THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION
Samuel J. Stone, 1839–1900
… Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. (Ephesians 5:23)
During an especially heated period of theological controversy in England in 1866 when liberalism threatened to destroy the great cardinal doctrines of the Anglican church, this hymn was written by Pastor Samuel Stone. He was a strong supporter of the conservative faith and refused to compromise in any way the critical attacks on doctrinal orthodoxy.
It was Stone’s desire to write a hymn that would reaffirm the Lordship of Christ as the foundation of the church. To combat the skeptical liberal scholarship, Samuel Stone wrote twelve hymn texts based on the Apostles’ Creed. This particular text refers to the ninth article: “The Holy Catholic (Universal) Church, the communion of saints: He is the Head of this body.”
Described as the poor man’s pastor, Samuel Stone demonstrated his firm belief in the church as the instrument of Chris…