England-born Ada Ruth Habershon (1861-1918) devoted her entire life to serving God. She was a woman of passion, drive and considerable intelligence. In 1884, she met Dwight Moody and Ira Stankey when they came to London. They were so impressed that they invited her to America to speak. Her lecture tour in the United States gained her some fame, and her teachings on the Old Testament were soon after published.
In 1905, Charles Alexander of the New Zealand Torry-Alexander Mission asked Habershon to write some songs. Within a year’s time, the prolific poet supplied Alexander with 200 hymns.
One of Habershon’s hymns, Will the Circle be Unbroken has more than stood the test of time. Her words, united with a lively tune composed by Charles H. Gabriel, have intrigued and delighted audiences and singers for more than 100 years. It has been recorded by several artists including Joan Baez and the Carter Family.
In 1998 a version sung by Johnny Cash and June Carter was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, making it one of America’s most recognized Gospel songs.