Tasker, Dr John Greenwood
1853-1936; e.m. 1875

WM minister, born on 20 January 1853 at Skipton-in-Craven. After training at Richmond College, in 1876 he became Assistant Tutor, and from 1887 Classical Tutor, there. In 1881 he married Ellen Martha Sanderson (1859-1948), daughter of Sanderson, Daniel, House Governor at Richmond. In 1892 he moved to Handsworth College as Tutor in Biblical and Classical Studies, later becoming Principal (1910-1923). Four years at Cannstatt in Germany in the early 1880s laid the foundations of an interest in German theology. He delivered the Fernley Lecture in 1910 on 'Spiritual Religion', was President of the 1916 Conference and in 1918 was a delegate to the Conference of the MEC South in the USA. He died on 17 June 1936. His brother William Henry Tasker entered the ministry of the Church of England, and was father of the New Testament scholar R.V.G. (Randolph Vincent Greenwood) Tasker (1895-1976); their half-brother, W.L. Tasker (e.m. 1880; died1941), also entered the Wesleyan ministry.


'A Handsworth student [Mr. Bevan Shepherd] has written: "It is hard to define the Doctor's gift to Handsworth" - it was not merely the studies, but his poetry, the heart at leisure from itself, the accessibility of the man. He always had a detailed knowledge of his students. "We were dull scholars and slow," says another student [in Methodist Magazine, 1912, p.190], " but we came to know our teacher, and to hold him in ever-growing reverence and esteem. He had all the scholar's hatred of superficial and ill-digested knowledge. He knew our limitations - a knowledge that comes hardly to us all! Yet he never let us feel that we were dragging. Perhaps no keener observer ever taught a class. He noted every movement; he could read the degree of our attention. The lessons were great, the teacher was immeasurably greater. He taught much; he inspired more, and always he brought us into the presence of the great Teacher Himself."'

Frank H. Cumbers, Richmond College 1843-1943 (1944) p.112

  • Methodist Recorder, 25 June 1936