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FAITH IS THE VICTORY

In 1 John 5:4 we read, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” This truth inspired the hymn text of FAITH IS THE VICTORY. The author was a shoe salesman who eventually became a Baptist pastor in upstate New York.


John Henry Yates was born in Batavia, New York, November 1837. After attending school, he became a shoe seller and later in 1871 he became the local department manager for a hardware firm. Fifteen years later he became the editor of the local paper. John had been licensed to preach in the Methodist church and later was ordained. He served for seven years as pastor of the West Bethany Freewill Baptist Church. Through his life journey, he wrote poems. One of them…entitled “The Model Church,” was noticed by Ira Sankey when it was published in the newspaper. Ira composed music for this poem. John Yates and Ira Sankey got to know each other and Sankey suggested John should devote more time to gospel hymns.


In 1891, John wrote the text for his Hymn ‘Faith is the Victory’, and sent it to Mr. Sankey who composed the music for it. John Yates had a gift of using imagery in his writings and that talent is marked in this text.

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