In the late 1960s, Bill and Gloria Gaither, already well-known Christian musicians, were dealing with many personal struggles. Bill was recovering from mononucleosis, the couple had been accused of using their ministry to turn a profit and the family had been devastated by Bill's sister's divorce. Gloria was expecting her third child, but the couple was saddened by the thought of bringing another child into a world filled with racial tension, drug abuse and negative attitudes toward Christianity. After a friend prayed for the couple, they were both overcome with affirmation of Jesus' ressurection and assurance that God would take care of them. Inspired by the birth of healthy son Benjamin in 1970, the Gaithers wrote 'Because He Lives.'
What a friend we have in Jesus
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn. The hymn also has many versions with different lyrics in multiple languages, such as the Japanese version "Itsukushimi Fukaki" (いつくしみ深き, "Itsukushimi Fukaki"? lit. "Deep Affection"), or a version sung during World War I with the line "When this bloody war is over" in place of the original title.
Just as I am
Charlotte Elliot wrote this song about how to find salvation through Christ. It has been used by many as the call to the altar at the close of services, as it brings a quiet simple message of sin, forgiveness, and salvation to all that listen. Just as I am
An elderly man asked Charlotte Elliott if she were a Christian; she felt insulted, and told him to mind his own affairs. But after the man left, she could not get the question off her mind, and she went back to ask the man how to find Christ. He told her to come just as she was. She did, and wrote the beautiful song, "Just As I Am." - By B. A. Scherr