At the age of twenty- five he left his home and traveled to New Hope, Ontario ,Canada where he was employed as a family tutor. Within ten years he was again engaged to be married but more grief entered his life. His fiancee died of pneumonia before their wedding.

For the rest of his life he remained in his new homeland and was a beloved neighbor to all.

He helped many people with their chores and worked where needed often without pay. The healing in his own life resulted in a comforting and caring support for others.

A friend was visiting one day in his home and spotted a tattered paper on a table. The words that were written brought tears to his eyes. The first line, "What a Friend we have in Jesus," was followed by more words that expressed God’s great love and compassion. The man asked Joseph Scriven where it came from. The reply was that he wrote it for his mother who was very ill in Ireland. And then the humble author said, "The Lord and I did it between us."

"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear,

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

Oh what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear.

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

Each thought in this hymn is evidence to the faith of a quiet Christian man who lived his life as one great sermon. He overcame many disappointments, but with new beginnings and eternal friendship with his Lord Jesus.

These simple and powerful words inspired composer Charles Converse in 1868 to write the soothing tune that carries it to the hearts of millions. When I sing it, my heart says: all is right with the world because Jesus is my best Friend.

Thank you, oh God, for Your intimate power of love. My life overflows with thanksgiving.

In Jesus’ precious name. Amen

Lucy Neeley Adams has always loved music. She began telling the story of hymns on Christian radio WWGM in Nashville, TN, in the '80s. She then wrote a newspaper column titled "Song Stories" for five years. During that time Lucy's book, 52 Hymn Story Devotions, was published by Abingdon Press in Nashville. Each of the 52 stories contained in the book is written in a devotional format, with the words of the hymn concluding each devotion. Lucy, dubbed "The hymn lady," can be heard on the first Thursday of each month when she discusses hymn stories during a telephone interview with Michelle Mendoza of "Living Christian." The program is aired on station KCIS in Seattle, WA. Lucy lives at Lake Junaluska, NC, with her minister husband, Woody. They have four children and fourteen grandchildren. She may be reached for comment at Visit her at