Wood, Dr Joseph
1829-1899; e.m. 1851

PM minister born at Ipstones, Staffs, on 23 April 1829. The son of a farmer, he was fortunate in receiving a good education. As a young man he met both Hugh Bourne and William Clowes. He served in the Hull District until he was appointed to the Leeds III Circuit in 1872. He had a particular concern for the nurturing of young people and together with William Beckworth he was chiefly responsible for the establishment of the PM Sunday School Union (1874) with its first headquarters in Leeds. He was appointed its first Secretary in 1874 and as its full-time Agent 1875-1882 did a great deal to raise the standard of teaching and provide supporting material. He was prominent in the holiness movement espoused by PM in the second half of the 19th century, though he himself never laid claim to the 'second blessing'. He was President of the Conference in 1882, convened the committee that produced the words edition of the Primitive Methodist Hymnal of 1887 and was Principal of Hartley College 1889-1893. The Wesleyan University in Montreal conferred an honorary DD on him in 1890. But the new era inaugurated by the apointment of A.S. Peake to the staff of Hartley College led to a sense of inadequacy. He retired from his principalship in 1893 and became secretary of the connexional Ministerial Candidates' Examining Committee. In 1895 he joined with James Macpherson in attacking what he considered the heretical views of John Day Thompson's article on 'The Simple Gospel'. He died at his home in Grimsby on 17 June 1899, during the PM Conference in that town.

  • George J. Stevenson, Methodist Worthies (1884-86) 5 pp.783-803
  • W. Roy Pape, 'The Young Body of Christ: the contribution to youth work in Primitive Methodism by Joseph Wood,', in Heritage, WHS, East Midlands Branch, 9(1) (February, 2008). pp.4-28.
  • W. Roy Pape, 'Modernity versus Tradition: the Tensions in Primitive

Methodism as Illustrated in the Ministry of Joseph Wood, the 2nd Principal of Hartley College' in "Heritage", WHS East Midlands Branch, 10(1) (February, 2009). pp.6-40