Hymn #436: God of Grace and God of Glory

Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) wrote this stirring hymn in 1930 while vacationing at his home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  It was sung at the opening service of Riverside Church in New York City on October 5, 1930, and also for the church’s dedication on February 8, 1931.

Harry Emerson Fosdick, an American Baptist minister, was one of the most influential preachers of his time. Through his seminary teaching and writing, he touched generations of Christians with his social gospel message. Fosdick was the founding minister of Riverside Church in New York.

John Hughes (1873-1932) composed the tune CWM RHONDDA for a Gymanfa Ganu (a Baptist song gathering). The title refers to an area of Wales. Cwm means valley, and Rhondda is a river. Fosdick’s original tune choice for this text was REGENT SQUARE.

John Hughes was an active church layman at Salem Baptist Church in Llantuit Fardre, Wales. He composed music as an avocation, writing many hymns that are easily identified by their Welsh titles. In addition, Hughes wrote Sunday-school marches and two anthems.