Thomas Obediah Chisholm was born in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky in 1866. He received his education in a little country schoolhouse, and at age 16 began teaching there. He was saved at age 27, and with no college or seminary training was ordained to the Methodist ministry at age 36. He served as a Methodist minister for a year, but ill health made it impossible for him to continue. He moved to Vineland, New Jersey, where he opened an insurance office.
Always interested in poetry, Chisholm wrote hundreds of poems during his lifetime. Lamentations 3:22-23 inspired him to write the text for “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Those verses read, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Chisholm experienced that faithfulness. He suffered ill health most of his adult life, and never made much money, but he said, “God has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness.”