THE minister of Elgin Place Congregational Church comes of a race who were farmers and woollen manufacturers in the neighbourhood of Rochdale for some three centuries. His immediate forebears took a vigorous share in founding the Independent chapel at Bamford, and his uncle, John Ashworth, remains famous as the friend of John Bright and the author of those dramatic "Strange Tales" which, as tracts, circulated in millions throughout manufacturing England a generation ago. Dr. Shepherd himself, the youngest of a family of eight, was born in the middle fifties. While he was still a boy his father, a prosperous manufacturer, fell upon evil days, and the lad became a "half-timer" in a Rochdale factory. He managed, however, to secure a sound, plain education, and availed himself of the libraries of several friends to lay up a wide store of reading. He also fed and fired his enthusiasm by attending the lectures, sermons, and speeches of such men as John Bright, Mr. Chamberlain, Charles Bradlaugh, and Dr. Parker, afterwards of the City Temple. Ultimately, at the age of twenty-two, by the example and advice of his brother, a minister at Beverley, he entered Rotherham College as a Congregational student. During his five happy years there he distinguished himself especially in theology and philosophy, and gained the esteem of principal and professors.

    His first charge was the pastorate of Newton Park, North Leeds, a small but very intelligent congregation, and during his four years of active life there he continued to perfect himself in the studies of his college days not less than in the knowledge of men and affairs. Next, as minister of St. Mary's in Morley, he found himself addressing a keen and critical congregation of mixed employers and employed under the roof of a church which dated from Tudor times. The fane had twice been consecrated by archbishops in Roman Catholic days, and once by a bishop of the Anglican Church, before it became a Congregational place of worship. There, while the congregation prospered under his charge, he found time to take an interest in the education of the town, and joined in the work of the School Board. He also entered the field of politics, addressed meetings on burning questions of the hour, and became a strenuous advocate of Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule policy. At the same time he became known as a vigorous opponent of the growing sacerdotalism of England.

    After seven years at Morley he was called to Reading, and there followed Dr. Stevenson and George Sale Reany in the pulpit of Trinity Church. The congregation numbered between seven and eight hundred persons, but in addition to the work of the church he continued his interest in educational matters by becoming a member of Reading School Board. During his ministry in Yorkshire and his associations with the historic church of "St. Mary's," Dr. Shepherd gained some attention as an antiquary. He contributed material to Smith's "Old Yorkshire," a work that did much to awaken an interest in the Brontė country, which, indeed, has now attained to the dignity of a cult. Dr. Shepherd is also an authority on the dialects of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and his lecture on "Arrested Development in the Speech of a People" has been repeated before many of the learned societies in England.

    It was in 1898 that he received the call to succeed the Rev. T. Eynon Davies at Elgin Place Church, Glasgow, and his ministry there has proved an unqualified success. At most services it is now almost impossible for a stranger to find a seat. The value of his work has been recognised by the Senate of Glasgow University, which in 1904 conferred on him the degree of D.D.

    Besides the contribution to antiquarian literature already referred to, Dr. Shepherd has once and again touched the pen. While at Morley he published a number of sermons under the title of "St. Mary's Pulpit," and more recently he was the author of a volume, "The Gospel and Social Questions," intended as an answer to Mr. Hall Caine's strictures on the relation of the Church to the people, and largely based on the author's own personal knowledge of the working classes.

    Tall, muscular, and strongly built, Dr. Shepherd finds his only recreation in walking, and most of this he takes in the course of his pastoral work.

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