Isaac H. Meredith

1872 - 1962

THE subject of this sketch, Isaac H. Meredith,was born at Norristown, Pa., March 21, 1872. His parents were Both born in England and in early manhood his father played the violin and his mother sang in the choir. His father's reverent love of music he considers his greatest musical heritage, and the singing of old English carols by his father and mother to the accompaniment of the violin are among the most blessed memories of his early childhood. Before he was ten years of age he began taking organ lessons from a local teacher and these continued for several years. He sang alto in the church choir before he was twelve and at thirteen he was converted through the personal invitation of his brother, B. F. Meredith, now a Methodist clergyman. Almost immediately after his conversion he felt a definite call to the ministry of sacred song. He spoke little of this to any one but kept it as a treasure in his own heart, feeling assured that God would eventually lead him into the work if such was His will. Even in these early boyhood days he sang gospel songs with much tenderness and power. At twelve he became organist of the local Y. M. C. A., and played continuously for the association until his entrance into evangelistic work at the age of nineteen.

After his conversion he sang for a number of years each Sunday morning to the prisoners at the county jail. In the summer of 1891 he went to Ocean Grove, N. J., to spend his vacation and while there met Prof. J. J. Lowe, who was then singing with Dr. Munhall, the well-known evangelist. Mr. Lowe invited him to play for him in the evening and while the service was proceeding asked him to sing a solo at the close of the sermon. This he did, singing Sankey's "·when the Mists Have Rolled Away." This was so well received that it led to an arrangement with Rev. G. L. Barker, who was leading the Youug People's meeting that year, to enter evangelistic work with him as his singer. This was towards the last of August, and early in September he began his first engagement at South River, N. J. Soon after his entrance into evangelistic work he began composing gospel songs and his early efforts were purchased by Sankey, Excell, Bilhorn and others. Finally he began to publish his own music, uniting with Mr. Grant C. Tullar, who was also in evangelistic work, and the Tullar-Meredith Company, NY York and Chicago, is the outgrowth of this union .

Mr. Meredith has composed over a thousand songs, consisting principally of gospel songs and festival songs for the Sunday-school, also a number of anthems and cantatas. He is associated with Mr. Tullar in editing and publishing quite a number of popular gospel song books. He has held important church positions in New York as soloist and choir director.

Mr. Meredith has toured England with Torrey and Alexander in evangelistic meetings. He has directed the music in conventions throughout the country. The training and experience which he has had assures success in his chosen work.

"Thine to work as well as pray,
Clearing thorny wrongs away;
Plucking up the weeds of sin,
Letting heaven's warm sunshine in."

Source: Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers by J. H. Hall; 1914