Homer, James Wesley (1894-1972)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES WESLEY HOMER: born on 6th December, 1894, at Old Hill, Staffordshire. After training at Dudley Technical School he began work in his father’s chain-making business, and retained a life-long interest in the practical aspects of this craft. He attended Reddal Hill Primitive Methodist chapel and from there became a local preacher and was accepted as a candidate for the ministry, entering Hartley College in 1915. Owing to the war his course was interupted for two years, during which he ministered in the Hay Circuit, and then returned for a third year to college. 

He served subsequently in the following circuits: Glasgow II, East London Mission, East Dereham, Cheadle, Bromsgrove (Birmingham Road), Sandbach and Minsterley and finally at urgent invitation returned to Bromsgrove where he stayed twelve years, until his retirement in 1957, 

As preacher and pastor he was a faithful servant of his Lord. He read widely, particularly ancient and modern history, and was throughout a keen student of the Old Testament and of Classical Greek. His love of the Old Testament showed in his preaching, taking most of his texts from the Hebrew scriptures, and displaying a detailed knowledge of the historical background, while applying it to the evangelical truths of the Gospel.He combined forceful advocacy with a gentle spirit, and was always good humoured and brotherly with those who did not share his point of view. He was ever impatient of ritualism and conventionality in religion. He was instrumental in forming the Bromsgrove Free Church Council, and served as president, and latterly as secretary. 

As pastor he had the capacity of entering into the lives of his people with real sympathy and understanding, perhaps even more deeply after the tragic loss of a son in a car accident. He was for many years Free Church chaplain at Barnsley Hall Mental Hospital, where his pastoral concern and the simplicity of his addresses to the patients will be long remembered. 

Following an operation two years before his death he was failing in health, and for the last three months of his life he found a quiet retreat near his daughter in Abergavenny, where he died suddenly in his home on 27th August, 1972, in the seventy-eighth year of his age and the fifty-fifth year of his ministry

Family

James was born on 8 December 1894 at Old Hill, Staffordshire, to parents James Albert Homer, a chain maker, and Florence Eliza Gill.

Before entering the ministry John worked as a chain maker (1911).

He married Fanny Harrison (1890-1978) in the summer of 1922 in the Dudley Registration District. Birth records identify three children.

  • Albert Leslie (1924-1986)
  • Graham Trevor (1928-1951)
  • Rylda B (b abt1931) – married Alan Wallace in 1954

James died on 27 August 1972 at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1917 Hay
  • 1919 Supply
  • 1920 Glasgow II
  • 1921 E London Mission
  • 1922 E Dereham
  • 1926 Cheadle
  • 1931 Bromsgrove
  • 1937 Sandbach
  • 1941 Minsterley
  • 1945 Bromsgrove
  • 1957 Bromsgrove (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1973/144

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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