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Vernon John Charlesworth was born 4/28/1839, son of Thomas Charlesworth at Barking, Essex, England.  Vernon received his training at Homerton College. In the year of 1860 he married Eliza Moore.  They were soon living at Church Court in Richmond, Surrey, England & he was the school master of a Baptist church but 1864 found him co-pastor (with a minister named Newman Hall) at Surrey Chapel. Vernon & Eliza were blessed with 9 children.

Charleworth was appointed (1869) headmaster of the Charles Spurgeon’s Stowell Orphanage; a place where fatherless children could live without charge yet receive food & clothing, care & education. Stowell Orphanage was open to orphans of various religious roots, providing a great alternative to “the poor houses.” By 1871 he was the governor of the same orphanage.  He also served as a Min­is­ter­ing El­der at Spurg­eon’s Me­tro­pol­i­tan Ta­ber­na­cle.  

He published The Life of Rowland Hill in 1876 & co-authored (with J. Manton Smith) Flowers and Fruits of Sacred Song and Evangelistic Hymns. His pen produced several leaflets & some songs but he is primarily remembered for his “A Shelter in the Time of Storm.”  He died 1/5/1915, in Lon­don, Eng­land.

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide, A Shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide, A Shelter in the time of storm.

Refrain

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, a weary land;

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A Shelter in the time of storm.

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