Jesus, I Come

Jesus, I Come (iTunes)
Words by William Sleeper, Music by Greg Thompson
From the album For All the Saints: Indelible Grace III (Indelible Grace Music)

William Sleeper (1819-1904) was a native New Englander, born in Danbury, New Hampshire. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, The University of Vermont, and Andover Theological Seminary. Sleeper pastored churches in Maine and Massachusetts, spending 30 years of his career at Summer Street Congregational Church in Worcester. This week's hymn, originally known by the first line, "Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night," was published in 1887. The text acknowledges the depths from which we came and looks to Jesus as the true source of "freedom, gladness, and light." 

The tune we sing was written by Greg Thompson, who began his pastoral career working for Reformed University Fellowship and now serves the congregation of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA.


My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less (iTunes)
Words by Edward Mote, Music by William Bradbury
From the album Waves of Grace (Grace Community Church)

Edward Mote (1797-1874) worked as a cabinet maker in London before entering the ministry and serving at Rehoboth Baptist Church for the rest of his career.  As Mote told the story, he came up with the text while walking to work one morning in 1834. The following Sunday, he visited a friend's wife who was very sick. When they wanted to sing a hymn with her and had no hymnal, Mote pulled out his recently-composed verses, which they sang together. The sick woman so appreciated the text that she asked for a copy. Mote sent his hymn for publication shortly thereafter. The text is considered a "gospel hymn," with the first verse proclaiming God's grace, the middle verses applying God's grace in troubled times, and the last verse stating the final realization of God's grace.

William Bradbury (1816-1868), a native New Englander, was an organist, teacher and composer. He and his brother, Edward, started the Bradbury Piano Company in New York City. He wrote the tune, "The Solid Rock," for Mote's text, as well as the melodies for "Jesus Loves Me," "Just As I Am," and other well-known hymns.