Hymn writer. In 1922, she wrote "I'd Rather Have Jesus." The music composer was George B. Shea.
Rhea F. Miller was the only daughter of Martin and Bertha Ross, from Brooktondale, NY, which is 8 miles out of Ithaca, NY. "Grampa Ross," we called him, had been a drunk and wanted nothing to do with religion. His wife, Bertha, was faithful to God in spite of her husband's drunkenness. Her faithfulness and the prayers of family and friends eventually led to his salvation and deliverance from alcohol. As a result, he entered the ministry and became pastor of the Baptist Church in Brooktondale. The Miller family attended the Baptist church, whose members included a young man named Howard Vassar Miller. He was saved in 1910 when he was just 16 years old. It wasn't long before he and Rhea caught each others' eye, and after he graduated from Colgate University, he and Rhea were married.
One day in 1922, at 28 years of age, while walking the fields of their Brooktondale home, Rhea began to reflect on her father's testimony of how he had been delivered from alcohol, and how he had said he would rather have Jesus than all the gold and silver in the world, and all the houses and land that money could buy. Thus the song was born and soon took form with her own words complete with her own music... [In 1939] is when George Beverly Shea found the song in just its poem form and wrote his version of the music to "I'd Rather Have Jesus."-- Ron Kelly, Jr.
I'd Rather Have Jesus – The Lyrics
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I'd rather be led by His nail pierced hand.
I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I'd rather be true to His holy name.
He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs,
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway,
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
Martin J. Ross (1869 - 1957)
Bertha Ross (1876 - ____)
Howard V. Miller (1894 - 1948)
New York, USA
Created by: Tom Childers
Record added: Sep 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42445380
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