I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Representative Text

1 I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
no turning back, no turning back.

2 Though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
no turning back, no turning back.

3 The world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me;
no turning back, no turning back.

Source: Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #85

Author: Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >


About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales, England. As a result of this, many missionaries came from England and Germany to North-East India to spread the Gospel. At the time, north-east India was not divided into many states as it is today. The region was known as Assam and comprised hundreds of tribes. The tribal communities were quite primitive and aggressive by nature. The tribals were also called head-hunters because of a social custom which required the male members of the community to collect as many heads as possible. A man’s strength and ability to protect his wife was assessed by the number of heads he had collected. Therefore, a youth of marriageable age would try and collect as many heads as possible and hang them on the walls of his house. The more heads a man had, the more eligible he was considered. Into this hostile and aggressive community, came a group of Welsh missionaries spreading the message of love, peace and hope of Jesus Christ. Naturally, they were not welcomed. One Welsh missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity. Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang: "I have decided to follow Jesus. (3 times)No turning back, no turning back." Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.” But the man sang these words in reply: "Though no one joins me, still I will follow. (3 times) No turning back, no turning back." The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.” In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines: "The cross before me, the world behind me. (3 times)No turning back, no turning back." He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered, “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some supernatural power behind the family, and I too want that supernatural power.” In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. -Dr. P.P. Job and Indian preacher in His book “Why God Why”



A Traditional Indian tune, ASSAM comes from the city of Assam, India where the text was originated.

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Instances (1 - 49 of 49)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #400Text
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #501
Assembly Songbook #d32
Baptist Hymnal 1975 #d157
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #305TextAudio
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #434
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Christian Praise #d138
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #575
Complete Mission Praise #272
Favorites Number 7: A Collection of Gospel Songs #49
Great Hymns of the Faith #397
Hymnal of the Church of God #264
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #322
Hymns for the Living Church #451TextPage Scan
Hymns of Faith #299TextPage Scan
Hymns of Faith and Life #d176
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #85TextPage Scan
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #613
Let's just Praise the Lord (Music Edition) #49
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #136Text
New Hymns of Hope #116Text
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #454Page Scan
Praises for Children #d22
Rejoice Hymns #399
Revival Hymns and Choruses #428TextAudio
Salvation Songs for Children, No.4 #d26
Sing and Rejoice!: new hymns for congregations #39
Sing Joyfully #427TextPage Scan
Sing the Faith #2129Text
Sing Your Way Home: hymns and choruses for use at hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement communities #52
Singing Youth #d84
Songs for Children #d6
Songs for Life #226TextPage Scan
Songs You Love No. 1 #d12
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #316
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #602Text
The Christian Hymnary. Bks. 1-4 #729
The Cyber Hymnal #2805TextScoreAudio
The Faith We Sing #2129Text
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #376Text
The New National Baptist Hymnal #164
The Worshiping Church #576TextFlexscorePage Scan
Timeless Truths #168TextScoreAudio
Worship and Rejoice #344TextScoreFlexscoreAudio
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