The author was a teacher and journalist before becoming a Methodist minister in Kentucky. His health was insufficient for the role, and he later worked as an insurance salesman. He wrote over a thousand hymns. In 1923 he sent this and other hymns to the composer. Runyan was an important composer of sacred music. At the age of twenty-one he entered the Methodist ministry, and worked as a pastor and then an evangelist. He also served on the editorial staff of the Moody Bible Institute that took this hymn as their unofficial anthem.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2004