Edwin Lennard Minchin
1904 - 1987
Edwin (Len) Minchin, known primarily for his work as a youth evangelist and in the Missionary Volunteer department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Australasian Division, now the South Pacific Division, and later the General Conference, also taught music at Longburn College in New Zealand.
Minchin was born in Cottsloe, Western Australia, the youngest of seven children born to Martha Ellen Hitchcock and John Minchin. His older siblings cared for him when his parents died just as he was beginning his teenage years.
He and his older brother, Gerald, attended and graduated from the Darling Ranger School, now Carmel Adventist College, and Avondale College, where they completed the ministerial program. He began his career as an evangelist and then served as the dean of men and music teacher at Longburn College.
While at LC, Minchen became friends with May Pocock, a nurse and the dean of women. In 1928 they were married in the Avondale church and then returned to continue their work at the college. They would have five children, including twin girls.
He became youth leader in the New South Wales Conference three years after their marriage and proved to be particularly effective in working with young people. This became his life work and led to positions of increasing responsibility. Minchin was an enthusiastic and spirited person who could create excitement leading large gatherings of young people in the singing of songs such as He Lives and A Heart Like Thine.
He inspired and moved the young with his talks. In one week of prayer he conducted at Avondale College, a testimony meeting during the week lasted all morning and a concluding Sabbath afternoon praise service went on for six hours. A youth congress that Minchin organized and held at AC in 1939 (his first) became an event that remains a landmark in that country's work with the youth.
Near the end of his life he was devastated by the death of one of his twin daughters; he died a short time later at age 83. His wife, May, established the E. L. Minchin Youth Evangelism Fund in his memory in 1990.
Sources: Wedding Announcement, Australian Record, 27 February 1928, 7; Life Sketch, South Pacific Record, 30 May 1987, 12; Ancestory.Com; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Volume 10, Second Revised Edition, 1996, (Review and Herald Publishing Association) 935.