Courtesy photoThe classic Christian hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" was written On the other, the story of the old Methodist Episcopal Church. Hymn Story: The Old Rugged Cross. Al Smith. Submitted by Ayo Owodunni, Nigeria. I had the privilege of singing at the Mel Trotter Mission in Grand Rapids. "The Old Rugged Cross" is a popular hymn written in by evangelist and song-leader . The Story of the Old Rugged Cross at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin ( Sturgeon Bay: John H. Baxter, ), 6. ^ William J. Reynolds, Songs of Glory: Stories. "The Old Rugged Cross" soon came to the attention of Homer Rodeheaver, the song leader for evangelist Billy Sunday, and Rodeheaver. If someone approached you, asking you to name America's most popular hymn, no doubt many of you would respond with "The Old Rugged. Read the lyrics to The Old Rugged Cross and discover the inspirational story and meaning behind one of the most popular hymns of all time!. Today, that same church building, originally a hops barn, is owned by the non- profit Old Rugged Cross Foundation and welcomes thousands of. What do the gospel hymns “The Old Rugged Cross” and “I Come to the Garden Alone” have in common? Both compositions were completed virtually at the. So I'll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it someday for a crown.