Philipp Bliss

1838-1876. Baptist hymnwriter. Born in Pennsylvania where he was converted at twelve, he joined the Elk Run Baptist Church. With little financial resources, he was forced to work at farming and woodcutting until 1860, when he entered the Normal Academy of Music in New York. He soon gained a wide reputation as a bass of great range and beauty. In 1865 he was hired by the Root & Cady Company of Chicago to conduct musical conventions in the northwestern states. During this same period he made the acquaintance of famed evangelist D.L. Moody.* Bliss assisted in the musical ministry of Moody's campaigns as well as those of Major D.W. Whittle. Bliss and his wife met an untimely death in a train accident. He produced more than twenty familiar hymns and songs, such as “Almost persuaded,” “Brightly beams our Father's mercy,” and “Hallelujah! what a Saviour.” His tombstone bears the title of another of his hymns, “Hold the fort.”