HEAVEN CAME DOWN written in 1961
In the world of gospel music, John W. Peterson (1921-2006) wore many hats. He had written more than 1,000 gospel songs and tunes; he had composed about 30 cantatas, which have sold nearly 10 million copies; he had edited and compiled many hymnals; and he had served as president of the Singspiration music company (which, in the 1970s, was THE most popular music publisher).
In the summer of 1961, he led the singing at the Montrose Bible Conference in Montrose, Pennsylvania. When he invited people in the audience to give personal testimonies, an elderly gentleman stood to his feet. John described it like this: “As he spoke, his face glowed, especially when told of that night when he came to Jesus Christ. The way he expressed it was: ‘Heaven came down and glory filled my soul’.”
Those words grabbed John, so he jotted them down. What a great theme for a song! Later that week, he wrote this song, both words and music.
Read this hymn, and – today – think back to the occasion of your salvation.
O, what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget;
after I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Savior I met.
O, what a tender, compassionate friend, He met the need of my heart;
shadows dispelling, with joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul, (filled my soul)
when at the cross the Savior made me whole; (made me whole)
my sins were washed away and my night was turned to day,
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul! (filled my soul)
Born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s family divine,
justified fully thru Calvary’s love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made, when as a sinner I came,
took of the offer, of grace He did proffer, He saved me, O praise His dear name! (CHORUS)
Now I’ve a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;
I have a future in Heaven for sure there in those mansions sublime.
And it’s because of that wonderful day, when at the cross I believed;
riches eternal and blessings supernal, from His precious hand I received. (CHORUS)