Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Victory in Jesus"


Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr.  is considered one of the founding fathers of Southern Gospel Music.  He was born on Christmas Eve in 1885 near Waynes­ville, Mis­sou­ri.  Bartlett relocated to Sebastian County, Arkansas with his parents. Bartlett dedicated his life to Jesus at an early age.  Bartlett at­tend­ed the Hall-Moody In­sti­tute in Mar­tin, Ten­nes­see, and William Jewell College, Li­ber­ty, Mis­sou­ri.   Bartlett lived in the south and enjoyed a reputation as a fine music teacher. Based in Arkansas, he traveled the entire southern portion of the country holding singing schools for anyone interested. These and similar schools trained aspiring musicians in vocal technique, sight reading, and conducting and were influential in the development of church music as a whole for much of the remainder of the century. 

Eugene M. Bartlett, Sr. meet and married Joan Tatum in 1917.  They were parents to two sons, Gene Bartlett, Jr., a nationally known writer of contemporary church music and Charles Bartlett Minister of Music in a large Texas church.

Eugene M. Bartlett, Sr. was a very successful business man, and decided to invest his money in which he founded the Hartford Music Company in Hartford, Arkansas sometime in 1918.  Within the first year of business he sold more than 15, 000 copies of his hymnbook.  Many writers, singers and musicians received their first opportunity in gospel music at Hartford Music Company including Albert E. Brumley who wrote "I'll Fly Away" and "Turn Your Radio On." Bartlett's mission was to publish hymns and teach singers to sight read.  He hired instructors to teach voice, piano, piano tuning, rudiments, harmony and stringed instruments.  He also was editor of the music magazine, Her­ald of Song. His son Eugene, Jr. was al­so a hym­nist and com­pos­er.  When he was not instructing, Bartlett was an avid composer of hymns and gospel songs.

Though almost all of his songs have sunk into oblivion among the Christian body today, "Victory In Jesus" remains one of the most popular and widely known songs of the church.   In 1939, a stroke rendered Bartlett partially paralyzed and unable to perform or travel.  He spent the last two years of his life bedridden.  Amid such bleak circumstances, he wrote his final and most beloved song, “Victory in Jesus,” an optimistic number that has been sung by millions in worship services and recorded by gospel’s biggest names.  The three verses and refrain enthusiastically tell of one's own personal salvation experience from beginning to end. It's said that Bartlett missed traveling and teaching, but he could still study the Bible, a study from which he gave us this wonderful song during a time when much of the earth sat on the brink of World War II.  The song first appeared that year in "Gospel Choruses," a paperback songbook published by James Vaughan in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
         
Only two years after his stroke, Bartlett died January 25, 1941.  He is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Siloam Springs in Benton County.  Throughout his 56 years of his life, Bartlett composed more than 800 songs. Since the early 1960s, "Victory in Jesus" has become popular among evangelical congregations, Quartets, and many hymnals have included it within their published pages.  Bartlett was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1973.

Victory in Jesus Lyrics

I heard an old, old story,
how a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary,
to save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
and won the victory.

Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever!
He sought me and bought me
with His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him,
and all my love is due Him-
He plunged me to victory
beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,
of His cleansing pow'r revealing,
How He made the lame
to walk again and caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,
come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came
and brought to me the victory.

Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever!
He sought me and bought me
with His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him,
and all my love is due Him-
He plunged me to victory
beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory,
And I heard about the streets of gold
beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing
and the old redemption story-
And some sweet day I'll sing up there
the song of victory.

Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever!
He sought me and bought me
with His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him,
and all my love is due Him-
He plunged me to victory
beneath the cleansing flood.

 

 
 Bill & Gloria Gaither performing Victory in Jesus
 

Other songs:
Everybody Will Be Hap­py Over There
Camping in Ca­naan’s Land
Just a Lit­tle While
 
sources: 
Find A Grave Memorial# 13737445
Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music edited by W. K. McNeil
Livros - 25 Most Treasured Gospel Hymn Stories - Kenneth W. Osbeck
Anderson p. 200
Baxter, pp. 82-84
Sing Unto the Lord p. 116

 

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