Hymn to John Clarke

We are composing a theme song for the film led by a band of Clarke musicians, singers and songwriters. This modern tune will honor John Clarke, Obadiah Holmes, John Crandell, Roger Williams, Mary Dyer, Anne Hutchinson and all who sacrificed for Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties.

Here is a Hymn written in the early 1900’s by Nurella E Nelson; Wife of Wilber Nelson, former Pastor of the United Baptist John Clarke Memorial Church of Newport, RI

Dr. Pastor Wilbur Nelson wrote the book, The Hero of Aquidneck, A Life of Dr. John Clarke – Copyright 1938

Hymn to John Clarke

Thanks be, Great God, to Thee

For the blessed memory

Of the brave and good,

Who worked and thought and prayed,

A firm foundation laid,

By earth’s king’s dismayed,

For freedom stood.


So let our country’s harp

Echo the name, John Clarke,

Who hither came.

He follow thro’ the dark

Then but a flickering spark

Now grown a nation’s mark,

Fair freedom’s flame.


Clarke might have ruled the State,

But, unnumbered with the great,

For his name we search.

Civil work he did not shun,

But out good state charter won.

Then a higher work was done,

Building here Christ’s church.


We’ll life his standard high,

Not let the light e’er die –

Soul Liberty!

Clarke followed where Christ led,

Kind physician, great church head,

Recalled the word He said –

“Whom the Son makes free.”


We’ll keep Clarke’s memory bright,

As we work for truth and right

Where there still is need.

We’ll follow as Christ leads

Unfetterd by man’s creeds,

For who the Son has freed

Is free indeed.