“The Church's One Foundation”


"The Church's one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is his new creation." The church draws people from everywhere. Jesus died for it. The singers hope to be taken to heaven


According to Johnson, this hymn was one of a series written by Stone based (very loosely) on the Apostle's Creed (which is, of course, not apostolic; According to Henry Bettenson, editor, _Documents of the Christian Church_, p. 24, the oldest text of the final Latin form of the Apostle's Creed exists in a document from c. 750. The earliest ancestor known to Bettenson is the creed of Marcellus of Ancyra, known as an Arian heretic; this version dates crom c. 340).

Johnson also reports that Stone did his writing in response to the works of John William Colenso (1814-1883), the Anglican Bishop of Natal from 1853. He had by that time written a popular set of books on mathematics, and once he became a Bishop, he used those analyrical skills to examine the Bible. He realized that large parts of the Old Testament were scientifically and historically impossible. He also championed the rights of the Blacks of South Africa. For the great sin of being 100% right, he was excommunicated and deposed from his bishopric in 1869. He is now largely forgotten. The song he inspired managed to make it into many hymnals, though it is not one of the more popuular ones in tradition. - RBW


  1. ADDITIONAL: Charles Johnson, One Hundred and One Famous Hymns (Hallberg, 1982), pp, 58-59, "The Church's One Foundation" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #5433
  3. BI, Rd005433


Author: Words: Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) / Music: Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876)
Earliest date: 1982 (Johnson)
Keywords: religious nonballad