Sunday, October 20, 2013

Face to Face with Christ my Savior

In the June 2013 issue of Turning Point magazine, Pastor David Jeremiah relays a story about pastor and author Robert J Morgan’s visit to Vietnam. During the trip, Pastor Morgan met a local elderly pastor who had been previously imprisoned for his faith. When asked how the pastor endured those many years of hardship, he stated “My two 333's got me through”.

He then explained that the first 333 was Jeremiah 33:3, in which God promises “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (NKJV). The other comfort was song number 333 in the Vietnamese hymnbook. The elderly pastor didn’t know the English title so he began singing it in his native language. Pastor Morgan immediately recognized the tune as “Face to face with Christ my Savior” written in 1898 by Carrie Elizabeth Ellis Breck (1855-1934).

As told in Pastor Morgan’s book, Then Sings My Soul - Volume 1, the tune that he recognized was originally meant for another hymn. Its composer was Grant Colfax Tullar who was named after Ulysses S Grant and Schuyler Colfac, the president and vice-president of the US in the year of Tullar’s birth (1869). Years later, Grant was leading the music at a revival in Rutherford NJ. One afternoon, he sat down at the piano in the local pastor’s house and penned a song and music, “All for me the Savior suffered; All for me He bled and died.” The local pastor, Rev Charles Mead reportedly sang the song at the evening service. Due to the events of the following morning however, “All of Me” would never be published.

Read the entire Face to Face with Christ my Savior article, including the hymn's lyrics.

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