424. Spirit of the Living God

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Text Information
First Line: Spirit of the living God
Title: Spirit of the Living God
Author (st. 1): Daniel Iverson (1926)
Author (st. 2): Michael Baughen (1982)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: irregular
Scripture: Acts 10:44; Acts 10; Philippians 2:11; Acts 2
Topic: Commitment & Dedication; Love: Our Love for Others; Songs for Children: Hymns1 more...
Language: English
Copyright: st. 1 © 1935, 1963 Birdwing Music (ASCAP); st. 2 © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Name: IVERSON
Composer: Daniel Iverson (1926)
Meter: irregular
Key: E♭ Major
Copyright: Tune © 1935, 1963, Birdwing Music (ASCAP) Rights administered by The Sparro Corporation, P.O. Box 5010, Brentwood, TN, 37024-5010. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.


Text Information:

Scripture References:
all st. = Acts 10:44

The composite hymn text is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to work renewal in the individual heart (st. 1) and to make these renewed people one in love and service (st. 2).

Daniel Iverson (b. Brunswick, GA, 1890; d. Asheville, NC, 1977) wrote the first stanza and tune of this hymn after hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit during an evangelism crusade by the George Stephans Evangelistic Team in Orlando, Florida, 1926. The hymn was sung at the crusade and then printed in leaflets for use at other services. Published anonymously in Robert H. Coleman's Revival Songs (1929) with alterations in the tune, this short hymn gained much popularity by the middle of the century. Since the 1960s it has again been properly credited to Iverson.

Iverson studied at the University of Georgia, Moody Bible Institute, Columbia Theological Seminary, and the University of South Carolina. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1914, he served congregations in Georgia and in North and South Carolina. In 1927 he founded the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, and served there until his retirement in 1951. An evangelist as well as a preacher, Iverson planted seven new congregations during his ministry in Miami.

Michael Baughen (b. Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, 1930) added a second stanza to the text in 1980. That stanza's emphasis on the Spirit moving “among us all,” provides a necessary complement to the first stanza's focus on the Spirit's work in the individual ("fall afresh on me"). The stanzas were first published together in the British Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Baughen was a priest in the Church of England since 1964 and Bishop of Chester from 1982 until he retired in 1996. He now lives in London. Educated at London University and Oak Hill Theological College, he served as rector of Holy Trinity, Church in Rushholme, Manchester (1964-1970), and All Saints, Langham Place, London (1970-1982). Baughen has written four books including Chained to the Gospel (1986) and The Prayer Principle (1981). He also founded the Jubilate Group and served as editor of four hymnals: Youth Praise (1966), Youth Praise II (1969), Psalm Praise (1973), and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Liturgical Use:
Pentecost; renewal services; profession of faith; ordination; special dedication/consecration of persons and organizations to Christian ministry; in worship services of confession/forgiveness or as a sung prayer for illumination; as a frame around the congregational prayers–sing stanza 1 at the beginning and stanza 2 at the conclusion of spoken prayers.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

IVERSON is a simple chorus; its original melody line was altered in 1929 (see above). Southern Baptist leader Baylus B. McKinney wrote the harmony, which was published in his Songs of Victory (1937).

Sing in harmony unaccompanied or accompany with organ or guitars. When used as a frame around prayers (see Liturgical Use), accompany the first line of each stanza, and then allow the singing to proceed unaccompanied.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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