Hymn #286: Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

James Keith Manley (b. 1940) felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to write this hymn after he had completed the rough draft of his Doctor of Ministry thesis.  Manley added a fourth stanza at a later time.  The hymn was first sung at Waiokeola Congregational Church in Honolulu, Hawaii.

James K. Manley was born in 1940 at Holyoke, Massachusetts, and received his education at Whittier College, Pacific School of Religion, and Claremont School of Theology, all in California.  He was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Christ in 1966.

James K. Manley wrote the tune SPIRIT for his text of 1978, and it appeared in his collection After Eden (1990) with an arrangement by Jim Strathdee.  A new arrangement was created for The New Century Hymnal.  Note that the refrain is to be sung over following each stanza.

James Manley served as pastor of Congregational United Church of Christ in San Marino, California, from 1978 to 1988 and then moved to Foothills United Church of Christ in Los Altos, California.  This new congregation was gathered in 1960.