"Old Rugged Cross" / Methodist Episcopal Church
In January 1913 the Reverend Leroy O. Bostwick, assisted by the Reverend George Bennard of Albion, held a series of religious revivals at the Pokagon Methodist Episcopal Church. Before the event, the Dowagiac Daily News predicted a large attendance, announcing "Mr. Bennard is a sweet singer and a splendid gospel preacher." Bennard had begun composing the hymm "The Old Rugged Cross" while in Albion the previous year. He completed the hymm here in preparation for the revival services. During the revival it was sung publically for the first time by the Pokagon Methodist Episcopal Church choir. Impressed by Bennard's hymm, the Reverend and Mrs. Bostwick financed its first printing. The "The Old Rugged Cross" quickly became one of the most popular hymms in the United States.