A Ready Man: Hugh Stowell Brown

“Preacher, Activist, Friend of the Poor”

Wayne Clarke

ISBN: 9781912726080

272 Pages

Published Sep 2019


Paperback £8.99 Kindle £5.99
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When Hugh Stowell Brown, aged just twenty-three, arrived in Liverpool to preach at Myrtle Street Baptist Church, no one could guess his impact on the church and the city. He had barely preached a sermon before and had been a Baptist only a matter of months, but for the next forty years he would successfully pastor the congregation and pioneer social reform among Liverpool’s urban poor.

Discover how Hugh became a famous preacher, president of the Baptist Union, and both friend and mentor to C H Spurgeon. But more than this, how his Workman’s Bank, civic hall lectures and multiple charity initiatives brought hope and help to people the Church has traditionally struggled to reach.

At his funeral, thousands lined the streets and raised money for a statue in his memory. Recently restored, it stands with this book as a contemporary call to follow in Hugh’s footsteps today.

  • Jesus was loved by the poor and hated by the powerful. But in our day the church is strongest in middle-class areas and struggling in areas of deprivation. We have turned Jesus on His head! The reason this book is so interesting and challenging is that it tells the story of a minister of the gospel who secured a huge following of thousands of 'working class men'. How did he do it? Read this relevant book to find the answer.

    Rt Rev James Jones KBE, the former Bishop of Liverpool
  • As a leader in the Baptist community of Merseyside and the North-west it is truly humbling to realise how much of what we have inherited today owes its origins to the endeavour and commitment of one man and those he inspired and gathered around him.

    This is a story of unstinting commitment to making the message of Christ, in its every expression, accessible to everyone; a calling that was fuelled by a deep personal commitment to live as a follower of Jesus in every circumstance. We owe a debt to Wayne Clarke for bringing this story to the attention of a new generation, and we owe this story a resolve to reclaim and nurture that same spirit of gospel commitment and missional enterprise that Hugh Stowell Brown and his contemporaries so took for granted.

    Rev Phil Jump, Regional Minister for the North Western Baptist Association
  • Wayne Clarke has placed us all in his debt by this account of the life, ministry, theology and social engagement of Hugh Stowell Brown, a leading Baptist minister, a man of great influence in Liverpool and an original thinker and activist within the Dissenting communities, especially in the north west of England and in Scotland.

    Mr Clarke explores the early life of Manxman Hugh Stowell Brown growing up in an impoverished home in the Isle of Man, one of the children of a poorly paid Church of England parson. His conversion to Baptist views as a young man working in the Midlands led him to a lifetime of service at Myrtle Street Baptist Chapel in Liverpool, where he drew thousands to hear him.

    The life of Hugh Stowell Brown demonstrates the breadth of this key Victorian preacher. He could draw a crowd of thousands to his Sunday afternoon open-air preaching; his ability to speak on topics he had researched thoroughly was noted not only in Liverpool, but also throughout the country. During his year of Presidency of the Baptist Union (1878–1879) he had important things to say about theological education by apprenticeship. He was concerned for social change, supporting C H Spurgeon in the development of the Stockwell Orphanage and founding a bank for working people in Liverpool.

    This dynamic account is an important contemporary addition to our knowledge of an outstanding Baptist minister in the north, which deserves careful study.

    Rev Dr Keith G Jones, President of the Baptist Historical Society

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