God Himself Is With Us, SDA Hymnal 003Tersteegen, Gerhardt, 1697-1769
Tersteegen, Gerhard, a pious and useful mystic of the eighteenth century, was born at Mörs, Germany, November 25, 1697. He was carefully educated in his childhood, and then apprenticed (1715) to his older brother, a shopkeeper. He was religiously inclined from his youth, and upon coming of age he secured a humble cottage near Mühlheim, where he led a life of seclusion and self-denial for many years. At about thirty years of age he began to exhort and preach in private and public gatherings. His influence became very great, such was his reputation for piety and his success in talking, preaching, and writing concerning spiritual religion. He wrote one hundred and eleven hymns, most of which appeared in his Spiritual Flower Garden (1731). He died April 3, 1769.
Hymn Writers of the Church by Charles S. Nutter and Wilbur F. Tillett, 1911
Praise to the Lord, SDA Hymnal 001Neander, Joachim, 1650-1680
Neander, Joachim, was born at Bremen, in 1650, as the eldest child of the marriage of Johann Joachim Neander and Catharina Knipping, which took place on Sept. 18, 1649, the father being then master of the Third Form in the Paedagogium at Bremen. The family name was originally Neumann (Newman) or Niemann, but the grandfather of the poet had assumed the Greek form of the name, i.e. Neander. After passing through the Paedagogium he entered himself as a student at the Gymnasium illustre (Academic Gymnasium) of Bremen in Oct. 1666. German student life in the 17th century was anything but refined, and Neander seems to have been as riotous and as fond of questionable pleasures as most of his fellows. In July 1670, Theodore Under-Eyck came to Bremen as pastor of St. Martin's Church, with the reputation of a Pietist and holder of conventicles. Not long after Neander, with two like-minded comrades, went to service there one Sunday, in order to criticise and find matter of amusement. But the earnest words of Under-Eyck touched his heart; and this, with his subsequent conversations with Under-Eyck, proved the turning-point of his spiritual life. In the spring of 1671 he became tutor to five young men, mostly, if not all, sons of wealthy merchants at Frankfurt-am-Main, and accompanied them to the University of Heidelberg, where they seem to have remained till the autumn of 1673, and where Neander learned to know and love the beauties of Nature. The winter of 1673-74 he spent at Frankfurt with the friends of his pupils, and here he became acquainted with P. J. Spener (q.v.) and J. J. Schütz (q.v.) In the spring of 1674 he was appointed Rector of the Latin school at Düsseldorf (see further below). Finally, in 1679, he was invited to Bremen as unordained assistant to Under-Eyck at St. Martin's Church, and began his duties about the middle of July. The post was not inviting, and was regarded merely as a stepping stone to further preferment, the remuneration being a free house and 40 thalers a year, and the Sunday duty being a service with sermon at the extraordinary hour of 5 a.m. Had he lived, Under-Eyck would doubtless have done his best to get him appointed to St. Stephen's Church, the pastorate of which became vacant in Sept., 1680. But meantime Neander himself fell into a decline, and died at Bremen May 31, 1680 (Joachim Neander, sein Leben und seine Lieder. With a Portrait. By J. F. Iken, Bremen, 1880; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, xxiii. 327, &c.)
Neander was the first important hymn-writer of the German Reformed Church since the times of Blaurer and Zwick. His hymns appear to have been written mostly at Düsseldorf, after his lips had been sealed to any but official work. The true history of his unfortunate conflict has now been established from the original documents, and may be summarized thus.
The school at Düsseldorf was entirely under the control of the minister and elders of the Reformed Church there. The minister from about July, 1673, to about May, 1677, was Sylvester Lürsen (a native of Bremen, and only a few years older than Neander), a man of ability and earnestness, but jealous, and, in later times at least, quarrelsome. With him Neander at first worked harmoniously, frequently preaching in the church, assisting in the visitation of the sick, &c. But he soon introduced practices which inevitably brought on a conflict. He began to hold prayer meetings of his own, without informing or consulting minister or elders; he began to absent himself from Holy Communion, on the ground that he could not conscientiously communicate along with the unconverted, and also persuaded others to follow this example; and became less regular in his attendance at the ordinary services of the Church. Besides these causes of offence he drew out a new timetable for the school, made alterations on the school buildings, held examinations and appointed holidays without consulting any one. The result of all this was a Visitation of the school on Nov. 29, 1676, and then his suspension from school and pulpit on Feb. 3, 1677. On Feb. 17 he signed a full and definite declaration by which "without mental reservations" he bound himself not to repeat any of the acts complained of; and thereupon was permitted to resume his duties as rector but not as assistant minister. The suspension thus lasted only 14 days, and his salary was never actually stopped. The statements that he was banished from Düsseldorf, and that he lived for months in a cave in the Neanderthal near Mettmann are therefore without foundation. Still his having had to sign such a document was a humiliation which he must have felt keenly, and when, after Lürsen's departure, the second master of the Latin school was appointed permanent assistant pastor, this feeling would be renewed.
read more at www.hymnary.org
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
All Creatures of Our God and King, SDA Hymnal 002Draper, William Henry, 1855-1933
Draper, William Henry, M.A., son of Henry and Lucy Mary Draper, was born at Kenilworth, Dec. 19, 1855, and educated at Keble College, Oxford; B.A. in honours, M.A. 1880. Ordained in 1880, he was Curate of St. Mary's, Shrewsbury; Vicar of Alfreton; of the Abbey Church, Shrewsbury.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
Full Name: Francis, of Assisi, Saint, 1182-1226
St. Francis of Assisi (Italian: San Francesco d'Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, but nicknamed Francesco ("the Frenchman") by his father, 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
I Love To Tell the Story, SDA Hymn 457Author: Kate Hankey (1866); Author (refrain): William G. Fischer (1869)
Tune: [I love to tell the story] (Fischer)
A. (Annabelle) Catherine Hankey (b. Clapham, England, 1834; d. Westminster, London, England, 1911) was the daughter of a wealthy banker and was associated with the Clapham sect of William Wilberforce, a group of prominent evangelical Anglicans from the Clapham area. This group helped to establish the British and Foreign Bible Society, promoted the abolition of slavery, and was involved in improving the lot of England's working classes. Hankey taught Bible classes for shop girls in London, visited the sick in local hospitals, and used the proceeds of her writings to support various mission causes. Her publications include Heart to Heart (1870) and The Old, Old Story and Other Verses (1879).
