Thomas Chisholm Fragile Poet

This is the day that … Thomas Obadiah Chisholm was born, in a log cabin in Kentucky, USA, in 1866.

Largely self educated, young Tom found himself at age 16 as the schoolteacher in the same country schoolhouse he had attended. Then at the age of 21 he became associate editor of a weekly newspaper.

And it also was around this time when he responded to the claims of Christ, under the old-fashioned gospel preaching of Dr Henry Clay Morrison, one of America’s outstanding evangelists.

Chisholm moved to Louisville to become Morrison’s office manager and editor for the publication the Pentecostal Herald. Chisholm was later ordained to the Methodist ministry, but could not maintain his post due to poor health, which had troubled his whole life.

In Louisville he sold insurance, married – and began writing religious verse.

In the following 30 years 1,200 hymns came from his pen. Many were set to music and sung in the great Billy Sunday revival meetings across America, including –
Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Trying to please Him in all that I do …

And perhaps the best-loved of all is that well-known hymn based on Lamentations 3:22-23 :
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee …

Thomas O. Chisholm passed to his reward in New Jersey, 1 March, 1960 at 93 years of age.

This post is based on the work of my late friend Donald Prout whose love for books and Christian history led him to collate a daily Christian calendar. I continue to work with Don’s wife, Barbara, to share his life work with the world. I have updated some of these historical posts and will hopefully draw from Don’s huge files of clippings to continue this series beyond Don’s original work. More of Don’s work can be found at