Bradford’s Famous Preacher
One of the most significant individuals who lived in Bradford during the late 19th Century was Pastor Smith Wigglesworth. Born in Menston in 1859 and from humble beginnings he set up a small plumbing business in the district before marrying Mary Jane Featherstone (‘Polly’) the love of his life. He would become one of the most famous preachers of the 19th century.
Smith Wigglesworth and his wife were both Christians. In their early years they spent some time with the Salvation Army movement before establishing their own ministry in Bradford. They acquired a building in Bowland Street, Bradford – which still exists – where they set up their mission. They attracted many worshippers and made many conversions. He visited All Saints Church in Monkwearmouth and met with the Reverend Alexander Boddy and his wife where he declared he had been baptised with the Holy Spirit.
Smith Wigglesworth became an internationally recognised and highly revered faith healer, who would become associated with the early pioneers of the Pentecostalism and the 1904/1905 Christian revival movement that would eventually spread to five continents in the following years. He would subsequently meet with the former hangman James Berry who he would also save. (Read: The Hangman and the Preacher)
He died on the 12th March, 1947 and is buried in Nab Wood Cemetery.