"I Must Tell Jesus" was written in 1893 by Rev. Elisha A. Hoffman. He tells the story of how he came to write it:
During a pastorate in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, there was a woman to whom God permitted many visitations of sorrow and affliction. Coming to her home one day, I found her much discouraged. She unburdened her heart, concluding with the question, "Brother Hoffman, what shall I do? What shall I do?" I quoted from the Word, then added, "You cannot do better than to take all your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus."
For a moment she seemed lost in meditation. Then her eyes lighted as she exclaimed, "Yes, I must tell Jesus."
As I left her home I had a vision of that joy-illuminated face. . . and I heard all along my pathway the echo, "I must tell Jesus. . . I must tell Jesus."
The hymn first appeared in 1894 in, Pentecostal Hymns, one of 50 song books edited by Hoffman. In addition to editing hymnals, Hoffman wrote about 2000 hymns. Among those which are still sung today are "Are You Washed in the Blood?"
"Down At the Cross,"
"Is Thy Heart Right With God?" "Is Your All on the Altar?" and
"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."