At 26, Herbert G. Tovey wrote the song “Give Me a Passion for Souls” – out of 1,500 songs published under his Sacred Music Foundation, this was the most popular.
1 Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord,
A passion to save the lost;
O that Thy love were by all adored,
And welcomed at any cost.
Jesus, I long, I long to be winning
Men who are lost, and constantly sinning;
O may this hour be one of beginning
The story of pardon to tell.
2 Though there are dangers untold and stern
Confronting me in the way,
Willingly still would I go, nor turn,
But trust Thee for grace each day. [Refrain]
3 How shall this passion for souls be mine?
Lord, make Thou the answer clear;
Help me to throw out the old Life-line
To those who are struggling near. [Refrain]
According to the Escondido Times-Advocate, Herbert George Tovey, D.D., died at age 84, last known address 14332 Caminata Tawgus, Los Pensaquitos, California. He died Monday, March 20th, 1972 at the Palomar Memorial Hospital. Born March 6, 1888 in Australia, he had lived in Los Penasquitos for two years and in California for 50 years.
He was minister of music at the First Baptist Church of Escondido and had pastored churches in Chicago, Illinois, Montebello, Eagle Rock, and several others. He held the post of minister of music in many churches of California, and was interim pastor of the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Escondido for a time. he was for 34 years head of the music department of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA).
Dr. Tovey founded the Sacred Music Foundation, under which he head to date some 1,500 copyrights. He was married to Eva M. Joderquist on Dec. 25, 1942. Besides Mrs. Tovey, he is survived by a daughter, Ruth Rood of Tucson and one grandchild.
A service was held Friday, March 24th 1972 at the El Camino Memorial Park in Sorrento Valley. Rev. Samuel J. Bulkley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Escondido, officiated, and the Alhiser-Wilson Mortuary of Escondido was in charge of arrangements. A memorial service was held Palm Sunday, March 26th, at 7 PM at the First Baptist Church, Fifth and Kalmia, Escondido (now home to Iglesia Latina Emmanuel).
Tovey is believed to be buried in the same cemtery as Joseph Coors, Sr. (Brewery magnate), Ray Kroc (founder of McDonald’s), Pete Roselle (NFL Commissioner), and Jonas Salk (inventor of the Polio vaccine).
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