Franklin L. Sheppard

Short Name: Franklin L. Sheppard
Full Name: Sheppard, Franklin L., 1852-1930
Birth Year: 1852
Death Year: 1930

Franklin L. Sheppard (1852-1930) was a well-known Christian hymn composer who set the poem, "This is My Father's World," to music.

Sheppard was born on Au­gust 7, 1852 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sheppard at­tend­ed Will­iam Few­smith’s Clas­sic­al School and the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated as val­e­dic­tor­i­an in 1872. In 1875, Sheppard moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to run the found­ry for his fa­ther’s stove and heat­er man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­ny. Shepard at­tend­ed the Zi­on Pro­test­ant Epis­co­pal Church in Bos­ton, but lat­er switched to Presbyterianism. He event­u­al­ly joined the Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and be­came pres­i­dent of the Pres­by­ter­i­an Board of Pub­li­ca­tions and Sab­bath-School Work. In 1915, he ed­it­ed the Pres­by­ter­i­an song book 'Al­le­lu­ia,' which included the song "This is My Father's World."

In 1915 Shepard set to music, "This is My Father's World," a poem written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock, a minister from New York, who had been a close friend of Sheppard's. Sheppard, apparently did not want to call attention to himself and signed using his initials rearranged as "S.F.L." Most sources state that Sheppard adapted the music from a traditional English melody. The poem originally had sixteen verses, but Sheppard chose only three verses.

Shepard died on Feb­ru­a­ry 15, 1930 in Phil­a­del­phia.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us