I Serve a Risen Savior

Full Text

1 I serve a risen Savior,
he's in the world today;
I know that he is living,
whatever others say;
I see his hand of mercy,
I hear his voice of cheer,
and just the time I need him
he's always near.

He lives, he lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
along life's narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart.

2 In all the world around me
I see his loving care,
and though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that he is leading
through all the stormy blast,
the day of his appearing
will come at last. [Refrain]

3 Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
lift up your voice and sing
eternal hallelujahs
to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek him,
the help of all who find,
no other is so loving,
so good and kind. [Refrain]

Source: Moravian Book of Worship #792

Author: A. H. Ackley

Alfred Henry Ackley was born 21 January 1887 in Spring Hill, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest son of Stanley Frank Ackley and the younger brother of B. D. Ackley. His father taught him music and he also studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Maryland and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1914. He served churches in Pennsylvania and California. He also worked with the Billy Sunday and Homer Rodeheaver evangelist team and for Homer Rodeheaver's publishing company. He wrote around 1500 hymns. He died 3 July 1960 in Los Angeles. Dianne Shapiro (from ackleygenealogy.com by Ed Ackley and Allen C. Ackley Go to person page >


Scripture References:
ref. = Luke 24:6

Written by Presbyterian minister Alfred H. Ackley (b. Spring Hill, PA, 1887; d. Whittier, CA, 1960), both text and tune were published in the Rodeheaver hymnal Triumphant Service Songs (1933). (Rodeheaver was a gospel song publisher.) As told by hymnal editor George Sanville, the following incident provided the spark for Ackley's inspiration: a young Jewish man asked evangelist/musician Ackley, "Why should I worship a dead Jew?" To which Ackley replied,

But Jesus lives! He lives! I tell you. He is not dead, but lives here and now. Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as by the testimony of countless thousands.

Sanville goes on to explain,

Mr. Ackley's forthright, emphatic answer, together with his subsequent triumphant effort to win the man for Christ, flowered forth into song and crystallized into a convincing sermon on "He lives!" . . . The scriptural evidence, his own heart, and the testimony of history matched the glorious experience of an innumerable cloud of witnesses that "He lives," so he sat down at the piano and voiced that conclusion in song.
-Forty Gospel Hymn Stories, 1943

Ackley wrote the words and/or tunes to at least a thousand gospel songs and hymns in collaboration with his brother Bentley. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he was an accomplished cellist. Ackley graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Maryland and served Presbyterian churches in California and Pennsylvania. In addition to writing his own hymns, he edited hymnals and gospel song¬books for the Rodeheaver Publishing Company.

Liturgical Use:
Easter; equally useful on many other occasions of worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Composed in gospel-song style, ACKLEY is supported by a simple harmonization intended for part singing. Some rubato may be observed in the refrain's final line. Observe two pulses per bar. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987

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Instances (24)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
African American Heritage Hymnal #275TextImage
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Baptist Hymnal 2008 #269TextImage
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Complete Mission Praise #295
Hymns of Faith #167TextImage
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #42TextImage
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #365TextImage
Moravian Book of Worship #792TextImage
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #550ImageAudio
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #405TextImageAudio
Rejoice Hymns #327
Rock of Ages A Worship and Songbook for Retirement Living #57
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #251
Sing Joyfully #285TextImage
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #31
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #368TextImage
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #253
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #220TextImage
The United Methodist Hymnal #310TextImage
The Worshiping Church #248TextImage
Worship and Rejoice #302TextImage