Lark, William Blake
1838-1913; e.m. 1859

BC minister, born at Fowey on 1 December 1838. He was converted at the age of 15, when Frederick W. Bourne preached in the town. He began to preach at 16, when living in Devonport. During an extensive circuit ministry, he became known at Exeter for a popular series of lectures on the Bible and drew great crowds at Portsmouth by his discourses on Christianity and Free Thought. His preaching and lecturing were distinguished by clarity and plain language. First appointed to the BC Connexional Committee in 1879, he served on it and its UM successor until 1912. Among the BCs he was described as 'one of that limited band of front-rank men who, for about a third of a century, have been potent, determining factors in the life and history of the denomination'. In 1900 he was appointed Governor of Shebbear College, and during his nine years there had a formative and significant influence on ministerial candidates who opted for a year's study at the school. He was President of the Conference in 1882, 1898 and 1907 and its Secretary from 1880 to 1882. In 1907 he was elected President of the UM Conference. He represented the BC Connexion at the Ecumenical Methodist Conferences between 1881 and 1901.

He contributed articles to the <span class="font-italic">Bible Christian Magazine</span>] over the signature 'B.W. Kral. Believing that 'the kingdoms of this world are also the Kingdom of God', he used wit, humour, repartee, scorn, denunciation and ridicule in dealing with political and social wrongs. He was an advocate of [[Entry:2704 temperance and an upholder of Free Church principles and rights, but was also remembered as 'wise in counsel, considerate and efficient, with 'a tender and kind heart'.

He died on 15 April 1913. His son Ernest Edward Lark (1870-1924) followed his father into the BC ministry in 1892.

Sources
  • W.J. Michell, Brief Biographical Sketches of Bible Christian Ministers and Laymen (Jersey, 1905-6), vol. 1 pp.100-6