Behind the Hymn: Standing on the Promises

Kelso Carter

Kelso Carter

Standing on the Promises” was written and composed by Russell Carter in 1886.  Carter

was a professor at the time at the  Pennsylvania Military Academy, a school in which he had been a member of the first graduating class.

Carter had a variety of jobs from sheep herding to professor of

Do you stand on the promises?

Do you stand on the promises?

Natural Science, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Mathematics.

While sheep herding he developed a heart condition and began to feel he was near death.

Praying for healing he drew closer to God.

After his healing he vowed to be used for God and this became the principle of his life “to stand on God’s promises”.

standing-on-the-promisesIf you notice, Carter begins each verse with the reminder to “Standing on the Promises.” He would claim 2 Corinthians 1:20 as his anchor.

Later, he became a Methodist minister while writing and publishing hymnals, textbooks and novels.

In 1886, he worked with John Sweney {Beulah Land and Fill Me Now} to co-edit the hymnal Songs of Perfect Love.  Standing on the Promises appeared in this hymnbook.

He then studied medicine and became a physician in Baltimore until his death in 1928.

The rhythmic martial tone reflects Carter’s military academy experience.


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