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William James Kirkpatrick was born in 1838 to a musical family. In 1854 he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to study music and carpentry. During the Civil War, he served as a fife major with the 91st Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. Following the war he was connected with the furniture industry, but at the death of his first wife he left that occupation and devoted himself entirely to his music ministry.
He was affiliated with the Wharton Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. As there were few church organs at that time, his violin and cello were in demand for choir rehearsal, singing societies and church programs. He also conducted music at camp meetings and musical conventions.
He published his first collection, Devotional Melodies (1859), at the age of 21. He went on to compile about 100 books. He wrote the music to many gospel songs. After his death, his second wife assigned the rights to 1049 of his hymns to Hope Publishing Co, which was only part his total output. Other works he published were: The Wells of Salvation: Songs for the Sabbath School (1881), Winning Songs (1892), Songs of Love and Praise, No. 3 (1896), and Glorious Praise, (1904).
|A Wonderful Savior Is Jesus My Lord||175|
|Away In a Manger||205||149|
|Hallelujah Praise Jehovah||110|
|I Am Not Skilled to Understand||459||480|
|Jesus Saves (We Have Heard the Joyful Sound)||448||728|
|Lead Me to Calvary||211|
|My Faith Has Found a Resting Place||468||495|
|'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus||679||520|