Hymn #267: Come, O Spirit, Dwell among Us

Janie Alford (1887-1986) wrote this text in 1979 when she was ninety-two years old, although she had written poetry all her life.  Hal Hopson encouraged Alford to write hymns based on the seasons of the church year.  This hymn was included in Nine Hymns for the Church Year in response to that request.

Janie Alford was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and worked for over forty years as a medical secretary.  She briefly studied library science in college and helped start the library at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, where she was a charter member.  She died in 1986 at the age of ninety-nine.

Thomas John Williams (1869-1944) included this melody as part of an anthem he composed around 1890, “Golen yn y glyn” (“Light in the Valley”).  Called EBENEZER for a chapel he attended, the tune is alternately known as TON-Y-BOTEL (Welsh for “tone in a bottle”), after a fanciful but untrue story that it washed ashore in a bottle.

Thomas J. Williams was born in the Swansea Valley, Glamorganshire, Wales, in 1869.  He was a student of David Evans and served as organist at two churches in Llanelly, Wales, beginning in 1913 and continuing until his death in 1944.  Williams composed a number of anthems for church choirs.