I’d Rather Have Jesus

This hymn has at least 2 known stories about it. The first is regarding a poem left on a young man’s piano by his mother in 1932.   He was struggling with his own ambitions and desires for life. As he read the words of the poem, he was deeply moved and put the words to music. It is a hymn that changed his life. His ambitions were given to Jesus, his life direction changed, and his gifts and talents were used for Jesus. This hymn has been sung around the world, and has helped to change thousands of lives.  
That young man was George Beverly Shea, who was offered a music career with NBC but later chose to sing and work alongside Billy Graham as they held crusades around the world.
He travelled with Billy for over 50 years and lived to be 104 years old.

I’d Rather Have Jesus – The Lyrics

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands, 
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.

Than to be a king of a vast domain Or be held in sin’s dread sway, I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world- wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.

Chief White Feather
His mother was of the Chippewau Tribe, as well as a college graduate, and his father was of the Sioux tribe.  An old squaw told his mother to give her 5th son to the “Great Mystery.”  
She named him after the first thing she saw after his birth -White Feather. Shortly after his birth she converted to Christianity and tried to instill in him that he belonged to the Lord.  
He was gifted, bright, intelligent, daring, and brave:
A genius who played the organ by 9 years old, he travelled with his father in the circus from ages 8-15 & thrilled the crowds with his daring escapes.  He went to Dartmouth College. He sang in  languages and spoke 5 languages fluently. He was indeed blessed with a beautiful voice, intelligence, and prosperity. 
While living In New York he made $125.00 a week, sending his tithe home and before he was 18 years old, he was making $750.00 a week.  His mother encouraged him to “Give God your Voice.”  

By the age of 19 years, he was making $15,000 a performance.  He travelled the world and sang for Royalty in Europe and the British Isles.  He was given every honor and distinction in his field possible. 

In January, 1933, he was singing at Radio City Music Hall.  He received notice that his mother had become ill.  He broke all of his contracts and went to be with her.  As she was dying she whispered to him,  “When all your friends are gone, you are going to turn to Jesus.  I prayed for you and God answered.  Be sure to preach the gospel.”

After leaving her funeral he tried to kill him self by jumping form a fast moving train.  Instead of dying, he broke is back.  He lay in the hospital and was visited by many notables of the day- Mary Pickford, Norma Shearer, Aimee McPhearson, etc.   He spent thousands of dollars on medical treatment and on foreign doctors.  

Sister Aimee McPheason  brought him a New Testament  which he read and turned to Jesus.  A Christian physician told him, “God made you and saved your soul.  Ask Him to heal you.”
Whitefeather asked, and God answered.

As he walked through the corridors of the hospital, nursed fainted and strong men wept.   This great American artist was without a penny, destitute, and slept on a park bench for 6 weeks.  Any suggestion of returning to the stage caused physical pain.
He entered Bible school, married & labored among the Sioux and Dakota tribes & became a chief in his own right: Reverend Teyet Ramar Sitting Bull.  
He was chosen from 50 artists to go to England for the e able to coronation and was told he might not be able to glorify the Lord. His response was the Lord said, “Those that honor me, I will honor.”  
In 1930 the Royal Highnesses came to America and he was asked to sing for them.  He was told to sing, “God Save the King”, “Rule Brittania”, and one song of his choice. 
Standing before ruling monarchs he sang, “I’d Rather Have Jesus”.  There were tears in the eyes of Queen Elizabeth and King George VI. The King responded to the song by saying, “We’d rather have Jesus,too.”  The Queen was asked by the Chief, “Your Majesty, I should like to ask if you know Jesus as your personal Savior?”
Her answer was, “Some people know about God, and some about Christ, but the Lord Jesus is the possessor of my heart.”