Hymn Story: Jesus! What a Friend of Sinners!

Jesus! What a Friend of Sinners! was written by J. Wilbur Chapman and first published in 1910.

Chapman was born in 1859 in Richmond, Indiana and attended a Quaker Day School and Methodist Sunday School as a youngster. As a young man he received a seminary degree from Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, OH and later was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity from the College of Wooster.

In 1882, he married Irene Steddon and they had a daughter. Sadly, his wife died in 1886. Two years later he married Agnes Pruyn Strain and added four more children before Agnes death in 1907. In 1910, he married Mabel Cornelia Moulton.

He held six pastorates before becoming an evangelist. He wrote a prolific number of religious works and hymn lyrics. He died in 1918 following surgery.

Rowland Prichard composed the music for the hymn.

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