Reverend Peter Scholtes was a Roman Catholic Priest and songwriter. Perhaps he was best known as the composer of the title tune which went beyond its mainline roots to become the banner song of the Jesus movement . I've been told that he wrote They'll Know We Are Christians for an event at his parish in the early 1960's. It appeared on this recording sponsored by his congregation.
Despite that tune’s popularity this South Side Chicago reverend’s lp remains relatively unknown. Not so much a solo lp as a collection of his songs performed by members of his congregation.
01. They'll Know We Are Christians
02. Take My Hand
03. Choose Life
04. There Once Was A Man
05. Lord Have Mercy - Missa Bossa Nova
06. Glory To God - Missa Bossa Nova
07. Holy, Holy - Missa Bossa Nova
08. Our Father - Missa Bossa Nova
09. Lamb Of God - Missa Bossa Nova
10. Open Up The Boxes
11. The Lord Bless You
12. Glory Be To Israel
13. Shout And Clap Your Hands
14. We Gather Together
15. Lord Have Mercy - Mass of 67th Street
16. Holy, Holy - Mass of 67th Street
17. Lamb Of God - Mass Of 67th Street
The title song They'll Know We are Christians is based on John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
I cannot find too much from a historical background on the tune. I do know that it was published by a group called F.E.L Music with a copyright date of 1966. F.E.L. was a publisher of religious songs and sheet music. They filed suit against the Diocese of Chicago in 1982. F.E.L. Publications. Ltd. v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago, 214 U.S.P.Q. (ENA) 409, 412 (7th Cir. 1982). This became a landmark case in copyright law.
In 1991 the copyright was assigned to Lorenz Publications which is another publisher of religious sheet music and choral arrangements.
Reverend Peter Scholtes is sometimes mistaken for some other authors that have the same name.
I am thankful that he allowed God to let him be a vessel at a time when we needed this song.
Some parts of this post were excerpted from the Ancient Star Song blog by Ken Scott