Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Archibald G. Brown

A good friend of mine commented the other day that he hadn't been aware of Charles Spurgeon's successor at the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle after Spurgeon had died. As a matter of fact he said:

I have never given any thought to Spurgeon's successor. Didn't even know who he was or think anything of it.

If there ever were some tremendous "shoes" to fill, it would have been following Charles H. Spurgeon in the pulpit. I myself had not given much thought to the situation. Of course, Dr. Peter Masters was called to the ailing Tabernacle in 1970. He has done a marvelous job as pastor in this great church filled with such history.

I am reading a book for review from The Banner of Truth Trust called Archibald G. Brown: Spurgeon's Successor by Iain Murray. I love Iain Murray. I have over a dozen or more of his books. He is a great writer and a fantastic biographer. If you have never read Murray you are cheating yourself on two levels. First, he is an extremely interesting and very able writer. Second, his subjects are thrilling, uplifting, and true trophies of God's wonderful and amazing grace. Run, no, don't walk, run fast to your computer and go to or and  order several of Murray's biographies.

For those of you who are unaware of the immediate succession to Spurgeon's pulpit allow me to list it for you.

James Spurgeon, Charles dear brother and assistant at the Tabernacle assumed the duties of pastor immediately after Spurgeon died.Brother James did not have the abilities and skills of CHS (as he was affectionately known.) Thomas Spurgeon, twin to Charles, Jr. the son of Charles, Sr. was called to serve as pastor. Due to the differing gifts and abilities of Thomas and his ill health the elders and deacons thought it would be best to call a co-pastor to assist Thomas. 

Archibald G Brown was called from the East London Tabernacle to co-pastor with Thomas. Thomas took a year off to recover forcing all duties of the Tabernacle, College, Orphanages and other ministries to fall on Co-pastor Brown. Toward the end of the year that Thomas convalesced Brown was called as pastor of the Tabernacle.

From 1908 until 1911 Tab­ernacle flourished under his leadership. In 1911 health prob­lems forced him to resign, but he did not remain idle. From 1911 to about 1918 he devoted himself to evangelism. He finally laid his sword down on April 2, 1922. He was 78 years old.

Until receiving this book from The Banner of Truth Trust, I had never heard of Archibald G. Brown. I soon discovered that he was an early student at the Pastor's College founded by Spurgeon. He became a close friend and confidant of Spurgeon. He filled the pulpit for Spurgeon often and ministered closely with him. Brown went on to pastor the East London Tabernacle, second only in size and ministry to the Metropolitan Tabernacle itself. Brown was probably the dearest and closest friend to Spurgeon. What a ministry God allowed this man to have at both East London and the Tabernacle.

Here is quite an unsung hero that will certainly "buckle" under the gold, silver, and precious stones that will be his at the Bema Seat. Brown was not Spurgeon- he was his own man, or truly God's man. His ministry and legacy are equal to Spurgeon's from man's point of view. It is amazing to me that I never heard of him. I am so thankful to The Banner of Truth Trust for so graciously allowing me to read and review this book. I am on page 293 of a 405 page book. So stay tuned for the forth coming review.

Then you will never guess what The Banner of Truth Trust sent me. I will get to read and review the two-volume biography (by Iain Murray of course) of Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.



Can't say I have heard of him either.
I can well imagine how interested you are in reading about him.


Persis said...

Thanks for sharing this about Archibald Brown. Looking forward to your review on his bio as well as on Lloyd-Jones.

jean said...

How interesting. I never thought about who succeeded CHS. Now, I know. It can cost us more than the book to have it shipped and duty fee'd so, we don't often get to order books but, Iain Murray sounds like a great author. Will have to check out the sites that sell his books.

Ray Tolley said...

This is one of the most readable books that I have ever opened - I could hardly put it down! I am familiar with the writings of many of the Puritans and have many biographies of Reformers throughout the ages - stopping at Spurgeon. So I, too, had not heard of AGB until I recently heard Iain Murray speak about him at the Longhorsley Mission Bible Convention.

Archibald Brown is an example to us all of what a Gospel Minister should be like, gracious, passionate and Holy Spirit driven. The book, for me, has filled a gap in my timeline of theology and explains how so many churches are in the mess that they are in now.

Above all, the book provides much material for serious and prayerful contemplation concerning how the Church should face up to current political, social and theological pressures.

Gregg Metcalf said...

Ray - Thank you very much! I too loved that book. I came to love Brown very much also. What a role-model.

Ray Tolley said...

Hi, Gregg,

Having read AGB I am now re-visiting 'Spurgeon - the Early Years' - Wow! what a preparation the young lad had even before his conversion!

Every Blessing
Ray T