Gardner, Thomas Greener (1882-1951)

Transcription of Obituary in Minutes of Methodist Conference

Born at Barnsley 1882, he was trained at Hartley College, and entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1906.

He had a strong, forceful personality but a heart which was kind and tender. Casual acquaintances never knew him, but those who knew him best loved him most.

He often reminded one of the Old Testament prophets, whom he studied so deeply, for he possessed some of their characteristics.
A certain Chairman always referred to him as “ Dear Rebel,” a designation he greatly enjoyed.

He did his own thinking, and though often in opposition his judgement was always respected and often accepted.

He was a diligent student, had a ready pen, and his articles contained sound scholarship. Philosophy and Old Testament History together with the lives of the prophets were his chief studies, and his last articles to the Preachers and Class Leaders Magazine appeared posthumously.

The pulpit was his throne ; he was called to some of the most exacting tasks in the Primitive Methodist Church and he filled them with distinction.

Cast in no particular mould, following no textbook, his presentation of the truth was original and arresting.

He was quick to detect the necessary gifts and graces in young people and in all his circuits preachers were added to the plan, a number being accepted for the Ministry.

As a pastor he entered into the lives of his people, bearing on his heart their sorrows, sharing with them their troubles and joys.

For years he fought against ill health but continued to preach to the end.
The call came suddenly on 25th October 1951 in the sixty- ninth year of his age.

He will be remembered as a preacher with unusual gifts, a wise administrator and a faithful pastor.

Many will thank God upon every remembrance of him throughout his forty-five years of ministry.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1952


Thomas was born on 21 December 1882 at Barnsley, Yorkshire, to parents Thomas, a coal miner, and Hannah.

The 1901 census describes his occupation as oil filterer at oil works.

Thomas married Florence Jane Cann (b1882) in the summer of 1913 in the Dorchester Registration District, Dorset. Birth record two children.

  • Thomas Walter (b1914) – an agricultural economist (1951)
  • John (b1921)

Thomas died on 25 October 1951 at Chester.


  • Hartley
  • 1906 Plymouth
  • 1908 Gloucester
  • 1910 Whitchurch
  • 1912 Coleford
  • 1914 St Day
  • 1918 Kettering
  • 1921 N Shields
  • 1925 Rochdale
  • 1928 Blackburn
  • 1931 Matlock
  • 1938 Chester George St
  • 1942 Widnes
  • 1949 Chester (Sup)


Methodist Minutes152/127

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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