8. Fanny Crosby
Slide 8 of 20
Fanny Crosby, though totally blind, wrote more than 9,000 hymns, many of which are among the most popular in today’s church denominations. Concerned that her name would be too prevalent in the hymnals, she was forced to use multiple pen names instead.
Publisher and hymn writer William B. Bradbury was unhappy with the quality of many of the hymns that were submitted to him for publication. He heard of Fanny's talent, and after verifying her ability, promptly hired her to write hymns for his company, telling her, "While I have a publishing house, you will always have work!"
Fanny knew she needed God's help in this new endeavor, and once described her hymn writing process this way: "It may seem a little old-fashioned, always to begin one's work with prayer, but I never undertake a hymn without first asking the good Lord to be my inspiration." And God provided inspiration from all areas of Fanny's life. While passing by a prisoner, she heard the man cry, "O Lord, don't pass me by," which quickly became the hymn "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior." When her friend Howard Doan played a melody for her and said, "See if it says anything to you," her joyful reply was, "Why, that says, 'Safe in the arms of Jesus!'" Within a half an hour, she had finished the poem. Her most famous hymn, "Blessed Assurance," is a personal testimony of her salvation. (Christianity.com)