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Tabernacle Cardiff

» Some History » Biographical information about Vernon and Morwen Higham » Background information about the Trust » Trustees: Nick Lloyd, Anton Faulconbridge, Alun Higham and Dewi Higham

Vernon & Morwen Higham

Vernon Higham was born in Caernarfon, North Wales, but moved to Bolton in Lancashire, England, during the depression in the 1930’s. Following employment and training as a teacher in his early twenties, he attended theological college in Aberystwyth and came to know Christ’s saving power whilst there in 1953.

Vernon Higham served, in his early ministry, in Welsh speaking churches at Hermon, Pontardulais and Bethlehem, Penyrheol from 1955 to 1958, and at Bethesda, Llanddewibrefi from 1958 to 1962. There followed a call in 1962 to Heath Church in Cardiff, where he served for forty years. At present, he is serving as Pastor Emeritus at the Tabernacle Cardiff, and continues to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ throughout the land.

Before their marriage in 1955, Morwen Higham served as a 'Sister of the People' in the Forward Movement. Since then, Vernon and Morwen Higham have worked together as partners in the Gospel work, heirs together of the grace of life.

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Obituary by Pastor Robert Dickie

On September 14th 2016 the Lord called home one of His choice servants, and one of the most respected ministers in the British Isles, Pastor Emeritus William Vernon Higham of the Tabernacle Cardiff Church in Cardiff. The funeral service was held in the Tabernacle Cardiff Church on Tuesday, September 27. Pastor Robert Dickie from Berean Baptist Church, a long time friend of the Higham family officiated at the service.

Pastor Higham was born in on December 25, 1926. Vernon came to faith in Christ while studying in the Presbyterian theological college at Aberystwyth, Wales. He was unsaved at the time but in his room the Lord came to him and brought a deep conviction of sin. Vernon had gone to an evangelical meeting at this seminary with the intent to mock those who were present. But when he heard them praying and saw their deep love for Christ he was convicted of his sin. Going back to his room the Lord visited him and he was given faith and repentance to come to Christ.  From the very earliest days of his conversion he had  deep and passionate love for Christ and His gospel. 

Vernon met his wife Morwen and they were married September 1955. Morwen was a true pastors wife and her love and support to her husband were a tremendous blessing to Vernon’s ministry through the years. They enjoyed a long and fruitful ministry and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary just few days before the Lord called him to glory. One of the special testimonies of Vernon and Morwen is the fact that he had three children who love the Lord and his two sons are faithful and gifted pastors serving the Lord in the ministry.

Vernon was a prolific hymn writer (over a 1000) and some of his gospel hymns have become greatly blessed of the Lord and are used all over the world. His most famous hymn is Great Is The Gospel.

Vernon loved his native land of Wales and loved to preach whenever he could in the Welsh churches and using the Welsh language. Because of his love for Wales he was a student of the great Welsh revivals and promoted the interest in revivals all throughout the years of his ministry. Pastor Higham pastored two welsh speaking churches, one in Pontarddulias, and the other LLanddewi-brefi that knew great spiritual blessing from the Lord. In 1962 he was called to the Heath Church in Cardiff, Wales where he served the Lord faithfully for 40 years as their pastor. After his retirement Pastor Higham was called to serve as Pastor Emeritus at Tabernacle Cardiff, Church in Cardiff where he served with his son Pastor Dewi Higham.

When Vernon was 38 he became seriously ill and was given just 6 months to live. By the grace of God he lived 15 years with this illness and his church at the Heath in Cardiff knew an unusual amount of blessing from the Lord during those years. The church grew to over a 1000 people who attended each week to worship God and to hear this remarkable preacher.

At one point Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones came to see him and prayed for him and in answer to that prayer Pastor Higham was healed. Remarkably he lived over 50 years beyond the date that he was given to live. During that time Pastor Higham saw continued blessing in his ministry in Wales and all over the world.

In 1989 Pastor Higham met Pastor Robert Dickie who was visiting Cardiff. Pastor Dickie invited Vernon to come to America to preach the gospel. Vernon and Morwen accepted the invitation and for the next 21 years came over each year for 4-6 weeks to preach the gospel at Berean Baptist Church in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Vernon met many pastors and ministered in many churches in the United States during those years. It is estimated that he spent 1 1/2 years in the States and preached nearly a 1000 sermons. The churches in America and the many Christians that he met were deeply blessed by this man of God. When pastor Dickie was in Wales to officiate at the funeral service he received texts from all over the United States from those expressing their deep love and appreciation for this special man of God. 

Pastor Higham was known as a close and personal friend of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Before Dr. Lloyd-Jones passed away he asked Vernon to handle both funerals for him and his wife. Just one day before Vernon’s funeral, Anne, the daughter of Dr. Lloyd-Jones rang Morwen Higham and asked her to tell Bob Dickie, who was handling the funeral service, to tell those present that her father considered Vernon Higham his very best friend. On one occasion Pastor Higham received this note from Dr. Lloyd-Jones. This note sums up very well what Dr. Lloyd-Jones thought of his special friend, 

To my dear friend Vernon Higham—Valiant for the truth, contender for and defender of the faith: man of integrity and courage, for whom I thank God, and with whom it is my privilege to be associated. With aremest greetings—D. M. Lloyd-Jones, November 1st, 1971.

Vernon Higham was a gifted preacher and a devoted pastor to his people. He was known as a great encourager and he visited his flock and discipled them faithfully. He never had an unkind word for anyone and was known as a man who was filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit and preached with an unction from the Lord that was remarkable and set his preaching apart from many others. His three “R’s” as he called them were, “Reformed in doctrine, Reverence in worship, and Radical change of life.”

There were three occasions in Pastor Higham’s life where he made a brave stand for the gospel against the downgrade and other influences that he saw as dangerous trends that would lead to a weakened and compromised church.

Vernon’s last days were filled with great love for the Lord. He continued to worship at the Tabernacle up to the time he was taken to the hospital. And once in the hospital he knew the presence of the Lord and was a special blessing to His family and to all those who came to visit. There was a sense of the Lord drawing near to him in these days and he was filled with a peace and a joy that was nothing short of remarkable. When the Lord took him home he passed into the glory with a triumphant entry into the presence of God.

Trustees

The WVHigham Trust has four trustees. Nick Lloyd is the Trust administator.
The other three trustees are Anton Faulconbridge, Alun Higham and Dewi Higham. 

Nick Lloyd Anton Faulconbridge 
Alun Higham dewi higham

Nick Lloyd, Anton Faulconbridge,
Alun Higham & Dewi Higham

History & Formation of WVHigham Trust

In 2005, Dewi and Alun Higham, the sons of Vernon Higham approached Mr Nick Lloyd to form a Trust to secure the archive of the ministry of Vernon Higham and to make recordings available on CD and other formats, including audio and video sermons online. The Trust was formed in 2006 and is led by four trustees. 

The Trust has made significant progress in the auditing of the archive, the establishment of a Trust Office and transferring the recordings to digital format. This process includes the preparation of 'early' tape reels by heating at a constant temperature in an incubator, before transferring the data to digital format. Many sermons and series are already online and available in various formats.