Albert B. Simpson

Albert B. Simpson
Short Name: Albert B. Simpson
Full Name: Simpson, A. B. (Albert Benjamin), 1843-1919
Birth Year: 1843
Death Year: 1919

Albert Benjamin "A.B." Simpson (December 15, 1843 – October 29, 1919) was a Canadian preacher, theologian, author, and founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), an evangelical Protestant denomination with an emphasis on global evangelism.

Simpson was born in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada as the third son and fourth child of James Simpson, Jr. and Janet Clark. Author Harold H. Simpson has gathered an extensive genealogy of Cavendish families in Cavendish: Its History, Its People. His research establishes the Clark family (A.B. Simpson's mother’s side) as one of the founding families of Cavendish in 1790, along with the Simpson family, and he traces common ancestors between Albert B. Simpson and Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

The young Albert was raised in a strict Calvinistic Scottish Presbyterian and Puritan tradition. His conversion of faith began under the ministry of Henry Grattan Guinness, a visiting evangelist from Ireland during the revival of 1859.[2] Simpson spent some time in the Chatham, Ontario area, and received his theological training in Toronto at Knox College, University of Toronto. After graduating in 1865, Simpson was subsequently ordained in the Canada Presbyterian Church, the largest of the Presbyterian groups in Canada that merged after his departure for the United States. At age 21, he accepted a call to the large Knox Presbyterian Church (closed in 1971) in nearby Hamilton, Ontario.

In December 1873, at age 30, Simpson left Canada and assumed the pulpit of the largest Presbyterian church in Louisville, Kentucky, the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church. It was in Louisville that he first conceived of preaching the gospel to the common man by building a simple tabernacle structure for that purpose. Despite his success at the Chestnut Street Church, Simpson was frustrated by their reluctance to embrace this burden for wider evangelistic endeavor.

In 1880, Simpson was called to the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City where he immediately began reaching out to the world with the gospel. Beside active evangelistic work in the church, he published a missionary journal, The Gospel in All Lands, the first missionary journal with pictures. Simpson also founded and began publishing an illustrated magazine entitled The Word, Work, and World. By 1911, this magazine became known as The Alliance Weekly, then Alliance Life, and is now called It is the official publication of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, in the USA and Canada.

By 1881, after only two fruitful years at Thirteenth Presbyterian, he resigned in order to begin an independent gospel ministry to the many new immigrants and the neglected masses of New York City. Simpson began informal training classes in 1882 in order to reach "the neglected peoples of the world with the neglected resources of the church". By 1883, a formal program was in place and ministers and missionaries were being trained in a multi-cultural context (This school was the beginning of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary). In 1889, Simpson and his church family moved into their new home at the corner of 44th St. and 8th Av. called the New York Tabernacle. This became the base not only of his ministry of evangelism in the city but also of his growing work of worldwide missions.

Simpson's disciplined upbringing and his natural genius made him a most effective communicator of the Word of God. His preaching brought great blessing and converts wherever he preached and his unique gospel of Jesus became known as the Four Fold Gospel: "Jesus our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King". The Four Fold Gospel is symbolized in the logo of the C&MA : the Cross, the Laver, the Pitcher and the Crown. He came to his special emphasis in ministry through his absolute Christ-centeredness in doctrine and experience.

Plagued by illness for much of his life since childhood, Simpson experienced divine healing after understanding it to be part of the blessing of abiding in Christ as Life and healing. He emphasized healing in his Four Fold Gospel and usually devoted one meeting a week for teaching, testimonies and prayer on these lines. Although such teaching isolated him (and the C&MA) from the mainline churches that either did not emphasize or outright rejected healing, Simpson's uncompromising trust in the Word and power of God kept him steadily forging ahead of his times without criticism or rancor with those who disagreed.

Simpson’s heart for evangelism was to become the driving force behind the creation of the C&MA. Initially, the Christian and Missionary Alliance was not founded as a denomination, but as an organized movement of world evangelism. Today, the C&MA plays a leadership role in global evangelism.

In his 1890 book, A Larger Christian Life, Simpson discussed his vision for the church:

He is showing us the plan for a Christian church that is much more than an association of congenial friends to listen once a week to an intellectual discourse and musical entertainment and carry on by proxy a mechanism of Christian work; but rather a church that can be at once the mother and home of every form of help and blessing which Jesus came to give to lost and suffering men, the birthplace and the home of souls, the fountain of healing and cleansing, the sheltering home for the orphan and distressed, the school for the culture and training of God's children, the armory where they are equipped for the battle of the Lord and the army which fights those battles in His name. Such a center of population in this sad and sinful world!

Simpson composed the lyrics of over 120 hymns, 77 of which appear in the C&MA's 1962 hymnal, Hymns of the Christian Life.

