Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Monday, April 17, 2006

So This Is Boreham: Part Two

One day in Tunbridge Wells, it was announced that the American evangelist, D.L. Moody, would be preaching that Sunday afternoon at the Village Green. Young Frank and his siblings were escorted to the village center by their aunt, she with strong evangelical leanings, and no doubt hoping for the salvation of her nieces and nephews. Upon arrival, they discovered the Green packed with people. There was no hope of getting close enough to the portly preacher to hear him. As they were resigning themselves to this fact, there was a sudden commotion behind them. The wind had shifted and a makeshift platform was being erected. Frank had a front row spot from which to listen to Mr. Moody!

Frank learned a great deal about preaching that day. It is a lesson every preacher must learn and of which he should be constantly reminded. Boreham writes, "...the astonishment of that afternoon lay in the circumstance that I could understand every word! I had somehow assumed that preachers of eminence must be very abstruse, recondite, and difficult to follow. I had hoped that, by intense concentration, I might occasionally catch the drift of the speaker's argument. But Mr. Moody took a text in which there was no word containing more than one syllable: The Son of Man is come to seek and save that which was lost. He used the simplest and most homely speech: he told stories that interested and affected me: he became sometimes impassioned and sometimes pathetic: he held my attention spellbound until the last syllable had died away. I could scarcely believe my ears. It was all so different - so delightfully different - from what I had expected the utterance of a world-renowned preacher to be." Moody was not the only great man of God used to mold Boreham's life.

Taking leave of home and moving to London for work at age 16, Frank was first employed in a clerical capacity. He later found a better paying job with a railway company. While working there, he suffered a serious accident that almost cost him his life and affected him through his remaining years. Living in a boarding house introduced him to many temptations only a metropolis like London could offer. Frank decided he needed to join a church and seek further spiritual training and teaching. The great Bible teacher, Dr. F.B. Meyer, pastored a church in London and offered a Saturday afternoon Bible class for young men. As Frank sat under Dr. Meyer's expository teaching week after week, he sensed God's call to the ministry. In order that he might test this tugging at his heart, he joined a group of young men from C. H. Spurgeon's Preacher's College and assisted them in evangelistic street meetings. Soon he found himself standing on a London street corner preaching the gospel.

Jeff Cranston

Image: D L Moody