Who Loves Susie?

“My ministry would not be what it is and I would not be the man that I am without my own sweet wife, Mary. I have felt her constant support and infuence in my life. I know the same is true of Ray Rhodes, who would testify in the same way about his own beloved wife, Lori. I think it is safe to say that his own happiness in marriage goes a long way toward explaining why he wrote this book, why he knew that telling Susannah Spurgeon’s story would be important, and why you will want eagerly to read Susie.”

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Admirers of C. H. Spurgeon will be delighted to pick up this new biography of his wife, Susannah. Ray Rhodes’s carefully researched account of Susie’s life freshly illuminates the story of the woman who upheld the nineteenth century’s greatest preacher by her love and prayer. Susie’s story exemplies trust in God in the midst of chronic illness and paints a sweet picture of married love.

Megan Hill
author of Praying Together and Contentment; editor for the Gospel Coalition; regular contributor to CT Women and Today in the Word; and pastor’s wife

“It has been way too long for the release of a full-length biography of Susie Spurgeon. Ray Rhodes has made it worth the wait! This book is a gem that has the same effect on the reader that Susie had on all the lives she touched: it draws our minds and hearts to marvel at the Lord’s goodness. As Charles Spurgeon referred to his wife, this “bravest of women, strong in the faith” was so focused on God’s glory that theologypulsed through her veins and out of her heart, mouth, hands, and pen. Susie Spurgeon, queen of the housewife theologians, treated the many obstacles and sufferings in her path as opportunities for the Lord’s strength to work through her weaknesses. And he worked mightily through Susie to bless her family and friends, and to minister to pastors, to orphans, and to us as well. I’m thankful for how Ray has enriched my understanding of Christ through the life of Susie Spurgeon.”

Aimee Byrd
author of Why Can’t We Be Friends? and No Little Women

“What a joyful, unexpected delight this book is! Immediately engaging, lightning-paced, colorfully written, and surprisingly encouraging. Susannah Spurgeon was no second fiddle. Despite her staggering medical challenges, she modeled well that we are all to be faithful until our King returns. This is plain ol’ good reading.”

Todd Friel
host of Wretched

“I have long wanted to read a biography of Susannah Spurgeon, and Ray Rhodes has given me (and the church) a gift in this biography of a remarkable woman. If you long to know that your trials will be used by God, your weakness is the way to holiness, and your faithfulness in the ordinary and hidden work of ministry is valuable toGod, then let Susie be your teacher and your friend. You will find a fellow sister in this book, and you will be encouraged. God will do His intended work in the lives of His people, and Susie is one faithful example of that work.”

Courtney Reissig
author of Glory in the Ordinary and The Accidental Feminist

“I read the dedication and thought, “This book will be a delight.” On studying the timeline, I thought, “This book will be very helpful.” After the introduction, I thought, “This book will be charming.” Finishing Susie’s early life justified my presumption, “This book is well-researched.” Contemplating the vital intersection of Susie’s life with Spurgeon surprised me with the observation, “This book opens up new light on the Prince of Preachers himself.” When I came to the last remarkable month in Menton and Spurgeon’s death, I felt, “This book shows the value of marriage in which two people have so sympathized that they have become virtually of one mind and heart.” Looking at the ongoing theme of the Book Fund and the ministries it spawned, I thought, “What an example of practical vision and persevering execution this lady was!” Her independent usefulness in writing prompted the surmise, “This could serve as an example for many a Christian woman in sharing the riches of biblical knowledge, deep fellowship with Christ, and edifying admonition. And men too, for that matter.” The church planting venture and her part in the restoration of the Tabernacle inspired the conviction, “That is just right. We should never till the day we die cease working for the glory of God and the extension of the kingdom of Christ.” The universal lament following the death of this steel shadow sealed the conclusion in my heart, “In a life matured by grace, she would not have been this person without Charles; and he would not have achieved such stature and received such love and respect without her; and, in fact, all of us need our mates, our friends, our churches, our trials, our triumphs, and the constant awareness of the goodness and wisdom of God to become what we should here and to prepare us for what we will be hereafter.””

