This week in Christian history: ‘God of Our Fathers,’ Georg Schmidt arrives in Africa

'God of Our Fathers' first performed – July 4, 1876

Daniel C. Roberts
Daniel C. Roberts (1841-1907), an Episcopal Church deacon and veteran of the American Civil War who wrote the hymn "God of Our Fathers." |

This week marks the anniversary of when the notable American Christian hymn “God of Our Fathers” was first performed as part of a celebration of the United States’ centennial.

The lyrics of the famous hymn were written by Daniel Crane Roberts, an Episcopal Church deacon who had served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

At the time of the centennial, Roberts was serving as rector of an Episcopal congregation in the town of Brandon, Vermont, with his hymn being used for the local observance.

“Some years later, the Episcopal Church decided to publish a new hymnal and invited input,” explained an entry on the website Sermon Writer.

“Roberts submitted this hymn for consideration, but was so uncertain of its worth that he did so anonymously. He was surprised when the committee elected to include it in the hymnal, and at that time made his name known. The hymnal was published in 1892.”

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