Anderson, James William (1904-1987)

Transcription of Obituary published in the Minutes of Conference.

JAMES WILLIAM ANDERSON: born at Cohoes, Albany, USA on 7thOctober 1904. His parents had emigrated there because of unemployment at home. When they returned they lived in Duckinfield, Cheshire. He left school at the age of twelve and was employed half-time at the Ropeworks, Stalybridge. He was apprenticed to the railways and through study at night school he received the City and Guilds Coach Building Craftsman’s Award. He was a qualified expert on dry rot; something that came in useful when in circuit. Greatly influenced by the Rev W.E. Webley of Foundry Street Methodist Church, Duckinfield, he continued to educate himself at night school and also became a Local Preacher, all this to enable him to enter Hartley College, Manchester; 1928-31. His probation was at St Georges Hall, Old Kent Road, after which he went to Cecil Street, Carlisle, and while there he met and married, Olive Yates, in 1936. He served next in Whitehaven (Low Street) and Brighouse, where their daughter Jean was born. Then he served as chaplain to the Forces, which meant a separation of five years, ministering in North Africa, Italy and Austria. Returning to circuit work he was charged with restoring and reforming societies in Gateshead depleted by evacuation during the Second World War. Service in Consett, Stanley (County Durham) and Shildon circuits followed. He had great vitality, and showed interest in many things, but people were important to him, their situation and what motivated them. Having seen the effects of unemployment he was a fervent campaigner to change social conditions and give people a sense of pride in their environment. He sought to help young people to a fuller life by organising social centres where they were fed and kept occupied. Many of these young people were converted and trained to be officers in the Church. He retired in 1969 to Darlington where, still active, he took part in pastoral work and preaching. His interests involved him in the Regnal League, the Fellowship of the Kingdom and the Darlington Men’s Forum. In late 1986 he contracted a terminal illness that caused him much stress-suffering, but through this he maintained his sense of humour and even in hospital he sought to counsel and care for others. His sense of fun and total trust in Christ helped many who were less sick than he to face their illness. This was typical of the man, thinking of others even to the last moments of his life. He died on 23rd March 1987 in the eighty-third year of his life and the fifty-sixth year of his ministry.


James was born on 7 October 1904 at Cohoes, Albany, USA.

He married Olive M Yates (b1906) in the spring of 1936 at Carlisle, Cumberland.

  • Jean M (b1938)

James died on 23 March 1987.


  • Hartley
  • 1931 SE London M
  • 1933 Carlisle Cecil
  • 1935 Whitehaven Low
  • 1937 Brighouse
  • 1940 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1946 Gateshead E
  • 1951 Gateshead W
  • 1953 Gateshead S
  • 1956 Consett
  • 1960 Stanley
  • 1965 Shildon
  • 1969 Darlington (S)


Methodist Minutes 1987/65

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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