Tom Nettles
retired and serving as Senior Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Charles Spurgeon was the most famous name in Christendom in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He is still widely regarded as the “Prince of Preachers” in all of Christian history and is the hero of countless evangelical preachers today, including myself. What is much less known is how much Spurgeon loved and relied upon his godly wife, Susannah. Through both original research and new insights into long-dormant material, Ray Rhodes has restored “Susie” to her rightful place alongside her famous husband. Anyone interested in Spurgeon will enjoy this book, especially for its insights into the home life, family worship practices, and spiritual relationship of the Spurgeons. Anyone looking to read the life of a heroic Christian woman will find it in this biography of the remarkable Susannah Spurgeon.”

Donald S. Whitney
Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Family Worship, and Praying the Bible

“A well-worn adage states, behind every great man is a great woman; and it’s often true. Most of us know the great C. H. Spurgeon, but precious few know the godly woman to whom he was married—the woman who raised his children, who kept his house, who was his soul mate, and who helped keep him sane amid the boiling cauldron of local church ministry in Victorian England. In these clearly written, lively pages, my friend and fellow pastor Ray Rhodes brings Susie Spurgeon to life in bold relief and in full color, taking us inside the life of the woman who loved the Prince of Preachers. This is a unique, much-needed biography. It’s the best kind of history—written to serve the church of Jesus Christ—and it will serve as the standard biography of the delightful Mrs. Spurgeon for decades to come. There is literally something compelling here for every Christian. Read and rejoice that God gave the great Spurgeon such a lion-hearted helpmate.”

Jeff Robinson, lead pastor, Christ Fellowship Church of Louisville, KY, and senior editor, The Gospel Coalition

 

“This is, without doubt, the most detailed, historically accurate, and definitive account on the life of my great-great-grandmother Susie. Ray Rhodes has been meticulous in his research and yet has presented Susie’s life in a very readable and engaging way. I came away from each chapter wanting to live life like Susie did. First, and most importantly, to have that strong and abiding faith she had in God. Second, to have the complete devotion to my husband that Susie and Charles had to each other. Finally, to have the unwavering perseverance that she had to the end, despite prolonged illness and the many trials of her life. This book will encourage you to live life looking to Christ to supply and to be everything you need as you seek to serve Him for His glory.”

Susannah Spurgeon Cochrane, great-great-granddaughter of Charles and Susie Spurgeon

“It is hard to believe that there has been no substantial study of Susannah Spurgeon’s life until this work by Ray Rhodes. Her husband and his ministry are so well-known, but for some reason, Susannah and her life have been but a chapter in his story. Thankfully Ray has now corrected this and given us a full account of her inspiring pilgrimage. I hope this book receives a wide readership among both women and men.”

Michael A. G. Haykin, FRHistS, Chair and Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and author of numerous volumes, including Eight Women of Faith

“As modern readers, it’s often difficult to relate to the saints of old. Ray Rhodes paints us a picture of a woman who devoted herself to personal piety—an inspiration for women in any age.”

Sarah Zylstra, senior writer at The Gospel Coalition

“Susie lifts us up from our life of comfort and convenience to a time when the difficulties of daily living, coupled with her health limitations, did not hinder her from using her gifts for the promotion of God’s kingdom. What an inspiration she is at the side of her famous husband, Charles Spurgeon, encouraging him in times of depression and ministerial challenges, as well as heeding God’s beck and call to send books and supplies to needy ministers around the world! Susie’s ministry of encouragement to faithful, humble pastors encourages us to use whatever gifts God has given us, in the situation where He has placed us, for His glory. Ray Rhodes’s treatment of the history of Susannah Spurgeon, in the setting of Victorian England, is interesting, informative, and motivating!”

Mary Beeke, author of The Law of Kindness, and wife of Joel Beeke (author, and president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)

“I love Ray Rhodes’s new book, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, for so many reasons. But it’s just what I’d expect from a friend who loves the gospel as much as Ray does; loves Lori, his wife, with so much delight and zeal; and is committed to putting as many good books into the hands and hearts of God’s people as possible. Susie dispels the caricature of there being a “little woman” behind every great man. Susannah Spurgeon had an amazing story and voice, life, and legacy of her own—a life she gladly lived in the shadow of her world-renowned husband, Charles Spurgeon—but a life from which we all can learn and greatly benefit. Thanks to Ray, I no longer view Susannah Spurgeon as just a supporting character in the ministry of her husband. Thanks to Ray, when I hear the name Spurgeon, I’ll now ask, “Are you referring to Susie or Charles?” I cannot overstate the importance, timeliness,
and helpfulness of this book.

Scotty Ward Smith, pastor emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, TN; Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, TN; author of numerous books including Everyday Prayers

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