December 18, 1854: Charles Spurgeon First Preaches at New Park Street Chapel

According to Iain Murray’s The Forgotten Spurgeon, It was “on the cold and dull morning of December 18, 1853” that a nineteen-year-old Charles Spurgeon “first stood in the pulpit of New Park Street Chapel.” [1]

This historic church had roots back to the 17th Century and had previously been pastored by such Baptist greats as Benjamin Keach, John Gill, and John Rippon. Though it was much smaller than it had been in years past, Murray notes that it was still the largest Baptist congregation in London at the time. According to William Cathcart, “at his first service there were only 200 attendants in a building capable of holding 1200.”[2]

Spurgeon preached for three months on probation and on April 28, 1854[3], he assumed the pastorate, and would go on to minister to this congregation, through a name-change and a building program, for thirty-eight years until his death on January 31, 1892.

There are many good biographies of Spurgeon (and he himself wrote a two-volume autobiography) but my two favorite biographies of Spurgeon are the following two:

Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold A. Dallimore

Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Lewis A. Drummond

 

[1] Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon, (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1973) 23.

[2] William Cathcart, ed., The Baptist Encyclopædia (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 1093.

[3] Cathcart, 1093.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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