Anthony Johnson Showalter was an American gospel music composer best known for the song “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”, which was published in 1887. He wrote the music and chorus, and Elisha A. Hoffman wrote the verses. The song features prominently in the score of Night of the Hunter and forms about a quarter of the score of the 2010 film True Grit.
Elisha Albright (E. A.) Hoffman was a Presbyterian minister, composer of over 2,000 hymns, and editor of over 50 song books. The son of an Evangelical minister, Hoffman grew up singing sacred hymns both in church and in the home with his parents. After completing high school, Hoffman furthered his education at Union Seminary in New Berlin, Pennsylvania, and was subsequently ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1868.
I heard Allan Jackson sing this hymn at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I have had this tune in my head ever since that time and this is what I came up with.