Hymn Story: Jesus Saves
Priscilla J. Owens was a Baltimore public school teacher for forty-nine years and often wrote hymns for children’s services. She was very involved in the Sunday School at her church.
She wrote the words to this hymn for a missionary service in the Sunday School of Union Square Methodist Church.
The song was “originally adapted to the chorus “Vive le roi” from the opera Les Hugenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer.”
Other songs by Priscilla Owens include We Have An Anchor, Give Me the Bible, and Is Your Lamp Still Burning.
Fourteen years later, William Kirkpatrick, married his vibrant melody to the words of her beautiful poem.
The hymn, as we know it today, first appeared in Songs of Redeeming Love in 1882. Some sources state the lyrics were first published in 1868 in The Revivalists.