Pyke, Richard
1873-1965; e.m. 1894

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BC and Methodist minister and historian, born at Sampford Courtenay, Devon, the son of an agricultural labourer. Leaving school at 11, he worked for eight years on a farm but continued to educate himself with the limited resources available to him. A student all his life, he became competent in the classics.

He was accepted for the ministry at 19, and after a year's training at Shebbear College under Thomas Ruddle, he began his ministry in the Shebbear Circuit. He had a long and distinguished ministry, with most of his appointments in the west country, but including ten years at Forest Hill in London (1903-1913) which saw him through the 1907 union, and seven at Southport (1935-1942), where he also served as Chairman of the Liverpool District. Twice in Plymouth, he was at Greenbank when the BC Conference met there in 1891, and was noted for his organisational skills. He had conspicuous appointments at Shebbear College as Governor (1915-22) and as Bursar at Edgehill College, Bideford (1942-49). He was elected Presidentof the UM Conference in 1927 and of the Methodist Conference in 1939. He was a talented sportsman with a powerful physique, and carried that power into the pulpit. He was an effective teacher and evangelist. He married and had two sons and three daughters. He wrote histories of the BCs (The Golden Chain (1915) and The Early Bible Christians, the WHS Lecture of 1941), of Edgehill College (1934 and 1957) and of Shebbear College (1953), and an autobiography, Men and Memories (1948). He died on 20 September 1965.

  • Conference Handbook, 1939
  • Methodist Recorder, 30 Sept. 1965