Baptists We Should Know: John Fawcett

Dr. Mark Rasmussen

John Fawcett was born in Yorkshire, England, on January 6, 1740. As a teenager, he heard the preaching of George Whitefield and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. Soon after this, he was baptized into the fellowship of a Baptist church. In 1765, Fawcett was ordained to be the pastor of the Baptist church of Wainsgate, England.

A few years later he left this church and took a church in Hebden Bridge, England, where he continued until his death in July, 1817. Fawcett was faithful as a pastor for almost fifty years until the Lord called him home. Fawcett understood the importance of biblically based education, and he ran an academy near his church for many years. Fawcett was known for his extensive reading and knowledge of a variety of subjects. When Dr. Gill, one of England’s greatest pastors, went home to be with the Lord, his church in London invited Fawcett to be his successor. He declined the invitation, believing God would have him stay in Hebden Bridge.

Fawcett wrote two volumes of commentary on the Bible. He also authored a volume of hymns which he had written, many of which are still being used today.

While King George III of England was once listening to preaching, the pastor quoted Fawcett. The king was so impressed by the quote that he sent word that he wanted to give something to Fawcett. Being a nonconformist, Fawcett refused the king’s help, but later asked for this favor to be given to another and saved someone from being executed.

More inspiring than all his accomplishments is that Fawcett lived a consecrated life. While not all can write songs or commentaries like John Fawcett, each can choose to live a consecrated life today.