By Dr. Mal Couch
Public prayer, spiritual publications of poems and music, have always been a part of America, until recently. There are forces now trying to silence the Christian spiritual heritage of open and free expression to our God that made this nation great.
Each week Iíll add some historical tidbits as how Christian expression and public prayer was a vital part of our nationís blessing. We may not fully know of the spiritual state of all the men we examine, but we do know none of them were fearful of prayers to the God of the Bible in the public setting.
If you are a pastor or Sunday school teacher, please print off these little bits of our history and share them with others.
The Salvation Army began to reach out to the down-and-out with the gospel on the streets of our fast growing industrial cities following the Civil War. One member of the Army who left a mark beyond the inner city was George Bennard. His work on the streets of American cities inspired him to compose a hymn that without a doubt became the most popular gospel song written in the twentieth century. With its publication in 1913, "The Old Rugged Cross" became an instant classic.
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 old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown.