Rhead, Harry (1883-1939)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HARRY RHEAD: born at Chesterton, Staffs, in 1883, he entered the ministry in 1919. In early childhood the tragedy of a broken home made him acquainted with real hardship in a locality where he was afterwards the beloved Superintendent. Brought into Methodism through the Sunday-school, he was a fearless witness for Christ while serving in the ranks during the war. His open-air addresses, backed by the consistency of his life, attracted the notice of discerning Church leaders, who urged him to offer for the ministry, though he was already married and much older than the average candidate. 

Fourteen years of his brief ministry were spent in two circuits—the Herts and Beds Mission and Hanley, Staffs. He was a tireless worker, a powerful evangelist, a faithful pastor. A great advocate of overseas missions, he served with success as District Missionary Secretary. With wonderful fortitude he maintained his ministry, despite a severe heart affection which sapped his strength in later years, and on Sunday night, February 19, 1939, after preaching three times, he passed peacefully in his sleep to the Higher Service.


Harry was born in 1883 at Chesterton, Staffordshire, to parents Josiah Rhead, a grocer’s assistant (1881) and a general dealer (1891), and Fanny Thorley.

Before entering the ministry Harry worked as a butcher (1911)

He married Rachel Pimblett (1882-1958) in early 1908 at Eccles, Lancashire. Census returns and birth records identify two children.

  • George (1908-1964) – a joiner (1939)     
  • Samuel Harold (1915-1969) – a schoolmaster (1939)   

Harry died on 19 February 1939 at Leek, Staffordshire.


  • 1919 Herts & Beds Mission
  • 1925 Hanley
  • 1933 Morrell
  • 1934 Leek


Methodist Minutes 1939/211

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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