Archive for the ‘ History Stories ’ Category

Sam Duncan


Well, this was a big surprise! In searching newspapers, we came across two articles by the same writer that expressed the proof that Sam was the actual composer for “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” It turns out that Anthony Showalter was the music teacher and Sam the student, so credit was never given properly.

To see the articles involved, use these links:

What makes this story even more interesting is that the same thing happened to my grandfather. He wrote the music to “Carry the Glad News,” but it was published by his music teacher, and credit never given to his students.

This is common practice to this day. Teachers regularly use their student’s work and never credit their students for the work they did. Yet, if the teacher were ever plagiarized, there is all kinds of stiff penalties! This is an area where inconsistencies will be held against the teachers in God’s day of judgment.

Showalter is credited for having written thousands of hymns, but the question is, how many did he actually write? Now it is true that the work of a student is the product of the teacher, because it has to meet the instructions and rules of harmony. However, it is still the work of the student, and the teacher was paid for the work. In essence the student should be able to retain title to his work and receive the credit due.

Having done a lot of living on college campuses, and knowing a lot of professors, I am not at all pleased with the pompous pride they carry around. Frankly, if they had to get real jobs, they would starve to death. It is a rare day to find a professor that actually knows what he is talking about and doing what he teaches. Most teach because they are incapable of doing the work. It used to be that students would go to the skilled experts of a craft, and learn from them, working with them and for them. They thus learned real skills. Nowadays, students go to a temple (institution) of “learning” to sit at the feet of the most incompetent among mankind. It is no wonder the students graduate and are completely incapable of doing anything more than toe kissing and paper pushing. True skills are not learned in a classroom, only theory and useless philosophies of useless people.

So another great hymn composer goes down in history as unknown and uncredited. What if Showalter is not in heaven at all? Did he later repent? His end of life looks pretty sad. Was this problem just the tip of the iceberg of sin in his life? How much did Sam grow not being credited? Did it cause him to really apply the message and lean on the arms of the Savior? Just think, if you love the Lord and seek to live a holy and separated live, you will get to ask such questions in heaven!

News section added


We are adding the news items to the directory pages, so website users can see the latest articles and changes. We hope this will make the website more useful for return users and let visitors see the site is in continual development. It will also save people from having to dig up the news system and go through it to find what they want. With our system is the automatic updates that a person can have emailed to them. Hopefully there will be more on that later.

So to start with we added the news setup on the main page. We are still wondering how much to include, so will be trying various things.

What we really want is to show the new history stories and hymn stories on their directory pages. So that will be straightforward.

Ok, we also worked on our Jerusalem date and time, changing our provider for that. We will also see how it does. So far either time service is slow and slows down the page quite a bit.

The links are as follows:

  1. Berean Bible Heritage Church main directory
  2. Hymn Stories
  3. History On This Day

Elisha Hoffman


Well, we just rewrote another set of articles and got them uploaded. We had some delays, since our website hosting company moved our server to another facility at the same time! But it looks like the big move is over, and our pages are now displaying again, just a lot faster than before!

Elisha Hoffman was quite a guy, and we hope we added a bit more detail than most have found. We also redid the graphic so that it is a bit more friendly to the eyes than before.

Along with him, was a couple hymns and their story. To see the new pages, use the following links:

Living for Jesus articles


We had started the conversion of this article some time ago, but could not find much on the writer of the music, Harold Lowden.

We worked on the project again today, and found a little more to add, but still it is hard to find anything on this man!

This concludes the work on this hymn so to see the links to the authors and the information about the hymn use the following link:

Living for Jesus hymn information.

A Shelter in the Time of Storm


This was a fun hymn story to work on, since it was written by a Baptist and because the music is fun to sing. The song is peppy and uplifting in spirit.

The writer happens to be the headmaster of the Spurgeon Stockwell orphanage. This was a large set of homes that became their own district in England! The goal was at first to provide a Christian school for children, but when Spurgeon got a large endowment to start an orphanage, it was used to build a row of houses for boys.

