Edwin Othello Excell (1851-1921) was an American composer of hymns and music director. Composed the music for the hymn "Count Your Blessings," "Jesus Bids Us Shine," "I'll Be A Sunbeam," and both the words and music for "Since I Have Been Redeemed." Worked with evangelists Sam Jones (for two decades) and Gipsy Smith.
In 1871, Mr. Excell began teaching country singing schools, in which he was quite successful. This same year he also married Miss Jennie Bell, daughter of Hon. A. W. Bell, of East Brady, Pennsylvania. For a time Mr. Excell resided in East Brady, and had been engaged in singing campaign
songs for not only General U.S. Grant, but also for his father-in-law who was a candidate. About this time Rev. Dr. J. B. Espy, of East Brady M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church, began a revival meeting and solicited the services of Mr. Excell to conduct the music. He responded to the call and under his leadership and stirring solos a great revival followed, Mr. Excell himself being one of the many converts. From this time on he devoted his energies to sacred song, and to more thoroughly equip himself for his chosen field of labor, he studied under Dr. George Root.
Isaac Watts, (born July 17, 1674, Southampton, Hampshire, England—died November 25, 1748, Stoke Newington, London), English Nonconformist minister, regarded as the father of English hymnody.
Watts wrote educational books on geography, astronomy, grammar, and philosophy, which were widely used throughout the 18th century. He is now best known, however, for his hymns. The famous hymns were written during Watts’s Mark Lane ministry. His first collection of hymns and sacred lyrics was Horae Lyricae (1706), quickly followed by Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), which included “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “There Is a Land of Pure Delight,” and others that have become known throughout
Protestant Christendom. The most famous of all his hymns, “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past” (from his paraphrase of Psalm 90), and “Jesus Shall Reign” (part of his version of Psalm 72), almost equally well known, were published in The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament… (1719). He also wrote religious songs especially for children; these were collected in Divine Songs for the Use of Children (1715).sylvania. For a time Mr. Excell resided in East Brady, and had been engaged in singing campaign