My Faith, It Is an Oaken Staff

Rev. Wells, pastor of Lakewood UCC, where I’m music director, introduced me to this grand Congregational hymn with which I was not at all familiar. Now, it’s one of my favorites: My Faith, It Is an Oaken Staff.

Check out the representative text at and the author’s full bio at

The tune’s name is THE STAFF OF FAITH and its composer is anonymous. It’s been var­i­ous­ly de­scribed as tra­di­tion­al Swiss mel­o­dy, or an Engl­ish folk­song. It’s in public domain.

After seeing his picture at the above links, the following account gave me a laugh: “he was a s student at the Highbury Independent College; but withdrew, partly on account of failing health, and partly because his spirit was too free to submit to the routine of College life.” He looks as if he and I both share an equally dissolute life! Nevertheless, he wrote an amazing amount of moving texts.

Author: Hilton Kean Jones

Composer and performer, retired college music professor, lyricist.

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