Orr, James Edwin


b Belfast, N Ireland 1912, d Asheville, N Carolina, USA 1987. When just turned 21, he sailed from his native Ireland to begin what became a lifetime’s global evangelistic and teaching ministry. An early visit to New Zealand in 1936 prompted the hymn for which he is best known; 3 years later he was appointed Asst Pastor of The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada, being ordained in 1940 to the Baptist ministry in New Jersey, USA. He attended the Northwestern Univ (MA 1941) and the Northern Baptist Seminary (ThD 1943). He was a US Air Force chaplain in the SW Pacific 1942–46, followed by study at Oxford Univ (DPhil 1948). In 1967 after further travels he joined the faculty of the School of World Missions at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He became best known for his teaching on revival(s) and spiritual awakenings, historic and contemporary, continuing to write and speak widely on these themes. He was awarded honorary degrees in India and S Africa, and served on an international commission for the Baptist World Alliance. While leading a conference at the Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in April 1987 he suffered a fatal heart attack. His writings include 6 hymns, including the one chosen here, set to a Maori folk-tune. No.829.

Hymns and songs by Orr, James Edwin

Number Hymn Name
829 Search me, O God, and know my heart today