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Who was G. Campbell Morgan?

G. Campbell Morgan

G. Campbell Morgan (1863—1945), whose full name was George Campbell Morgan, was a British pastor, evangelist, Bible scholar, and prolific writer. His first sermon, preached at age thirteen, was a balanced, four-point message on salvation. Despite having no formal ministerial training, his natural speaking ability and biblical perception would lead him to the pulpit of London’s Westminster Chapel, where he served as pastor for more than 22 years (from 1904—1917 and 1932—1943). Today, G. Campbell Morgan is remembered by some as “The Prince of Expositors” (“G. Campbell Morgan: The Prince of Expositors,” Christianity Today, Vol. VII, No. 18, June 7, 1963).

George was born in the village of Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK, to George and Elizabeth Fawn Brittan Morgan. George, Sr., was a Baptist minister who, influenced by the famous Brethren preacher George Muller, resigned his position and began his own independent faith mission. When the family moved to Cardiff, South Wales, they joined the Wesleyan Methodist church and embraced its traditions.

G. Campbell Morgan began preaching as a youth and was soon called to evangelize regularly in smaller churches throughout South Wales. He graduated from the Douglas School, Cheltenham, in 1881. To earn a living, Morgan became a schoolteacher at the Wesleyan Day School in Birmingham. Later he taught at the Jewish Collegiate School (1883—1886).

Amid a crisis of faith, Morgan decided to put away all the progressive books on his shelf, and for seven years, he read only the Bible. He wrote, “I bought a new Bible, and began to read with an open mind and a determined will. That Bible found me. Since that time I have lived for one end—to preach the teachings of the Book that found me” (ibid.).

G. Campbell Morgan knew God had called him to the pulpit. At first, he joined the Salvation Army and became a lay evangelist for the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Ironically, when he applied to become a minister of the Wesleyan Church in 1888, he was refused for failing his trial sermon. But this stinging rejection did not stop Morgan. He would soon become one of the most popular Bible expositors of his day.

In 1888, Morgan married Annie (also called Nancy). The following year, he was called to minister at the Congregational church at Stone, Staffordshire, and was ordained by the Congregationalists in 1890. Within a few years, he was ministering at the prestigious Westminster Road Congregational Church in Birmingham (1893—1897) and then at New Court Church, Tollington Park, in London (1897—1901). During these years, G. Campbell Morgan’s fame began to spread far and wide as he traveled around the UK holding evangelism crusades. Many remarked on his exceptional eloquence.

In 1896, Morgan made his first trip to the United States (he would cross the Atlantic more than 50 times in his life). There, he met D. L. Moody and was invited to preach at his Northfield, Massachusetts, Bible Conference. Every year after that, until Moody died in 1899, Morgan was called upon to speak at the General Conference. In 1901, Moody’s son asked G. Campbell Morgan to lecture at the Northfield Extension. This position took him all over the United States and Canada, speaking at Bible conferences and helping develop the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). In 1902, Chicago Theological Seminary awarded Morgan a Doctor of Divinity.

Morgan’s reputation as an extraordinary Bible teacher was solidified when he returned to London in 1904 to minister at Westminster Congregational Chapel, Buckingham Gate. His timeless sermons were published in The Westminster Pulpit (1915), and many members of London’s political and social elite attended his services. At a time when the church was in decline, Morgan reinvigorated involvement through the establishment of the Friday Night Bible School, a new Sunday school, and a sisterhood of women workers. He also raised funds for much-needed renovations and repairs to the building.

From 1911 to 1914, Morgan also served as president of Cheshunt College, Cambridge, splitting his time between London and Cambridge. When war broke out in 1914, he was one of a handful of ministers still in London.

In 1917, G. Campbell Morgan resigned from Westminster Chapel and spent time training YMCA workers and pastoring at Highbury Quadrant (1918—1919). He returned to the United States in 1919, spending most of his time at Bible conferences and, for a short while, taught at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and Gordon College of Theology and Missions in Boston. For three years (1929—1932), he held his only pastorate in the United States at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

Morgan returned to London for a second tenure as pastor at Westminster Chapel in 1932. In 1938, he asked Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to join him as his assistant until Morgan retired from the pulpit in 1943. He passed away on May 16, 1945, in London. All four of Morgan’s sons became ministers.

G. Campbell Morgan wrote more than sixty books, including Discipleship (1898), The Crises of the Christ (1903), The Great Physician (1937), and the Analyzed Bible (1907), the fruit of his Friday Night Bible School. Some say he helped the average person of average education and intelligence rediscover the heart of God’s Word like no other preacher of his time. He was gifted with a clear and direct communication style. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, one of the most gifted preachers of the last century, called his friend and mentor “the last of the great pulpit personalities” (Thompson, D. M., “Morgan, George Campbell,” Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Timothy Larsen et al., InterVarsity Press, 2003, p. 442).

Here are some quotes attributed to G. Campbell Morgan:

“Holiness is not inability to sin, but ability not to sin” (Manser, M., ed., Christian Quotations, Martin Manser, 2016).

“What we do in the crisis always depends on whether we see the difficulties in the light of God, or God in the shadow of the difficulties” (Concise Survey of the Bible, 2014, p. 28, Ravenio Books).

“Prayer is life passionately wanting, wishing, desiring God’s triumph” (The Westminster Pulpit, Vol. III: The Preaching of G. Campbell Morgan 2012 , p. 61, Wipf and Stock Publishers).

“There is something infinitely better than doing a great thing for God, and the infinitely better thing is to be where God wants us to be, to do what God wants us to do, and to have no will apart from His” (The Hidden Years at Nazareth, 1898).

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This page last updated: March 14, 2024