What A Friend We Have In Jesus
John Wilbur Chapman attended two Sunday schools each week in his hometown of Richmond, Indiana. He went to one church each Sunday morning, and in the afternoon he would go to Grace Methodist Episcopal Church. It was in the latter that he first publicly professed Christ as his Savior at age seventeen.
He went on to become an outstanding pastor, writer, hymnist, and denominational leader. But he is best remembered for his evangelism. Multitudes of people were converted in his crusades (with songleader Charles M. Alexander) in the United States, Canada, Hawaii, the Fiji Islands, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, the Philippines, China, Japan, Ceylon, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. It was in 1910 in the midst of his endeavors that he wrote the hymn “Our Great Savior,” celebrating the varied and wonderful roles Christ plays in our lives: “Jesus! What a friend of sinners . . . . Jesus! What a Strength in weakness . . . . Jesus! What a Help in Sorrow . . . . Jesus! What a Guide and Keeper . . . Hallelujah! What a Savior.”