Kelley, William Musson (1867-1969)

W M Kelley, Leeds, 1904
Englesea Brook Museum 10.04
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931

Early years

William was born on 9 August 1867 at Manchester, Lancashire.


William was appointed General Secretary of the PM Church in 1925 and became President of Conference in 1930. From 1932 to 1936 William was Chairman of the Bournemouth District.

His obituary records that the call to high office came to him just at the time when negotiations for Methodist Union were at their most critical and decisive stage, and the final consummation of that union owed a great deal to his statesmanship, patience, and unwavering belief that the Methodist Church could only fulfil its mission to the world of the twentieth century if its various branches came together into one body.

His considerable gifts were given with single-minded devotion to his long circuit ministry, and to the preaching of the Gospel he brought all the disciplines of wide reading, deep thinking and hard labour. He was always a contemporary preacher, concerned with the relevance of the Gospel to the present age. He took pains to understand the political, economic and social trends of the day, and he believed in social righteousness as fervently as he believed in personal salvation.

The preacher was never lost in the administrator, neither was the pastor. He loved to be in the company of people and conversation was a sparkling thing when he was involved in it. He had a wonderful gift for putting everybody as ease in his company, and that was because people mattered to him more than ideas.

He was a true man of God, a completely devoted minister of the Gospel, and a servant of the Methodist Church whose contribution to its life at a critical time in history was of considerable importance.


William married Louisa Jane Gerrard (1871-1955) in the summer of 1893 at Swinton, Lancashire.

William died on 19 August 1969 at Leeds, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1889 Ramsor
  • 1891 Longton
  • 1893 Cheadle
  • 1897 Silverdale
  • 1899 Horwich
  • 1901 Leeds I
  • 1905 Leeds VI
  • 1913 Hull V
  • 1919 Forest Hill
  • 1925 General Secretary
  • 1929 Bournemouth I
  • 1936 Bournemouth (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1926/646; 1931/1

Methodist Minutes 1970/171

R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p339

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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