Pokagon in Cass County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Methodist Episcopal Church / The Old Rugged Cross
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.
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
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. Touch 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 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, Music • Churches & Religion •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 23, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 489 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 23, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.