Sunday, June 09, 2019

O Glorious Love!

John W. Peterson wrote (or copyrighted) O Glorious Love in 1970.

In stanza one Peterson attributes salvation to Jesus, in the expressions of being found in darkness and given sight, as well as being found in chains and given freedom.

1. In my darkness Jesus found me,
Touched my eyes and made me see.
Broke sin’s chains that long had bound me.
Gave me life and liberty.

Peterson sees this salvation by the friend of sinners as a wonder, “an amazing truth to ponder.”

2. Oh, amazing truth to ponder,
He whom angel hosts attend.
Lord of heaven, God’s Son, what wonder!
He became the sinner’s friend.

The chorus builds on the theme. His love is glorious in salvation, and full reason for the believer to praise him both now and forever!

O glorious love of Christ my Lord divine.
That made Him stoop to save a soul like mine.
Through all my days and then in heaven above,
My song will silence never, I’ll worship Him forever,
And praise Him for His glorious love!

John W. Peterson [i] was born November 1, 1921 in Lindsborg, McPherson County, Kansas, the son of Peter Ephraim Peterson and Mary Adeline Nelson. During World War II, he served as an Army Air Force transport pilot. He married Marie Addis in February 1944. After the war, he attended the Moody Bible Institute. He graduated from the American Conservatory of Music at Chicago in 1953, and then moved to Pennsylvania to work for Singspiration. Peterson would later serve 10 years as its president, before moving to Arizona, founding first Good Life Productions and then later John W. Peterson Music Company.

Peterson is reported to have written over 1000 gospel songs during his musical career, including Heaven Came Down (1961), It Took a Miracle (1948), and Surely Goodness and Mercy (1958). The National Evangelical Film Foundation presented him their Sacred Music Award in 1967. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1986. John W. Peterson succumbed to a battle with cancer on September 20, 2006 in Scottsdale, Arizona. At the time of his death he had been a member of Scottsdale Bible Church for 34 years. He is buried at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona.

Greater details of his life may be found in The Miracle Goes On: An Autobiography (with Richard Engquist, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976)

Two recordings on YouTube:

[i] His Find-A-Grave memorial gives the middle name as “Wright” but the Social Security Applications and Claims Index and World War II Draft Card have “Willard” – at least according to

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