Julia Johnson, was born in Saline Ville, Ohio, of good stock. Thirteen of her immediate relatives had been in pastoral ministry. Both her mother and Grandmother were poets. When she was six years old, her family moved to Peoria, Illinois where her father became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. Julia remained in Peoria for the rest of her life. She spent 4 decades as the Superintendent for the younger children in Sunday School and worked as a teacher in the nursery.
She served as president of the Presbyterian Missionary Society of Peoria, which had been founded by her mother. She served as a leader on her denomination’s mission board. She wrote children’s Sunday school lessons and managed to write about five hundred hymns…mostly for Sunday school children. Her hymn, GRACE GREATER THAN OUR SIN, is the only hymn still widely sung today.
We do not know the specific circumstances that inspired this hymn. However, if you look at her passion for children, missions, music and God’s marvelous, infinite and saving grace…Julia’s motivation is probably very evident.