I sometimes go to the local public library looking for music books with hymns I could use for preludes and such at Rocheport Christian Church. I came across a recent hymn, “There Is a Redeemer” by Melody Green. I will probably use that in the next month or two as the tune is very lovely and the words can speak, and apparently have spoken, to many.
Melody was born in 1946 in Hollywood, California into an Orthodox Jewish family that had fled Russian Czarist persecution. Her grandfather and great-grandfathers were rabbis. She said she always knew there was a God, but that God always felt distant. She became involved in the hippie drug culture and worked in the garment industry in Los.Angeles. She married Keith Green, an aspiring musician, and in 1975, they both came to Christ after being invited to a small Bible study. God became real and personal to them. They became immersed in ministry work and music in California and Texas, their new home.
Keith and two of their children were killed in a plane crash in 1982 leaving Melody with a baby and expecting yet another. After the initial shock, Melody expanded their ministry to international scope and has been active on several fronts. Her organization’s own website, http://www.lastdaysministries.org, features the words of “There is a Redeemer” at the top of her bio. She wrote this in 1982, the year of the plane crash. Like Horatio Spafford, who in 1873 wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” after his four daughters drowned in a shipwreck, she sustained herself and continued to grow spiritually in part with poetry and music. “There Is a Redeeemer” is now in hymn books around the world and it’s often sung in villages in Africa and Asia. She moved at some point to Kansas City, Missouri. But now that her two surviving daughters are married and productive adults, she has moved or is in the process of moving back to California.