Stand Up! Stand Up For Jesus

Would you stand up for Jesus against all odds? It’s easy for us to say yes, but what if every other aspect of your life was falling apart? What if standing for Jesus means going against the norm? Such is the story of Dudley Tyng.

Dudley Tyng was a young 29-year-old preacher in 1858 during a city-wide evangelistic revival in Philadelphia. Tyng was thought of as a bold, uncompromising, and influential preacher of his time. In his early life, he grew up watching his father pastoring their local church. Soon after his father’s retirement from the ministry, Tyng took over the local church. In fact, his straightforward preaching heavily rooted in doctrine and his strong anti-slavery stance upset several members of his congregation. This led him to resign from that church and form his own church.

Tyng also held services at the local YMCA and many young men were drawn to listen to the bold young preacher. In fact, on March 30, 1858, it is recorded that over 5,000 men gathered and over 1,000 men gave their life to God. It is noted that during that sermon, Tyng stated, “I must tell my Master’s errand, and I would rather that this right arm were amputated at the trunk than that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God’s message.” It just so happened that the following week while visiting the countryside, Tyng’s sleeve got caught in a corn thresher and his arm was severely injured. As the main artery was severed, his arm had to be amputated. However, due to a severe infection, he died only four days later. Even during his last breath his thoughts were upon God as he whispered, “Let us all stand up for Jesus.”

The following week preacher George Duffield paid tribute to his friend by closing the sermon with a poem he penned inspired by his friend Tyng’s last words. Over time, an editor of a hymnal heard the poem and was inspired to set it to music to create the hymn we know today!

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV).