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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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Source: Hymns to the Living God #61

Author: Thomas O. Chisholm

Thomas O. Chisholm was born in Franklin, Kentucky in 1866. His boyhood was spent ona farm and in teaching district schools. He spent five years as editor of the local paper at Franklin. He was converted to Christianity at the age of 26 and soon after was business manager and office editor of the "Pentecostal Hearld" or Louisville, Ky. In 1903 he entered the ministry of the M. E. Church South. His aim in writing was to incorporate as much as Scripture as possible and to avoid flippant or sentimental themes. Dianne Shapiro, from "The Singers and Their Songs: sketches of living gospel hymn writers" by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (Chicago: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916)… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
Title: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Author: Thomas O. Chisholm (1923)
Meter: with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Great is Thy faithfulness
Copyright: Copyright 1923, renewed 1951 by Hope Publishing


Thomas Chisholm, the author of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and 1200 other poems was born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1866, and he lived a pretty unremarkable life: he worked as a school teacher, a newspaper editor, and insurance agent, then he retired and spent his remaining days at the Methodist Home for the Aged in New Jersey. Unlike many hymns that have heart-wrenching stories behind them (for instance "It Is Well With My Soul"), "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" is inspired by the simple realization that God is at work in our lives on a daily basis. He wrote, "My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness." The hymn reminds us that God doesn't only work in dramatic or miraculous ways, but also in simple, everyday ways. It also reminds us that Jesus has never failed us in the past, so we have no reason to doubt his faithfulness in the future. --Greg Scheer, 1994



William Marion Runyan (b. Marion, NY, 1870; d. Pittsburg, KS, 1957) composed FAITHFULNESS for Chisholm's text in Baldwin, Kansas, in 1923. Twenty years later Runyan wrote: Mr. Chisholm and I were devoted co-workers, and I wrote harmonies to some 20 or 25 of his poems. This particular poem held such…

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