KANSAS CITY – The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Seminary recently added to its growing collection of resources courtesy of a generous donation from Leroy Cole, a former longtime pastor in the Flint, Michigan area.
The donation adds hundreds of new volumes and historical artifacts to the Spurgeon Library, including original editions of Spurgeon’s own publications and secondary sources written about the 19th century Baptist preacher.
Library curator Geoffrey Chang and the seminary were connected to the donor, Leroy Cole, through a longtime friend of MBTS, Gary Long. Long serves as pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo. and as president of the Particular Baptist Press.
Through a series of phone calls and in-person meetings last fall, the two sides finalized the donation. The collection was transferred to the seminary’s campus located in Kansas City in November 2020.
Last summer, when the opportunity to donate his Spurgeon items was presented, Cole says he was honored at the prospect. Speaking to Library curator Geoffrey Chang, Cole observed: “You want these sorts of things to be taken care of beyond yourself. (At the Spurgeon Library), you are already on the path. You have the substance, dedication, and support for the Library. What we have seen is absolutely wonderful.”
Chang expressed gratitude for Cole’s donation and for similar support: “We are continually encouraged by the support of our work at the Spurgeon Library. The generosity and eagerness of those who aim to help is remarkable and ensures students and those interested in Spurgeon’s life and ministry will have no shortage of resources at their disposal for years to come.”
Chang added that donations like Cole’s bode well for the ongoing work at the Spurgeon Library and for future forays into further Spurgeon research.
“We are just beginning to understand (Spurgeon’s) ministry. The more we understand it, the more we will benefit from it. To understand Spurgeon, you have to understand the times he lived in. You can have students check on different aspects of Spurgeon’s ministry and the ministry at the Tabernacle. The goal is not to remake Spurgeon in our day, but to see him for who he is. We realize we have the same gospel, we serve the same Lord, and we’re given the same tools in terms of God’s Word.”
New Lost Sermons
Also last fall, Midwestern Seminary and B&H Academic announced the release of Volume 4 of The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon, an ongoing research project from the seminary’s Spurgeon Library.
Volume 5 in the series was released, April 1.
Series General Editor and Midwestern Seminary Provost Jason Duesing reflected on the significance of the timing of the sermons’ publication: “Spurgeon’s sight was set on Jesus Christ from the moment he ‘looked’ to him in his conversion and remained there throughout his ministry.
“What makes The Lost Sermons project so special is the fact that these sermons have the gospel and the pursuit of godliness at their core, and they arrive in a day, much like Spurgeon’s own, of theological downgrade. Thus, it is our hope that The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon will further Spurgeon’s pointing and direct the gaze of all readers to Jesus Christ.”
Geoffrey Chang, curator of the Spurgeon Library and editor of two forthcoming Lost Sermons volumes, echoed Duesing’s sentiments: “With volumes 4 through 6, we get a window into Spurgeon’s maturation as a preacher and pastor. Far from simply being an itinerant village preacher, these sermons reveal young Spurgeon as a pastor concerned about the theological questions, the suffering, and the temptations of his people…In other words, before Spurgeon ever made the London headlines, he was laboring faithfully and fruitfully in a Cambridge village. These sermons tell that story.”
To learn more about the ongoing work of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, visit www.spurgeon.org
To learn more about the Lost Sermons project, visit https://www.bhacademic.com/series/the-lost-sermons-of-c-h-spurgeon/.