Hymn Story: Blessed Redeemer

Harry Dixon Loes, was a popular music teacher at the Moody Bible Institute for almost three decades in the early 20th Century. 

Harry Dixon Loes

Harry Loes was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on October 20, 1892. He served as music director at a variety of churches before becoming affiliated with Moody Bible Institute, which he joined in 1939.  He remained until his death in 1965.  Throughout his life he wrote over fifteen hundred gospel songs and three thousand tunes.

While Loes was at Moody Bible Institute, he became friends with Ernest Christiansen, the Institute’s vice president, and his wife Avis, a poet and hymn writer.

One Sunday, Loes was heard  a sermon on Christ’s atonement, titled “Blessed Redeemer”.  Mr. Loes was inspired by the sermon to compose a tune.  

Avis Christiansen

He then sent the melody and title to his friend, Avis Christiansen, and asked her to provide the text.  Avis talent was nurtured and inspired by her grandmother.  She had been writing poetry since she was ten years old. By the time of her death in 1985, the ninety-year-old had written thousands of hymns and songs.

The hymns was first published in the 1920 hymnal Songs of Redemption.

Avis Christiansen wrote hundreds of gospel hymns text and became an important hymn writer of the 20th Century. 

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