August 28, 1840, Edinburg, Pennsylvania.

August 13, 1908, Brooklyn, New York.

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.


As a young man, Sankey served in the American civil war. He often helped the unit chaplain and led his fellow soldiers in hymn singing. After the war, he joined the Internal Revenue Service, and also worked with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He became well known as a Gospel singer, and eventually came to the attention of evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody. The two men met at a YMCA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June, 1870. Some months later, Sankey attended his first evangelistic meeting with Moody, and resigned from government service shortly thereafter.

In October 1871, Sankey and Moody were in the middle of a revival meeting when the Great Chicago Fire began. The two men barely escaped the conflagration with their lives. Sankey ended up watching the city burn from a rowboat far out on Lake Michigan.

Sankey composed about 1,200 songs in his lifetime. He was blind from glaucoma the last five years of his life, and no doubt found a kindred spirit in his blind friend and music making partner Fanny Crosby. His works include:

  1. Able to Deliver
  2. Army of Endeavor
  3. Awake and Watch
  4. Azariah
  5. Barbuda
  6. Be Ye Strong in the Lord
  7. Behold the Wondrous Love
  8. Believe and Obey
  9. Bermuda
  10. Blessèd Redeemer
  11. Bountiful Harvest
  12. Bring in the Children
  13. Buenos Aires
  14. Christian’s Good Night, The
  15. Cleansing Fountain, The
  16. Clephane
  17. Come Home, My Child
  18. Come, Oh Come, with Thy Broken Heart
  19. Come, Prodigal, Come
  20. Crewdson
  21. Daniel
  22. Denpasar
  23. Descend, O Flame
  24. Douglas
  25. Esrom
  26. Faith Is the Victory
  27. Fisherman’s Wharf
  28. Gather in the Sheaves
  29. Glory Ever Be to Jesus
  30. Grace, ’Tis a Charming Sound
  31. Grand Is the Song
  32. Grasmere
  33. Great Jehovah, Mighty Lord
  34. Habana
  35. Hanoi
  36. Handwriting on the Wall, The
  37. Harbor Bell, The
  38. Have You Sought?
  39. He Who Safely Keepeth
  40. Hear Us, O Savior!
  41. Help Me
  42. How Can I Keep from Singing?
  43. I Am Praying for You
  44. I Am Redeemed
  45. I Know He Is Mine
  46. It Is Finished!
  47. It Passeth Knowledge
  48. Jesse
  49. Jesus, I Will Trust Thee
  50. Kawasaki
  51. King Is Coming, The
  52. Lattimore
  53. Let the Blessèd Savior In
  54. Let Us Walk in the Light
  55. Light After Darkness
  56. Little Steps
  57. Little While, A
  58. Łódź
  59. Lord Is King!, The
  60. Mace
  61. Marlborough
  62. Marley
  63. Matagorda
  64. Minas Gerais
  65. Mirjana
  66. Model Church, The
  67. Mountain
  68. My Ship Is Coming In
  69. Never Say Goodbye
  70. Newcastle
  71. Ninety and Nine, The
  72. Not Far from the Kingdom
  73. Not Now, My Child
  74. O Blessèd Be the Lord
  75. O Brother, Life’s Journey Beginning
  76. O Beautiful Sea
  77. O Believe Him
  78. O Child of God
  79. O Serve the Lord
  80. O Songs of the Beautiful
  81. O, What a Savior
  82. O Zion! Lovely Zion!
  83. O’er Land and Sea
  84. Only Remembered
  85. Only to Know
  86. Onward, Soldiers
  87. Onward Will We Go
  88. Onward, Upward
  89. Out of the Shadow-Land
  90. Over the Beautiful River
  91. Precious Blessings
  92. Precious Words
  93. Resurrection Morn
  94. San Marcos
  95. Sankey
  96. Send the Gospel Light
  97. Send Us Showers of Blessing
  98. Seward
  99. Shadow of the Rock, The
  100. Shelter in the Time of Storm, A
  101. Sheppard
  102. Shine On, O Star!
  103. Shipton
  104. Simeon
  105. Soldier of the Cross, A
  106. Song of Heaven and Homeland, A
  107. Sonoma
  108. Stacy
  109. Steiner
  110. Story Must Be Told, The
  111. Story That Never Grows Old, The
  112. Substitution
  113. Take Me as I Am
  114. Tarragona
  115. Tell It Out
  116. There Are Lonely Hearts to Cherish
  117. There Is a Paradise of Rest
  118. There’ll Be No Dark Valley
  119. They That Be Wise
  120. This Is Our Endeavor
  121. Through the Valley and the Shadow
  122. Thy Hand Upholdeth Me
  123. Tirana
  124. To Arms! To Arms! Ye Soldiers!
  125. To Be There
  126. Topeka
  127. Trim Thy Lamp
  128. Trust
  129. Trusting Jesus
  130. Under His Wings
  131. Waiting for Thy Coming
  132. We Will Follow Thee
  133. Welcome! Wanderer, Welcome!
  134. What a Gathering
  135. When My Weary Hands Are Folded
  136. When the King Shall Come!
  137. When the Mists Have Rolled Away
  138. Where the Savior Leads
  139. Whoever Will, Whoever Will
  140. Whosoever Shall Call
  141. Wonderful Word

Great Chicago Fire, 1871