A captivating photo of a musician's hands gently strumming the chords of a guitar, radiating a serene atmosphere that reflects the depth of love for Jesus.

Oh How I Love Jesus Chords: A Comprehensive Guide

Worship music has the power to move us and help us connect with God on a deeper level. One powerful hymn that has stood the test of time is “Oh How I Love Jesus”, a 19th century hymn with beautiful lyrics and unforgettable melody.

Its simple chords and memorable chorus make it easy for worship teams to learn while allowing the focus to remain on the meaningful lyrics.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The chords for “Oh How I Love Jesus” are D, G, and A7. Some arrangements may also include an Em chord.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide the chords and lyrics for “Oh How I Love Jesus”, explore the history and meaning behind the hymn, offer tips for how to best learn and lead the song, and provide additional resources for those hoping to master this timeless worship song.

Chords and Lyrics for “Oh How I Love Jesus”

“Oh How I Love Jesus” is a beloved Christian hymn written by Frederick Whitfield in 1855. With its simple yet powerful lyrics and memorable melody, it has become a congregational favorite across denominations. Here are the chords commonly used when leading this hymn:


G D7 G

Oh how I love Je-sus, Oh how I love Je-sus,

C G D7 G

Oh how I love Je-sus, be-cause He first loved me.



It tells me of a Sa-vior’s love, who died to set me free;

D7 G

It tells me of His pre-cious blood, the sin-ner’s per-fect plea.

Here are the full lyrics to this beloved hymn:

Verse 1

Oh how I love Je-sus, Oh how I love Je-sus,

Oh how I love Je-sus, be-cause He first loved me.


It tells me of a Sa-vior’s love, who died to set me free;

It tells me of His pre-cious blood, the sin-ner’s per-fect plea.

Verse 2:

I love to tell the sto-ry, will be my theme in glo-ry,

To tell the old, old sto-ry, of Je-sus and His love.

Verse 3:

I know I love Thee bet-ter, Lord, Than an-y earth-ly joy I know;

For Thou hast giv-en me the peace, Which noth-ing can de-stroy.

Verse 4:

I love to tell the sto-ry, More won-der-ful it seems

Than all the gold-en fan-cies Of all our gold-en dreams.

I love to tell the sto-ry, It did so much for me;

And that is just the rea-son I tell it now to thee.

History and Meaning of “Oh How I Love Jesus”

The beloved hymn “Oh How I Love Jesus” has an origin story reaching back over 100 years. Though the exact details have been lost to time, it is generally believed the lyrics were written by Frederick Whitfield in 1855.

Whitfield was an African American preacher living in Philadelphia, and the words expressed his genuine adoration and gratitude for his Lord and Savior.

The lyrics paint a picture of someone who is utterly devoted to Jesus, “There is no friend like the lowly Jesus,” and finds their identity in Him alone, “Oh how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus, Because He first loved me.

This personal intimacy and connection with Christ through His sacrificial love on the cross has resonated with Christians ever since.

Early Popularity in the American South

In the early 20th century, the hymn became very popular, especially among African American churches in the South. The passionate words combined with its lovely, lilting melody brought congregation members to their feet Sunday after Sunday.

By the mid-1900s, “Oh How I Love Jesus” was established as a gospel music standard across the country.

Over the decades, the song has been recorded by various artists and choirs. Mahalia Jackson, known as the Queen of Gospel Music, recorded a very popular version in 1956. Her smooth, rich voice added new depths of meaning to the earnest lyrics.

Other renowned artists such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston also recorded memorable renditions.

Global Reach & Continued Relevance

Today, “Oh How I Love Jesus” can be heard in churches across races, denominations, and national borders. It has been translated into many languages, enabling Christians worldwide to declare their devotion to Christ through this ageless hymn.

After more than 160 years, these lyrics retain their beauty and theological significance. They serve as a testament to the wonder of salvation and how having a relationship with Jesus radically transforms one’s life.

Christians today continue to find immense comfort, joy, and inspiration every time they sing or listen to “Oh How I Love Jesus.” There is little doubt this hymn will remain a treasured staple of worship services for years to come.