Vernon Charlesworth was a Baptist minister and school headmaster at his church, so he was soon recruited to head up the project. The orphanage took off like wildfire. Soon there was a row of houses for girl orphans across the street from the boys homes.

The unique purpose of the homes was to give orphans a family like setting and to provide for children of all faiths and backgrounds, offering them free housing, food, education and care. They tried to dress the children differently, but this proved more difficult than it was seemed.

What made this orphanage unique was that orphans were normally sent to “poor houses.” These were very inadequate warehouses where the children were employed in hard labor to fund their room and board. But food was scarce in such places, and the “bosses” were very abusive and cruel.

Spurgeon’s homes were designed to provide the children a good education, healthy food, and parental love and discipline. They also did not limit the kinds of children they would take in to help. They tried to accept all that applied.

At any rate, the hymn came from this busy Baptist minister and head master, and it quickly became popular particularly among the fishermen who had to face frequent and cruel storms off the northern shores of England.

Ira Sankey found the poem, but did not like the difficult to sing tune that was being used. So he wrote some easy rhythmic music to go with the words and modified the words a bit and added a chorus.

That hymn spread quickly world-wide and is a favorite for young and old and those who never face the rough seas, but do face the storms of daily living.

Take a moment to learn more about the authors of this hymn and the hymn itself! Use the following link:

A Shelter in the Time of Storm.

Does Jesus Care articles


Praise the Lord! We just finished another triplet of articles that center around the hymn “Does Jesus Care?” They are an attempt to update and dramatically improve the original article on that hymn.

The writer of the hymn, Frank Graeff, wrote the words the time when he was sorely depressed. It seems that the writer that originally mentioned this condition, made it sound like a one-time event. Subsequent writers seem to dwell on this condition and make him sound bipolar.

It is very possible that Frank Graeff did not have a bipolar personality, but all the talk about how cheerful he was would indicate that he would have been a very emotionally driven person and one prone to severe highs and lows in his feelings.

It is interesting that the Wesley brothers had the same problem, and that Frank was part of their movement. Unfortunately when we rely on our feelings about our salvation, we are right where the devil wants us. Those who are very soulful, and very weak spiritually, are prone to such attacks. Both charismatic and Pentecostal industry is based on this emotional roller coaster. People frankly become exhausted all the highs and lows and quite often escape the church scene to try to level out emotionally. The great cost times because the weight this emotionalism with being Christian, and so those who would seek to reach them from Scripture find process very difficult.

Whether not Frank was actually bipolar is something that is too late to determine. But he was a Methodist minister and so part of this emotional connection for his salvation, would indicate that he indeed would have been driven to a bipolar mental state. Add circumstantial trauma and an exhausted physical body into the mix, and yes, you have the recipe for a mental illness.

It is true that Christians need to be assured their salvation, and the fact that Jesus Christ cares for them. This hymn has been able to reach and fulfill that need for so many people. It is sad to realize how many people are caught in this emotion and as a result need the words of this hymn.

The hymn is built around the phrase from first Peter that states that “He careth for you.” The context of the verse is about how the Christian needs to behave, and to be able to achieve this spiritual life, he must cast his burdens onto his Savior, because our Savior does care for his sheep.

You can probably tell that I find the hymn very boring, and it had difficulty in leading it when we sing it. The music was designed for the poem, and it was done prayerfully, but it was also written by a Methodist too! I have a hard time with it because to me the tune is more of the lilting dance number that is hard to get a good tempo and feeling for the words. I much prefer him instead originate from the Psalter and age-old tunes to go with them. They have more of a staunch firm and solid message as well as very old solid tunes that go with the words. So instead of trying to generate an extremely soul-ish emotion, a very spiritual and godlike nature comes from just singing the Psalter pieces.

