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George Bennard

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George Bennard
Born(1873-02-04)February 4, 1873
DiedOctober 10, 1958(1958-10-10) (aged 85)
Known for"The Old Rugged Cross"

George Bennard (February 4, 1873 – October 10, 1958) was an American hymn composer and preacher. He is best known for composing the famous hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross".

Early years[edit]

Bennard was born in the coal-mining and iron-production town of Youngstown, Ohio. When he was still a child, his parents relocated the family to Albion, Michigan. Some time later, they moved again to Lucas, Iowa.[1] Although the young Bennard aspired to become a Christian evangelist, he was compelled to support his mother and sisters after his father died suddenly.[1]

Evangelical and musical careers[edit]

After marrying, Bennard became active in the Salvation Army and preached throughout the United States and Canada.[1] He was ordained as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church.[1] He spent much of his life in Michigan and Wisconsin. As a well-regarded author of Christian hymns, his most famous work is "The Old Rugged Cross". He wrote ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ at Albion College, in Albion, Michigan, at 1101 East Michigan Avenue, a building that later became the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house. It has since been torn down, but a historical marker is on the site. Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry.[2] He died in Reed City, Michigan, where the local Chamber of Commerce erected a cross near his home.[1]

Bennard is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bennard Biography". Cyber Hymnal. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  2. ^ Reed City Museum Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. A memorial has also been created in Youngstown at Lake Park Cemetery. "Old Rugged Cross part of Youngstown history." Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]