The author of this hymn, Katherine Hankey, was raised in a Christian home. She organized Sunday school for the poor and disadvantaged. At only 30 years old, in 1866, she suffered from a serious illness and an extended recovery time. While she convalesced, she wrote a lengthy poem on the life of Christ. The first section, composed of 50 verses, gave us the hymn "Tell Me the Old, Old Story". It was titled The Story Wanted. The second section, titled The Story Told, brought forth the hymn "I Love to Tell the Story".
Katherine herself wrote music for both of the hymns. They never gained popularity with those tunes. William Doane wrote another tune for "I Love to Tell the Story". The hymn received the tune we know today when William G. Fischer, a Philadelphia musician and piano dealer composed the music.