W. Elmo Mercer
W. Elmo Mercer
After being a Benson Company staff writer for ten years (in the 50s), he became Music Editor and on New Years Day 1961, moved his family to Nashville. In 1981 he retired from full-time duties, but continued to do special projects for Benson, along with many other publishers as well. He has compiled and edited more than 200 gospel songbooks, including several in the popular "New Songs of Inspiration" series. His choral book, "Crusade Choir Vol 1" sold over 500,000 copies in twenty-two years. His instrumental books were also very popular. Many denominational hymnals include his various songs.
At nineteen he composed "Each Step I Take", which has been recorded by hundreds of artists in many languages, including Slim Whitman and George Beverly Shea. While participating in evangelistic crusades in South Korea in 1981, he discovered the song to be a favorite among Christians there. It is loved and sung around the world. His song "What A Glad Reunion Day" is in the 20th Century Fox 1998 movie "The Thin Red Line".
Elmo and his wife, Marcia, traveled over 30 years in church music evangelism, going into all fifty states and various denominations. Having become an ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) member in 1957, he was honored at a Dove Awards banquet at the Nashville office for being a 40-year member back in 1997. He receives annual awards from ASCAP for outstanding work in the gospel music field.
Mercer was church pianist for Park Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville for over 38 years. He still resides in Nashville today and is now leading music from the keyboard at Scottsboro Baptist Church.
W. Elmo Mercer lives in Nashville, Tennessee, except for the winter months, which he spends in Okeechobee, Florida.