IDA L. REED

IDA L. REED was born November 30, 1865, near Philippi, Barbour County, W. Va. She had but few educational advantages in childhood, but she was quite studious, and would spend many of her play hours reading, for she loved it more than play. Fortunately for her, she had access to many papers, journals and magazines, which she read with great pleasure and profit. When she was seventeen years of age, she passed her first examination and received a firstgrade certificate. She then taught school for several years, but on account of sickness she had to finally give up school-teaching. Later she attended school for a time at Lebanon, Ohio.

But He who directs our ways had a more important work than teaching school for Miss Reed, namely, that of writing gospel poems, for the Gospel in song is one of the helps in evangelizing the world. So she fully resigned and consecrated herself to the Master's work. 

She began writing hymns in her twentieth year, and has composed some of the most helpful hymns that are to be found in the gospel song books of the present day, and seem to continue to grow in popularity. Her father died in 1892; this necessitated her to look after the farm as well as to care for her mother, which she did faithfully and loyally until the death of her mother in 1906.

During all these years of toil she would compose hymns, recitations, exercises for Sunday-schools, etc., while her hands were busy with other tasks. 

Miss Reed is a very prolific composer ; with all the burdens and cares of her life, besides ill health, she has written more than two thousand hymns, cantatas, etc., etc., which have been widely published in the books used by different denominations. Her hymns that have become most popular are : "I Belong to the King," "I Cannot Drift Beyond Thy Love," "Somebody Is Praying for You," "Speak O Lord," "The Father's Love," "Blessed Hiding," "He Knoweth Thy Grief," and many others have been used to His glory. 

She loves her work and her highest aim and deepest heart longing, her one constant prayer, is that she may be able to make her work a power for good, strong enough to win souls to God from their wanderings and help them to come into the full light of His peace and love.

After the death of her mother she moved to her home town, Philippi, where she now resides. During these years she has lived by herself, practicaly shut in from the world, owing to frail health. Miss Reed is a most devoted and consecrated Christian lady, patient, kind and always thankful for the kindnesses shown her by her friends. She says, " He who has been so faithful through all my yesterdays will not fail me through my to-morrows." May Miss Reed be permitted to write many more sweet inspiring gospel poems for the betterment of mankind.

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