May 15, 2023

Introducing Shepherd: The World’s First Bible App That Recommends Verses Based On Your Needs

Samuel Abaka-Wood Shepherd Founder

Shepherd is the “world’s first Bible app that recommends verses based on your needs.”

The Bible is the most widely read book in the world, but increasingly, Christians are opting for app-versions over the physical book.  

As YouVersion’s Bible App reaches the colossal milestone of 100 million downloads—joining major brands like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—one Black-owned Bible app is growing in popularity.

“It’s more like having a daily chat with a good friend, a friend who always knows the best part of the Bible to share with you.”

Samuel Abaka-Wood, Shepherd founder

Introducing Shepherd

Shepherd, the brainchild of tech founder Samuel Abaka-Wood, aims to personalize interactions with the Bible.

“It started when one of my loved ones was finding it hard to read the Bible every day,” Abaka-Wood told POCIT. “But, when they did read it, they felt more centred and at peace. This got me thinking, ‘Could I make something to help them read the Bible more?”

As an experienced developer and tech founder who has collaborated with companies like IBM, Deloitte, and Google, Akaba-Wood spent the weekend creating a simple yet meaningful app: Shepherd.

Shepherd works by sending daily text messages to check in with users, before scanning the Bible to recommend the perfect verse to start their day.

“At first, only my family and friends used Shepherd,” Akaba-Wood continued. “But then, they told their friends, and their friends told more friends. Just like that, Shepherd began to grow, helping more and more people every day.”

An “invisible” app and trusted companion

By interacting with users exclusively through text messages, Shepherd eliminates the need to download any additional software. 

“The ‘app’ actually is invisible in the sense that there is nothing to download and no new UI,” Akaba-Wood explained. “The code and all the logic is hidden behind the scenes.”

Shepherd app screenshot
Courtesy of Shepherd.

The app’s simple design also fosters a sense of familiarity and comfort, replicating the feel of a conversation over text.

“Shepherd isn’t like other Bible apps,” he continued. “It’s more like having a daily chat with a good friend, a friend who always knows the best part of the Bible to share with you. As more people used Shepherd, I realized that lots of others might like it too. So, I decided it was time for everyone to be able to use Shepherd.”

Though Abaka-Wood is based in London, UK, Shepherd’s user base is equally split between the US and the UK. The app’s universal appeal transcends geographical boundaries, attracting users from diverse backgrounds.

A growing user base

Within just three months, Shepherd has garnered over 300 users, with a remarkable uptake in the paid plan following the free 7-day trial.

Users have shared inspiring stories of how Shepherd has made a meaningful difference in their lives. From parents battling postpartum depression to individuals seeking daily encouragement, Shepherd has become a trusted companion. 

As Shepherd grows, Abaka-Wood envisions expanding its reach to touch even more lives. When asked about the future of Shepherd, he remained tight-lipped about specific upcoming developments.

“I would honestly love to [tell you more], but I have been seeing a few duplicates of the app popping up and copying features since launching – so I’ll have to strategically keep it a bit mysterious for now.”

You can sign up for Shepherd here.

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)