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Philipp Paul Bliss (1838-1876)
Philipp Paul Bliss (1838-1876) was an American composer and singing evangelist. He was born in Clearfield County, PA, and left home as a young boy to make a living by working on farms and in lumber camps, whilst trying to continue his education.
Converted at a revival meeting when twelve, Bliss became an itinerant music teacher, making house calls on horseback during the winter, and during the summer attending the Normal Academy of Music in Genesco, New York.
His first song was published in 1864, and in 1868 Dwight L. Moody advised him to become a singing evangelist. For the last two years of his life Bliss travelled with Major D. W. Whittle and led the music at revival meetings in the Midwest and Southern United States. Bliss and Ira D. Sankey published a popular series of hymn collections entitled Gospel Hymns. The first book of the series, Gospel Songs, was published in 1874.
Bliss’s tragic death at the age of thirty-eight happened near the end of 1876. Philip P. Bliss and his wife were traveling to Chicago to sing for the evangelistic services led by Daniel W. Whittle at Dwight L. Moody’s Tabernacle, but were killed in a train crash.
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