Ira Stanphill

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Ira Forest Stanphill (February 14, 1914 – December 30, 1993) was a well-known American gospel music songwriter of the mid-twentieth century. Stanphill was born in Bellview, New Mexico.

By the age of ten, Stanphill had already become a fluent musician, having learned to play the piano, organ, ukulele, and accordion. At seventeen, he was composing and performing his own music for church services, revival campaigns, and prayer meetings.

Stanphill was educated at Junior College in Chillicothe, Missouri and later in life received an honorary PhD from Hyles-Anderson College in Hammond, Indiana.

As a singer evangelist, Stanphill traveled the United States and Canada extensively and around the world to forty countries over his career to preach and perform his music. Many famous secular singers have performed his works, such as Elvis Presley ("Mansion Over the Hilltop") and Johnny Cash ("Suppertime"). "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow",[1] "I Walk with His Hand in Mine", and "We'll Talk It Over" are a few of his titles that are familiar and still performed today

Stanphill was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (GMA) in 1981, and the Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) Hall of Fame in 2001.[2]

Stanphill died less than two months shy of his 80th birthday in Overland Park, Kansas, and was interred in Johnson County Memorial Gardens, Johnson County, Kansas.


  • Baxter, Mrs. J. R. and Videt Polk. Biographies of Gospel Song Writers. Dallas, Texas: Stamps-Baxter Music & Printing Company, 1971, pp. 19–21.
  • Osbeck, Kenneth W. 101 More Hymn Stories. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1985, pp. 231–232.
  • Reynolds, William Jensen Companion to Baptist Hymnal. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1976, pp 434.

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