He Leadeth Me

Joseph Henry Gilmore was a seminary professor, Baptist minister, and author of several textbooks in Hebrew and English. However, he is best remembered today for his hymn He Leadeth Me. The year was 1862, and the Civil War was raging all around. Gilmore later wondered if God was leading him to focus on His {The Lord’s} leadership. He was invited […]

Read more

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Last month, at the funeral of President George H. W. Bush, the hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save was sung. This was a song I recognized from the last line of the first verse. The title I was familiar with was For Those in Peril on the Sea. My familiarity with the hymn under this title, came from the hymns connection […]

Read more

Behind the Christmas Carol: Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells is another popular Christmas Carol, but actually began as a New Year’s song. The song was composed by  Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914.  He was approached by the Conductor of the Ukrainian Republic Choir Oleksander Koshyts to create a song based on traditional Ukranian folk chants. The original folk song was written in a pre-Christian […]

Read more

Behind the Christmas Carol: I Saw Three Ships

I Saw Three Ships is a traditional English folk song. The song was written by wandering minstrels as they traveled throughout the country during the middle ages. “In the original version of the carol, the Three Ships were the ones taking the supposed skulls of the wise men to Cologne cathedral in Germany.” Over the course of time the lyrics, […]

Read more

Behind the Christmas Carol: The Coventry Carol

The Coventry Carol is an English Christmas Carol that dates back to the 16th century. The carol was traditionally performed in Coventry as part of the mystery play The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors in England.  The play depicts the Christmas story found in the Gospel of Matthew. “The carol is the second of three songs included in the […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: Now Thank We All Our God

Now Thank We All Our God is translated from the German hymn “Nun danket alle Gott”.  The German hymn was written by Martin Rinkart in 1636. Rinkart was a Lutheran Minister and accomplished musician.  At the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War he came to the city of Eilenburg, Saxony, which was a walled city.  The city served as a […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: Fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus is a song of mystery. The author and origin of the song are unknown. The song seems to have originated as a folk song in Germany and other areas of Europe. Some historians believe the song may even date back to the 12th Century when it was sung by the German crusaders as the made their long, […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: One Day

One Day was written by John Wilbur Chapman. Chapman was born on June 17, 1859 and came to understand salvation from D. L. Moody. Moody later encouraged him to enter full-time evangelism. Chapman was elected Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1918 and considered a leader among the American Presbyterians. Charles Howard Marsh was a student of Dr. Chapman. […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: Living for Jesus

Despite his lack of formal education, Thomas Obadiah Chisholm became a teacher at the age of sixteen. By the age of twenty-one, he was associate editor for his hometown newspaper Franklin Advocate. He became a Christian in 1893, due to the ministry of Henry Clay Morrison, who founded Asbury College and Seminary in Kentucky. While ordained into the ministry, he […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: He Hideth My Soul

He Hideth My Soul was written by Fanny Crosby, a popular hymn writer. He Hideth My Soul may have been Crosby’s prayer throughout her life. While a renowned songwriter, her life was not easy. As an infant, Fanny Crosby lost her eyesight due to fever and poor ministrations in her care. She lived the rest of her life blind, but […]

Read more

Lessons from King David: Rape of Tamar

The ramifications of David’s sin with Bathsheba had long reaching power. David had a daughter named Tamar. Her half-brother, Amnon, was so in love with her that he could not stop thinking about her. So, he devised a plan and pretended to be sick. Amnon asked David, his father, to send Tamar in to care for him. When she went […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: God Be With You

Dr. Jeremiah Rankin was the Pastor of First Congregational Church in Washington, D. C. He was looking for a farewell hymn to close the worship service. Nothing really worked and the closest possibility was Bless Be the Tie that Binds. But, Dr. Rankin wanted something less formal and more engaging. Unable to find the hymn he wanted, he decided to […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: Be Still My Soul

Be Still, My Soul was a favorite of Eric Liddell, of Chariots of Fire fame. As he lay dying, this was the last song he requested. Katharina von Schlegel wrote the original lyrics in German. She was born in 1697. Little is known about her other than she was connected with a small court at Köthen, north of Halle, in […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes

We’ll Work till Jesus Comes was written by Elizabeth K. Mills. The song was originally published in 1829, under “Anonymous”. Some historians believe the song may be an American folk song. However, other books since then have attributed the song to Mrs. Mills. Elizabeth Mills was born in 1805 in Middlesex, England. She was the daughter of Philip King. She […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: Softly and Tenderly

Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling was written by William Lamartine Thompson. Softly and Tenderly is one of his best known compositions, alongside Jesus is All the World to Me. Softly and Tenderly first appeared in a collection of songs, Sparkling Gems, Nos 1 and 2, by Thompson’s company in 1880. “UM Hymnal editor, the Rev. Carlton R. Young, notes: […]

Read more

Behind the Hymn: Jesus is All the World to Me

  Jesus is all the world to me was written by Will Lamartine Thompson. William Lamartine Thompson was born on November 7, 1847 in East Liverpool, Ohio. He was the youngest of seven children born to Josiah and Sarah Jackman Thompson. Thompson was composing songs by the time he was a teenager, including “My Home on the Old Ohio” and […]

Read more
1 2 3 12