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God of Our Fathers

posted Jul 2, 2017, 11:11 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 2, 2017, 11:11 AM ]
This hymn’s origins can be traced back to 1876, when our country was celebrating the 100
th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Of all the patriotic songs written for this Centennial celebration, this hymn is the only one that is still regularly heard.

Daniel C. Roberts was born in Long Island in 1841, but went to college in Ohio, and served in the American Civil War assigned to the 84
th Ohio Volunteers. After the war, he was ordained a priest in the Presbyterian Episcopal Church and sent to the small rural town of Brandon, Vermont. He wrote this text asking God to continue to guide and protect us as He has done in the past for their local 4th of July celebration.

But a few years later, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church was commissioned to choose a hymn for the celebration in 1888 of the Centennial of the Adoption of the United States Constitution. So he sent “God of Our Fathers” in for their consideration. They liked it, and the organist of St. Thomas Church on 5
th Avenue here in New York City, George William Warren, composed a new tune for it called NATIONAL HYMN.

Because of its use in that national celebration, the hymn became widely known, and as new hymnals were published, they included it. It has been widely sung now for more than a century.