William Perkins, President of the WM Conference in 1909, was a fourth generation Methodist born at Haverfordwest on 21 March 1843. He received a grammar school education and then entered the civil department of the Royal Engineers. On entering the WM Ministry in 1864 he was sent directly into circuit at Woolwich and would always regret his lack of a college education. An able administrator, he became Chairman of the Bristol District in 1891, was elected to the Legal Hundred 1898, and was one of the Foreign Missionary Secretaries from 1898 to 1914. He died on 18 December 1922. His eldest daughter married the China missionary, T. Wilfrid Scholes (1879-1955; e.m. 1904), the brother of Percy A. Scholes, and was in charge of the Girls’ Mission School at Canton.
His only son, Dr. Harold William Perkins (1873-1957; e.m. 1897), was born on 28 July 1873 at Tipton, Staffs. He trained at Handsworth College and received his DD for a thesis on 'The Doctrine of Christian and Evangelical Perfection' (published 1927). At Aldershot, his last circuit, he had the opprtunity to minister to the many soldiers who moved in and out of that military establishment. He retired in 1933 and died on 24 May 1957.