Fischer, W. G. (William G.), 1835-1912
In his youth, William G. Fischer (b. Baltimore, MD, 1835; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1912) developed an interest in music while attending singing schools. His career included working in the book bindery of J. B. Lippencott Publishing Company, teaching music at Girard College, and co-owning a piano business and music store–all in Philadelphia. Fischer eventually became a popular director of music at revival meetings and choral festivals. In 1876 he conducted a thousand-voice choir at the Dwight L. Moody/Ira D. Sankey revival meeting in Philadelphia. Fischer composed some two hundred tunes for Sunday school hymns and gospel songs.
I Will Sing of Jesus Love, SDA Hymn 184Belden, F. E. (Franklin Edson), 1858-1945
Belden was born in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1858. He began writing music in his late teenage years after moving to California with his family. For health reasons he later moved to Colorado. He returned to Battle Creek with his wife in the early 1880s, and there he became involved in Adventist Church publishing. F. E. Belden wrote many hymn tunes, gospel songs, and related texts in the early years of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Belden was able to rapidly write both music and poetry together which enabled him to write a song to fit a sermon while it was still being delivered. He also wrote songs for evangelist Billy Sunday. Though Belden’s later years were marred by misunderstandings with the church leadership over his royalties, he did donate his papers and manuscripts to the church’s seminary at his death. He died on December 2, 1945 in Battle Creek, Michigan.
N.N., Hymnary. Source: http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/b/e/l/belden_fe.htm
When Peace Like A River, SDA Hymn 539Horatio Gates Spafford (October 20, 1828, Troy, New York – October 16, 1888, Jerusalem) was a prominent American lawyer and Presbyterian church elder. He is best known for penning the Christian hymn It Is Well With My Soul following a family tragedy in which his four daughters died aboard the S.S. Ville du Havre on a transatlantic voyage.
Proclaim His Grace by Bruce AshtonBorn in central Ohio, Bruce Ashton was privileged to grow up in a very musical family, developing pianistic and accompanying skills early on. His B.Mus. (Capital Univ.), M.Mus. (American Conservatory), and D.M.A. (Univ. of Cincinnati's CCM) are all in piano performance. Each level of study also included training in composition with such teachers as Stella Roberts and T. Scott Huston.
For nearly 40 years, Dr. Ashton was Professor of Music at Southern Adventist University (near Chattanooga), teaching Piano, Music Theory, Music History, Form and Analysis, Orchestration and Arranging, and Music Appreciation. In retirement, he continues teaching, as he invests more of his time in composition. With Southern's fine symphony, he has performed many of the standard piano concerti: Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff. He is a frequent recitalist, and is in constant demand in the area as an accompanist for concerts and recitals by local artists, colleagues and students.
Most of Dr. Ashton's composing and arranging has been to supply specific events, often for unusual combinations of instruments, and most often for religious services. His works are characterized by strong and effective voice-leading, but never so pedantically as to inhibit a convincing aural impact. His music is warm and compelling, lyric, harmonically interesting, and above all accessible.
Composer-arranger J. Bruce Ashton specializes in tasteful arrangements of hymns and familiar tunes for small ensembles, choir and orchestra, as well as appealing original compositions for recital hall and church. Most of his works were written for specific individuals, groups, or occasions. Many have been performed frequently, and have become dearly loved by those who have heard them and performed them. However, the majority of his hundreds of pieces have been, until now, unpublished, and thus not available to the general public.
Bruce Ashton is a fluent writer with an ear for the distinctive sound which "fits". From original hymn tunes to chamber music miniatures, from sprightly duet arrangements to festival anthems, his craftsmanship is always at the service of the listener's pleasure and satisfaction.
Victory In JesusBartlett, E. M. (Eugene Monroe). 1885-1941
E. M. Bartlett was born December 24, 1883 in Waynesville, Missouri. His family later moved to Sebastian County, Arkansas. Bartlett received training as a music teacher and was a leader in developing Southern gospel music. He was employed by Central Music Company, a publisher of shape note singing books based in Hartford, which was owned by David Moore and Will H. Ramsey. Bartlett persuaded Moore and John A. McClung to partner with him to form Hartford Music Company. In 1921, Bartlett established the Hartford Music Institute, a shape note school. He provided opportunities for many songwriters and musicians in gospel music, including Albert E. Brumley. In 1939 he suffered a stroke and afterwards wrote "Victory in Jesus."
Dianne Shapiro, from "The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture" http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2660 and "Gospel Music Hall of Fame" website: http://www.gmahalloffame.org/speaker-lineup/e-m-bartlett-sr/ (accessed 1-24-2018)
My Faith Has Found A Resting Place, SDA Hymn 532
Blessed Assurance, Hymn #462
Seeking the Lost, Hymn #373
To God be the Glory, Hymn #341
SDA Hymnal Resources