His missionary vision is illustrated by these words of his hymn, "The Missionary Cry":

The Master's coming draweth near.
The Son of Man will soon appear,
His Kingdom is at hand.
But ere that glorious day can be,
The Gospel of the Kingdom, we
Must preach in every land.

During the beginning of the twentieth century, Simpson became closely involved with the growing Pentecostal movement, an offshoot of the Holiness movement. It was common for Pentecostal pastors and missionaries to receive their training at the Missionary Training Institute, now Nyack College, Nyack, New York, that Simpson founded. Because of this, Simpson and the C&MA had a great influence on Pentecostalism, in particular the Assemblies of God and the Church of the Foursquare Gospel. This influence included evangelistic emphasis, C&MA doctrine (especially on healing and his articulation of a "fourfold gospel"), and Simpson's hymns and books.

There eventually developed a severe division within the C&MA organization over "the initial evidence doctrine" within Pentecostalism. While Simpson and the C&MA wholeheartedly embraced the Filling of the Holy Spirit and all the spiritual gifts, including tongues, they could not embrace the position that only tongues would be the initial evidence for that Baptism experience.

A number of C&MA churches bear Simpson's name, as does Simpson University in Redding, California, the Albert B. Simpson school in Lima, Peru and the A. B. Simpson Alliance School in Zamboanga City, Philippines. A.B. Simpson and his wife, Margaret, are buried on the Rockland County Campus of Nyack College in Nyack, New York.


