Episcopalian Reverend Dudley A. Tyng (1825-1858) was a dynamic preacher known for taking strong stands against evil, no matter what the cost. His sermon regarding the evils of slavery in America is still in print today. This sermon resulted in him being removed from one of his pastorates.
On Tuesday, March 30, 1858, Tyng preached a sermon on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men and serve the Lord”, at a YMCA noon mass meeting. Tyng delivered his message to 5,000 men that day. More than 1,000 of those men responded to the altAr call, to receive Jesus as their Savior. Just over a week later, Tyng lay dying as a result of a tragic accident. His final statement, whispered to friends and family, was “Let us all stand up for Jesus.”
The Sunday following Tyng’s death, Presbyterian Pastor George Duffield (1818-1888) preached a sermon on Ephesians 6:14, as a tribute to the final words of his friend Tyng. He concluded his sermon with a six-stanza poem. Duffield’s Sunday School superintendant printed copies of the poem and distributed them to all the congregation.
One of the pamphlets fell into the hands of the editor of a Baptist periodical. The editor was so impressed with the verses that he printed them in his widely read publication. The poem Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, has since become one of the most recognized hymns in all English-speaking Christendom.
Several melodies have been written for Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. The one used in most hymnals today was written by George J. Webb (1803-1907), founder of the Boston Academy of Music.