Birth Of a Hymn

Book cover
Book cover

The Birth of a Hymn is a fascinating look at the spiritual journeys of 20 hymn writers. Drawing on careful, insightful research, Dr. Keith Schwanz gives us glimpses into their lives, their thoughts, and the experiences that shaped their hymns. Included are contemporary writers like Gloria Gaither and George Beverly Shea, as well as voices from the past like Fanny Crosby and Haldor Lillenas. All were chosen for their association with the American Holiness Movement, a little researched portion of our hymnology.


The Birth of a Hymn effectively connects gospel songs to the faith experience and spiritual growth of their authors. The book is scholarly, yet warm and readable; I was informed, but also inspired by the stories.

Clair Allen Budd, professor, Asbury College


The Birth of a Hymn should be on the must-read list of every worship leader. It provides a much-needed glimpse of the passion and fervor of our best hymn writers. Reading such well-researched stories of these cherished hymns makes me want to sing them over again.

Harlan Moore, minister of music, San Diego, California

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