The man who composed the song synonymous with the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s belief in Jesus Christ’s second coming, Wayne Hooper, died February 28 at his home in Thousand Oaks, California. He was 86. The song, We Have this Hope, was his best-known song and was created as the theme song for the 1962 Adventist church’s General Conference Session in San Francisco. The song was used again as the theme song for the General Conference sessions of 1966, 1975, 1995 and 2000.
By popular demand, the hymn has been incorporated into Adventist church hymnals and translated into dozens of languages.
Hooper, who wrote both the words and music to the song, later said of the experience, “This is the one time in my life that I feel very certain that I was ‘given’ the musical ideas from the Lord.”
Hooper worked with the Voice of Prophecy, a supporting media ministry of the Adventist church, for some 65 years. He joined the King’s Heralds quartet at the Voice of Prophecy in 1943, singing baritone for four years before moving to Nebraska to complete his bachelor’s degree in music. He resumed his role in the quartet from 1949 to 1962, then continued to serve the Voice of Prophecy as music director, producer of the Sunday radio broadcast, and trust services director. He received his Master of Arts degree in music in 1957 from Occidental College, Los Angeles.
After officially retiring in 1980, Hooper coordinated the production of the current Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal and a companion volume giving the history of the 695 selections and composers. The hymnal has sold more than one million copies.
His prolific career included hundreds of compositions and arrangements for soloists, quartets, choirs and orchestras.
Hooper is survived by his wife, Harriet, and their four children and families: Jim Hooper, Mrs. Jan (Lind), David Hooper, and Dan Hooper.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized. For more information see ww.vop.com