The Stories Behind the Hymns

Posted on August 15, 2022 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters

Yesterday our team did an off-campus Hymn Sing in Ocean Grove, NJ at the Tabernacle next to the Great Auditorium.

Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 as an outgrowth of the camp meeting movement in the United States, when a group of Methodist clergymen, led by William B. Osborn and Ellwood H. Stokes, formed the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association to develop and operate a summer camp meeting site on the New Jersey seashore.

It was founded 55 years before our first conference weeks at America’s Keswick and 28 years before the founding of the Colony of Mercy. There are a number of “Campmeetings” in the state of New Jersey, but Ocean Grove is still the largest and most active.

Many great preachers from around the world have spoken in the Great Auditorium, which now seats 6500. Years ago, Dr. Billy Graham spoke there when 10,000 were present for that historic event.

Many of our most loved hymns have roots in Ocean Grove, either in text or because the composers had a connection in Ocean Grove.

Pastor Charles Chisholm wrote 1200 hymns, including Great Is Thy Faithfulness and Living For Jesus. At the end of his pastoral ministry, he retired to Ocean Grove and was a resident there when the Lord called him home.

Blind hymn-writer, Fanny Crosby, who wrote over 8000 hymns, frequented Ocean Grove and vacationed in one of the infamous tents.

Eliza Hewitt, a Philadelphia resident and member of Olivet Covenant Church, wrote hundreds of hymns, including When We All Get to Heaven. Eliza who wrote the words to the hymn, and Emily Wilson, who wrote the music, were often in Ocean Grove and would sing with the thousands of other believers in the Great Auditorium. It is said that the line in the hymn, “While we walk the pilgrim pathway” was in reference to one of the main streets surrounding the Great Auditorium.

In addition to “There is Sunshine in My Soul Today,” “Stepping in the Light,” and “More About Jesus,” she wrote “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”:


My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.


My heart is leaning on the Word,
The written Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s name,
Salvation through His blood.


I love the stories behind the hymns. Check out “Be Still My Soul – The Inspiring Stories Behind 175 of the Most-Loved Hymns” by Randy Peterson. You can order it on

Have a great Monday.

Undivided: By Christ, In Christ, For Christ

Bill Welte, President/CEO
America’s Keswick


Written by Bill Welte: President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

Think About This: “Mercy and justice are irreconcilable except in Christ, in whom mercy is exercised consistently with justice… the acquittal of the believer in that day will be as just as the condemnation of the sinner… He calls them righteous because they are really so in Christ Jesus.” – Robert Haldane

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 103-104Romans 14| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” –Proverbs 9:10

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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