WiLLIAM HENRY DORMAN was born in 1802, of humble parentage. Converted at an early age, he became a Congregational minister, eventually holding the important pastorate of the Union Chapel at Islington. After earnest and prayerful study of the Scriptures, and comparing what he found in the Word of God with the existing state of things around him, he was led to associate himself with "brethren" about the year 1838. He immediately became recognised as a true minister, with, as it has been well said, "The source of all true ministry—these two things: the love produced in the heart by grace, the love which impels to activity; and the sovereignty of God who communicates gifts as seems good to Him, and calls to this or that service—a call which renders ministry a matter of faithfulness and duty on the part of him who is called."
Mr. Dorman's accession to the "brethren" so-called was notable in that he was the only Nonconformist minister of any real prominence in England who became connected with the remarkable spiritual movement which bears that name. He laboured at Reading, where he was instrumental in leading Mr. C. E. Stuart to leave the Church of England and take his place in fellowship with the gathering of believers meeting there. He also ministered at Bristol for some years.
A very clear and concise speaker, he was closely associated with Mr. J. N. Darby for many years. But in 1866 he, together with Capt. Percy Hall, Thomas Newberry, Jos. Stancomb, and others, left J.N.D.'s fellowship, believing him to hold views which they regarded as almost identical with those of Mr. B. W. Newton.
Mr. Dorman's "Reasons for Retiring from the Dissenters" was largely used in awakening an interest in the new spiritual movement amongst the Nonconformist sects. He "fell asleep" in 1878, and was buried at Reading.
C. E. F.