Would it not be better to sing “That man hath perfect blessedness, who walketh not to astray, in council of ungodly men, nor stands in sinners’ way.” That one verse says it all. If you want to experience spiritual blessing, you have to separate yourself from the ungodly and from sinners. You also have to abide by the holy and true gospel of God, and to not stray into philosophies in vain deceits. A good place to start is in how you dress. If you are here to simply impress people, and so use makeup and wearing modest clothing, you are not impressing anyone. You are proving that you are worldly and vain in your imaginations and quite corrupt in your thinking. If you are feeling lonely, depressed, in need of a “pick me up,” then frankly you need to separate from the world and draw closer to the Savior. Yes, He does care about you, but if you are going to resist His words and His instruction as printed in his Holy Book, there is not much He can do to bring real blessing into your life. You are simply going to have to comfort yourself, and bring solace to yourself by chanting some lilting hymns like “Does Jesus Care?”

Okay now for the facts about the hymn, please use the following links:

  1. Frank E. Graeff
  2. J. Lincoln Hall
  3. Does Jesus Care?

Hymn Story and History Additions


I keep forgetting to make these announcements! Last weekend and the weekend before that, we got several more articles rewritten and moved to the Berean Bible Heritage Church website. They are listed below with links to the them:

1.       I Sing the Mighty Power of God

2.       Ralph Williams

3.       William How

4.       For All the Saints

5.       I Need Thee Every Hour

6.       Annie Hawks

Theodore Dubois


What a sad story. This man wanted to be anything but what God seemed to have for him. He was good at one thing and that was harmony and music, but he looked for worldly fame in the opera and in secular music, rather than in God’s house. Yes, he was a great organist, but if he had not written The Seven Last Words of Christ, frankly, he would have lapsed into complete obscurity along with all the other nominal Christians of the world. Frankly, his one “great” work was simply done to fulfill his obligation as a paid organist and music director, something he apparently did not relish that much.

What does that say about us? Do we also seek worldly fame and recognition? Are we working very hard for that which amounts to nothing in the end? Are we going to leave this earth with nothing to show for the life God gave us but a pile of worthless attempts at getting what is not ours to get? When it is all said and done, is there proof we did seek to follow the Lord and give up this world at all?

As I write this, family and friends all around the world have been partying and celebrating a most wicked and godless Winter Solstice, otherwise generally called Christmas, to try to “Christianize” the whole evil day. What is Biblical about dragging a tree into your house and putting all kinds of lights and stuff on it? God’s Word specifically condemns it as blatant Idolatry. What is so wonderful about giving gifts to each other on this most evil day? God mentions that too as being idolatrous. God instructs His people to celebrate Passover week and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are times to thank Him for what He has done during crucial times of the year, when we need to remember how God has blessed us and need to come to God to seek his blessing for the next season. Christmas is frankly a heathen day where the world seeks to make money one last time during their calendar year (which is very different from Gods!).

Did we make a big fuss over proving our heathen natures by celebrating the month of Christmas or did we seek to save that which was lost? Maybe we need to seek God’s salvation for our souls first, so He can fill us and show us our purpose in life.

To see the little we could find on Theodore Dubois, use this link: Theodore Dubois.

George Stebbins


George Stebbins was a well educated music director, and served faithfully in several Baptist Churches before being “found” and compelled to join in world evangelism meetings as the song leader and music director. He rose to the heights of being the most renowned song leader of his day. He also helped compile several hymn books due to popular demand for the music and words to the songs he taught at evangelistic meetings.

To read more of this great man and to see a portrait of him, use the following link: George Stebbins.

William Longstaff


William Longstaff was just a simple rich man who lived in England and quietly went about his business, seeking to use his wealth for good causes. Then one day he heard a message about living a holy life at his church. He really thought about it, and make some conclusions in his life about what it means to be holy. Later, he was at a Keswick Conference, and heard a message that made another impact: We must make time to be holy. He took his notes and changed those words around to “Take time to be Holy.” From there he started thinking about what that meant and so began to write a poem about the topic.

One thing led to another and after several years, a tune was written for the poem, and the song became a popular hymn used throughout the world, by those seeking to grow spiritually. Had not this quiet faithful church member not written the poem, we would not know anything about him today! His own self-determination to make time each day for devotions and holy living soon became the song of people the world over.

To see more about this man, use the following link: William Longstaff.