Several years ago I met a young man who lived in Nashville, Tn. He came home often to visit his parents who were members of the church where I was pastor. He was a musician and member of a recording group in Nashville. Our music leader always asked him to sing in the morning worship service when he was home. He always sang, “How Great Thou Art.”
It was after a severe storm that Carl Gustof Boberg, a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament, was inspired to write a poem. As he looked over the clear bay he heard a church bell in the distance, and the words “How Great Thou Art,” began to ring in his mind. His poem, titled “O Great God,” was published in 1891 in Witness of the Truth, a weekly news paper that he edited. This poem was translated into German and later into English by an English missionary to Ukraine, Stuart K. Hine. Hine later wrote a fourth stanza as a triumphant message pointing to life eternal. This beautiful hymn was later brought to America by Dr. J. Edwin Orr of Fuller Theological Seminary after he heard it sung in India. In 1954 Dr. Cyrus Nelson of Gospel Light Publications copyrighted, and published it in America.
“How Great Thou Art” was frequently used in America by George Beverly Shea. He sang it often at the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades. His frequent use of this song brought new attention to it in both Sweden and America and caused it to be published in several song books.
Today, millions throughout the world continue to sing this beautiful song. It gives God all praise, glory and honor for who He is.