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Spafford House (Air BnB)

Spafford House Air BnB


Spafford House is our church manse, that is used as an AirBnb and also at times, emergency

accommodation, situated next to the church.   If available, it can be used from anywhere between two days to two weeks for those who need a temporary safe place.   This initiative kicked off in 2016 with the "Is It Well With Your Soul" campaign, which included a flash mob and night rally.   The Air BnB is available and can be booked by anyone via the Air BnB website and bookings helps provides funds for when the house is needed for emergency accommodation.   For further information, please call Jolanda on 0428 550 189.

Horatio Spafford

Following is the story of Horatio Spafford, of whom we decided to name this house after and who wrote the famous hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. This house has been and will be a sanctuary for those needing it in a time of stress in their life. Your stay and your payment help those who need a helping hand. Horatio Gates Spafford (October 20, 1828, Troy, New York – October 16, 1888, Jerusalem) was a prominent American lawyer and Presbyterian Church elder. He is best known for penning the Christian hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” (see opposite), following a family tragedy in which his four daughters died aboard the S.S. Ville du Havre on a transatlantic voyage. Spafford was the son of Gazetteer author Horatio Gates Spafford and Elizabeth Clark Hewitt Spafford. On September 5, 1861 he married Anna Larsen of Stavanger, Norway in Chicago. Spafford was a lawyer and a senior partner in a large law firm. Spafford invested in real estate north of Chicago in the spring of 1871 when in October of the same year, the Great Fire of Chicago reduced the city to ashes, destroying most of Spafford's investment. Two years after the devastation of that Great Fire the family planned a trip to Europe. Late business demands (zoning issues arising from the Fire) kept Spafford from joining his wife and four daughters on a family vacation in England.

On November 22, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, the ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel killing 226 people, including all of Spafford's daughters. His wife, Anna, survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford that read "saved alone." After all that Spafford had lost and whilst sailing to England to join his wife, he wrote "It Is Well with My Soul." He had a hope beyond this world.

Following the sinking of the Ville du Havre, Anna gave birth to three children, Horatio Goertner, (1877), Bertha Hedges (March 24, 1878) and Grace (January 18, 1881). On February 11, 1880, Horatio died of scarlet fever at age three. Later on, in Jerusalem, Horatio and Anna Spafford adopted a teenager, Jacob Eliahu (1864–1932), who was born in Ramallah into a Turkish Jewish family. As a schoolboy, Jacob Spafford discovered the now famous Siloam inscription. Spafford died of malaria on October 16, 1888 and was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem.


The original manuscript has only four verses, but Spafford's daughter, Bertha Spafford Vester, who was born after the tragedy, said an additional verse was later added and the last line of the original song was modified. The music, written by Philip Bliss, was named after the ship on which Spafford's daughters died, Ville du Havre.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:) It is well (it is well),

with my soul (with my soul),

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:

If Jordan above me shall roll,

No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life

Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when the faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so, it is well with my soul.

Is it well with your soul today? If you need to talk to someone, please do not hesitate to call Peter on 0412 967008 or Jolanda on 0428 550189.

A few comments from guests ...

Ellen says, "Mr 14 said it's the best AirBnB he's ever stayed in. It was clean and tidy, we will definitely be back if it's ever free when we're in Moe".

Belinda says, "A stay at this BnB is worth it. Lovely hosts that will help you straight away if its needed. House is cosy and clean. 10/10 from us mums that needed a well deserved break."

Sarah writes, "We had a great stay. It was such a cosy house, it was a really enjoyable night. It had everything we needed including thoughtful extras like a basket of blocks for the kids. Thanks so much for a great stay and the amazing hot chocolate from the Cafe next door."

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