Guest, John (1828-1888)
John was born on 23 February 1828 near Stourbridge, Staffordshire. His mother’s family included two Wesleyan ministers. John was one of four brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers became a Wesleyan minister and a second an Established Church clergyman.
John’s father died when he was 8. He was brought up by his paternal grandfather who ensured he went to Stourbridge Grammar School until the age of 13. John was converted shortly after leaving school through the ministry of Rev J Graham.
His first attempt at preaching, quite acceptable by accounts, was unexpected when he attended a chapel of the New Connection expecting to hear a former companion preach. The companion prevailed upon him to take his place in the pulpit. Feeling unworthy to take up the call to preach, John was 18 before he went on the plan.
John was induced by the wise advice of John Petty to accept a call from the West Bromwich Circuit into the ministry.
The PM magazine of 1877 records; ‘His sermons as to form are generally textual. They are however, anything but dry, for the preacher presses into his service poetry and history, facts and figures, scriptural and general truths, experience and imagination, weaving all together in perspicuous sentences which are uttered with ease, pathos and power.’
In 1880, John took a tour of the Holy Land which he greatly enjoyed.
John married Sarah Booth (b1829) at Lilleshall, Shropshire in 1855. Census returns identify four children.
- Victor Alfred (1856-1920) – a schoolmaster
- Ann Elizabeth (1858-1933)
- William Isaac (1860-1929) – house painter and later church decorator
- Edward Albert (1862-1927) – an Anglican clergyman
John died on 3 September 1888 at Tipton, nr Dudley, Staffordshire.
- 1850 W Bromwich
- 1851 Tunstall
- 1853 Wrockwardinewood
- 1855 Leominster & Weobly
- 1857 Darlaston
- 1859 Prees Green
- 1862 Burland
- 1863 Nantwich & Crewe
- 1865 Brierley Hill
- 1869 Tunstall
- 1872 Cheadle
- 1874 Winsford
- 1877 Silverdale
- 1880 Bilston
- 1884 Hasbury
- 1887 Dudley
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1877/513;
PM Minutes 1889/22
W Leary,Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers