Behind the Hymn: Now I Belong to Jesus
Now I Belong to Jesus was written by Norman J. Clayton.
Clayton composed the tune Ellsworth in 1942 and a year later wrote the lyrics to this hymn to go with it.
The hymn is sometimes referred to by it’s first line “Jesus, my Lord will love me forever”.
Clayton was born on January 22, 1903 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the ninth of ten children.
By the age of 12, he served as church organist, a role he would hold the remainder of his life.
He made a living in the building industry but also created his own publishing house, Gospel Songs.
By 1942, he worked with the Word of Life organization and provided music for radio broadcast and crusade meetings.
Clayton stated “he feels it is vitally important that every song he writes be biblically based”. He made it a point to memorize scripture to ensure his songs were Biblically accurate.
He died in 1992 at the age of 89 having written well over a hundred hymns.