Slater, Arthur Farrer (1887-1969)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ARTHUR FARRER SLATER: born at Southport on 4 September 1887, he entered Hartley College in 1909 having left a good position with an insurance firm. He offered for the Mission Field which was always dear to his heart, but was at first rejected on medical grounds. After leaving college he served in Sheringham, Rhosymedre and Mexborough circuits before going into training for missionary work. 

With typical thoroughness he learned the crafts of a blacksmith and joiner, and these skills stood him in good stead when later he served in isolated parts of Africa. In 1919 he went to what was then Northern Rhodesia where he served with great distinction and success for three extended terms in Kafue, Nanzhilia and Kasenga, covering a period of eighteen years. For a short time he was acting Chairman of the District. 

Methodical, practical, with a gift for organization, his talents and training found ample scope, especially in isolated stations. He was admirably equipped to cope with the many practical tasks confronting him. He made his own bricks, baking them in a kiln of his own construction, built schools and houses, thatching them expertly. There were few things that he could not do and do well. His kindly, generous and gentle nature, together with his gifts of leadership, quickly won the loyalty and the love of the African people. To the end of his life Africa held his heart; but for ill health no doubt he would have spent his whole ministry there. Returning to the home work in 1936 he served in Tarporley (Alpraham), Snaith, Ellesmere, before being compelled to retire from the active work in 1949. 

He was a man of deep conviction and independent judgement which made him a natural leader of men, but he had the gentleness which so often goes with strength. He endured a long and frustrating illness with uncomplaining fortitude. He has left behind him the memory of a great-hearted and much-loved pastor who served his Lord and his people in humble sincerity. 

He died on 26 May 1969, in the eighty-first year of his age and the fifty-seventh of his ministry.


Arthur was born on 4 September 1887 at Southport, Lancashire, to parents Joseph F Slater,  an insurance agent (1911), and Eliza Pownall.

He married Lucy Pearl Stokes (1904-1993) in late 1925 in the Oswestry Registration District, Shropshire.

Arthur died on 26 May 1969 at Beeston Brook, Tarporley, Cheshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1912 Sheringham
  • 1914 Rhosymedre
  • 1918 Mexborough
  • 1919 Mission House
  • 1920 N Rhodesia
  • 1938 Tarporley
  • 1945 Snaith
  • 1946 Ellesmere
  • 1949 Southport (S)


Methodist Minutes 1970/167

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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