Hymn Story: Since Jesus Came Into My Heart
Since Jesus Came into my Heart was written by Rufus Henry McDaniel. McDaniel was born in 1850 in Ohio. By the age of nineteen he was already preaching and eventually became a
minister of the Disciples of Christ Church in 1873.
McDaniel wrote, “I feel in my soul that God has something for me to do in brightening the experience of struggling souls. My chief desire is to be a blessing, if possible, to my fellow-men through these hymns and thereby glorify God in the name of his dear son ‘whose I am and whom I serve.'”
He and his wife Margaret Dragoo had three children, but their youngest son, Herschel, died in early 1913.
After the untimely death of his son, McDaniel sat down and wrote the words as a reminder of maintaining joy, faith and hope in times of trial. He felt there was no better way to honor his son than to write music about his faith.
He sent this poem and five other poems to Charles Hutchinson Gabriel, but when he never
heard anything figured his poems had been rejects. However, Gabriel added music to this poem.
Then the song began to be sung at the Billy Sunday crusades in 1915. The song became so popular that people began to sing the song in the streets of Philadelphia.
It is reported that during these crusades God used the lyrics of the song to convert an Officer Fowler of the Philadelphia Police Department. The officer convinced many of his officers to attend the services and more than a hundred professed their faith in Christ.
McDaniel served a number of churches in Ohio, before retiring in Dayton, Ohio. He died on February 13, 1940, having written over 100 hymns over his lifetime.