I Surrender All

GodTube Staff I Surrender All
"I Surrender All" is a Christian hymn, with words written by American art teacher and musician Judson W. Van DeVenter, who subsequently became a music minister and evangelist. It was put to music by Winfield S. Weeden, and published in 1896.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
In his presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
(Refrain)

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that thou art mine.
(Refrain)

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to thee,
Fill me with thy love and power,
Let thy blessing fall on me.
(Refrain)

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!
(Refrain)

Songwriters Judson Van DeVente Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind I Surrender All

Judson Van DeVenter was born on a farm in Michigan in 1855. Following graduation from Hillsdale College, he became an art teacher and supervisor of art in the public schools of Sharon, Pennsylvania. He was, in addition, an accomplished musician, singer, and composer. Van DeVenter was also an active layman in his Methodist Episcopal Church, involved in the church's evangelistic meetings. Recognizing his talent for the ministry, friends urged him to give up teaching and become an evangelist. Van DeVenter wavered for five years between becoming a recognized artist or devoting himself to ministry. Finally, he surrendered his life to Christian service and wrote the text of the hymn while conducting a meeting at the Ohio home of noted evangelist George Sebring

Following his decision to surrender his life to the Divine, Van DeVenter traveled throughout the United States, England, and Scotland, doing evangelistic work. Winfield S. Weeden, his associate and singer, assisted him for many years. Toward the end of his life, Van DeVenter moved to Florida and was a professor of hymnology at the Florida Bible Institute for four years in the 1920s.  After his retirement, he remained involved in speaking and in religious gatherings.  Van DeVenter published more than 60 hymns in his lifetime, but "I Surrender All" is his most famous.

"I Surrender All" was put to music by Weeden, and first published in 1896 in Gospel Songs of Grace and Glory, a collection of old and new hymns by various hymnists, compiled by Weeden, Van DeVenter, and Leonard Weaver, and published by Sebring Publishing Co.  Weeden, born in Ohio in 1847, taught in singing schools prior to becoming an evangelist and was a noted song leader and vocalist.  His tombstone is inscribed with the title of this hymn, "I Surrender All".


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