Chisholm, Thomas Obadiah
b Franklin, rural Kentucky, USA 1866; d Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA 1960. Raised on a small farm and educated in a small country school, at 16 he became a rural schoolteacher and at 21 the editor of a weekly paper The Franklin Favourite. Some of his many verses were published in The Louisville Courier- journal. At 27, while on a reporting assignment, he heard the evangelist Henry Clay Morrison (who founded the Methodist Asbury Coll), and soon became a converted Christian. Morrison persuaded him to move to Louisville, where he edited the Pentecostal Herald ; he was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1903. A short ministry at Scottsville, Kentucky, was dogged by ill health; with his family he then moved to Winona Lake, Indiana, and became an insurance salesman. In 1916 he moved again, to Vineland, New York, which is sometimes given as the place of his death, but in 1953, aged 87, he retired to a Methodist care home in Ocean Grove, where he lived for a further 7 years. He wrote some 1200 hymns, one of which became known world-wide and is found in most English-language evangelical books and some others. The N American Hymns for the Living Church (1974) also included 3 more of his texts. He strongly disliked his middle name, so that in many earlier books it is represented only by the initial ‘O’. No.258.