Minister and author mourned by church

Members of Spring Road Evangelical Church in Sholing are mourning the death of their long-serving and much-loved former pastor, David Fountain, who passed away peacefully at his Southampton home. He was 74.

David could be described as a ‘one church minister’, having led the church for 37 years until he retired in 1992. He was much loved by hundreds of local people and through his travels as a conference speaker he became known nationally and internationally.

Thousands more read his books, among them titles linked to Southampton’s own Christian history, including the official biography of another non-conformist preacher from the city – the famous hymn-writer, Isaac Watts.

Isaac Watts Remembered was commissioned by Southampton City Council and sold more than 16,000 copies – with a copy even residing in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Today, hundreds world-wide read sections on the book’s own web site (

David’s other books include accounts of The Mayflower Pilgrims and Lord Radstock, the missionary to Russia whose home was Mayfield Park in Weston Lane, Southampton.

David Fountain was born in London as the youngest child of Guy Fountain, who founded Tannoy, the loudspeaker company. David became a Christian while completing his national service. After graduating in history at Oxford University, he then spent a year preparing himself for the ministry.

He accepted a call in 1954 to become minister of Spring Road church. The church had been rebuilt with ‘bomb money’ and the membership was only a handful.

But over time, numbers increased and the works of the church extended to include Sunday schools, youth clubs, a bookshop and many more activities. In his beliefs, David was conservative, yet relevant. His gospel message was the timeless truth of the Bible, without gimmicks, yet he switched to the New King James Version of the Bible for improved communication.

“He 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,” said Brian Avery, on behalf of Spring Road Evangelical Church. “David Fountain was a courageous, Godly man, and someone unafraid to make a 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 prayed to be with his Lord in heaven. His prayer was answered. He will be missed enormously.”

David Fountain leaves a wife, Frances, four children and nine grandchildren. His funeral will be held at Spring Road Evangelical Church in Sholing on Friday July 16 at 12.30pm.

In the months before David Fountain died, he poured his heart into the Isaac Watts Tourist Trail project. He wrote a guide to accompany the walk through the city and explained the significance of what Isaac Watts believed. The City of Southampton Society have approved the project – but only if £6,000 can be raised. Instead of flowers for the funeral, contributions to this fund are invited to B Matthews Funeral Directors, 146 Portsmouth Rd, Southampton SO19 9AP.