When Uncle Dave Macon recorded this as a banjo hymn around 1930, it had already been around for over 30 years. In 1899 G. H. Cook wrote the music and took it to Rev. H. J. Zelley, a Methodist pastor, who wrote words for it. It remains popular to this day. Rev. Zelley wrote over 1,500 poems & hymns, but this and
"He Brought Me Out"
are the only two that are commonly known today.
One of the reasons this hymn survived when so many didn't is that the hymn chorus, changed to "Heavenly Sunshine," was sung as the Old-Fashioned Revival Hour radio program opened its broadcast for over 30 years. You can hear Charles Fuller,director of the Old-Fashioned Revival Hour tell its story and sing it