Charles Spurgeon - Biography of the Preacher and Author
This article contains a short biography of Charles Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892), often referred to as C. H. Spurgeon. Charles Haddon Spurgeon is one of the most widely read preachers of Christianity, a Baptist Minister. There are more writings and books by Charles Spurgeon than by any other Christian writer. Read about the fascinating life of in this short biography of Charles Spurgeon...
Charles Spurgeon Timeline
Charles Spurgeon Biography - His Early life and his family
Charles Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, a village and town in Essex, England. His parents were John & Eliza Spurgeon (nee Jarvis). Charles was the eldest of 17 children, nine of whom died in infancy. He spent his childhood and early life in Stambourne where his grandparents lived, Colchester and Newmarket. James, the grandfather of C. H. Spurgeon, was born at Halstead, in Essex, September 29, 1776 and was a pastor. John Spurgeon, the father of Charles, was born at Stambourne in 1811 who worked in business and then became a minister.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Education
Charles Spurgeon was an intelligent child and had the gift of a wonderful memory. He attended a school at Colchester, where he studied Latin, Greek, and French. He was a diligent student, always carrying the first prize in all competitions. In 1848 he studied at St. Augustine's College, Maidstone. He had an independent spirit and although he came from a religious family he made his own mind up about religion.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Conversion and Baptism
In 1850 at the age of fifteen Charles Spurgeon converted to Christianity. On January 6, 1850 a snow storm made him seek shelter in an old Methodist chapel in Colchester. While he was there, a worker there said to him, "Young man, you look very miserable." Charles Spurgeon knew this, and he believed now that only God could heal him. The worker told him, "Young man, look to Jesus Christ! Look! Look! Look! You have nothing'' to do but to look and live." Charles Spurgeon was converted to Christianity. On May 3, 1850, he was baptised in the River Lark, at Isleham. Later that year, his family moved to Cambridge. The young convert walked 7 miles from Newmarket to Islehamon on May 2nd and Charles Spurgeon was publicly baptized by Mr. Cantlow, the Baptist Minister, on Friday, May 3, 185I. He wrote a letter to his father saying that "It is very pleasing to me that the day on which I shall openly profess the name of Jesus is my mother's birthday. May it be to both of us a foretaste of many glorious and happy days yet to come."
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Preacher
As a member of the Baptist church in Cambridge, Charles Spurgeon soon found occupation as a preacher at Teversham. The next year in 1851, he accepted his first pastorate, at the Baptist Chapel in Waterbeach. His enthusiasm and skill at preaching and public speaking resulted in the size of his congregation to increase at an amazing rate. Charles Spurgeon had a voice of marvellous power, penetration with a variety of tone. He never preached over his listeners or at them. He always talked directly to them and often used his sense of humor to get his point across. From little more than 30 people the congregation grew to over 400. Charles Spurgeon reputation as a preacher grew and in 1853 he was invited to preach at the New Park Street Chapel which was the largest Baptist church in London. The New Park Street Chapel, a Reformed Baptist church, was located in Southwark, London and had a 1200 seat auditorium.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Preacher at New Park Street Baptist Chapel
In April 1854, aged 19 Charles Spurgeon was invited to become the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel and he moved to his new position in London in 1854. His ability as a preacher once again resulted in the congregation quickly increasing in number. The 1200 capacity was not big enough and on August 30, 1854, the membership agreed to enlarge the chapel. Whilst the renovations were being conducted Charles Spurgeon preached at Exeter Hall.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Preaching at Exeter Hall and the Surrey Music Hall
Exeter Hall was a public auditorium on the north side of The Strand, London, England and held 5000 people. Charles Spurgeon fame as a preacher began to spread through London and the massive auditorium eventually became full of people who wanted to hear Charles Spurgeon preach. His style of preaching was both enormously popular and highly controversial. He was regarded by some as one of the greatest orators ever but others criticized him as being over theatrical. His harshest critics and the press even said he was sacrilegious. Never the less the people loved Charles Spurgeon and very soon it was necessary to move to an even bigger venue, holding 8000 people, at the Surrey Music Hall in Kennington, London. Before he was 20 years old, Charles Spurgeon had preached over 600 times.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Preacher and Author
By 1855 his sermons were published every week in the 'New Park Street Pulpit' - the 'Penny Pulpit'. They were read by many people and the fame of the young preacher grew, as did the number of people who wanted to hear him. By the age of 22 Charles Spurgeon was preaching to a congregation of more than 10,000 people - without the aid of a microphone. The renovations to New Park Street were completed in May 1855, but the chapel was still too small. In June a committee was formed to oversee the construction of a new church - the 5,000 seat Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Marriage
On January 8th 1856 Charles Spurgeon married Susannah Thompson (January 15, 1832 – October 22, 1903). Her father, Mr. R. B. Thompson, and her mother had attended New Park Street Chapel, Southwark and their daughter Susannah used to accompany them which is where the pair met. The wedding of Susannah Thompson and Charles Haddon Spurgeon took place at New Park Street Chapel, on January 8th, 1856, Dr. Alexander Fletcher, of Finsbury Chapel, officiating. The married couple spent 10 days honeymoon in Paris, France and then returned to their new home in the New Kent Road in London.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Fatherhood
On September 20th, 1856, non-identical twin sons were born to Susannah and Charles Spurgeon at their home in the New Kent Road. The boys were called Charles and Thomas.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - Disaster at Surrey Gardens Music Hall
Just one month after the birth of the twins Charles Spurgeon prepared to preach on Sunday evening, October 19, 1856, at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall. The hall itself was packed with 10,000 people and there were many other Londoners milling about in the gardens of the Music Hall and the streets surrounding the hall - estimated at a further 10,000 people. The service began early but after a prayer and a hymn there was a cry of "Fire! The galleries are giving way, the place is falling." This cry was believed to be the criminal work of trouble makes - there was no fire. There was a terrible panic and as many of the people rushed for the doors, the stumbled, fell and were piled on each other. The balustrade of the stairs broke and people toppled over. Seven people lost their lives, and twenty-eight people were taken to the hospital seriously injured. Charles Spurgeon did all he could to calm the crowd but suffered from serious shock. The disaster led to the condemnation of Charles Spurgeon in the national press. It also led to his fame increasing across the world.
Charles Spurgeon preaching at Surrey Gardens Music Hall
Charles Spurgeon Biography - The Pastors College and Crystal Palace
The services conducted by Charles Spurgeon recommenced in Music Hall on November 23rd 1856, but it took time for Charles to recover from the shock. In 1857 the family moved to Helensburgh House, Nightingale Lane, Clapham. In 1857 he founded a Pastors' College, renamed Spurgeon's College in 1923 when it moved to its present building in South Norwood Hill, London . In the same year Charles Spurgeon preached at Crystal Palace to an audience of nearly 25,000 people.
Charles Spurgeon Biography - The Metropolitan Tabernacle
The building of the Metropolitan Tabernacle was finally completed and dedicated on March 18, 1861. Charles Spurgeon continued to preach in the massive church until his last sermon on June 7, 1891. Between these dates he was always busy preaching sermons, writing and initiating projects to help the needy. A charity orphanage, eventually called Spurgeon's, was founded in 1867 by Charles Spurgeon. This included the founding of a Boys orphanage in Stockwell, London in 1867 which was followed by a Girls orphanage in 1879.
Charles Spurgeon Biography
The writing of Charles Spurgeon was prolific and included sermons, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, hymns and an autobiography. During his later years he often took holidays in France with his family. His health declined in later years and he died in France on January 31, 1892. On February 9, nearly 70,000 people filed past his casket in the Metropolitan Tabernacle. He was then buried at Norwood Cemetery on February 11, 1892. During his lifetime, Charles Spurgeon preached sermons to nearly 10,000,000 people. We hope that the information provided in this short biography has provided an insight into this remarkable man. We have selected some of his well known quotes on life in our short video below. Please take a look!