F. W. Boreham's personal copy of his autobiography manuscript, Scots, Melbourne

F. W. Boreham’s personal copy of his autobiography manuscript, Scots, Melbourne

Around 2009, after I had discovered Dr. F.W. Boreham, I determined that more people needed to become acquainted with not only his work – but him! Reading his autobiography and then the only biography written about him (which FWB would not allow Crago to publish until after his death), one is struck with Boreham’s uncommon humility. Perhaps it is this character trait that lies at the root of why too few have heard of him today. My efforts to introduce more people to Dr. F.W. Boreham came in the form of an article I wrote for findingtruthmatters.org. This attracted the attention of his eldest grandson, Phil Lincolne. He sensed that I was  more than just a casual admirer of his Grandfather. Although we lived at opposite ends of the continent of Australia, he invited me to meet with him. The resultant meeting and conversation with Phil, reinforced my desire to make a documentary about his Granddad. He has helped me tremendously with scores of previously unseen photos, unknown anecdotes, FWB’s handwritten notes and books, as well as other memorabilia. 

Dr. Andrew Corbett at the graveside of FWB

Dr. Andrew Corbett at the graveside of FWB

I initially had aspirations to complete this documentary on FWB in 2010. But three factors converged to make this a 7 year project rather than a twelve month one. Firstly, the legacy of his life deserved a more thorough telling his story which may not be appreciated by my generation, but could be told in a way that would make sense and still be appealing in generations to come. Secondly, in 2011 I was asked to manage a radio station (in addition to my role as the pastor of demanding church). I saw the parallels between FWB’s story (and his life-long involvement in the media while serving as  a pastor) and my foray into the broadcast media industry. My management of this station included being on-air doing a live weekly program for 4 years. Thirdly, my limited resources to make the project a reality. By God’s grace, I have been able to travel extensively to the various parts of the world to further my research and undertake interviews relevant to this project. But the release of this documentary series is not the end for me. It is simply the close of one chapter and the beginning of another as I now continue to work with others toward providing an extensive digital experience for those interested in the work, person and legacy of Dr. F.W. Boreham. 

Dr. Geoff Pound in the National Art Gallery of Victoria

Dr. Geoff Pound in the National Art Gallery of Victoria

Dr. Geoff Pound and I have been administrating the F.W. Boreham Facebook Page (mainly Geoff, as my attention has largely been on completing this documentary project) and many people have enjoyed the occasional FWB quote or reading. We will continue this. But it is on the F.W. Boreham website where I hope to permanently archive resources in an easy to access manner. Stop by the website often and check out the updates as they are made. Thank you for your support of this project and I trust that you are blessed by some of these insights from Dr. F. W. Boreham.

Andrew Corbett

Navigating Strange Seas DVD Series

Order your own copy of the 5 DVD Set of the Navigating Strange Seas and enjoy flat fee shipping until December 30th!

Rent or Buy Navigating Strange Seas in High Definition Digital Format

Watch the Navigating Strange Seas documentary series online. For less than the cost of a Grande Starbuck’s coffee you can own or rent this Documentary Series.

What people are saying about Navigating Strange Seas documentary series…

This remarkable biography, superbly crafted by Andrew Corbett, offers an exquisite biography of F.W. Boreham that is original, compelling, and entertaining. Navigating Strange Seas insightfully examines the life thread of this remarkable writer, preacher, and family man. The viewer experiences the Victorian era give way to the Modern era as FWB’s story springs freshly to life to us today. Dr. Corbett has succeeded in portraying Dr. Boreham with grace, respect, and insight.

