Joseph Harker

Short Name: Joseph Harker
Full Name: Harker, Joseph Jr., 1880-1970
Birth Year: 1880
Death Year: 1970

Joseph Harker, Jr., was born on March 6, 1880, in Alnwick, Northumberland, England, into a musical Methodist family. They moved to the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area in 1900. He taught music for several years in his home in Simonside Street in Wallsend, commemorating this name in one of his hymn tunes (No. 543 in the 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal). He evidently inherited musical talent from his father, Joseph Harker, Sr., who at one time owned a music shop in the coastal port of Amble.

Joseph, Jr., married in 1905, and soon after joined the Seventh-day Adventist church. In 1916 he was invited to work part-time in the North England Conference. Two years later he was appointed president of the Irish Mission, holding that office for the quadrennium.

He was then transferred to pastoral work in the South England Conference, but in 1939 he was recalled to the British Union as leader of the Youth and the Home Missionary Departments to fill the gap left by the early demise of his predecessor. He continued there until 1946 when he retired to Reading in Berkshire. He served as elder in the church there for several more years before his death on May 15, 1970. His obituary noted, "Some of our best-loved and oft-used hymns came from his pen ... . His compositions will continue to inspire us until we, with him, can hear the angels sing!"

(Excerpted with permission by La Sierra University from an article in the Spring 1991 issue of Adventist Heritage)

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