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Ira Sankey: The Gospel In Song

By Eric J. Fellman

I’m afraid that boy will never amount to anything,” an anguished David Sankey exclaimed. “All he does is run about the country with a hymnbook under his arm!”

Born in Edinburg, Pa., in 1840, Ira Sankey was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a Pennsylvania state senator. Instead, he would become the singing partner to international evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

When Ira was a boy, a neighboring farmer took him to Sunday school. Later, his own family began to attend King’s Chapel in Western Reserve Harbor. When he was 16, a revival speaker came to …

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