John Bunyan McCure

The Life And Ministry Of John Bunyan McCure

Earthen Vessel 1875:

We are requested to give the following review and notice of the 35th anniversary of Mr. J. B. McCure’s ministry:—

Of those who have labored in the gospel, few have had such a lengthened and uninterrupted course as our pastor; few have been made more useful, not only in holding forth the Word of Life, but in erecting places of worship where Christ is preached.

Before Mr. McCure left this country for the colonies (a quarter of a century ago), he had some experience in enlarging the houses of God. After he was settled at Geelong, he was the means of erecting a substantial place for the worship of the Lord God of Israel, and left the place a patrimony to the people and their children. He was nine years in Geelong. He was directed to Sydney; and, on finding the place too strait for them, he again determined to build a new house for God. The toilsome days and sleepless nights this Sydney building cost him, marks it a lasting monument of his courage and perseverance. That the place might be entirely free to the people, he travelled 16,000 miles of ocean twice told, and many thousand miles up and down this country, to accomplish so laudable a purpose. His endeavours were blessed of Jehovah; he obtained all he required; and he again reached the distant shores of the mighty continent. 

But a dark cloud obscured his pathway; the habiliments of mourning plainly told him that the early loved one who had share his joys and his sorrows had left this vale of tears “to join the chorus of the skies.” There were unmistakeable indications of providence in this sombre cloud which directed him again to leave the land of his adoption for the land of his nativity. He once more crossed the surging billows of the broad Atlantic, and assayed to find a home in London; “but the Spirit suffered him not.” Providence directed his steps to Cambridge. Finding our Eden too strait and dilapidated, he said, “It will be a disgrace to us to hand such a place as this down to posterity, in such a town as Cambridge.” Being preeminently a man of faith and prayer, in possession of zeal, he heeded not the obstacles in his way; he marched boldly on until he had, by the help of the Lord, fully accomplished his purpose—even that of rearing in Cambridge a new house for God, which, as a Particular and Strict Baptist chapel, is second to none in this country. Like dear Kent, with a slight alteration, we say, 

“’Tis to the praise of grace we sing,

Though of its glorious fruits we tell.”

Our New Eden people determined that the 35th anniversary of his ministry should be commemorated. In his pulpit he was that Lord’s-day much favoured. His morning text was—“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.” The evening discourse was on the text he preached his first sermon from:—“Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom; and Jesus said, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” It was a precious exposition of the grace of God in its sovereignty and its efficiency.

On Wednesday, March 10, Mr. Bradbury preached in afternoon, from “The King hath brought me into His chambers”—a fine elucidation of the text, delivered with sweetness, accompanied with power.

A public tea followed; after tea a public meeting, presided over by brother Deeks. Mr. McCure gave us an account of his call to the ministry, with reminiscences of his ministerial life. Brother Bradbury related early life, and the leadings of divine providence in bringing him into the ministry. The minds of our people were riveted to his discourse. The services were much enjoyed; the Lord was there. 

J. Favell

March 15, 1875

John Bunyan McCure (1822-1883) was an English Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. In 1840, he preached his first sermon and tied the knot in marriage. In 1848, he was ordained pastor at Hadlow, Kent, with John Foreman bringing the charge. In 1852, he and his family removed to Australia, where they served in gospel ministry for sixteen years. This came to a sudden end with the unexpected death of Mrs. McCure, whose last wish was for her children to be raised in England. Mr. McCure was the first Evangelist (Missionary) to be sent from the English Strict and Particular Baptists to Australia. In 1872, after returning to England, he was appointed pastor of Eden Chapel, Cambridge.