Derek Prime

November 3, 2008

I’ve had the great privilege of hearing Derek Prime preaching ‘in the flesh’ on several ocassions. Mr Prime was the beloved pastor of Charlotte Baptist Chapel from 1969 to 1987. There are many things that could be said of Derek’s preaching (most of which, in his humility, he would rather remain unsaid!). But let me limit myself to two: his simplicity and his Christ-centredness.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Robertson, Charlotte Chapel)

Regarding his intention to be simple, Mr Prime (commenting on this blog) has described simplicity as one of the most important aspects of a preacher’s style.

“Only yesterday I finished reading a biography of J. C. Ryle entitled That Man of Granite with the Heart of a Child by Eric Russell. He tells of how an old lady went out of her way to hear Bishop Ryle preach. After the service she told a friend that she had been very disappointed. “I never heard a Bishop,” she said, “I thought I’d hear something great. He’s nowt. He’s no Bishop. I could understand every word.” When Ryle heard the story, he said it was the greatest compliment he had ever had paid to his preaching. The better we understand what we saying the simpler we should be. It is no credit to us if people remark on how clever we are.”

In addition to this, Derek Prime has described, as one of the greatest pitfalls preacher must avoid, a

“Failure to relate every Scripture to the centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Cross in God’s revelation.”

Such a Christ-centered focus has been one of the hallmarks of the preaching of Derek Prime.


One comment

  1. Mr Prime cannot know how many lives he profoundly affected. Certainly, many students who came to CC with me, mainly to see why on earth I should bother with church, were stunned by the intelligence and friendliness they encountered. Personally, I should like to say how much I appreciated his prayers and willingness to spare time for a student. How he recognised and even remembered me twenty years later, he and I both visiting the chapel, I shall never know!

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