Profile of a Hymn Composer: Fanny Crosby

Frances Jane Crosby was born on March 24, 1820 in Brewster, New York. She is best known as Fanny. At the age of six weeks, Fanny caught a cold that caused inflammation in her eyes. Mustard poultices were applied to treat the inflammation, damaging her optic nerves and blinding her. Her father died the same year she was born and […]

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Hymn Story: Children of the heavenly Father

Children of the heavenly Father was written by Caroline W. Sandell Berg. She was born in 1832 Sweden and known as Lina Sandell, the “Fanny Crosby of Sweden.” “Lina”. She wrote hymns partly to cope with the fact that she witnessed her pastor father’s tragic death by drowning. She is said to have been very close to her father and […]

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Thanksgiving Hymn Story: Bountiful Harvest

This is a beautiful Thanksgiving hymn, which has often been forgotten and overlooked. The hymn is often known as “We Praise Thee O Lord For The Bountiful Harvest“. The hymn was written by famed hymnists, Fanny Crosby. Fanny Crosby wrote well over 8,000 hymns and is considered a prolific hymnists. She was blinded at the age of six weeks and […]

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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 […]

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Behind the Hymn: Safe in the Arms of Jesus

Safe in the Arms of Jesus was written by Fanny Crosby. On April 30, 1868, William Howard Doan, a composer and friend of Crosby’s knocked on her door. He said,  “Miss Fanny, I have exactly forty minutes before my train leaves for Cincinnati, and I must take that train.” He explained he wanted a new hymn next month when he […]

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Behind the Hymn: Rescue the Perishing

Rescue the Perishing was written by Fanny Crosby in 1869. This hymn became the theme song for the home mission’s movement. Crosby was attending weekly meetings by the interdenominational New York City Mission in July 1869.  A young man was converted through her testimony, which inspired Crosby to write the words to Rescue the Perishing. The title was based on […]

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Hymn Story: At the Cross

This popular hymn was written by Isaac Watts.  Watts was born in 1674 and died in 1748.  He would become a pastor and wrote poems and hymns to go with his sermons.  He wrote over 600 hymns during his lifetime.  Today we still know some of his songs such as At the Cross and Joy to the World. We don’t […]

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Behind the Hymn Sunday: To God Be the Glory

  To God Be the Glory was written by Fanny Crosby around 1875. She originally titled the hymn “Praise for Redemption.” William Doane composed the music to go with Fanny Crosby’s lyrics. The hymn first appeared in the Brightest and Best Hymnal, which was compiled by William Doane and Robert Lowry in 1875. The song was not much a big […]

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Behind the Song Sunday: Blessed Assurance

  Fanny Crosby went blind at the age of six weeks in 1820. Her blindness was not necessary but was due to an improper medical procedure. One day in 1873, Fanny was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp. Phoebe began to play a tune for Fanny, which she {Phoebe} had composed. She asked Fanny what the tune said to her. Fanny’s […]

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Behind the Hymn: Saved by Grace

Fanny Crosby, was a famed hymn composer in the 19th Century.  She wrote over 5,500 hymns in her almost 95 years on earth. However, she spent the majority of her life blind. She became blind when she was only six weeks old from an eye infection and medical ignorance. However, she did not let her blindness hinder it.  She said, […]

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Heroes of the Faith: Dwight L. Moody

If you read my Behind the Hymn stories, you will recognize the name Dwight L. Moody. Many of the hymns written by Fanny Crosby, Robert Lowry, Frances Ridley Havergal, William J. Kirkpatrick and other hymn writers were popularized in the crusades of Rev. Moody. So, who was Dwight L. Moody? Dwight Lyman Moody was born on February 5, 1837 in […]

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Behind the Hymn: Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer

Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer is a hymn by beloved songwriter Fanny Crosby. Chester G. Allen married the melody to the lyrics written by Crosby. The hymn was first published in 1869 in the Bright Jewels songbook. This is a hymn that praises Jesus and reminds us to praise him.   We are not told what inspired Crosby […]

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Behind the Hymn: Nothing but the blood

Robert Lowry was a composer more remembered for the more than 500 hymns he wrote instead of the sermons he preferred to give.  He once stated: “Music, with me has been a side issue… I would rather preach a gospel sermon to an appreciative audience than write a hymn. I have always looked upon myself as a preacher and felt […]

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Behind the Hymn: Pass Me Not O Gentle Savor

Pass Me Not O Gentle Savor is another popular hymn by prolific and beloved hymn writer Fanny Crosby. Crosby had been blind since she was six weeks old, but wrote over 8,000 songs in her lifetime. One evening, Fanny Crosby was invited to speak to a group of prisoners at the state prison and heard one of the men say […]

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Behind the Hymn: I am thine, O Lord

I Am Thine, O Lord is another beloved hymn by Fanny Crosby. Ira Sankey shared in his book that Fanny Crosby was visiting Mr. W.H. Doane, in is Cincinnati, Ohio home.  They were talking about the blessedness and nearness of God.   The sun began to set that evening and the evening shadows were gathering around them, during which time someone […]

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Behind the Hymn: Beulah Land

I have a dear friend that is named Beulah.  Every time I see her she ask me to sing her song for her.  When she first asked I was taken aback by this question and discovered there is not just one song about Beulah land.  No, in actuality there a handful of songs about Beulah land.  So this month we’re […]

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Behind the Hymn: Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross

This popular hymn was written by Fanny Crosby, author of over 8,000 hymns and songs. She often collaborated with composer William Doane.  Doane wrote the music and then the melody was played for Crosby.  Upon hearing the melody she said she felt it said, “Jesus, Keep me near the cross.”  She said down and wrote the words for this hymn. […]

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