Joseph Benjamin Bissell

Photo:Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Photo:Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919


By Geoff Dickinson

Early years

Joseph was born on 25 April 1868 at Halesowen, Worcestershire, to parents Benjamin Bissell and Sarah price. Benjamin was a gun barrel grinder and a local preacher. His maternal grandfather, William Price, was a pioneer of Primitive Methodism on the borders of Worcestershire and Staffordshire.

Joseph preached his first sermon when he was fifteen. He had ten years of business training before entering the ministry.


His obituary records that from the first until the end he magnetised his hearers by his unusual preaching gifts – his potent, positive and persuasive messages registered themselves wherever he laboured in souls saved, saints edified and churches established and aggressive. He gripped the Gospel, which was dynamic to him and preached with an unmistakeable accent.

His zest found expression not only in the pulpit. He was a man of initiative and resource, a builder of sanctuaries, including Slater Street, Darlaston. Next to his preaching, his ministry to the young and in the homes of the people was memorable.

Whilst at Quinton, Joseph served as chaplain to the students and staff at Bourne College.


Joseph married Charlotte Elizabeth Allen (1875-1954) in the summer of 1894 at Burslem, Staffordshire. Records identify five of six children.

  • Sidney (1897-1983)
  • Horace (1900-1978)
  • Bertie (1902-1998)
  • Ewart (1911-1984)
  • Ernest Roland (1914-1957)

Joseph died on 17 February 1931 at Dudley, Worcestershire.


  • 1890 Hereford
  • 1892 Hanley
  • 1894 Rhondda II
  • 1895 Oswestry
  • 1897 Leeds I
  • 1901 Goole
  • 1905 Talke
  • 1908 Dawley
  • 1909 Darlaston
  • 1913 Quinton
  • 1916 Coventry
  • 1921 Brierley Hill
  • 1925 Dudley
  • 1930 Dudley (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919/594; 1931/434

PM Minutes 1931/281

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

This page was added by Geoff Dickinson on 01/07/2014.

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