Gow, James Stanley, B.A., B.D. (1889-1973)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES STANLEY GOW, B.A., B.D.: born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1889. In response to God’s call into the Primitive Methodist ministry he entered Hartley College in 1911 where he responded enthusiastically to the stimulus of academic study and gained his degrees in Arts and Divinity. The circuits he served included Leicester, Burnley, Doncaster (Spring Gardens), Leeds, York, Douglas (I.o.M.), Earlestown, Gateshead, Jarrow and eventual active retirement in Scarborough. 

In each of these places there are those who remember with affection and gratitude his gracious ministry, a combination of forthright preaching, pastoral concern, and administrative ability, all of a very high order. He held District appointments in Overseas Missions, Chapel Affairs, and was sometime correspondence tutor for probationer ministers. He loved learning, excelling in his chosen field of philosophy but with wider interests that embraced drama, music and mathematics, this last undoubtedly contributing to that painstaking exactness which governed his ordered life. But the logician in him was overshadowed by his compassion, and his friendly approach endeared him to young and old alike. 

His sermons came from a mind well stocked through sustained reading in theology and biography, and from a heart filled with evangelistic zeal for the gospel of the Lord he loved. Deteriorating eyesight and growing deafness in his later years were adversities which he met with humour and patience. His passing was peaceful and if Methodism is the poorer for his death heaven is enriched by the further opportunities of service which awaited him. He died on 28th April, 1973 at his home in Scalby, Scarborough, in the eighty-fourth year of his age and the fifty-seventh year of his ministry.


James was born on 30 November 1889 at Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, to parents James, a painter and decorator, and Ellen. 

Before entering the ministry James worked as a clerk (1911).

He married Evelyn Rhoda Dowson M.A. (1897-1984) in the summer of 1921 at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire. Birth records identify five children.

  • Irene Marianne (1922-2014) – married Stuart D Woodrow in 1945
  • Kathleen E (b abt1924) – married Charles G Myers in 1951
  • Rupert Stanley (1925-2005)
  • Rosalind E (b1927) – married in 1952
  • Hilary Muriel (b abt1935) – married Stanley Sewell in 1973

James died on 28 April 1973 at Scalby, Scarborough, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1916 Leicester I
  • 1920 Burnley
  • 1923 Doncaster I
  • 1927 Leeds IV
  • 1931 York II
  • 1936 Douglas
  • 1940 Earlstown
  • 1945 Gateshead S
  • 1950 Jarrow
  • 1956 Laxey (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1973/141

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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