Robert Lowry was born in Philadelphia on March 12, 1826. He accepted Christ as his Savior when 17, becoming a Baptist. He was a professor of literature at Bucknell University, and a doctorate degree with honors there. He served as a Baptist preacher in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, and Brooklyn. All of which were important churches.
As a minister of the gospel, he had keen insight and administrative ability. He was known as a thorough Bible scholar and brilliant but captivating orator. Few have the skill to paint word pictures and inspire a congregation. Music and hymn studies were his favorite study, but always as a hobby. His main interest was preaching God's Word.
In 1968, he was chosen by Biglow Music Company, after the death of William Bradbury to be the music editor. He edited over 20 Sunday school songbooks, one of which sold over one million copies.
He had no formal music composition training, yet he wrote many well-known hymns. A few examples are:
Robert Lowry died at the age of 73 on Nov. 25, 1899, in New Jersey.
K.W. Osbeck, More Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1985) page 57, 58, 134.
K.W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990) page 127.
William J. Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1976) page 138