Born on12 April 1857 in Limehouse, East London, where his father, Thomas Charles Garland, was a lay agent in the WM Seamen's Mission at Wapping, he trained for the ministry at Headingley and Handsworth Colleges. He went to New Zealand in 1881 as a circuit minister. He was Secretary of the Century Commemoration Fund, 1899-1900. Though lacking university training, he was well read and intelligent, an original thinker and preacher. His Conference lecture on The Bearing of Higher Criticism on Leading Evangelical Doctrines (1893) was significant in the liberalization of Methodist theology in New Zealand. He was President of the Conference in 1901 and in 1912 became Principal of the Theological Institution. His relatively early death deprived the Church of a theologian and leader of outstanding ability. He died at Auckland on 4 November 1918.