The old rugged cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
  The emblem of suff’ring 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 old rugged cross,
  And exchange it some day for a crown.
Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
  Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
  To bear it to dark Calvary.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
  A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
  To pardon and sanctify me.
Franklin Ahamefule Nnakaihe

Orlu, IMO, South East, Nigeria

In this hymn I see the humility of Christ manifest, the redemptive hope of sinners assured, and the symbol of Christianity echoed.

This hymn should be a vademecum to a retiring soul seeking rest in God.

Donna J Morris

Englewood, CO, United States

The Old Rugged Cross is the first song my Mother taught me to sing when I was very young, I am 73 now, She taught me to pay it on piano and I just heard Sandi Patty sing it , I am writing a poem about it now. I am an author of three recent books, Donna Alcoholic Extraordinaire, Faith Hope Love, and Hell is Real So Is Heaven. Sandi Patty was saying how laying down the trophy's can also mean laying at the cross our angers, our hurts, our pain not just things like my books I wrote with Jesus direction. The Old Rugged makes the difference in every born again believers life. Thanks for the reminder

Odo Kenneth

Benin, Enugu, Nigeria

The hymns give me joy and on making to feel blessed indeed appreciate God and those uploaded these hymn

Ana Lara

United States

This gospel hymn, a favorite of many-a-Christian and one of the most popular hymns of the twentieth century was written by George Bennard in 1913.

George Bennard was born in Youngstown, Ohio, but his parents soon moved to Albia, Iowa, and later to the town of Lucas, Iowa . It was here that George accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. At age fifteen, his father died and George entered the ranks of the Salvation Army after his sixteenth birthday. George and his first wife served together as officers for a period of time in this organization.

Bennard was ordained by the Methodist Episcopalian Church, where he was involved in conducting revival services, especially throughout the states of Michigan and New York. One time, after returning to Michigan, he passed through a trying time which caused him to reflect about the significance of the cross and what the apostle Paul meant by entering into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. As George contemplated on these truths, he realized that the cross was the very heart of the gospel. George Bennard left the following account regarding the writing of this hymn.

The inspiration came to me one day in 1913, when I was staying in Albion, Michigan. When I began to write “The Old Rugged Cross, ” I composed the melody first. The words that I wrote were imperfect. The words of the finished hymn were put into my heart in answers to my own need. Shortly thereafter it was introduced at special meetings in Pokagon, Michigan on June 7, 1913. The first occasion where it was heard outside the church at Pokagon was at the Chicago Evangelistic Institute. There it was introduced before a large convention and soon became extremely popular throughout the country.

Not long after writing this hymn, George Bennard sent a manuscript copy to Charles Gabriel, one of the leading gospel hymn composers of that era. Gabriel’s prophecy, “You will certainly hear from this song, ” was soon realized as “The Old Rugged Cross” became one of the most widely published songs, either sacred or secular in the United States.

Bernard continued his evangelistic ministries for forty more years after the writing of this hymn. He wrote other favorite gospel hymns, but none ever achieved the response of “The Old Rugged Cross. ” On October 9, 1958 at the age of eighty-five, Bernard passed away changing his “cross for a crown. ” He spent the last years of his life by the “side of the road, ” a few miles north of Reed City, Michigan. Near this home there still stands a twelve foot cross with the words, “ ‘The Old Rugged Cross’- Home of George Bennard, composer of this beloved hymn. ”


I cling to the old rugged cross. Therein lies my salvation total. Thank you Jesus

Henrich Brockhaus

Bellingham, WA, United States

You might want to look up MAR 13, 2015 Steve Miller quoting

George Beverly Shea in "How Sweet the Sound" and how Shea met the writer of this hymn. You might also want to go to YouTube and listen to Shea sing it. George Beverly Shea is, of course, the singer known from the Billy Graham crusades.

And here is stanza 4:

To the old rugged Cross, I will ever be true

Its shame and reproach gladly bear

Then He'll call me some day to my home far away

Where His glory forever I'll share

Ubosic Chuks

Anambra/Awka, Nigeria

Verse 4

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true

Its shame and reproach glady bear

Till he calls me someday, to my home far away

Where his glory forever I'll share.

Sylvie Ndoh Isowe

Mutengene, SW Region, Cameroon

I love this song, it draws me closer to the Cross. Blessed be God forever.

Marty Raybon

Muscle Shoals, Alabama, United States

But GOD, Forbid that I should glory, Save in The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, By whom the World is crucified unto me, And unto the world. Galatians 6:14

My Hell debt, was paid at the cross. In that led to the resurrection. His Grace, His love, forever I’ll share. Thank you Father.

Marty Raybon


United States

old rugged cross