Queen of Gospel Song Writers

Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 at 10:45 a.m. you’ll step back in time to the 1800’s and meet a remarkable woman, Fanny J. Crosby. Born in 1820 and blinded at the age of 8, opportunities seemed very limited for this little girl. Who could guess she would grow up to write some of the best-loved hymns ever penned? Seven of the more than 8,000 hymns she wrote are still in the Methodist hymnal today. They include “Blessed Assurance,” “To God Be the Glory” and “I Am Thine, O Lord.”

Fanny exceeded expectations from a very young age. Raised by her mother and grandmother, she was taught to memorize five chapters of the bible each week from the age of 10. Just before her 15th birthday, she entered the New York Institution for the Blind. There, she learned to play the piano, organ, harp and guitar. She was taught to sing and had a fine soprano voice.

Playwright Dr. Shellie O’Neal was inspired to write a one-woman show about the inspiring life of Fanny J. Crosby. She first learned about her in a Sunday School class and never forgot about her astonishing life journey. O’Neal has written 26 plays, two of which won Texas state play writing competitions.  For the past 18 years she has served as Director of Theatre at Navarro College in Corsicana TX, where she has directed over 70 productions.  O’Neal has performed this one-woman show 140 times in 134 locations including a performance on her 40th birthday at the Bowery Mission in New York City where Fanny Crosby often spoke and sang.

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