Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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Source: Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #348

Author: Thomas O. Chisholm

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960) was an American songwriter who wrote several prominent Christian hymns. Thomas O. Chisholm was born in Franklin, Kentucky on July 29, 1866 in a log cabin and became a teacher at age sixteen. Chisholm had a Christian conversion experience at age twenty-seven during a revival in Franklin led by Dr. Henry Clay Morrison. Chisholm served as a Methodist minister for one-year before resigning due to poor health. Chisholm wrote over 1,200 sacred poems over his lifetime, which appeared in many Christian periodicals, and he served as an editor of the Pentecostal Herald in Louisville for a period. In 1909 Chisholm began his career as a life insurance agent in Winona Lake and Vineland, New Jersey. In 1923 at age f… 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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