William Shepherd

The Life And Ministry Of William Shepherd

Earthen Vessel 1894:

The Late William Shepherd, Of South Chard

Mr. William Shepherd was born in the county of Devon of godly parents; but, like all the rest of Adam’s posterity, was taken up with the vain things of time. Comparatively early in life the Lord was pleaaed to show him his danger while listening to a sermon by a Baptist minister in his native village; but, as time rolled on our brother was led more deeply into the truth which led him to peruse his father’s books, written by good and gracious men. We first became acquainted in the year 1843, in the city of Exeter, after listening to a sermon by the late Mr. James Wells, of the Surrey Tabernacle, on which occasion a friendship sprung up which lasted half a century. Later on it was my lot to be called to preach at Zoar, Exeter, where our departed brother was a very active deacon, and who, with his partner in life, always accorded a hearty welcome to the Lord’s servants when visiting Exeter to preach Christ and Him crucified.

Our brother Shepherd was the subject of much exercise for some years about speaking publicly in the Lord’s name. At length doors were opened for him in the neighbourhood of Exeter. Eventually, he was led to accept the pastorate of the Church of Christ at South Chard and laboured there with much acceptance for twenty-nine years. The last few years he suffered much bodily, but was able to bear his affliction with resignation, until the Lord called him home. His widow was greatly helped and strengthened to wait and tenderly nurse him to the last. He died September 24, 1893, aged 80.

Mr. Richard Varder of Yeovil, according to mutual arrangement was to have officiated at his funeral, but brother Varder being taken home first, the lot fell upon the writer to conduct the last solemn and sacred rites over his mortal remains, at whose request I also preached his funeral sermon from the words (selected by deceased) “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me.”

Great respect was shown to his memory; many assembled to take part in the service both at the chapel and in the churchyard of the village where, for so many years he proclaimed the sacred truths of the Gospel.

“The memory of the just is blessed.”

W. Lee

William Shepherd (1813-1893) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. In 1864, he was appointed pastor of the church meeting at South Chard, Somerset, a position he held for twenty-nine years.