Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

On May 3, 1871, the poem, Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me appeared in The Sailor’s Magazine.  In Philadelphia, an ailing composer, John Edgar Gould, saw the poem and, deeply moved, composed music for it the night before he sailed for Africa.  Gould died in Algiers four years later.  But “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” developed a healthy following among churches across America, especially among those ministering to seafaring men.  On April 23, 1888, the author of the poem, Edward Hopper, sat in his easy chair, preparing to write another hymn.  At the top of the page he put its title, “Heaven”, then he slumped over dead.  Among the papers found in his study was the original manuscript of “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.”