Those who are involved in the Lay ministry in our churches play an important role in the evangelical cause for a gospel outreach through out the world. Rev. Johnson Oatman, Jr., was granted a license to preach in local Methodist congregations as a lay minister. During his life time, he wrote over 5,000 hymn texts. Some of the hymns he wrote we know as “Higher Ground” and “No, Not One!” He accomplished all this even as he was actively engaged in a mercantile business. He later became the administrator for a large insurance company in New Jersey.
The hymn, “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS” is generally considered to be Oatman’s finest hymn. It certainly ranks as one of the most familiar numbers in our Hymnals and probably one of the first hymns many of us sang with ‘gusto’. It first appeared in “Songs for Young People”, in 1897. During the great revival in Wales, Count Your Blessings, was sung at every service. It was also said that Men sing this hymn… boys whistle it… and women rock their babies to sleep on this Hymn! It has been sung all over the world!