He was born at Madeley, Salop on 4 January 1781. He spent half of his ministry in Scotland, where he was responsible for building or acquiring a number of chapels on which crippling debts remained for decades. A powerful, attractive preacher, fiery controversialist, advocate of denominational Sunday Schools and opponent of slavery, he was sent in 1834 to superintend the West Indian missions, but died at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 26 March 1835, soon after his arrival.
'The Conference [of 1834] made a very grave experiment, which many, at the time, thopught highly injudicious and venturesome, and which issued in disastrous loss to Methodism. This was the appointment of Mr. Valentine Ward to Jamaica, as Heneral Sup[erintendent of the West Indian Missions. He could be ill-spared from England, being one of opur finest preachers and speakers, and ill-sparted from Conference, where his moderating, gentle, and persuasive wisdom was most sadly missed. Besides, his appointment to an anxious, arduous position in the tropics at a crisis, the training-time of the emancipated blacks for freedom and for progress, was an almost certain sentence of death toa man of his enormous corpulence.'
Benjamin Gregory, Side Lights on the Conflicts of Methodism (1898) pp.167-68
Entry written by: MB
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