Texts by Albert B. Simpson (131)sort iconAsInstances
A hundred thousand souls a dayAlbert B. Simpson (Author)8
Are you living for the coming of the LordA. B. S. (Author)2
Are you oppressed with the burden of sinA. B. S. (Author)3
Are you tempted, troubled or discouragedA. B. S. (Author)2
Art thou sunk in depths of sorrowAlbert B. Simpson (Author)9
As I sadly look around meAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
As the glorious orb of lightA. B. S. (Author)2
Blessed be the glorious tidingsAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
Bringt die Botschaft von dem HeileAlbert B. Simpson (Author)1
Come, blessed, holy, heavenly DoveAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
Crucified with Christ my SaviorA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Cruel was the cross where they nailed himA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Do you know the fellowship of Jesus?A. B. Simpson (Author)2
Do you know why I'm longing for the coming of the lordRev. A. B. Simpson (Author)2
Down by the house of the PotterA. B. S. (Author)2
Down in the valley midst lilies sweet scentedAlbert B. Simpson, 1843-1919 (Author)1
Ein Hilferuf ergebetAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Fainting in the desertAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Fainting soldier of the LordA. B. S. (Author)5
Go to all the world and preach the gospelA. B. S. (Author)3
God is love, O wondrous messageA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Gracious heavenly Father, hear thy people's cryAlbert B. Simpson (Author)5
How can your Father love youA. B. Simpson (Author)2
I am crucified with JesusAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
I am longing for the gathering of the ransomedAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
I am waiting for the coming of the bridegroomAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
I clasp the hand of love divineAlbert B. Simpson (Author)5
I have come to the Fountain of LifeAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
I have found a heaven belowRev. A. B. Simpson (Author)9
I have learned the wondrous secretAlbert B. Simpson (Author)25
I will say Yes to Jesus, Oft it was NoAlbert B. Simpson (Author)8
I'll sing of the wonderul promiseAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
I'm resting on the finished work of JesusA. B. S. (Author)2
In the secret of his presence Hast thou found this blest retreatA. B. S. (Author (chorus))1
Jesus, breathe thy spirit on meAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Jesus is able to save meA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Jesus is able to save you Though you have goneAlbert B. Simpson (Author)5
Jesus is coming again, they sayA. B. S. (Author)2
Jesus is standing in Pilate's hallAlbert B. Simpson (Author)8
Jesus only is our messageAlbert B. Simpson (Author)11
Kristus min konung 'r vordenAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Let us go and preach the gospelA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Like a golden censer glowingAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Lingering soul at mercy's gateAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
Looking for the coming of the masterA. B. S. (Author)2
Lord, thou hast given to me a trustA. B. S. (Author)7
Many an earthly friend may leave meA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exaltedAlbert B. Simpson (Author)32
O cease, my wandering soulA. B. S. (Adapter)1
O Christ, my Lord and KingAlbert B. Simpson (Author)5
O comforter, gentle and tenderAlbert B. Simpson (Author)5
O doubting, strugglingAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
O fire of God begin in meA. B. Simpson (Author)8
O how sweet the glorious messageAlbert B. Simpson, 1843-1919 (Author)27
O let us rejoice in the Lord evermoreA. B. S. (Author)2
O Love that gave itself for meAlbert B. Simpson (Author)5
O sinner, the Savior is calling The Spirit isAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
O sinner, the Savior is callingA. B. S. (Author)1
O souls that are seeking for pleasureA. B. Simpson (Author)6
O struggling, doubting ChristianAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
O thou, whose thoughts are brightest lightAlbert B. Simpson (Adapter)2
O troubled soul, beneath the rodA. B. S. (Author)2
O troubled soul, beneath thy rodAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
O what a wonderful place Jesus has given to me!Albert B. Simpson (Author)5
O wie suess mit Jesu wandelnAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Off the coast of AsiaA. B. S. (Author)2
Oft I hear a gentle whisper o'er me stealingAlbert B. Simpson (Author)8
Oft our trust has known betrayalAlbert B. Simpson (Author)1
Oft there comes a gentle whisper o'er meAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
Oft there comes a wondrous messageA. B. Simpson (Author)6
Once it was the blessingAlbert B. Simpson (Author)21
Once on earth he healed the sick and lameA. B. Simpson (Author)2
Redeem the time, for the days are evilA. B. Simpson (Author)5
Rise with thy risen LordAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Saving and serving our watchword shall beA. B. Simpson (Author)5
Search me, O God, search me and know my heartAlbert B. Simpson (Author)8
Send the gospel of salvationA. B. S. (Author)10
Sinner, would you know the heart of the FatherA. B. S. (Author)2
Soldiers of the heavenly legionRev. A. B. Simpson (Author)2
Some sweet morn the day will breakRev. A. B. Simpson (Author)13
Somebody chose the better partA. B. S. (Author)2
Star of hope for hearts forlornAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
Step by step, step by step, I would walkAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
Take thou the heart I can not giveA. B. S. (Adapter)1
Tell me not of earthly pleasures Tempt me not with sordid gainA. B. Simpson (Author)5
The days of heaven are peaceful daysAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
The joy of the Lord is the strength of his peopleAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
The Lord is leading forth his legionsA. B. Simpson (Author)2
The mercy of God is an ocean divineAlbert B. Simpson (Author)52
The wild wind swept the mountain heightA. B. S. (Adapter)1
There is a healing branch that growsAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
There is a healing branch that grows Where every bitter Marah flowsAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
There is a name to Jesus given And sweet the loveA. B. S. (Author)1
There is a name to Jesus given, His matchless loveAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
There is cleansing in JesusAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
There is cleansing in Jesus for guilt and for sinAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
There is mercy for the sinnerA. B. S. (Author)2
There is much I cannot understandA. B. S. (Author)2
There is one amid all changes who standeth ever fastAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
There shall be no more cryingAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
There's a battle raging in the heavenly placesA. B. S. (Author)7
There's a little secret worth its weight in goldA.B. Simpson (Author)3
There's a secret God has whisperedAlbert B. Simpson (Author)7
There's a song I love to singA. B. Simpson (Author)1
They are falling on the field of battleAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
They tell of the bliss of the ransomed aboveAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
This is my wonderful storyAlbert B. Simpson (Author)9
Though Christ a thousand times In Bethlehem be bornA. B. S. (Author (chorus))1
'Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus step by stepRev. A. B. Simpson (Author)19
To the regions beyond I must goAlbert B. Simpson (Author)27
To those that fear Jehovah's nameAlbert B. Simpson (Author)2
To those who fear Jehovah's nameAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
Traue ruhend deinem HeilandAlbert B. Simpson (Author)1
'Twas the promise of the Lord to his chosen raceA. B. S. (Author)2
We are going forth from the school of JesusAlbert B. Simpson (Author)4
We are waiting for the dawnA. B. Simpson (Author)3
We are waiting for the dayA. B. S. (Author)2
We are waiting for the Promise of the FatherA. B. Simpson (Author)3
We do not need at mercy's gateA. B. S. (Author)3
Weil ich auf Erden hier walleAlbert B. Simpson (Author)1
When Christ in my heart, in his fulness divineA. B. S. (Author)1
When Christ of old with healing powerAlbert B. Simpson (Author)3
When floods of sorrow o'er my soulA. B. S. (Author)2
When I shall reach my home in gloryA. B. S. (Author)3
When Jesus died on Calvary I too was thereA. B. S. (Author)2
When the Christ of oldA. B. S. (Author)2
When the clouds of sorrow o'er you rollAlbert B. Simpson (Author)1
Where shall we go when our spirit is sinkingA, B. Simpson (Author)2
Will you meet me in the airA. B. S. (Author)2
Would you be saved by the precious bloodA. B. S. (Author)2
Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the sameAlbert B. Simpson (Author)6