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Samuel J. Stone, who wrote "The Church's One Foundation," was born at Whitmore, Strattfordshire, in 1839, the son of Rev, William Stone. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, receiving his B.A. in 1862 and his M.A. in 1872. He served as curate of Windsor from 1862 to 1870, then of St. Paul’s Haggerston. In 1874, he succeeded his father as vicar of St. Paul's, Haggerston. In 1890 he became rector of All Hallows-on-the-Wall in London.
St. Paul's Haggerston was in a poor section of London. Stone would open the church at 6:30 in the morning so that commuters, frequently poor working girls, arriving early could have a brief service and prayer, then have time to rest, to read or to sew. He built numerous churches; his belief was that poor people deserved beautiful churches in which to worship. His thoughtfulness earned him the title of "the poor man's pastor".
Stone wrote poems and hymns, publishing several collections. His hymns have been described as expressing "a manly faith" and being "rhythmic, vigorous and scriptural". He also was a member of the committee that assembled Hymns, Ancient and Modern. He was a supporter of Bishop Gray in the controversy of Bishop Colenso over the historicity of the Bible.