Dr. Jeff Cranston

Pastor of one of America's Top 100 fastest growing churches, Low County Community Church, South Carolina, USA

In 1936 F W Boreham was introduced to a large gathering of pastors in Edinburgh as “the man whose name is on all our lips, whose books are on all our shelves and whose illustrations are in all our sermons.” Now, 80 years later, Dr. Andrew Corbett is introducing F W Boreham to a new generation through this DVD series, Navigating Strange Seas. Andrew has not only studied his subject’s 55 books but he has visited the key places where Dr. Boreham ministered and in the process, unearthed new material and fascinating insights. The DVDs depict the places where the Boreham family lived, they tell the Frank Boreham story, they include many of Boreham’s photographic images and they contain rare audio footage of the famous man preaching. This series will inform those who have never heard of F W Boreham. It will give them a taste of his writings and be useful to anyone seeking to navigate the strange seas of their life. As a pastor, Dr. Corbett is keen to convey the wisdom that F W Boreham shared in his essays and sermons about the high calling of being a pastor and how to navigate its peculiar pressures. Billy and Ruth Graham, Leslie Weatherhead, Ravi Zacharias, Gordon Moyes and countless preachers have all acknowledged the way that F W Boreham has inspired them and enriched their ministries. You will want to add your name to this list after purchasing this valuable DVD series for your own study and enjoyment. Buy a series to give a gift of encouragement to your pastor. Share this valuable new resource with the small groups within your church.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Pastor of Ashburton Baptist Church

Long overdue given his stature as a preacher and writer, this carefully and lovingly constructed documentary of F. W. Boreham moved me to tears. It reminds me why years ago reading biographies of famous Christians was considered a means of spiritual growth. One can’t help but be inspired and challenged by this excellent portrait of such a magnanimous leader.

Boreham was heroic, but it encouraged me to discover that he could be shy and introverted. He was more at home in his study than with people, but he worked hard at being of service. He had the heart of an evangelist, and yet he was opposite of the flamboyant style that many might associate with that designation. The gentleness of wisdom made him persuasive.

In addition to photographs, either taken of or by Boreham, this makes use of recordings from sermons and broadcasts so that viewers hear Boreham tell parts of his story.

Dr. Andrew Corbett is a fine narrator and has done an outstanding job of condensing the highlights of Boreham’s life into a 90 minute narrative. This is rounded-out by interviews with surviving family members, peers and insights from several scholars.

I never realized until now that John Broadbanks, a character in Boreham’s writings, was modeled after J. J. Doke. Neither did I appreciate how hard it was for Boreham to leave his sweetheart behind after being sent to his first pastorate in far away Mosgiel. Discoveries about this man await the viewer.

This takes you to the places that Boreham inhabited for most of his life. It provides the background for the stories found in the 55 books that bear his name.

Anyone in or preparing for the ministry will benefit from learning about this man. His winsomeness is contagious. It’s one reason his books are so highly valued.

His stories served to creatively present Christ. Boreham refined his technique but never swerved from sharing the good news.

This documentary is a gateway not only into his writings but into a life well-lived.

Michael Dalton

Publisher, John Broadbanks Publishing

Martin Luther’s Legacy And The Text Which Started It All

The first of many biographical sermons which F.W. Boreham preached in his 126 sermon series (and later published in the five volume series Texts That Made History), was on the life of Martin Luther and the text of Scripture which changed his soul. He notes-

Carlyle has a stirring and dramatic chapter in which he shows that every nation under heaven stood or fell according to the attitude that it assumed towards Martin Luther, ‘I call this Luther a true Great Man,’ he exclaims. ‘He is great in intellect, great in courage, great in affection and integrity; one of our most lovable and gracious men. He is great, not as a hewn obelisk is great, but as an Alpine mountain is great ; so simple, honest, spontaneous; not setting himself up to be great, but there for quite another purpose than the purpose of being great!’ ‘A mighty man,’ he says again; what were all emperors, popes and potentates in comparison? His light was to flame as a beacon over long centuries and epochs of the world ; the whole world and its history was waiting for this man !’
F.W. Boreham, ‘Martin Luther’s Text‘, “A BUNCH OF EVERLASTINGS“, Epworth Press, 1920 

More About John Broadbanks

“It was a Saturday morning” writes F.W. Boreham in his 1923 Empty Pitchers reflecting on his pastorate in Mosgiel, “A farmer, calling at the Mosgiel manse with eggs, told me that John Broadbanks had been ill. In the afternoon, therefore, I set out for Silverstream; and, to my delight, found John sunning himself on the broad verandah.” Readers of F.W. Boreham would be forgiven for wondering, who is John Broadbanks? As more people were introduced to FWB’s confidant through his books, many of them who got to meet Dr. Boreham would ask him about the Reverend John Broadbanks.

