David Fountain passed away on July 4 at his home in Southampton aged 74. Members of Spring Road Evangelical Church in Sholing mourned the death of their long-serving pastor. He had led the church for 37 years until his retirement in 1992. His books were much appreciated. He wrote a biography of the famous son of Southampton, Isaac Watts, the hymn-writer, “Isaac Watts Remembered.” The book was commissioned by Southampton City Council and it sold more than 16,000 copies.
David also wrote the life of Poole Connor, the founder of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, an account of The Mayflower Pilgrims, and another book on Lord Radstock, the missionary to Russia whose home was in Mayfield Park in Weston Lane, Southampton.
David Fountain was born in London, the youngest child of Guy Fountain who founded Tannoy, the communication and public address company. David attended Dulwich College and Oxford University where he graduated in history. He was converted during his National Service. He spent a year preparing for the ministry in London at the same time as Iain Murray and Erroll Hulse. He introduced Iain Murray to Sidney Norton and as a result of this Iain went to work with Mr Norton preaching in St John’s church in Oxford. The two men launched together the first issue of the Banner of Truth magazine.
In 1954 David Fountain accepted a call to become pastor of Spring Road Church. The church had been rebuilt with ‘bomb money’. There were few in the congregation but with David’s preaching people were drawn from the locality, and the Sunday School developed, as well as young people’s meetings and the prayer meeting. The Mayflower Bookshop was opened and the Wessex Conference was started. A monthly church bulletin was produced with the messages written by David. Many churches availed themselves of this bulletin. Creatively conservative in his ministry he changed from the Authorised Version to the New King James Version. He encouraged younger men in the ministry, and brought a number of them to work with him as assistant pastors at Spring Road.
Brian Avery, speaking on behalf of the Spring Road Church to the “Hampshire Chronicle”, said, “David was a man of conviction with his beliefs based on the Bible alone and the desire to bring the saving Gospel of Jesus to his local community. He was a courageous, godly man, someone unafraid to take his stand for what he believed was right. Many people will testify to his love, kindness and wisdom. He was very ill at the end and longed to be with his Lord. His prayer was answered. We will miss him enormously.”
David Fountain leaves a wife, Frances, four children and nine grandchildren. His funeral was held at Spring Road on Friday July 16 at 12.30. In the months before David Fountain died he gave his energy to the Isaac Watts Tourist Trail project. He helped to write a guide to accompany the walk through Southampton, explaining the significance of what Isaac Watts believed. The city of Southampton approved of the project but only if 6,000 pounds can be raised. Instead of flowers for the funeral contributions to this fund were received.
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