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Philip Bliss

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Philip Bliss
Born 9 July 1838 Pennsylvania
Died 29 December 1876 Ashtabula, Ohio
Parents Isaac Bliss
Spouse Lucy Young
Religious affiliation Evangelical Protestant
Converted 1850


Philip Paul Bliss was one of the world's best-known hymn-writers, responsible for hymns such as Dare to be a Daniel, Hallelujah, what a Savior, Jesus loves even me, My Redeemer, Whosoever will, and Wonderful words of life. He also composed the music for hymns written by others, notably It is well with my soul, by Horatio Spafford.

Bliss worked in a lumber camp, as a farm hand, and as a music teacher, before devoting himself full time to being a singing evangelist, following the urging of Dwight L. Moody. Moody invited him to accompany him to England for some evangelistic meetings, but he turned Moody down. Moody took Ira Sankey instead, and in that tour the Mooday and Sankey team became famous. Bliss subsequently joined up with evangelist D. W. Whittle, and together they conducted more than a score of evangelistic campaigns.

Bliss, aged 38, with his wife Lucy, died in December 1876 when the train they were travelling to Chicago fell into the Ashtabula River when the bridge over the river in Ashtabula, Ohio, collapsed under the train in what was at the time America's worst railway disaster. This was not long after writing the music to Spafford's It is well with my soul, written by Spafford following the deaths of his four daughters at sea. The words of one of his most famous songs, My Redeemer, was found in his luggage which survived the train accident, with the music not yet written. The music was added by James McGranahan.

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