Elvina M. Hall was born in Alexandria, Virginia. A member of the Monument Street Methodist Church of Baltimore for more than forty years, she penned a verse in 1865 that was later set to music: "Jesus Paid it All." This was written during the pastor's lengthy prayer while she sat in the choir loft--and she originally scribbled the words in the flyleaf of a hymnal. After the service, she handed the words to her pastor, who instead of scolding her, put them to music, using music the organist had given him. The melody and words matched perfectly.