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John Wilson (clergyman)

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John Wilson (25 May 1854 - 7 January 1939) was a Baptist minister active in the Woolwich area.

Born in Forfarshire, Scotland, by the age of 17 he was actively preaching and distributing religious literature. After training for the ministry he was in charge of chapels in Cornwall and Chiswick. In 1877 he moved to Woolwich where he built up a considerable congregation. In 1895–96 he oversaw the building of the Baptist Tabernacle in Beresford Street, a large red brick and stone-dressed classical place of worship designed by Walter Henry Woodroffe, that seated 2,000.

In June 1891 he was co-opted onto the London School Board to fill a casual vacancy in the representation of the Greenwich Division. He was re-elected four times, retiring in 1901.

He was president of The Baptist Union in 1904 and of the London Baptist Association in 1909. In 1907 he was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Divinity by a Texan Baptist university and in 1919 was awarded the MBE for his services to troops stationed in Woolwich during the First World War.

He died at his home in Charlton in 1939, aged 84. A road in Woolwich was renamed John Wilson Street in 1940 in his memory.

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