Born: Au­gust 3, 1858, Syr­a­cuse, New York.

Died: May 18, 1901, Na­ples, It­a­ly.

Buried: Oak­wood Cem­e­te­ry, Syr­a­cuse, New York.

Babcock at­tend­ed Syr­a­cuse Un­i­ver­si­ty and Au­burn The­o­log­ic­al Sem­in­ary. He ranked high as a stu­dent and par­ti­ci­pat­ed in both ath­let­ic and mu­sic­al ac­ti­vi­ties. Tall, broad shoul­dered, and mus­cu­lar, he was pre­s­ident of the base­ball team, an ex­pert pitch­er, and a good swim­mer. He played sev­er­al mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, di­rect­ed the school or­ches­tra, and played the or­gan and com­posed for it. He was a sing­er and lead­er of the glee club. He could do im­per­so­na­tions, was clev­er at draw­ing, and had a knack with tools. He was al­so an av­id fish­er­man. He might have become a pro­fes­sion­al mu­si­cian had he not chos­en the min­is­try.

His first pas­to­rate was at the First Pres­by­te­r­ian Church, Lock­port, New York. In 1886, he was called to Brown Me­mor­i­al Church, Bal­ti­more, Mar­y­land, where he of­ten coun­seled stu­dents at Johns Hop­kins Un­i­ver­si­ty. As his fame spread, he was asked to preach at col­leg­es all over Amer­i­ca. Bab­cock was not a great the­o­lo­gian or deep think­er, but had a tal­ent for pre­sent­ing spir­it­ua­l and eth­ic­al truths with fresh­ness and ef­fect. In do­ing this, he was aid­ed by his agile mind, wide range of knowledge, dra­ma­tic abil­i­ty, speech flu­en­cy, and mag­ne­tic per­son­al­i­ty.

Af­ter al­most 14 years in Bal­ti­more, Bab­cock was called to the pres­ti­gious pas­tor­ate of the Brick Pres­by­ter­i­an Church in New York Ci­ty, to fill the va­can­cy left by the re­tire­ment of Hen­ry Van Dyke. Babcock had been there on­ly 18 months when he made a trip to the Ho­ly Land. While over­seas, he died of bru­cel­losis.

Though Bab­cock pub­lished no­thing dur­ing his life, his wife Cath­er­ine col­lect­ed and pub­lished ma­ny of his writ­ings af­ter his un­time­ly death. A vol­ume of his po­ems con­tained This Is My Father’s World. Bab­cock, of course, nev­er heard his fa­mous hymn sung.



  1. Back of the Loaf Is the Snowy Flour
  2. Be Strong!
  3. Gaily the Bells Are Ringing
  4. No Dist­ant Lord Have I
  5. O Blessed Sav­ior, Lord of Love
  6. Rest in the Lord, My Soul
  7. Shining Sun, Shin­ing Sun
  8. This Is My Fa­ther’s World
  9. When the Great Sun Sinks to His Rest


  1. Prayer