Palestine Magazine Spring Edition 2021 - Page 25

and mastered 13 instruments . He became involved in the music ministry of his Methodist Episcopal church , torn between his career and the desire to share the gospel . After struggling with the decision for five years , Judson finally surrendered to his desire to serve God completely and this song was born . Winfield S . Weeden composed the music for the song and he loved it so much , the words “ I Surrender All ” were engraved on his tombstone .
In the Garden Pharmacist turned hymnist C . Austin Miles wrote “ In the Garden .” Miles enjoyed amateur photography , and on a day in March of 1912 , he experienced a vision while working in his dark room , waiting on film to develop . Miles said he saw Mary Magdalene visiting the empty tomb . He saw her leave the tomb and walk into a garden where she met Jesus Christ and heard him speak her name . Miles said when he came to himself , the words of the song filled his head and he quickly wrote them down . He then composed the musical score later that same day . The song became the theme song of the Billy Sunday Evangelistic Crusades that same year . Perry Como recorded it in 1950 , and the film Places in the Heart featured it in the movie ’ s closing scene .
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Thomas Obadiah Chisholm based the lyrics of “ Great Is Thy Faithfulness ” on Lamentations 3:22-23 , “ It is of the Lord ’ s mercies that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not . They are new ever morning ; great is Thy faithfulness .”
Chisholm ’ s health was fragile throughout this lifetime and often left him bedridden . Between illnesses , he pushed himself to work extra hours at various jobs to make ends meet . While on a mission trip , Chisholm wrote several poems and sent them to his friend and musician William Runyan . The words of one poem moved Runyan to compose music for the verses . Published in 1923 , the world heard the song in 1945 when George Beverly Shea began singing it at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades .
Thomas died in 1960 at the age of 94 , and wrote over 1,200 poems and hymns .
Just As I Am
Poet Charlotte Elliot wrote “ Just As I Am ” in 1835 , which became popular as the official altar call song of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades . Elliot was 46 years old when an elderly man at a dinner party asked her if she was a Christian . Charlotte recalled thinking that this man was rude and unkind and that his question was inappropriate . However , she couldn ’ t get the question out of her mind . She sought the man out and asked him how to become a Christian . That night she received Jesus as her Lord and savior . She then wrote this song as a testimony to her newfound faith shortly after that night . She went on to write 150 hymns in her lifetime .
How Great Thou Art
“ How Great Thou Art ” originated as a poem written by a Swedish pastor , the Rev . Carl Bobery . It was written in 1886 and published in a periodical called Sanningsvittnet .
Several years later , Bobery discovered a church congregation singing his poem set to the tune of an old Swedish folk melody . Manfred von Glehn then translated the song into German and American . Reverend E . Gustav Johnson translated it into English in 1925 . In 1927
I . S . Prokanoff translated the German version into Russian . A missionary couple , Rev . and Mrs . Stuart K . Hines first heard the song in 1933 and sang it often on their missionary journeys . During World War II , the Hines returned to England where they wrote the fourth verse and arranged the tune to the original Swedish folk tune . This version published in English hymnals , was copyrighted in the 1950s and was widely published throughout America . This song was another made largely popular by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades .
O ’ Happy Day
Philip Doddridge , the 20th child born to Monica Doddridge , wrote “ O ’ Happy Day .” Eighteen of Monica ’ s children died in infancy , and nurses considered Philip a stillborn . The midwife set him aside to help Monica and he cried out . At that moment , Monica decided God saved Philip ’ s life for a purpose . She did all she could to teach her son the scriptures , but he was orphaned at an early age . With no family , money or formal training , he entered the ministry . He became a pastor of an independent congregation and taught seminary . Doddridge wrote over 50 hymns . Over the years , a multitude of artists including Joan Baez recorded this song and it ’ s also featured in the movie Sister Act II .
Nearer My God to Thee British actor , dramatic poet and Unitarian hymnist Sara Flower Adams wrote the song “ Nearer My God to Thee .” Adams appeared in Long ’ s 1837 run of Macbeth and received rave reviews . She continued her theater career until her health became an issue at which time she began writing poems and hymns .
When a pastor from a Unitarian church visited the Adams family , he mention he needed a song to represent Genesis 28:11-19 . Sara volunteered to write it , and within the week , she penned this song . The popular song became a staple in most Christian hymnals . According to a recollection of a Canadian survivor to the 1912 RMS Titanic , the band played this song as the ship sunk , as depicted in the 1997 blockbuster movie “ Titanic .”
Precious Lord , Take My Hand Known as the Father of Gospel Music , Thomas Dorsey wrote “ Precious Lord , Take My Hand .” Dorsey began playing piano in a Vaudeville act and attended the Chicago College of Composition and Arranging . After college , he performed at jazz clubs and was recognized for his talents . In 1921 , Dorsey , 22 , gave his life to Christ . He left the nightclub scene , began writing gospel music and later became a preacher .
In 1932 , Dorsey was preaching a service when a man delivered a telegram stating his wife died in childbirth . The baby died within 24 hours . Despairing and angry with God , Dorsey vowed never to write another hymn . However , a week later , Dorsey sat alone at a friend ’ s piano and experienced a heavy peace he ’ d never known . As he sat at the piano , he felt the urge to play , and this song ’ s melody and lyrics poured out of him . The song was translated into 40 languages . Mahalia Jackson and Elvis Presley recorded it , and it was reportedly Dr . Martin Luther King ’ s favorite hymn .
Dorsey went on to write many more hymns , including “ Peace in the Valley ” recorded by the Sunshine Boys in 1951 , which became the first gospel song recorded to sell more than one million copies .
Information for this article was found at www . sharefaith . com ; www . wikipedia . com ; www . anointedlinks . com , voice . yahoo . com and the book Then Sings My Soul by Robert J . Morgan .
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