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The Church Planting Passion of Charles Spurgeon by Pastor Jack Lamb Anchor Baptist Church, Covina, California Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892) is well known as “The Prince of Preachers.” He was England’s best known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London’s famed New Park Street Church. The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before sound systems! In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the new Metropolitan Tabernacle. When the congregation moved to the Tabernacle, they did not sell the building on Park Street. Spurgeon admitted that if it were sold, they would probably be able to cover the Tabernacle’s construction cost. However, they maintained it as a separate church. As Spurgeon put it, “You know if we were to build one chapel and sell another, that would be the ‘goose-step’; there would be no marching, it is merely putting one foot up and the other down, but never getting farther.” When the cornerstone was laid for this magnificent building, Spurgeon laid bare his heart for the planting of other churches: God sparing my life, if I have my people at my back, I will not rest until the dark county of Surrey be covered with places of worship. I look on this as the beginning of the end. I announce my own schemes: visionary they may appear, but carried out they will be. It is only within the last six months that we have started two churches—one in Wandsworth and the other in Greenwich, and the Lord has prospered them. The pool of baptism has been stirred with converts. And what we have done in two places I am about to do in a third, and we will do it not for the third or the fourth, but for the hundredth time, God being our helper. — C.H. Spurgeon at the Ceremony of Laying the First Stone of the New Tabernacle on Tuesday, August 16, 1859 He reiterated that building a large building would not cause them to be inwardly focused: We do not mean to build this as our nest, and then to be lazy. We must go from strength to strength, and be a missionary church, and never rest until not only this neighborhood, but our country, of which it is said that some parts are as dark as India, shall have been enlightened with the gospel.