Year Written 1855
Writer Frederick Whitfield
Place of Origin Philadelphia, PA
Estimated Recordings 500+

Tips for Learning and Leading “Oh How I Love Jesus”

Simplify the Chords

“Oh How I Love Jesus” is a beautiful hymn with a simple chord progression. For beginners learning the song, focus first on getting comfortable with the basic chords like G, C, and D. Strum the chords in a steady rhythm.

Once you have the chord changes down, you can add more advanced strumming patterns. Reducing the number of chords makes the song more accessible for new musicians.

Focus on the Lyrics

The lyrics of “Oh How I Love Jesus” express deep devotion and praise. As you practice the song, devote time to carefully reading or singing through the words. Let the lyrics sink into your heart and mind.

Singing with sincerity and meaning will make the song resonate more richly with your voice and spirit. Highlight key lines like “There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth” to connect with the beautiful message.

Sing with Joy and Conviction

When leading or singing “Oh How I Love Jesus,” do so with energy and confidence! This is a song of celebration, so sing it with joy. Use dynamics and phrasing to share your enthusiasm. Sing the chorus with passion, emphasizing lines like “Oh how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus.”

Let your sincere appreciation for Christ shine through. Your conviction will inspire others to praise God through this meaningful hymn.

Additional Resources for Mastering “Oh How I Love Jesus”

Hymnal Recordings

“Oh How I Love Jesus” is a beloved hymn that has been recorded by numerous artists over the years. Listening to different renditions can help you get a feel for the song and learn new ways to sing it. Here are some recommended hymnal recordings to check out:

  • The Classic Hymns Orchestra – This beautiful instrumental version with soaring strings and woodwinds brings the hymn to life.
  • Fernando Ortega – His smooth baritone voice and simple acoustic guitar accompaniment make this a peaceful, reverent recording.
  • Mahalia Jackson – The iconic gospel singer lends her powerful vocals for a rousing, soulful version.
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir – A massive choir and pipe organ create a triumphant, majestic sound.

Listening to hymnal recordings allows you to appreciate different nuances in the music and absorb new ideas for phrasing, dynamics, and interpretation. Immersing yourself in great performances will rub off on your own singing of this timeless hymn.

Tutorial Videos

In addition to audio recordings, watching tutorial videos is another excellent way to improve your skills with “Oh How I Love Jesus.” Here are some recommended YouTube tutorials to check out:

  • Piano Tutorial – Learn how to play the hymn on piano with this step-by-step lesson.
  • Guitar Tutorial – Master basic guitar chords and strumming patterns for “Oh How I Love Jesus.”
  • Vocal Coaching – Get tips on breath control, pitch, diction, and expression for singing this hymn.
  • Sign Language Tutorial – Learn how to sign the lyrics to make worship more inclusive.

Following along with online video tutorials allows you to absorb visual demonstrations of how to play and sing “Oh How I Love Jesus.” Slowing the videos down, repeating sections, and taking notes are great ways to learn.

With quality instructional content online, you can hone your musical skills from the comfort of your home.

Lead Sheets and Chord Charts

Lead sheets and chord charts provide the musical framework for performing “Oh How I Love Jesus.” These resources show the basic melody line, lyrics, and chords, giving you a simple map to follow. Here are some places to find useful lead sheets and charts:

  • Hymnary.org – Offers lead sheets with melody, lyrics, and chords.
  • PraiseCharts – Provides chord charts for guitar, piano, and more.
  • MusicNotes – Sells downloadable lead sheets with notation.
  • Hymnal Books – Check the index for keys, guitar chords, etc.

With lead sheets or chord charts, you can easily improvise harmonies, adapt the song for your instrument, transpose to new keys, and more. They are invaluable resources for understanding the core components of the hymn.

Pair them with recordings and tutorials to become a confident “Oh How I Love Jesus” leader.


For over a century, “Oh How I Love Jesus” has been touching hearts and reminding believers of the joy found in a relationship with Christ. With its straightforward chords and jubilant lyrics, this hymn is easy to learn but powerful to sing.

Following the tips in this guide can help worship teams successfully lead this song, allowing its timeless message to continue inspiring new generations of Christians. May the truths in “Oh How I Love Jesus” fill all who sing it with a fresh awareness of God’s love and grace.

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