In 1765 John Fawcett was called to pastor a very small congregation at Wainsgate, England. He labored there diligently for 7 years, but his salary was so meager that he and his wife could scarcely obtain the necessities of life. Though the people were poor, they compensated for this lack by their faithfulness and warm fellowship.
Then Dr. Fawcett received a call from a much larger church in London, and after lengthy consideration decided to accept the invitation. As his few possessions were being placed in a wagon for moving, many of his parishioners came to say good-bye. Once again they pleaded with him to reconsider.
Touched by this great outpouring of love, he and his wife began to weep. Finally Mrs. Fawcett exclaimed, “O John, I just can’t bear this. They need us so badly here.”
“God has spoken to my heart, too!” he said. “Tell them to unload the wagon! We cannot break these wonderful ties of fellowship.”
This experience inspired Fawcett to write a hymn. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! The fellowship of kindred mind is like to that above.”