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A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
      On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, Germany. That date was sometimes called the “4th of July of Protestantism.” It symbolized the start of the Protestant Reformation. And t ... read more

Abide With Me
      This beloved hymn of comfort and trust was written by a pastor who was sickly and unwell most of the time.      Henry F. Lyte  pastored a seashore church in England, among the rough sailors and uncultured villagers. And this made outsiders often ... read more

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
       Isaac Watts was born July 17, 1674, at Southampton, England.  He was born into the home of “non-Conformists” in the days when Dissenters and Independents were persecuted by the Church of England.  Fortunately this intolerance lasted only a short while ... read more

All Creatures of Our God And King
       From the grateful heart of a devoted Italian monk in the year of 1225 came this beautiful message.        As a great lover of nature, Saint Francis of Assisi saw the hand of God in all creation.  He demonstrated through his own life all the tend ... read more

All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Nam
      Rev. E. P. Scott was a missionary to India. One day he saw on the street a man of so strange an appearance that he inquired about him, and learned that he belonged to a wild mountain tribe among whom Christ had never been preached.        Mr. Sc ... read more

All The Way My Savior Leads Me
       This beloved hymn came from the grateful heart of Fanny Crosby after she had received a direct answer to her prayer.         One day when she desperately needed five dollars and had no idea where she could obtain it, Fanny followed  her usual c ... read more

Almost Persuaded
      The hymn, “Almost Persuaded,” was suggested to P. P. Bliss after hearing a sermon by Mr. Brundage, who, as he finished his discourse, said, “He who is almost persuaded is almost saved, and to be almost saved is to be entirely lost.”        In th ... read more

Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
      Isaac Watts, who wrote this hymn, was the father of hymn-writing in the English language. He was born in England. His father was not a member of the state church, and was twice thrown into jail for opposing it, so that when he was a baby his mother of ... read more

Amazing Grace
      On one occasion John Vassar, the great soul winner, was going from house to house distributing tracts and talking with people about their souls. One woman who heard about this strange man and what he was doing said: If he comes to my house, he will ge ... read more

America the Beautiful
        It was the early summer of 1893. The Columbian Exposition in Chicago, which celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America, was in full swing. A group of teachers and professors from Wellesley College , stopped off in Chicago enro ... read more

And Can It Be That I Should Gain?
      Not many hymns begin with a question as does this one.         However, it is not an expression of doubt but of wonder and awe.         · How can it be that the shedding of Jesus’ blood 1900 years ago is relevant to me today?         · ... read more

Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Languid?
      This hymn was written by John Mason Neale.        In 1840 Neale became a minister of the Church of England. He was a man of mystical temperament, and his practices were so close to Roman Catholicism that he aroused much popular prejudice. At one ... read more

Be Thou My Vision
      This ancient 8th century hymn text from Ireland is still meaningful for us today with its expression of a yearning for the presence and leading of God in our lives.        The earnest prayer is enhanced by such quaint but tender phrases as “Lord of ... read more

Because He Lives
      In the late 1960s, while expecting their third child, Bill and Gloria Gaither were going through a rather traumatic time in their lives.        Bill was recovering his strength from a bout with mononucleosis. They, along with thseir church, were ... read more

Blessed Assurance
      Blessed Assurance was composed by Mrs. Joseph Knapp, an amateur musician. She was the wife of the founder of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and a close personal friend of Fanny Crosby.        One day Mrs. Knapp played a melody for the b ... read more

Blest Be The Tie That Binds
      At the age of 16, John Fawcett and his new bride Mary, began their ministry at an impoverished Baptist church in Wainsgate.         After seven years of devoted service in meager circumstances, they received a call to the large and influential Carte ... read more

Break Thou The Bread Of Life
      Miss Mary Artemisia Lathbury, the author of this beautiful hymn, was born in Manchester, N.Y., August 10, 1841, the daughter of a Methodist minister.        She was a woman of great beauty of character, and every one loved her that came to know h ... read more

