Ira D. Sankey

Ira D. Sankey

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 13 Aug 1908 (aged 67)
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section 125, Lot 30550
Memorial ID 11610 · View Source
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American Gospel Singer and Composer. A prolific hymn writer, he was known as the "Sweet Singer of Methodism." He composed or arranged around 1,200 hymns during his lifetime, most notably "The Ninety and Nine," "Take Me as I Am," "How Can I Keep from Singing," and "A Shelter in the Time of Storm." He was born Ira David Sankey in Edinburg, Pennsylvania and at the age of 16, he was converted to Methodism in a revival meeting near his home. During the American Civil War, assisted his unit's chaplain, leading his fellow soldiers in hymn singing. After the War, Af-ter the war, he was employed by the Internal Revenue Service, and also worked with the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). He became well known as a Gospel singer, and soon came to the attention of evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody at a YMCA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly afterwards he attended his first evangelistic meeting with Moody, and resigned from government service to join his crusade. In October 1871, he and Moody were in the holding a revival meeting in Chicago, Illinois when the Great Chicago Fire began. They barely escaped with their lives and he managed to row far out on Lake Michigan. In 1872, he and Moody made the first of several joint visits to England and on one of those visits he met hymnist and writer Ada Habershon, who encouraged her to come to the US and give religious lectures. His works include "Welcome Tidings: A New Collection of Sacred Songs for the Sunday School" (1977) and "Gems of Songs for the Sunday School" (1901). He served as president of the Biglow & Main Publishing Company In New York City, New York from 1895 to 1908. In his later years, he became blind from glaucoma. He died in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 67, a few weeks short of his 68th birthday. In 1980 the Gospel Music Association recognized his many contributions to gospel music by inducting him in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 8 Aug 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11610
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ira D. Sankey (28 Aug 1840–13 Aug 1908), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11610, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .