William Harris Murch
|Dr. William Harris Murch|
|Died||12 July 1859|
|Occupation||Preacher and Teacher|
Murch was born in Honiton in Devon in 1784 and took to the church early, being known as a "boy preacher". He is said to have been inspired by reading a biography of Samuel Pearce, by Andrew Fuller. He attended Wymondley College, a dissenting academy that often moved location. He was baptised in 1802 as a young adult, in the Baptist style. After completing his training, he accepted an offer from the Sheppards Barton Meeting House at Frome only after he considered he was mature enough. After a long ministry there he was appointed the President and Theological Tutor of Stepney Academy in 1827 and he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity by Brown University.
Murch became one of the joint secretaries of the Baptist Union in 1834 which was a post he was to retain for twelve years. It may be a coincidence but John Howard Hinton was later to say that although Baptists had been meeting for many years it was not until 1834 that the real Baptist Union was formed.
In 1840, Murch attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London and he was one of the notable delegates recorded in the picture. After stepping down at Stepney Academy in 1843 and from his other formal positions Murch served for seven years with a Church in Rickmansworth before helping to form a church in Bath. Murch died in 1859.
- Honorary Degrees, Brown University, accessed February 2013
- "Former Secretaries of the Baptist Union.". biblicalstudies.org.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840, Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1841, National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG599, Given by British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in 1880
- "Dr William Harris Murch (1784–1859), Principal of Stepney Academy (1827–1843)". Your Paintings. BBC. Retrieved 5 February 2013.