1870 - 1957 Author of "To Thy Temple Holy" in The Cyber Hymnal William M. Runyan (1870-1957) was an Christian composer from the United States who wrote the music to the well-known hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."
William Marion Runyan was born in Marion, New York in 1870 to a Methodist minister Rev. William White and his wife Hannah (Orcutt) Runyan. As a youth, Runyan served as a church organist and graduated from Marion High School in Marion, Kansas. Runyan attended Northwestern University for three years from 1895 to 1898 and was ordained as a Methodist minister at age twenty-one and then pastored various congregations in Kansas. Starting in 1915 Runyan began writing gospel songs with the encouragement of D.B. Towner of the Moody Bible Institute. In 1923 Runyan moved from Wichita to Chicago. From 1924 to 1926 Runyan was affiliated with John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas pastoring the Federated Church, and editing the Christian Workers' Magazine. Runyan then moved back to Chicago where he worked with the Moody Bible Institute, and he worked as editor for Hope Publishing Company, co-editing "The Service Hymnal" with Gordon Shorney. In 1923 Runyan composed the music to the song "Great is Thy Faithfulness," originally a poem by Thomas O. Chisholm, a friend and fellow Methodist minister. Runyan retired from Hope in 1948 and received the honorary Doctor of Letters from Wheaton College. Runyan lived for a period of his retirement in Galveston, Texas and died on July 29, 1957 in Pittsburg, Kansas. He is buried in Baldwin City, Kansas. Runyan was a professor and preacher at Baker University in Baldwin City for a period and his children attended the University. Runyan's survivors endowed the "The Rev. William M. Runyan Endowed Memorial Scholarship" at Baker University with the royalties from his song "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
William M. Runyan