That is the Question!
Who actually wrote this awe inspiring poem that has comforted millions of people around the world in their darkest times?
I never knew there were different versions of the Footprints in the Sand Poem until I started this website. You truly learn something new everyday. 😉
I started researching to find out who actually wrote this poem and figured I’d share with you my findings.
I ran across this website http://www.wowzone.com/fpnews.htm that has done enormous amounts of research as well as received letters from those representing or are close to the people claiming to have written this poem. I highly recommend you check the research done on Footprints in the sand poem and see all the correspondence they have on the site. It’s definitely an eye opener.
It appears that Mary Stevenson wrote the earliest version of this poem back in 1939 when she was just a teenager. On May 3, 1997 proof of authenticity was given when Kurt Schwalbe, a leading professional in document forensics in the United States, claimed the document and hand writing to be 40-60 years old. This would line up with the 1936-1939. It’s sad that legal issues are still going on even after her death in 1999. You can find out more about Mary Stevenson by visiting her official site.
Next on the scene to claim ownership was Margaret Fishback Powers who wrote the poem during a Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in 1964. The poem was actually called “I Had a Dream,” but is now so widely known as “Footprints in the Sand.”
Footprints: The True Story Behind the Poem That Inspired Millions was initially released and published by Harper Collins in 1993. In 1995, Margaret compiled Footprints Book of Inspirations, which has sold more than 80,000 copies. One year later she released Life’s Little Inspiration Book II, equally popular for its little gems of wisdom, each accompanied by an appropriate quotation from the Scriptures.
The different versions of the poem “Footprints in the Sand” are very similar and have touched the hearts of millions of people world-wide.
I wonder if God actually spoke to both of these women and gave them something so special in a season of their lives when they most needed it, then allowed them to share it with us all?
I know that millions of dollars have been earned on this poem and it’s only right that the author should receive not only recognition but also compensation, but what if God in all his infinite wisdom and sense of humor actually spoke to the hearts of those that write poems so that it would be read by so many and minister to all of us?
Did you know that there were so many different versions of this one Poem? If so, how did you find out?
10 thoughts on “Who wrote Footprints in the Sand Poem”
Willard Thomas wrote the original Footprints in the Sand poem he just never got it copyrighted.
Hi Jenny, I would love to learn more about Willard Thomas. Is there a site I might be able to check out so I can add him to this list?
Thanks so much for stopping and sharing this with me.
You can YouTube Bro. Willard Thomas. After listening to him recite other of his poems, I’m sure you’ll know he truly did write footprints. I heard him say one day that if he had gained the copyright and credit for that poem, the fame would have ruined him. He passed away in 2013.
This was correct of brother Willard. He was my pastor.
I also agree Willard Thomas wrote the poem! He has since passed. But he has a book of poems that is called gathered fragments poetry and prose.
I was with Willard Thomas in several meetings. I have no doubt he was sincerely the author of Footprints in the Sand. I also heard him say that the fame, had credit been given to him over the popularity of this work, would have “ruined” him. I also, not to disparage Footprints, think it was not even his best work. Get a copy of Gathered Fragments and see for yourself. May the Lord continue to bless the memory of his servant, Willard Thomas.
Wow David, what an amazing opportunity you had to meet with and speak with THE Willard Thomas. I will most certainly check out his other works for sure.
Thank you for the further insight into this wonderful man of God.
Yes Willard Thomas wrote it and never had it copyright so this caused people to take and “claim” it and the humble Godly preacher refused to get upset over it and just asked God to bless the poem and help people. He has since passed on and i highly think he would not care who claimed it as long as it was helping someone.
Hi Ash, thank you so much for your comment. I am going to have to dig a little deeper into Williard Thomas. What a humble man that truly was about bringing Glory to God and not himself. I am sure he is in the arms of Jesus in perfect peace now.
Willard Thomas was the pastor of Harmony Street Baptist Church in Gainesville Georgia. He was a real man of God who loved and cared about his people. He was a special friend to my family as well as our pastor from 2000 until he resigned and then passed away in 2013.