He Leadeth Me

In 1862 a preacher by the name of Joseph H. Gilmore prepared to mount the pulpit at a visiting church. As he sat in the congregation awaiting his opportunity to preach, he began writing a short poem that was in his heart. He preached a sermon entitled, “He leadeth Me,” centered around the poem that God had just previously given, and at invitation time, multiple people walked the isle and got saved. As Joseph went back to his seat, he handed the poem to his wife and forgot about even writing it to begin with. What he didn’t know is that his wife sent the poem to William B. Bradbury who would write the melody to this poem. William Bradbury had previously written the melody to hymns such as, “Jesus Loves Me”,” Just as I Am”, “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, and “The Solid Rock”. He took the poem by Joseph Gilmore and put it to music, then he sent it to get published on permission of Joseph Gilmore’s wife. Gilmore still had no idea that his wife had even sent the poem off until one day he went to preach at a different church and was shocked to find them singing the poem “He Leadeth Me”. This hymn that was once just a short poem on a wrinkled piece of paper, is now one of the most well-known hymns in churches today.