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: We’re Marching to Zion

We’re Marching To Zion is sometimes referred to by it’s opening line, Come We That Love the Lord. The hymn was written by Isaac Watts.  Watts was an English minister, hymnwriter, theologian and logician.  He wrote over 750 hymns and is known as the Father of English hymnody. Marching to Zion may have been based on Jeremiah 31:6, “Arise ye, […]

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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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Hymn Story: Shall We Gather at the River

The hymn was written in 1864, by Robert Lowry, a poet and composer.  Lowry was born in Philadelphia on March 12, 1826.  From an early age he showed a great love for music.   He served as minister at Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York. He described the inspiration of the song by saying “One hot afternoon in July […]

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Hymn Story: Low in the Grave He Lay

Robert Lowry was born in Philadelphia on March 12, 1826.  He graduated from Bucknell University and became a Baptist minister.  In 1868, he became editor of the Sunday School hymn books, having succeeded William B. Bradbury. In 1874, Lowry was pondering the Easter story.  One evening he read the passage in Luke 24 that says “he is not here, he […]

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Behind the Hymn: I Need Thee Every Hour

I recently came across this hymn during a devotional and was drawn to the words. I was also reminded that this is not a hymn I hear sung in church very often anymore.  Yet, even today the message seems to remain the same.  We need Jesus every hour of every day. This hymn was written by Annie Sherwood Hawks.  She […]

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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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