DALBY, Leonard Burkitt 1868 - 1949
Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1950, page 125
Born at Newbury in 1868 and educated at Trinity, Southport, where he entered the teaching profession.
As a youth his exceptional preaching gifts were obvious, and after training at Didsbury he entered the Wesleyan Ministry in 1892. His great powers developed rapidly and he was quickly in demand as preacher, lecturer, and public-meeting speaker.
To wide reading and genuine culture he added an alert, incisive mind and retentive memory. Although most careful in his preparation, few men could think more effectively on their feet Eloquent, fervent, and persuasive he had a magnetic quality which drew large crowds of the most varied people to his services.
Exeter, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol, London, and Plymouth shared in his ministry and in each city he was a force to be reckoned with. As temperance advocate he had few rivals for fearless hard-hitting, and he was the unfailing champion of the underdog.
With working men he had unusual power, especially in the open air, and in Newcastle he gathered great crowds of men from die pits and shipyards to hear him. Whether preaching the Gospel or expounding social questions he laid hold of men and almost against their will compelled them to think on Christian lines.
In Synod and Conference he was one of the great debaters—informed, trenchant, and witty, with the gift of devastating repartee.
His love of travel found an outlet in a period spent in Auckland, New Zealand, and added to his deep concern for all coloured people. With all his gifts he was a humble man and a true lover of Jesus. His friendship was freely given and enriched all who shared in it. With his wife he lived in Plymouth during the air-raids, showing a cheerful courage and serenity which were highly valued by all who shared their perils.
To the end he loved good books and the companionship of his brethren, enjoying life with eager heart and alert mind.
On 12th October 1949, in his eighty-second year and the fifty-eighth year of his ministry, at Menai Bridge, he passed home, having fought a good fight, and kept the faith.
© Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1950