I Will Sing the Wondrous Story


I will sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me –
How He left His Home in Glory,
For the cross on Calvary.

Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me;
Sing it with the saints in Glory,
Gathered by the crystal sea.

I was lost, but Jesus found me,
Found the sheep that went astray,
Threw His loving arms around me,
Drew me back into His way.

I was bruised, but Jesus healed me;
Faint was I from many a fall;
Sight was gone and fears possessed me,
But He freed me from them all.

Days of darkness still come o’er me;
Sorrow’s path I often tread,
But the Saviour still is with me –
By His hand I’m safely led.

Francis Rowley
“Sing of your Redeemer – and be kind to His creatures!” That was the unusual motto of Francis Rowley, a pastor and animal lover. He was born in Hilton, New York in 1854, and by age 24 was an ordained pastor, looking after churches in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Illinois, at various times. During Rowley’s ministry in North Adams, Massachusetts, a young Swiss musician named Peter Billhorn approached him to suggest Rowley write a hymn for which he, Billhorn, would compose music.This was done so quickly that the song was used the following evening in a revival meeting. Rowley said that it “came to me without any particular effort on my part.”

Peter Billhorn

In 1910, Francis Rowley left the pastorate and followed his other passion – animal welfare, becoming president of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He held that position until the age of ninety-one, but still worked on as chairman of the board! Rowley’s work led to the purchase of the first motorized horse ambulance, as well as the establishment of a permanent animal shelter to care for retired police horses. He also helped set up the first “Be Kind to Animals” week in the U.S., and led in the formation of a club to encourage young people to protect animals, called The Jack London Club . Truly, Francis Rowley believed in doing his part to help God the Creator to care for His creatures.

S.A.SONG BOOK, 1987 EDITION, # 337; 2015 EDITION, #855

Which of these three very different versions do you prefer?

Robin Mark

Sandi Patti


Mennoite Choir

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