William Forney Hovis was born in 1872 in Wesley, Pennsylvania. He married Aimee Parry in 1902 and pastured in Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Minnosota. He retired in 1938 to devote himself to his writing. After the death of his first wife he remarried Ina and had children Willliam Jr (1914) and Keith (1916).
Hovis published numerous works from an early date in his ministry. Some titles are:
- Quality Folks: Practical Meditations (Cincinnati: Jennings and Graham, 1908).
- My Words: As Reported by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. (Cincinnati: Jennings and Graham, 1911).
- Heart Sonnets. (Boston: R.G. Badger, The Gorham Press, 1913).
- Poetic Sermons. (NY: Revell, 1932).
- Consolation. (Indianapolis: Cornelius, 1935).
- Sin and Salvation: A Study in Origins. (Nashville: Tidings, 1954).
- A periodical in the 1930's called, The Reveille.