Birthdays on February 4
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born at Breslau, Poland. When Hitler took over the churches in Germany, making them propaganda tools for his destructive purposes, Bonhoeffer was among the few to protest, and to make a bold stand against Hitler's power. He was arrested in April 1943 and hung in 1944, shortly after being implicated in a plot to kill Hitler.
George Bennard was born in Youngstown, Ohio. He authored "The Old Rugged Cross." This was one of more than 300 hymns by this Methodist evangelist, but the only one to survive, and is often voted the most popular of all our hymns. The son of a coal miner, the family moved to Iowa when he was a small child. While attending a meeting of the Salvation Army he was converted, and later wanted to become a minister. However, at 16, his father died, leaving him the sole support of his mother and four sisters. Further education was impossible, but he gained his theological knowledge through close association with ministers and by his own reading and study. Bennard died at age 85, October 10, 1958 at his home in Reed City, Mich.