The Spurgeon Pulpit

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 - January 31, 1892) came to faith in Christ in 1850 at the age of 15. He started preaching shortly thereafter, and by 19 he was the pastor of what would become the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England. He had no formal theological education, but Spurgeon has become affectionately known in church history as "the prince of preachers." He was a man of rich theology, humor, and gospel centrality. In his pastor's college he emphasized to his students the necessity of preaching the gospel clearly and plainly saying, "Our preaching must not be put on the high shelf of our fine language, but in the use of great plainness of speech." Before his death at age 57 he had started a pastor's college, several orphanages, saw his church grow from 200 to 5,000, and baptized 15,000 new believers. He is a hero to preachers, and considered by many historians as the greatest gospel preacher since the Apostle Paul.

In May of 2023, Pastor Jonathan Blankenship asked one of our members, Mathew Starratt (a master carpenter) if he'd be willing to build a new pulpit for our auditorium. Matt is self-taught, had never built a pulpit before, and we had no blueprints for the specific design our pastor had in mind. It would certainly be a challenge. 

The idea that Pastor gave Matt was something he had seen at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. Midwestern is the steward of The Spurgeon Library. One of the unique things about the library is that it has on display a full scale replica of Spurgeon's pulpit. The original remains in an office at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. So, the pictures of those pulpits - the original and the replica - were given to Matt, and he soon got to work.

5 months later and nearly 100 hours in labor, Mathew installed our new pulpit on November 19, 2023. It is a hand-built replica of the same pulpit from which Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached while pastor at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in the 1800's. And this replica is the full craftsmanship of one our Laurel members, Mathew Starratt (a retired marine, husband, and father of three).

We are not idolizing a man by replicating Spurgeon's pulpit, but we do want to continue a legacy of exalting the glory of God through the faithful preaching of God's word. Spurgeon's pulpit will serve as a weekly reminder of his legacy in training and inspiring preachers to "preach Christ always and evermore."

"I am determined, as far as ever I can, to preach the gospel plainly and simply, so that everybody may understand it."

--Charles Haddon Spurgeon