Child Of The King
        Harriett Buell wrote the words for A Child of the King one Sunday morning while walking home from her Methodist church service.  She sent her text to the Northern Christian Advocate, and it was printed in the February 1, 1877 issue.        Roma ... read more

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
        The whole system of Christianity rests upon the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the grave.  This resurrection hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” has been one of the church's most popular Easter hymns.        It was first written by Charle ... read more

Christ Arose
      During the Easter season of 1874, while having his devotions one evening, Robert Lowry was impressed with the events associated with Christ's resurrection, especially with these words recorded in Luke 24:6, 7—He is not here, but is risen.        ... read more

Christians, Awake!
      What would you like for a Christmas present? T        To any young girl such a question would evoke delighted visions of long-wished-for possessions. But to Dolly the answer to her father, John Byron, was, “Please write me a poem.”        An ... read more

Cleanse Me
        He was a professor in the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary where he taught courses in the history of missions to career missionaries.        James Edwin Orr was born in 1912. His education includes earned doctorates from ... read more

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
      Turning to the young Robert Robinson, the bleary-eyed gipsy fortune-teller pointed a quivering finger and said, “And you, young man, you will live to see your children and your grandchildren.”         Robert Robinson suddenly paled and said, “You’re ... read more

Come ye Disconsolate
      Thomas Moore, who wrote the beautiful hymn was one of the strangest of all men to write hymns.         He was an Irishman, a Roman Catholic, born in Dublin, May 28, 1779.  Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he studied law in London, but his poeti ... read more

Come Thou Almighty King
      This is one of our most popular opening hymns, yet little is known of its background.    The song appeared anonymously in London, England, about 1757 to commemorate Trinity Sunday. About fifteen years earlier the British national hymn, “God Save ... read more

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
           One of the finest of harvest hymns is that written by Dean Alford, “Come, ye thankful people, come.”        When Alford was sixteen years old, he wrote these noble words upon the fly-leaf of his Bible: “I do this day, in the presence of God ... read more

Count Your Blessings
      This beautiful hymn was written by one of the prolific gospel song writers of the past century, a Methodist lay preacher named Johnson Oatman.         In addition to his preaching and the writing of more than 5,000 hymn texts, Oatman was also a suc ... read more

Crown Him With Many Crowns
       This worshipful text is the combined effort of two distinguished Anglican clergymen, each of whom desired to write a hymn of exaltation to our suffering but now victorious Lord.        Matthew Bridges' version first appeared in 1851 with six sta ... read more

Day By Day
       The waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the nineteenth century were greatly influenced by the wealth of fine hymns which flowed from the pen of Lina Sandell.        Born on October 3, 1832, in Sweden ... read more

Does Jesus Care?
      Frank E. Graeff was a minister in the Methodist denomination and served some of its leading churches, in the Philadelphia Conference. Throughout the district, he was known as the sunshine minister.    In spite of his outwardly-cheery disposition ... read more

Doxology
        Nearly every English­ speaking Protestant congregation unites at least once each Sunday in this noble overture of praise.         It has been said that the Doxology has done more to teach the doctrine of the Trinity than all the theology books ev ... read more

Each Step I Take
       “Mother, that is a beautiful song. Let’s write to America and get a copy.”        Those were the words of a young lad in the Philippine Islands in 1962 as he listened with his mother to the Lutheran Gospel Hour. His mother had recently become a ... read more

Face To Face
      A pastor, his wife, and Grant Tullar had made their last call on the sick one afternoon in 1898. They hurried to their home, wanting to have a bit of supper together before going to an evangelistic meetings. Tullar was assisting in those revival servi ... read more

Fairest Lord Jesus
         Little is known of the origin of this cherished hymn. Associated with it are several popular legends which cannot always be substantiated by research.        One of the best-known accounts is that it was called the Crusaders’ Hymn. Some think ... read more

