Scripture Verse

Whoever serves Me must follow Me. John 12:26

Introduction

portrait
Frank C. Huston
1871–1959

Words & Mu­sic: Frank C. Hus­ton, 1909 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Hus­ton, would you ?

Introduction

It was in Ap­ril of 1909, while Frank was di­rect­ing the mu­sic for Ev­an­gel­ist W. S. Bu­chan­an in a ser­ies of ser­vic­es be­ing held in Pro­vi­dence Chris­tian Church, Scran­ton, Penn­syl­van­ia, that he was in­spired to write the mu­sic of It Pays to Serve Je­sus, one of his fin­est gos­pel hymns.

His hosts dur­ing the Scran­ton en­gage­ment were Mr. and Mrs. Gwyl­ym Ed­wards, choir di­rect­or and church or­gan­ist re­spec­tive­ly of the Pro­vi­dence con­gre­ga­tion.

One day while Frank was mus­ing at the key­board of the Ed­wards’ pi­a­no, a me­lo­dy sud­den­ly came to him which he de­cid­ed was worth sav­ing. So he quick­ly wrote it down on a piece of mu­sic pa­per which he usu­al­ly car­ried around in his pock­et for just such emer­gen­cies, and prompt­ly for­got all about it.

Returning to his home in In­di­an­a­po­lis [In­di­a­na] af­ter the Penn­syl­van­ia meet­ing for a pe­ri­od of rest and fel­low­ship with his fa­mi­ly, he brought his new tune with him.

A few days lat­er he paid a v­isit to an eigh­ty-two year old friend, M. E. Mick, a de­vout mem­ber of the Me­ri­di­an Street Me­tho­dist Church of that ci­ty.

During their con­ver­sa­tion, Mick sud­den­ly said to Hus­ton, Bro­ther Hus­ton, you have writ­ten so ma­ny good songs, won’t you write one for me on the sub­ject we have just been dis­cuss­ing, and call it, ‘It Pays to Serve Je­sus’?

Frank in­ter­rupt­ed to re­mind his ag­ed friend that there was al­rea­dy a pub­lished song bear­ing that ti­tle, where­up­on Mick re­plied, I know there is, but I think you can write a bet­ter one.

While in [Har­ris­burg, Penn­syl­van­ia] Hus­ton re­called Mick’s plea of sev­er­al weeks ear­li­er, so he went to the fine pi­a­no in the liv­ing room of his host and host­ess [and] sud­den­ly he re­called the man­u­script in his pock­et, and out of sheer cur­i­os­i­ty, he took it out placed it on the mu­sic rack of the pi­a­no and played through it.

Intrigued with what he had com­posed and then com­plete­ly for­got­ten, he played it a se­cond time and then a third, while the words of a stan­za and cho­rus fell in­to place al­most spon­ta­neous­ly.

Before he knew it, he was sing­ing a brand new hymn to his own orig­in­al tune.

Emurian, p. 67

Lyrics

The service of Jesus
True pleasure affords,
In Him there is joy without an alloy;
’Tis Heaven to trust Him and rest on His words;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

Refrain

It pays to serve Jesus, it pays every day,
It pays every step of the way,
Though the pathway to glory
May sometimes be drear,
You’ll be happy each step of the way.

It pays to serve Jesus
Whate’er may betide,
It pays to be true whate’er you may do;
’Tis riches of mercy in Him to abide;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

Refrain

Though sometimes the shadows
May hang o’er the way,
And sorrows may come to beckon us home,
Our precious Redeemer each toil will repay;
It pays to serve Jesus each day.

Refrain