Why Classic Sermons Are Worth Repeating

Was F.W. Boreham an essay writer or a preacher? After much careful research, the answer is an unusual one. Boreham described his writing as ‘scribbling’. Boreham’s critics described his preaching as ‘story telling’. Listening to an F.W. Boreham sermon is like sitting around an open fire on a cold winter’s night after a hearty meal as your Grandfather tells you the most wonderful and amazingly true stories in the most entertaining manner you could ever hope to hear it! Only after you’ve retired for the night and the fire has now been reduced to smouldering embers do you begin to realise that your Grandfather wasn’t just telling you stories for your entertainment. He was in fact nourishing your soul! F.W. Boreham learned to use the pulpit and the pen to preach. And while this in itself was not unique, the way he went about it might be.

FWB Tells Pointy Stories

There are tall stories, funny stories, sad stories, true stories - and if you have ever read an FWB story you will know that there are also - pointy stories. Studying FWB's sermons and essays reveals his development and growth over his 67 year ministry career from his...

FWB’s First Sermon

F.W. Boreham's first sermon as an ordained minister: JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED  ...

Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus

My dictionary defines a makeweight as ‘that which is thrown in to make up weight: what contributes to something not sufficient in itself’. That being so, Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus belong to the Royal Order of Makeweights. I am glad, writes Paul to the Corinthians, I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.

That strikes me as singularly beautiful. We all owe more than we can express to the people who, noticing our shortcomings, make no fuss but simply supply the defect. I know a lady – wild horses shall not drag from me her name – who, every day of her life, sees little things that I have forgotten or overlooked or neglected, and, without criticizing my failure or exposing my omission, shoulders the responsibility herself. I probably get any credit that attaches to the deed; but that is nothing to her: the deficiency has been made up and that is all she cares.

FWB’s Wonder-Filled Essays, Books, and Sermons

Ever wondered about the titles of F.W. Boreham’s books? If you have, then I think FWB would be pleased. His book titles (and his essay titles) were a window into the world of wonder which his essays championed and into which he wanted his audience to join him. One of his book titles, “A Reel of Rainbow” (1922) was something a young child said to him when he lived in New Zealand. It made him wonder. “When Swans Fly High” (1931) came to him when he and Stella were in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens for their weekly visit and a flock of swans took off from one of the ponds and flew inexplicably high into the sky. That got him wondering.

Poetic Preaching

Before there were multi-media sermons, artful preachers, such as F. W. Boreham, used word pictures to add media to their sermons. In 1895 there was no iTunes. In 1906 there were no Top 40 radio stations. In 1916 there were no talking pictures. In 1928 there no colour movies. In 1939 there were no personal computers. These key dates mark significant chapters in Boreham’s preaching career. Reading his sermons over the course of his sixty plus years of preaching, we notice over that career that he increasingly used poetry in his sermons and essays.

Controversy, Cultural Icons, Kiwis, Rainbows, And The Gospel

F.W. Boreham shunned controversy. While pastoring in New Zealand he entered into a public spat with a fellow minister by writing an exchange of newspaper articles. When he realised the damage he had to his pastoral brother, he was mortified. He sought to repair their relationship in person some time later, and despite the polite dismissals, it was never the same again. FWB tells of a private controversy he later entered into with another minister with an exchange of letters between them. He wrote a scathing reply to this minister, walked to the mail pillar-box to post it, but hesitated. He decided to wait a day before mailing it. The next day he received word that this minister to whom he had written had suddenly died. These incidents galvanised FWB’s reticence to enter into controversy. Yet, he himself attracted controversy in his day. He was sharply, and often publicly, criticised for not being a ‘real’ preacher because he did two things.

Browse Our Full Shop

The first four Episodes of the F.W. Boreham documentary series are now available to purchase as DVDs. The introductory DVD, The Pastoral Pilgrimage of Dr. F.W. Boreham is now available to pre-order and will be released on September 15th 2016.

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