1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Berry, Charles Albert

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BERRY, CHARLES ALBERT (1852–1899), English nonconformist divine, was born on the 14th of December 1852 at Bradshawgate, Leigh, Lancashire. At the age of seventeen he entered Airedale College, Bradford, to train for the Congregational ministry, and in 1875 became pastor of St George’s Road Congregational church, Bolton. He became widely known as a man of administrative ability, a vigorous platform speaker and an eloquent preacher. In July 1883 he undertook the pastorate of the church at Queen Street, Wolverhampton, with the supervision of nine dependent churches in the neighbourhood. Here again he exercised a wide influence, due in part to his evangelical conviction, eloquence, broad views and powers of organization, but also to the magnetic force of his personality. In 1887 he went to America in fulfilment of a promise to Henry Ward Beecher of Brooklyn, and received a unanimous invitation to succeed Beecher in what was then the best-known pulpit in the United States. Berry, however, felt that his work lay in England and declined the invitation. In 1892 he took part in a conference at Grindelwald on the question of Christian Reunion, and subsequently, with Hugh Price Hughes and Alexander Mackennal of Bowdon, conducted a campaign throughout England, introducing the ideas and principles of Free Church federation. He was the first president of the Free Church congress. He played an effective part in expressing the popular desire for peace between England and America in reply to President Cleveland’s message on the Venezuelan boundary dispute, and was invited to Washington to preach in connexion with the endeavour to establish an international arbitration treaty. In 1896 he was elected chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales. In 1898 his health began to fail, and he died suddenly on the 31st of January 1899. His published works consist chiefly of addresses, and two volumes of sermons, Vision and Duty, and Mischievous Goodness.  (D. Mn.)