Birthdays on December 13
Birth of William Walsham How, known as "the poor man's bishop," in Shrewsbury, England. An Anglican clergyman, he rose rapidly in his appointments, but shunning the higher ecclesiastical positions, he chose to work among the poor of poverty-stricken East London. He wrote more than 50 hymns, some of which you may have sung, such as "We Give Me but Thine 0wn, " "For All the Saints" and "The Word of God Incarnate."
Phillips Brooks was born in Boston. Ordained in 1859, Brooks became famous as a preacher of exceptional personality, charm and spiritual force. This Episcopalian minister was broad in his theology; his central message was that all men are children of God (Jesus declared that some have Satan as their father). He wrote the Christmas carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem " for the children of his Sunday School, after a visit to the Holy Land in 1868. His sermon over Lincoln's body at Independence Hall was nationally reported.
Birth of Edwin Othello Excell, son of a German Reformed pastor, in Stark County, Ohio. Converted while leading the music in a revival, he turned his energies to directing, writing and publishing sacred music. He was also active in the work of the Sunday School, leading the music at Sunday School conventions and helping establish the International Sunday School Lessons. He assisted evangelist Sam P. Jones in his revival meetings for 20 years. He published 50 Gospel song books and composed over 2,000 Christian songs, including "Since I Have Been Redeemed," "I'll Be a Sunbeam " and "Count Your Blessings."