Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Impact of Preaching on Boreham’s Editorials.

It is interesting to note the impact of F W Boreham’s preaching ministry on the subject and style of his weekly editorials in the Hobart Mercury newspaper. This influential link became most evident at Boreham’s unexpected decision which, as he said, “vitally affected my subsequent life and ministry”,[1] when he announced to his Hobart congregation in 1911 that he would commence a preaching series on ‘Texts that made history.’ These sermons adopted a biographical approach to preaching in which Boreham told the stories of famous people and provided a regular opportunity for hero-worship. There was an overwhelmingly positive response to this series that went for 125 nights (repeated again in Armadale) and the record sales of their publication resulted in an increase in Boreham’s historical and biographical editorials in the Mercury.

In contrast to Frank Boreham’s first editorial, in which he connected an historical insight with a current issue, the only link between most biographical editorials and the contemporary matters was usually the date of the editorial’s appearance on the anniversary of the article’s subject. Boreham’s keeping of an almanac increasingly perpetuated an ‘On this day in history’ style, which reduced his subject selection and weakened his commitment to grapple with current issues.

Geoff Pound

Image: The interior of the Hobart Tabernacle, where Texts that Made History was first preached/

[1] F W Boreham, My pilgrimage, 194-197.