Illustrated Scrapbook of Leonard Sheldrake in the Christian Brethren Archive now Online

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Dr Graham Johnson writes:

This extensive annotated scrapbook was produced by Leonard Sheldrake (1885-1952) during his travels around the United States as an itinerant preacher in the 1930s. It contains photographs of individuals, groups, chapels, gospel vans, gospel tents and motor cars. There are advertising leaflets and notices drawing attention to gospel meetings, alongside cards, photographic postcards and evangelical tracts. Sheldrake collected newspaper cuttings of the meetings and activities he was involved with, as well as cartoons, obituaries, and records of interesting incidents and events coinciding with his visits. Included are photographs and press cuttings of missionaries in Northern Rhodesia [Zambia], China, Syria, France, Angola and Czechoslovakia. There are also maps, tickets and travel details, printed records of services and letters to Sheldrake related to his activities.

Leonard Sheldrake was a Brethren preacher, author and editor. He was born in England in 1885 to John and Susan Sheldrake. His immediate family was not religious, but after the death of his father he came into contact with family members who were Baptist, and was himself baptized. As a young man he became a Sunday school superintendent, standing in for the local preacher during his absence. He moved to Canada in 1905 beginning his association with the Brethren through the Broadview assembly in Toronto. Here he became an active gospel preacher. Moving to Winnipeg, he abandoned his job working for a mail order company in 1911 to devote himself to full-time ministry. He married Ada Pearl Clapp on 20 September 1911. They moved to America in 1913 where he began writing gospel tracts, publishing them in the magazines Words of Peace and The North American Evangelist, both of which he edited. The former brought him into contact with William J. Pell who set up the Gospel Folio Press to produce this and other evangelical literature. In 1927 they created Look on the Fields to encourage missionary work abroad. He also produced three books: The Other Side of the Wall (a collection of articles reprinted from Look on the Fields), Tabernacle Types and Shadows, and Our Lord Jesus Christ: a Plant of Renown, which is still in print. He died on 8 May 1952.

The scrapbook is now online at

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