Smith, George (1904-1975)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

George Smith: born in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, on 7th December 1904. He was influenced by the Primitive Methodist Church and became conscious in his early years of a call to preach and to the ministry. After training at Hartley College he served in the following circuits: Chatham and Gravesend, Whitehaven (Howgill Street), Wellington (Salop), Salisbury (Dews Road), Portland, Ely, Bury (Brunswick), Brandon and Deerness Valley, Houghton-le-Spring (West), Halifax (North) and Manchester (Droylsden and Openshaw). 

He married Sarah Brown of Wingate. On retiring in 1972, he moved to the Coningsby Circuit, Lincolnshire, where he and his wife joined our Woodhall Spa church. During these remaining years his gracious ministry was warmly appreciated. He quickly endeared himself to the Methodists of the circuit and also to the elderly folk of the area, to whom he was an untiring visitor, counsellor and friend. He was a regular and much-loved visitor at ‘Westerley’, the L.P.M.A.A. home. 

He was slight of stature, never physically robust, always  quietly spoken with a great tenacity of heart and mind, well seasoned with a gentle wit and ready humour. He will be remembered for his pastoral work and for his great-heartedness, for he was essentially a kindly, understanding and approachable man. His pulpit work was of a high order and his preparation always well done. His hearers went away from worship stimulated and encouraged. In the weekly Travelling Bible Fellowship, which stood high in his list of priorities, he made helpful contributions, as his declining strength permitted. He was able to draw on rich resources which obviously came from a deep and ever-expanding experience of the Holy Spirit in his life. 

Gifted, gracious, respected and beloved, both within the circuit he so loyally served in his retirement, and also within the wider community, he died on 23rd August 1975 in the seventy-first year of his age and the forty-third year of his ministry.


George was born on 7 December 1904 at Houghton le Spring, Co. Durham, to parents David Smith and Lizzie Kemble. he was baptised on 8 December 1904 at Houghton le Spring.

He married Sarah Ethel Brown (1909-1977) in the summer of 1937 in the Easington Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify one child.

  • David G (b1938)

George died on 23 August 1975 at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1932 Chatham
  • 1933 Whitehaven
  • 1934 Wellington
  • 1935 Salisbury
  • 1937 Portland
  • 1939 Ely
  • 1945 Bury Bruns
  • 1948 Brandon &c
  • 1952 Houghton le Spring
  • 1960 Halifax W
  • 1963 Halifax N
  • 1965 Manchester Droyls
  • 1972 Coningsby (S)


Methodist Minutes 1976/90

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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