HENDERSON, Joseph (A) 1881 - 1950

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1950, page 142

Born at Glasgow in 1881. The family was connected with the Church of Scotland but occasionally attended the Methodist Church, and Joseph was attracted by the evangelical preaching and warm fellowship of the Methodists. At first he thought of a political career, but the call to the Ministry came and he was accepted by the Wesleyan Church in 1903.

After a pre-collegiate year at Pembroke, he entered Didsbury College. It was soon evident that he was a man of strong character, with distinctive gifts and a well-stored and mature mind. His probation was spent in the Shetlands, and most of his earlier ministry in the North of England.

He became known as a fine preacher with a rich devotional spirit, a man of broad human sympathies and of unfailing humour. When the 1914—18 war broke out he was at Ripon and there served as an officiating chaplain, later being commissioned as Chaplain to the Forces.

He was sent to the Italian Front and was ‘ Mentioned in Despatches ‘ for gallantry.

The records show that he won the respect and affection of both officers and men. While helping to carry in the wounded, he himself was severely wounded, the base of the skull being fractured.

At first his life was despaired of, but through the skill of doctors and nurses and his own great spirit he began a long process of recovery.

He returned to circuit work, but bore the marks of those wounds to the end, his sight particularly being affected. Indeed, he must have required great courage and determination to carry on his work. But he always gave of his best, and all his churches were enriched by his ministry.

He became a Supernumerary at the Conference of 1948, but went to help in the Birmingham (Belmont Row) Circuit, where a man had been withdrawn.

He died in hospital after a short illness on 11th February 1950, in the forty-fourth year of his ministry. In a tribute to his memory at the funeral service, he was truly described as ‘ a man of God and a gallant gentleman ‘.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1950

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