I first fell in love with Spurgeon while living in the very home that he was born.
“…and what I have said of soul-winners, belongs not to the learned doctor of divinity, or to the eloquent preacher alone, but to you all who are in Christ Jesus.”
I’d just left the army, after a tough 8 years as a Paratrooper reconnaissance soldier. Now I was married, jobless and about to be homeless. As someone who left school with no qualifications and was trained to run around and stab sandbags, finding a job outside of military life was not the easiest task. However, together my wife and I learned to trust in The Lord through the good and bad times. He provided in wonderful ways, bringing people to us who would help provide and show us the faithfulness of Christ. And yet, as I regularly attended a local church in Colchester, England, a sense of discontentment grew within.
I remember praying in a cafe, asking The Lord to impress upon my heart the nature of my calling. It was at this time that I started to feel a sense of sadness at the amount of people running through life, with not a care for their Creator—the very one who put breath in their lungs. I felt the call to tell everyone the only thing I truly knew: Jesus the Son of God died for wretched sinners like me.
Over the following year, opportunities came to serve the local church and I was also able to share my testimony in prisons, schools, and churches both home and abroad. It was during this time that I was introduced to someone who continues to be a close fror journey—Charles Haddon Spurgeon. One day on the way home, stuck in a traffic jam by Kelvedon, I decided to take the scenic route back. On the way, I saw a blue heritage plaque with Spurgeon's face on it, resting on the wall of a humble little cottage. I stopped and admired and then hurried home to tell my wife. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the home had gone up for rent! We rang up for a tour and shortly after we were walking around. To our shock, no one knew who Spurgeon was.
We prayed and asked God, eager to turn the building back into a God fearing Christian home. The same day of the tour, we offered a considerably less offer than posted, which to our amazement was accepted. We were now living in CH SPURGEON’S birth home.
I was now officially a Spurgeon nut. But the best was yet to come. Not long after, my wife fell pregnant again. Nine months later, Joseph ‘Charles’ Kidd was born at home, in the same place as Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The fascination and love for Spurgeon only intensified during our stay at Kelvedon. Soon after, I was funded to attend Spurgeons College in South London, where a heart for Gospel centred ministry took deep root within. Central to this all, as I saw from Spurgeon, was the absolute priority of reaching the lost for Christ and the preaching of the Gospel.
When I left the army, I was voiceless, jobless, homeless and lacked purpose. In Christ I have a song to sing, a job to do, and a family to belong to. Preachers such as Spurgeon have been and will continue to be a great help to remind me of this, through times of great joy and sorrow. But above all, C.H. Spurgeon has helped me to see Christ as our greatest treasure, iginite in me a love for God’s Word and for Christ’s church.
As for Joseph Charles, my son, today is his birthday. I hope his birthplace will inspire him to admire someone his old dad loves. Beyond that, my greatest hope is that he too will love the object of Spurgeons affections—King Jesus.
Jamie Kidd serves as an Elder and Pastor of Emmanuel Community Church in Manchester, England. Together with his wife Amy they have four children: Samuel David, Joseph Charles, Sofia Rose Joy and Benjamin Calvin. You can read more about Jamies testimony here.