Russell Carter was born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 18, 1849. He was known as a very interesting person, a jack-of-all-trades. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Military Academy as an outstanding athlete in 1867, and was a professor of mathematics, civil engineering, chemistry and natural science there for several years. He took a brief break from 1873 to 1876 to try raising sheep in California. John Sweney worked with him to compile and publish a hymn book, Songs of Perfect Love in 1886, the same year “Standing on the Promises” was written. Twenty years after graduating from the academy, in 1887, he was ordained as a Methodist minister and began work in the Holiness movement. In 1891 he assisted with the compilation of a Christian and Missionary Alliance hymnal, Hymns of Christian Life, which included sixty-eight hymn melodies that he had composed, as well as fifty-two of his poems.
Later in life he studied medicine and became a physician practicing in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.
It is rumored that Russell Carter wrote the words to “Standing on the Promises” in part from personally experiencing God’s promises in his life. When he was 30, he began having heart trouble. His health fell to critical conditions, and there was nothing the doctors could do. Carter believed there was a reason, and decided that healthy or not, he would fully consecrate his life to the service of the King. He prayed for healing and stood on the promises of God. Within a few months, he returned to full health and lived until August 23, 1928.
Some hymns he produced were:
K.W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), p. 85.
K.W. Osbeck, 101 more hymn stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1985), p. 245.
Healing and Revival Press, www.healingandrevival.com, 2004.
JoAnn, homeschoolblogger.com, Hymn Studies, “Standing on the Promises.”
Connie Ruth Christiansen, sharefaith.com, “The Story Behind the Song – Standing on the Promises.”
Hymnary.org, Hymnals, Songs of Perfect Love
Photo from Richard W. Adams, The Cyber Hymnal, “hymn” (1996-2012) http://www.hymntime.com/tch