Born Albert William Thomas Orsborn, he became an Officer of The Salvation Army in 1905. Albert served as a Corps Officer and in divisional work in the British Territory of the Army. In 1909, he married his first wife, Captain Evalina Barker.
In 1925, he was sent to serve as Chief Side Officer at the International Training College. In 1933, he was farewelled to New Zealand as Chief Secretary. He then became Territorial Commander of Scotland and Ireland in 1936. In 1940, he became British Commissioner.
Albert Orsborn’s first wife, Captain Evalina Barker, died in 1942. This was a very hard time for him. Two years later, in 1944, he married his second wife, Major Evelyn Berry. They were married for just a year when she died.
In 1946, the High Council of The Salvation Army elected Albert to become the General of The Salvation Army. He married his third wife, Commissioner Mrs Phillis Taylor (a daughter of General Higgins), in 1947.
General Orsborn served as General for eight years. He was the author of The House of My Pilgrimage. He retired on 30 June 1954.
General Albert Orsborn died at the age of 80 years and 5 months.
Throughout the course of his Salvation Army life Albert wrote many wonderful songs and books.
One of the songs he wrote was In the secret of thy presence
Stuart Townend is one of today’s leading worship songwriters. Hymns such as “In Christ alone”, “How deep the Father’s love” and “The power of the cross” are sung in churches around the world, while the skill and depth of his lyric writing has drawn some to compare his contribution to hymnody to that of Watts and Wesley.
Aside from writing, Stuart travels around the UK and abroad, leading worship at events and performing concerts on his own or with his band. An accomplished musician, arranger and producer, he also has years of experience in teaching and training musicians who serve in local church worship.
Stuart has featured on numerous live albums, and to date has recorded ten solo albums. He appears regularly on the BBC’s immensely popular Songs of Praise Programme. In June 2017 Stuart was delighted to receive from the Archbishop of Canterbury The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship “for his outstanding contribution to contemporary worship music.”
Stuart’s most recent album, “Courage” (2018), includes some powerful personal songs, including “Keep you here”, an honest and moving response to his brother’s recent journey with cancer; and “I am here for you” (co-written with his daughter), exploring issues of mental health.
Stuart is married with three grown up children, and lives in Brighton, UK.