Sarah Pollard Didn't Like Her Name

Dan Graves, MSL

Sarah Pollard Didn't Like Her Name

Adelaide Pollard was distressed. In spite of her best efforts, she could not raise the funds she needed to go as a missionary to Africa. "Why?" wondered the forty-year-old woman.

Discouraged, she attended prayer meeting one evening in 1902. There an old woman prayed: "Lord, it doesn't matter what you bring into our lives--just have your way with us."

The words sank home. Adelaide went home. She meditated on the old woman's prayer and on Bible texts in Jeremiah 18:3,4 and Isaiah which referred to God as a potter. As a result, she wrote a hymn which millions have sung:

Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Adelaide was named Sarah when she was born in Bloomfield, Iowa on this day, November 27, 1862. She didn't like her given name and adopted Adelaide in its place.

Her life was always centered on her faith. After training in Chicago, she taught in several girls' schools and then became active as a Bible teacher, evangelist and healer. She herself had been healed of diabetes through prayer. Contemporaries saw her as a mystic and saint.

During the years that she was unable to go to Africa, she taught at the Christian and Missionary Alliance school in Nyack, New York. Shortly before World War I, she did reach Africa. However, the war forced her to retreat to Scotland. After the fighting was over, she returned to the United States where, despite failing health, she preached in New England. One of her major themes was that Christ would soon return.

Adelaide wrote over 100 other songs, but just how many we do not know for certain, since she seldom signed them, not desiring credit.


  1. "Adelaide A. Pollard."
  2. Barrows, Cliff and Husted, Don. Crusader Hymns and Hymn Stories. Chicago, Illinois: Hope Publishing Co., 1967; pp. 90-92.
  3. "Have Thine Own Way, Lord."
  4. "Have Thine Own Way, Lord." have_thine_own_way.html

Last updated June, 2007.

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