When he was a child the family moved to Albia in Iowa. There hejoined the Salvation Army and for several years preached throughout the United States and Canada before he was ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
He is thought to have written some 100 hymns. He wrote words and tune for his best known hymn “The Old Rugged Cross” in 1913.
Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, where he died in 1959. The town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry.
On A Hill Far Away Lyrics
1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the ...