John was converted at the age of fourteen and began as an exhorter when he was aged 17. An announcement was made that he would deliver an address, without his knowledge, by one of the local preachers, who thought that he might be useful as a public speaker; many would have felt themselves quite justified in refusing to take the pulpit under such circumstances, but he complied with the wish of the friends in whose judgment he confided, and addressed a plain but sensible and profitable discourse to the people who were assembled to hear the young man. His address was so satisfactory to the friends that he was placed on the local preachers’ plan at the next quarterly meeting.
John became a hired local preacher at Chesterfield before being taken out as an itinerant minister by the Nottingham II circuit. Numerically his ministry was effective with each of his stations showing an increase before his final posting to Burton on Trent, a circuit where “ some of the professed friends of Christ were lukewarm, and altogether the church was in a very languid state.“
Of his character in the obituary, John Dickenson records “ He was strong in the Lord— mighty in faith, giving glory to God. He was a man of prayer. He stirred up his mind to take hold on God.”
A transcription of the obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Dickenson is attached.
John was born on 24 February 1828 at Lowton, Lancashire, to parents James and Betty. He was baptised on 29 March 1828 at Leigh, Lancashire.
He married Eliza Andrews (1834-1897) in the summer of 1858 in the Spilsby Registration District, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify three children.
- John Andrews (1860-1941) – a professor of elocution (1901)
- James Enos (1863-1936) – a coal merchant (1911)
- William Richard (1866-1907) – a coal merchant (retired by 1901)
John died on 24 September 1868 at Burton on Trent, Staffordshire.
- 1850 Nottingham II
- 1851 Ingham
- 1852 Lincoln
- 1853 Mansfield
- 1856 Derby
- 1858 Loughborough
- 1860 Ripley
- 1863 Boston
- 1867 Burton on Trent
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1869/616
PM Minutes 1869/6
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers