Dinnick, Timothy (1842-1910)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by Joseph Dinnick

TIMOTHY DINNICK.—Born February 6th, 1842, at Devonport, he fell asleep in Jesus January 18th, 1910, in his 68th year, at Newton Abbot. He was the twelfth child of a family of fourteen. When only six he prayed fervently that God would give him a clean heart; and from that time there was a marked difference in the child. At the age of twelve years he and other lads took a cellar at threepence per week in which to hold mission services. The meetings were well attended; he would stand in the copper and conduct the service with devout reverence; several old and young were saved in these services. Some time after this the Devonport Bethel, which had long been closed, was taken by these lads and others, and a gracious revival took place, in which clergy, ministers, and laymen heartily co-operated. During a thunderstorm one night he and other lads took shelter in a passage. He asked them concerning their fitness for eternity, and by the blessing of God one of these lads, the Rev. Alexander Fogwell, Wesleyan Minister, dates his conversion from that pointed inquiry.

Timothy became a Sunday School teacher and local preacher, and when 23 years of age his mother, who lived in uninterrupted union and communion with God, called him and his brother Benjamin, telling them to hold themselves in readiness, for she had had a revelation from God that these two sons, Timothy and Benjamin, would be called suddenly into the ministry, and the younger would be stationed near his brother William. And so it was; within 24 hours of her revelation they were summoned by telegram after midnight to appear before the Rev. Moses Lupton, General Missionary Secretary, and others at Torquay, to be examined early the next morning for the ministry. Timothy was appointed at once to Pembroke Dock and Benjamin to Exmouth, within 6 miles of his brother William, and for 14 years these two laboured in close proximity. 

Timothy had no college training, but was very natural and conversational in his preaching, which for 35 years God owned for the winning of souls to Christ and the comfort of believers. During his term in Wales he invited a young man to accompany him to a distant appointment, and on the return journey he made a direct appeal to the young man to yield himself then and there to the Lord Jesus Christ, which he did, both kneeling on the ground in the open-air praying together. The young man was born of the Spirit before rising from his knees. He dedicated himself in full surrender to theChrist. That young man was the Rev. John Pugh, leader of the Christian forward movement. Whilst at Pewsey, preaching in a most uninviting building, a young man sought and found the Saviour; he became a useful Congregational minister. 

Timothy laboured in the following stations: Pembroke Dock, Liskeard, Merthyr, Ramsgate, Ashford, Chatham, Guildford, Newtown, Shoreham, Braintree, Great Horton, Donnington, Hoyland, Spalding, Kingston, Pewsey, and Yeovil, where he was superannuated in the year 1900. 

The Rev. L. Kenfig Morgan says, ‘When I first knew the Rev. Timothy Dinnick, on his retirement from the active ministry, his irrepressible Evangelistic instincts kept him ever on the alert for opportunities to solace the sick and lead souls to the Saviour. He. was a man of deep convictions and rich experience, and clung with soul-grip to the eternal verities of the Gospel. He would receive his message at the lips of the Master—and when received: he would bring it to the people without prefix or appendix, as one coming down fresh from the Mountain of God, and faithfully declare, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ His preaching was pictorially illustrative; sometimes quaint, but always clear, direct, earnest, and forcible. Through his unwarying geniality of spirit and kindness of heart he endeared himself to all, and thus ‘To live in hearts he left behind is not to die.’ 

The Rev. H.H. Cross writes, ‘Timothy Dinnick—how large hearted: he had room for us all: taking an interest in our work and tenderly and graciously advising, cheering, and encouraging us. A true friend and brother: how real was his faith and trust. He lived out and rejoiced in the life of Christ. Through others the larger ministry of his late years will be wrought out and produce a glorious harvest.’ 

The Rev. T. Randall writes, ‘All who knew him well could testify to the goodness of his heart and the benevolence of his disposition. He carried sunshine about with him. He had a deeply religious nature, he lived near to God. Christ was the centre of his thoughts, for Him he lived, and he now doubtless receives the reward of the blessed.’ 

The Rev. G. Litten says, ‘We enjoyed his friendship and found him ever ready to assist us in any work we sought to carry out: we held him in great respect.’ 

The Rev. Dr. James’ wife writes, ‘After such prolonged suffering, we may say, ‘Then are they glad because they are at rest.’ ‘With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought; they shall enter into the King’s Palace. Our close and constant friendship at Yeovil enables me to say He had a happy knack of cheering people who were depressed and always seemed to say the right word to help people spiritually. He was such a happy blend of delightful qualities—mirth and wisdom, practical kindness and sympathy and sound common sense.’ 

He bore patiently and cheerfully three years’ affliction from paralysis. At his funeral seven ministers assembled in the home at the service in the presence of his afflicted wife, whom he leaves behind, also three sons and two daughters. His remains were interred at Highweek, Newton Abbot.


Timothy was born on 6 February 1842 at Devonport, Devon, to parents Thomas, a rope maker, and Mary.

Before entering the ministry, Timothy was a boot maker.

He married Frances Keverne (1845-1888) in the summer of 1869 at Stoke Damerel, Devon. Census returns identify five children.

  • Percy (1874-1945) – a gasworks labourer in Mobile, Alabama (1918); died in Sacramento, California
  • Archibald (b1875) – a railway coach painter (1901)
  • Stanley Rhys (1876-1947) – emigrated to USA in 1897; a gold miner (1900); died in Los Angeles, California
  • Elsie Mabel (1879-1914) – a dressmaker
  • Ethel (b1881) – emigrated to USA in 1901; married James Daniel Smith in 1917 in California

He married Sophie Fowler (abt1861-1918) in the summer of 1894 at Hereford, Herefordshire.

Timothy died on 18 January 1910 at Newton Abbot, Devon


  • 1865 Pembroke Dock
  • 1867 Liskeard
  • 1869 Ashford
  • 1872 Maidstone
  • 1873 Chatham
  • 1874 Guildford
  • 1875 Worthing
  • 1876 Newtown
  • 1877 Hayward’s Heath
  • 1878 Worthing
  • 1879 Brighton
  • 1880 Braintree
  • 1882 Merden
  • 1883 Bradford II
  • 1884 Donington
  • 1887 Hotland
  • 1889 Spalding & Holbeach
  • 1891 Swansea
  • 1893 Kingstone
  • 1895 Devises & Pew
  • 1898 Yeovil
  • 1900 Salisbury (S)
  • 1904 Gloucester
  • 1908 Newton Abbot


PM Minutes 1910/20

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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