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Will L. Thompson was born 11/7/1847, East Liverpool, OH – He wrote “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling.”  Son of an Ohio Legislator, he studied at Mount Union College in Ohio, at Boston Conservatory of Music, and in Leipzig, Germany.  He started his own publishing company, Will L. Thompson & Co. and expanded to sell pianos, organs & sheet music.

Thompson travel  by buggy throughout Ohio singing his songs for people.  He gained considerable wealth with his business adventures but never lost his quiet unassuming Christian character.  It is said that on his deathbed while being visited by Mr. Thompson, Moody feebly whispered, “Will, I would rather have written ’Softly and Tenderly’ than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.”  Thompson died 9/20/1909.            

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“Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling”

(1st & last stanzas)

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Written (along with several other songs) by Will Lamartine Thompson born 11/7/1847, in East Liverpool, Ohio.  Will (whose dad served in the Ohio legislature) studied at Mount Union College (Ohio) and at Boston Conservatory of Music, as well as in Germany.

It is reported that when Will visited D L Moody (as Moody was dying) that Moody said, “Will, I would rather have written ‘Softly and Tenderly’ than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.”

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