Born: Feb­ru­ary 12, 1797, Bu­ry St. Ed­munds, Suf­folk, Eng­land.

Died: Au­gust 10, 1873, Bu­ry St. Ed­munds, Suff­olk, Eng­land.


Elven was pas­tor of the Bap­tist church at Bu­ry St. Ed­munds for 50 years. Dur­ing his time there, the con­gre­ga­tion grew from 40 to ov­er 600 mem­bers.

When Mr. Spur­geon was pas­tor at Wa­ter­beach, Mr. El­ven was in­vit­ed to preach at his first an­ni­ver­sa­ry, in 1852. Mr. Spur­geon met him at the station. ‘His bulk was stu­pen­dous, and one saw that his heart was as large as his body.’

He could not go in­to the ri­ver for the bap­tis­mal ser­vice con­nect­ed with the an­ni­ver­sa­ry, for he said that ‘if he got wet through, there were no gar­ments near­er than Bu­ry St. Ed­munds that would fit him.’

He ex­horted the young pas­tor to ‘stu­dy hard, and mind and keep abreast of the fore­most Chris­tians in your lit­tle church; for if these men, ei­ther in their know­ledge of Scrip­ture, or their pow­er to edi­fy the peo­ple, once out­strip you, the temp­ta­tion will arise among them to be dis­sa­tis­fied with your min­is­try; and how­ev­er good they are, they will feel their su­pe­ri­or­ity, and oth­ers will per­ceive it too, and then your place in the church will be ve­ry dif­fi­cult to hold.’

Telford, pp. 212–13



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