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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pokagon in Cass County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Methodist Episcopal Church / The Old Rugged Cross

 
 
Methodist Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 22, 2013
1. Methodist Episcopal Church Marker
Inscription.
(Obverse Side)
Methodist Episcopal Church
Circuit-riding Methodist ministers held religious services in Pokagon Township during the 1830s and 1840s. A class was organized in Sumnerville in 1840. In 1876 the Methodists purchased this building, which had been built in 1862 as a hops barn, and renovated it as a church. They constructed a belfry and installed pews and stained glass windows in pointed frames. In this church, in 1913, "The Old Rugged Cross" was sung in its entirety for the first time. The following year the Methodists purchased the nearby Baptist Church, selling this building to John Phillips who used it as a storage barn. In 1998 the Pokagon United Methodist Church reacquired the church for restoration.

(Reverse Side)
The Old Rugged Cross
In January 1913 the Reverend Leroy O. Bostwick, assisted by the Reverend George Bennard of Albion, held a series of religious revivals at the Pokagon Methodist Episcopal Church. Before the event, the Dowagiac Daily News predicated a large attendence, announcing "Mr. Bennard is a sweet singer and a splendid gospel preacher." Bennard had begun composing the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" while in Albion the previous year. He completed the hymn here in preparation for the revival services. During the revival it was sung publically
The Old Rugged Cross Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 22, 2013
2. The Old Rugged Cross Marker
for the first time by the Pokagon Methodist Episcopal Church choir. Impressed by Bennard's hymn, the Reverend and Mrs. Bostwick financed its first printing. The "Old Rugged Cross" quickly became one of the popular hymns in the United States.
 
Erected 2000 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L668.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 41° 54.709′ N, 86° 10.447′ W. Marker is in Pokagon, Michigan, in Cass County. Marker is at the intersection of Vermont Street and Kansas Street, on the left when traveling south on Vermont Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 61041 Vermont St, Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sumnerville Mounds / Sumnerville Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); Morris Chapel Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); Howard Township Hall (approx. 3.9 miles away); Union Church and Cemetery (approx. 5.2 miles away); Dowagiac World War I Memorial (approx. 5.8 miles away); 19th Michigan Infantry Memorial
Methodist Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 22, 2013
3. Methodist Episcopal Church
(approx. 5.8 miles away); Willis M. Farr (approx. 5.8 miles away); Dowagiac Civil War Monument (approx. 5.9 miles away).
 
Regarding Methodist Episcopal Church / The Old Rugged Cross. The Methodist Episcopal Church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This list includes markers discussing the composition of the song "Old Rugged Cross".
 
Also see . . .  Lyrics to The Old Rugged Cross. (Submitted on April 23, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicChurches, Etc.
 
Rear of Methodist Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 22, 2013
4. Rear of Methodist Episcopal Church
Viewed from the Memorial Garden
Rock Marker at entrance to Memorial Garden image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 22, 2013
5. Rock Marker at entrance to Memorial Garden
Rock Marker to The Old Rugged Cross image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 22, 2013
6. Rock Marker to The Old Rugged Cross
The Old Rugged Cross composed by George Bennard was first sung in this church by a choir comprised of Frank Virgil, Olive Marrs, Clara Virgil, Wm Thaldorf, Florence Jones - organist, Arthur Dodd - violinist. 1913.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 452 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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