DEWSBURY: Dewsbury Baptist Church History up to 1912.



The Church at Dewsbury is the outcome of a suggestion made in 1863, by Rev. Benjamin Wood, of Bradford, to the General Baptist Conference, that work should be attempted in the town. Mr. James Smith, with Mr. James Astin, engaged the Assembly Room in Wakefield Road, the first service being held on. July 21st, 1864. On January 15th, 1865, the Church was duly organised, the Revs. B. Wood and R. Horsfield giving the right hand of fellowship to thirteen persons. Baptismal services were conducted at the public baths, and excited much local interest. In 1867, a call to the pastorate was given to Mr. N. H. Shaw, of Chilwell College, who commenced his ministry on August 4th.

At this time the Church adopted the financial method of weekly offerings to which it has ever since adhered, although it did not place these under a voluntary assessment until 1881. Chapel building efforts were commenced, and, in August, 1869, the Conference offered £1,000 to the fund if the Dewsbury Church would engage to raise an equal sum. The challenge was eagerly accepted, and on December 7th, 1871, the building was opened for worship free of debt, the inaugural sermon being preached by Rev. Alexander Maclaren. The Church applied itself with systematic diligence to the visitation of the neighbourhood, and, in 1872, became self-supporting.

In 1874, it joined the Baptist Union. Mr. Shaw concluded his ministry in 1878, having dedicated his future services to missionary work in Rome. He was succeeded by Rev. George Eales, who remained for four years and was followed by Rev. A. C. Perriam (1884-91). In 189o, the chapel was renovated, and a lecture room built. In 1892, Rev. Charles Payne undertook the pastoral charge; which he sustained for thirteen years. Upon his retirement the call of the Church was given to Rev. J. Stewart, M.A., whose ministry extended from 1907 to 1911. During its history the Church has maintained a steady rate of progress, and is at the present time in a healthy and vigorous condition. The present pastor is Rev. D. T. Patterson, who has recently removed from Halifax to his new charge.

Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the "Present Churches" section of
The Baptists of Yorkshire
by Rev. J. Brown Morgan
and Rev. C.E. Shipley