|Died||October 10, 1958 (aged 85)|
|Known for||"The Old Rugged Cross"|
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 Albia, Iowa. Some time later, they moved again to Lucas, Iowa. Although the young Bennard aspired to become a Christian evangelist, he was compelled to support his mother and sisters when his father died suddenly.
Evangelical and musical careers
After marrying, Bennard became active in the Salvation Army and preached throughout the United States and Canada. He was ordained as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 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". Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry. He died in Reed City, Michigan, where the local Chamber of Commerce erected a cross near his home.