Oatman, Johnson, Jr.
- Mary De Jong
Oatman, Johnson, Jr. (21 April 1856–25 September 1922), gospel hymn writer, was born near Medford, New Jersey, the son of Johnson Oatman, a merchant, and Rachel Ann Cline. Educated at Herbert’s Academy, Vincetown, and the New Jersey Collegiate Institute, Bordentown, he was licensed and ordained as a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church but never held a pastorate. He married Wilhelmina Ried in 1878; they had three children. After working for many years with his father in Lumberton, New Jersey, he became associated with a life-insurance company in Mount Holly, New Jersey. In failing health in 1893, he retired to the seaside resort community of Ocean Grove, New Jersey. A “stronghold of Methodist Victorianism,” Ocean Grove was a permanent site of carefully-regulated summer camp meetings patronized by urban middle-class evangelical Protestants in search of rest, wholesome recreation, and spiritual renewal (Jones, p. 33)....