Behind the Hymn: Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home

Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home is a hymn often used as an invitational in the church.

Fanny Crosby

The hymn was written by Fanny Crosby and music was by George Coles Stebbins.

Crosby had been blind since the age of six weeks and wrote over 8,000 songs in her lifetime.

Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home first appeared in Gospel Hymns No. 4, which was published in 1883.

George C. Stebbins was an evangelist who worked with Dwight D. Moody and Ira Sankey. He was a leader of the singings at the summer conferences the men held.  He died just four months shy of his 100th birthday, in 1945.

In 1924 Stebbins wrote his Memoirs and Reminiscences which provides an interesting insight into his life and work. He stated that there was no incident which occasioned the writing of Miss Crosby’s text or his melody to accompany it and that neither the words nor the music impressed him as having more than ordinary merit. Thus, he was surprised at the popularity and success of it as an invitation song in his evangelistic work.

The hymn encourages us to answer and obey the calling of Jesus upon our lives today, with our burdens, with our joys, and right now.

The hymn has gone on to appear in numerous other hymnals over the years and remains a popular invitational hymn.

How is Jesus calling you today?