WALLACE, William 1895 - 1951
Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1951, page 142
Born in Dunfermline in 1895, he moved to Nottingham at the age of twelve and later entered business there, Enlisting in the First World War, he rapidly rose to the position of Staff Captain at Corps Headquarters in France. It was there he was converted and received his call to the ministry.
He went to Didsbury college in 1919 for one year only. Beginning his ministry in 1920 at Clitheroe, he passed in turn to the Blackburn Mission, Chatham Mission, Leeds Mission, Manchester (Albert Hall), Scarborough, Sheffield Mission and finally to Darlington.
From the first it was clear that his gifts were those of a missioner. He spoke the message of God in the language of the ordinary man, and it was especially to ordinary people that he appealed, drawing them into the Christian faith and the fellowship of the Church. Possessed of great charm of personality, he was immediately at home with rich and poor, wise and simple.
His preaching, whether indoors or out-of-doors was trenchant yet persuasive, often full of humour, and always deeply sincere. Up and down the country he travelled ceaselessly to preach and lecture. A great company of men and women acknowledge him as their father in God.
In Sheffield during a ministry of eleven years his great gifts reached their full fruition. In the worst days of the “blitz”, and subsequently, his name became a household word whenever people met, and in the darkest days the Victoria Hall was thronged to hear him. Whilst the clouds of war overhung the city, his radiant faith renewed the courage of thousands.
The Civic and Church authorities loved and honoured him, and his brethren elected him to the Chair of the Synod. In 1950 Conference appointed him to Bondgate, Darlington, to begin a forward movement there. In six short months he drew a congregation of seven hundred people eager to hear this herald of God.
His death came with tragic suddenness in the railway disaster at Doncaster on the 16th March 1951. He was fifty-five years of age and had given thirty years to our ministry. We are grateful to God for His servant through whom He blessed many.
©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1951