated. As you say, you have ulcers.
Measures you can begin at home to stop this discomfort are:
Taking anti acids help - remember to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after taking something such as Maalox, or Riopan to allow the irritated area to be coated with the medication (liquid anti-acids work better in to coat the esophagus and stomach lining than the hard pill form). Proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium are now available and work well but this will not cure the problem, although they will provide relief.
It has recently been realized that for people who only feel comfortable sleeping on their side, that they should lay only on the right side at night (or any time you lay dow). This is because your stomach is on the right side, and the juice will be less likely to reflux up into the esophagus if you are on your right. Picture a ballon full of fluid under your left breast, with the small end connected to your esophagus, this is what it is like. Otherwise you can also sleep with the head of bed up a bit. This can be accomplished by putting a wedge between the mattresses (obtained at medical supply stores or can be ordered online). Of course a hospital bed, or using a lot of pillows under your torso will work too. This also prevents the fluid from refluxing up into the esophagus when you lay down.
It is very important to to start dividing your meals up into 5 smaller meals so as not to over-fill your stomach and to stop eating anything substantial at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
Besides those things, this article also lists interventions as well as some clear advice on foods to avoid, and foods that are okay:
This article from the Mayo Clinic will explain this condition in more detail for you as well:
Recipes ideas prevent acidity, and will give you an idea of more foods that prevent acidity:
I hope this helps you, prevents surgery and you are singing again in church in no time!
Of course if at anytime you symptoms are getting worse, please see your doctor. But if you know some of these things and practice them, I believe you will soon feel some relief.
If you have questions, please reply.