William Elmo Mercer (February 15, 1932 - November 29, 2020)

William Elmo Mercer wrote more than 1,600 songs and worked extensively as a music arranger. He began taking piano lessons as a child and was 14 years old when he wrote his first song which was titled “A Glimpse of Jesus.” Before the age of 20, he wrote what is possibly his most popular song, “Each Step I Take." In 1998, his song “What A Glad Reunion Day” was included in the soundtrack of the “The Thin Red Line” a 20th Century Fox movie.

Mercer completed two 30-year careers. He worked full-time for the John T. Benson company from 1951 to 1981 initially as a staff writer and later rising the the position of Music Editor. During his time at Benson, the company published the popular New Songs Of Inspiration series of hymnbooks which Mercer edited. He also published numerous instrumental books and choral works including the popular Crusade Choir, Vol. 1 and edited the 1979 National Baptist Hymnal.

In 1981, Mercer retired from Benson, but continued to work on special projects for the company for another 17 years. He also did work for LifeWay, Lorenz, Brentwood, and other music companies. Upon his retirement from full-time work at Benson in 1981, he launched his second career as a music evangelist along with his wife Marcia. After 30 years, he retired from traveling in 2011 and became the music minister at Scottsboro First Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

Songwriter's Résumé

(Partial List)

A Song Was Born
Beyond Understanding
Dark And Lonely Hill
Do You Need A Friend
Each Step I Take
He Cared That Much For Me
He Was There Every Time
I Feel Like Shoutin
I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You
I'd Rather Live In The Valley
I'm Just A Pilgrim
Lonely Road Up Calvary's Way
More Than Enough
Nailing My Sins To His Cross
Nearer To Thee
One More Time
Sittin Round The Table
So Great Is His Love
The Lord I Worship
The Time Is Now
The Way That He Loves
Til There Was Jesus

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