The Singing Evangelist


Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,

Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;

Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,

We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Refrain: Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,

We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,

We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,

Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;

By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,

We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,

Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;

When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,

We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

“Bringing in the Sheaves”, that great Protestant hymn, was written by Knowles Shaw in 1874. The hymn was inspired by the Bible verse, Psalm 126:6—“He that goeth forth and weepth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Knowles Shaw was an unlikely preacher and hymnist. He was born October 31, 1834, in Butler County, Ohio, and raised in Rushville, Indiana. He was the son of Albin and Hulda Knowles. At a young age, Shaw’s father lay dying and admonished his son to take care of his mother and siblings and to prepare to meet God. Shaw proved to be a scrapper and took all sorts of odd jobs—cobbler, carpenter, shop clerk, among others—to help his family make ends meet. One source of joy and income was the violin that Shaw’s father had left him. Shaw had musical talent and used the instrument to play at dances and parties. It was at one of the parties that Shaw had an epiphany. He would no longer use his instrument for entertainment but would dedicate his talent and his life to the Lord and for good purposes.


Knowles Shaw, who was not only a talented musician, was also a spirited speaker and preacher with a deep knowledge and understanding of the Bible, soon gathered a large following. His meetings would draw huge crowds where there would be singing, preaching, and baptisms of people coming to the Lord. It is estimated that Shaw baptized 20,000 during his tenure as a preacher. Knowles became known as “The Singing Evangelist.”

On June 7, 1878, died when the train he was riding in derailed and plunged into a ravine on his way to McKinney, Texas. When his body was returned to Rushville for the funeral, the crowd was large that his service had to be performed outside in the courthouse square to accommodate the throngs of mourners who wanted to pay their last respects.


Knowles Shaw’s white marble tombstone in the East Hill Cemetery at Rushville, Indiana, tells the story of his death, the epitaph reports his last words:



Of the church of Christ


Oct. 13, 1834.




JUNE 7, 1878.

INTERED JUNE 13, 1878.

It is a grand thing to rally

People to the cross.


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