Some endorsements and reviews of the book “A Ready Man”, the biography of Hugh Stowell Brown, written by Wayne Clarke and published by Instant Apostle in September.
Endorsement from the Rt Revd James Jones KBE, the former Bishop of Liverpool.
Bishop James was Bishop of Liverpool from 1998 to 2013 where he worked with the author Wayne Clarke. Bishop James chaired the Hillborough Independent panel from 2009 and was awarded the KBE in 2017. He writes about the book “A Ready Man”:
‘Jesus was loved by the poor and hated by the powerful. But in our day the church is strongest in middle-class areas and struggling in areas of deprivation. We have turned Jesus on His head! The reason this book is so interesting and challenging is that it tells the story of a minister of the gospel who secured a huge following of thousands of “working class men”. How did he do it? Read this relevant book to find the answer.’
Endorsement from the Rev Dr Keith Jones, Chair of the Baptist Historical Society.
Dr Keith Jones is a leading Baptist historian. As well as serving as a Baptist minister, he was Deputy General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britan. He was the Rector of the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague from 1998-2013. He is the President of the Baptist Historical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has warmly endorsed “A Ready Man” and he writes:
‘Wayne Clarke has placed us all in his debt by this account of the life, ministry, theology and social engagement of Hugh Stowell Brown, a leading Baptist minister, a man of great influence in Liverpool and an original thinker and activist within the Dissenting communities, especially in the north west of England and in Scotland.
‘Mr Clarke explores the early life of Manxman Hugh Stowell Brown growing up in an impoverished home in the Isle of Man, one of the children of a poorly paid Church of England parson. His conversion to Baptist views as a young man working in the Midlands led him to a lifetime of service at Myrtle Street Baptist Chapel in Liverpool, where he drew thousands to hear him.
‘The life of Hugh Stowell Brown demonstrates the breadth of this key Victorian preacher. He could draw a crowd of thousands to his Sunday afternoon open-air preaching; his ability to speak on topics he had researched thoroughly was noted not only in Liverpool, but also throughout the country. During his year of Presidency of the Baptist Union (1878–1879) he had important things to say about theological education by apprenticeship. He was concerned for social change, supporting C H Spurgeon in the development of the Stockwell Orphanage and founding a bank for working people in Liverpool.
‘This dynamic account is an important contemporary addition to our knowledge of an outstanding Baptist minister in the north, which deserves careful study.’
Endorsement from the Revd Phil Jump, Regional Minister, North Western Baptist Association
Phil Jump is a proud Liverpudlian who is the Regional Minister (team leader) of the North Western Baptist Association, and so has a leadership role within Baptist churches in the North West of England and North Wales.
Phil Jump writes about “A Ready Man”:
‘As a leader in the Baptist community of Merseyside and the North-west it is truly humbling to realise how much of what we have inherited today owes its origins to the endeavour and commitment of one man and those he inspired and gathered around him.
‘This is a story of unstinting commitment to making the message of Christ, in its every expression, accessible to everyone; a calling that was fuelled by a deep personal commitment to live as a follower of Jesus in every circumstance. We owe a debt to Wayne Clarke for bringing this story to the attention of a new generation, and we owe this story a resolve to reclaim and nurture that same spirit of gospel commitment and missional enterprise that Hugh Stowell Brown and his contemporaries so took for granted.’
“Just received and reading Wayne Clarke’s book – cracking account and will be recommended reading on Light Project degree programmes.”
Online comment from Glyn Jones, theology lecturer and evangelist, leader of The Light Project and The Light College.
Buy the book online here from Hive, supporting local bookshops