GIFFORD, Alfred David 1882 - 1950

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1951. Page 119

Born at Swansea in 1882. His father was a native of Cornwall and his mother of Devon. He attended the Secondary School in Swansea, and at a very early age was converted under the ministry of the Rev. James Woolcock.

At the age of seventeen he became a Local Preacher, and three years later entered Shebbear College to train for the Bible Christian Ministry.

There his life was enriched by all that is finest in the Bible Christian tradition. His ministry, which commenced at Sydney Road, Newquay, in 1904, was spent wholly in the West Country—with the important exception of four years in Portsmouth where, under his leadership, there came a wonderful spiritual awakening by which scores of young people were added to the Church.

His last twenty-five years were spent in Cornwall. He had an extensive and intimate knowledge of Methodism in the county and occupied a unique place in it.

For fourteen years he was Secretary of the Cornwall Synod, and greatly served his Church, particularly through the first difficult years of Methodist Union. In him we had a District Statesman, wise, well-informed, forward looking, trusted, and beloved.

He was a preacher of power whose pulpit ministrations were widely sought and to whose word people gave heed. His sermons were thoughtful, revealing the careful student of the Word of God, and were delivered with a freedom and a warmth which stirred the hearts and edified the minds of his congregation.

So it came about that during the few years of retirement granted to him calls for service came to him from far and near in the county, to which up to the very end he readily and happily responded.

He was supremely a Methodist minister, rejoicing in his vocation, and fortunate indeed was the circuit having as its superintendent this manly, cheerful servant of God. He was a strong and buoyant personality, optimistic, brotherly, lovable. A man of firm religious convictions, with a deep and sweet Christian experience, his winning smile and sunny countenance were not simply the expression of a natural geniality but the reflection of an inner light and peace.

He died on the 1st August 1950, in the faith by which he lived, his hope sure and steadfast, and with the gracious awareness of his Master’s Presence passed through death triumphant home.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1951

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