Faith Of Our Fathers
        The history of the Christian faith is a rich heritage of countless people whose faith in God was considered more dear than life itself.  The three stanzas found in our hymnals are very usable for evangelical worship. These can be reinterpreted to c ... read more

Family Of God
       Bill and Gloria Gaither are faithful members of a local church in Alexandria, Indiana, and the church body is very dear to them. A young family in their congregation, Ron and Darlene Garner and their three children, inspired the writing of the Gaith ... read more

Fight The Good Fight
       This stirring hymn was written by John Samuel Bewley Monsell, LL. D., who was born at St. Coumb’s, Londonderry, Ireland, March 2, 1811.        He died on April 9, 1875, at Guildford, England, where he fell from the roof of his church, which was b ... read more

Fill My Cup, Lord
      Life was never to be a bed of roses for Richard Blanchard.        A severe lung problem developed, and Blanchard was left with one-third of his lung capacity. But a diminished physical well-being did not stop young Blanchard.        In 1953, ... read more

For the Beauty Of The Earth
       This beautiful summer hymn, full of the spirit of field and forest, was written by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, about whose life we can learn little.        He was born in Bath, England, October 7, 1835, and obtained his education at Queen’s Co ... read more

From Greenland’s Icy Mountains
      “Write something for us to sing at the service tomorrow morning,” Dr. Shepley, vicar of Wrexham, said to his son-in-law, Reginald Heber, in 1819.        Dr. Shepley was to preach next day in behalf of foreign missions, and he was chatting over t ... read more

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
        None of the Christian hymn-writers has had a history so remarkable as that of John Newton.        Newton was born in London. His mother was a pious woman, who taught him the Catechism and many other good things; but she died when the lad was on ... read more

God Be With You
      Often we hear someone tell us glibly to have a good day!        Would not a far better farewell for Christians be the loving wish of this hymn text—“God be with you?”  The added thought of  “till we meet again” suggests a sincere desire for continu ... read more

God Leads His Dear Children Along
      Haldor Lillenas, founder of a noted music-publishing company, made his way to the United States from Scandinavia.        His first years in this country were hard, but a kind lady befriended him and taught him the English language. More important ... read more

God Understands
        A young grocery chain executive parked his car on the edge of a treacherous two-hundred-foot cliff at the edge of the Pacific Ocean some twenty-five miles south of San Francisco. Devil’s Slide, it was called, and to Bill Mansdoerfer it seemed an appro ... read more

God Will Take Care Of You
       This was written on a Sunday afternoon by a pastor’s wife.        She was very ill and in bed, but her husband had to go to a meeting. He was reluctant to leave her. She said, “Don’t worry, God will Take care of you.”        While her husband w ... read more

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
        While many hymns are born out of a particular dramatic experience, this hymn was simply the result of the author’s morning by morning realization of God’s personal faithfulness.        Thomas Obadiah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Kentucky ... read more

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
      After he was converted, William Williams decided to take all of Wales as his parish.        And for the next 43 years, Williams traveled 100,000 miles on horseback, preaching and singing the gospel in his native tongue. He became known as the sweet ... read more

Happiness Is The Lord
       Ira F. Stanphill was born in Belview, New Mexico, in 1914. He has written more than 550 songs, the most popular of which are “Mansion over the Hilltop,” “Room at the Cross,” and, of course, “Happiness Is the Lord.”        On any number of occas ... read more

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
      One of the most famous of Charles Wesley’s hymns is the Christmas carol: “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.”  It was written in 1738, about one year after Wesley’s conversion. It is almost impossible to pick up a church hymnal today and find this hymn om ... read more

Have Thine Own Way, Lord
        A simple expression, prayed by an elderly woman at a prayer meeting one night, was the source of inspiration that prompted the writing of this popular consecration hymn, Have Thine Own Way, Lord, in 1902.        The author of this hymn text, Ad ... read more

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