Great is Thy Faithfulness

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm was born in a log cabin on July 29, 1866, in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky. At age 16, Chisholm’s career began in the same small country school house he had elementary training. He did not undergo high school or further training. At 21, he became the associate editor of his home town weekly newspaper, The Franklin Favorite.

Chisholm had a conversion experience at the age of 27, during a revival meeting conducted in his hometown by Dr. H. C. Morrison. At Dr. Morrison’s invitation Chisholm moved to Louisville to become office editor and business manager of Morrison’s publication, the Pentecostal Herald. Later he was ordained a Methodist minister but had only a year of pastoral work due to failing health. After 1909 he became a life insurance agent in Winona Lake and later in Vineland, New Jersey.

In a heart-uplifting letter dated 1941, Thomas O. Chisholm wrote that although his income has not been enough due to his impaired health, he must record the unfailing faithfulness of God for the “wonderful displays of His providing care” and for which he is “filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

In 1923 Thomas Chisholm sent several of his poems to the Rev. W. M. Runyan, a musician associated with the Moody Bible Institute and an editor with the Hope Publishing Company.

Thomas Chisholm wrote more than 1200 poems, many of these have become prominent hymn texts, but ‘Great is thy Faithfulness’ remains his most famous.

A link to a performance of the hymn is below. The lyrics of the hymn come from the book of Lamentations, chapter 3. One of the few times in the church cycle of readings, this coming Sunday, June 28, we are assigned Lamentations 3:22-33.

(biography of Chisholm provided by, copyright Tel Asiado)