One of the religious institutions of my early days in South Wales was the anniversary celebration of the church or the minister. Usually it was held on the weekly half-holiday—Wednesday or Thursday—with a preaching service in the afternoon, followed by a fellowship tea, and then by a public meeting. The preacher was usually someone of national, or even wider, reputation. I never missed this opportunity to hear a distinguished visitor, and can still recall some of these preachers and their sermons. Among them were such men as F. B. Meyer, much-beloved in America, and A. C. Dixon, Spurgeon’s American successor at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Others not so widely known nonetheless also made a deep impression on my young mind. Of those who came to these anniversaries, two men especially impressed me with their preaching, not only then but in later years as well. One was John Henry Jowett, often called “The Greatest Living Preacher,” and the other George Campbell Morgan, proclaimed “The Prince of Expositors.”

In those days Campbell Morgan made a greater impact upon me than Jowett. His pulpit presence was impressive, and his “curiously memorable face” was such indeed. There was no question about his being a preacher. He invariably wore a clerical collar (not because “you must put it on you if you haven’t got it in you”) and always had the proper bearing. While his impressive appearance helped, it did not of itself explain his phenomenal success as a herald of God.

Campbell Morgan was as much American as he was British. He spent much time in America, and loved and understood its people. And his association at the famous Northfield Conference with the son of D. L. Moody—an association begun quite early in his ministry—enriched ...

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