Editor's note: The bios are listed in the order in which they are published in the book. The symbol * or + beside a name indicates another author of the bio besides Duncan. Pages numbers are in ( ). jrd
Missouri Baptist Biographies
by Robert S. Duncan, 1882
David Anderson (760-1) Samuel Boone (761) James Clayton Armstrong (761-2) Nathan Ayres (762-4) Manley J. Breaker (764) Samuel Driskoll (764-5 Josiah Duncan (765) Dr. Benjamin F. Edwards (765-7) W. L. T. Evans (767-9) William Fuqua (769) Henry Farmer (769-71) Joseph Flood (771-2) John P. Glover, Sen.* (772-4) James N. Griffin* (774-5) John C. Herndon* (775-777) Tyree C. Harris* (777-9) Jesse A. Hollis * (779-81) R. C. Hill (781-2) Wade Mosby Jackson* (782-3) John P. Jesse (783) Richard M. Jones (783-5) William Metcalf Jones (785-8) John T. M. Johnson (788-9) .
William P. Lanier* (789) Evan Lawler+ (789-90) Elisha Landers (790) John Hill Luther (790-92) Matthew Pierce Matheny (793) Albert Gregory Mitchell (793-94) John S. Major (795) Walter McQuie (795-6) John E. Moore* 796-7) David Orr* (797) Joab Powell* (798) Thomas Pitts (798-9) John W. Renshaw (799) William Rice (799-800) James Schofield* (800-2) Adiel Sherwood (802-5) Alia Bass Snethen* (806-7) Elisha Sutton* (807-8) William Thompson (808-15) Thomas Taylor (815) Mark A. Taylor* (815-16) Obadiah Tompkins (816-17) Leonard Turley (817) Caswell Cobb Tipton* (817-18) Edward Towler (818) James Walker* (818-19) Anderson Woods* (819-22)
Andrew Baker (822) Peter Brown (822-4) Martin Thomas Bibb (824-6) R. F. Babb (826-7) Barnabas Baker (827-8) J. W. Bradley (828) J. B. Fuqua (828-9) William R. Green* (829) John Greenhalgh (829) Robert Fulton Ellis (829-32) William Ferguson (832) P. N. Haycraft (832-5) Samuel C. Major* (835-7) James Francis Smith (837-9) William H. Vardeman* (840-2) Jesse B. Wallace (842) B. F. Lawler (842) George C. Bingham (843-5)
Rev. David Anderson was born in Nelson County, Kentucky, in 1806, and publicly professed Christ by baptism when 27 years of age. In 18.50 he was ordained by a presbytery composed of Elders T. Ferguson, M. Cline and B. Wheeler. For twenty years he labored with the churches in the northwestern part of Missouri, and at the time of his death was pastor of Missouri City Church. He died near Barry, Clay County, July 5th, 1870.
The last year of Mr. Anderson's ministry was the most successful one of his life. Though possessed of moderate ability, he was "sound in doctrine, godly in walk, loved and revered by all who knew him." The following incident that occurred during the last few months of his life, illustrates his faithfulness, and may be here recorded as a warning to sinners While engaged in a protracted meeting, as it was his custom to speak personally to sinners, he approached a young man, and with deep earnestness urged him then to make his peace with God. "Not now," said the young man. "But," said Bro. Anderson, "you may never have another opportunity." "I'll risk it," was the response of the sinful young man. It proved to be the last invitation and last opportunity, for in less than one
month the young man sent for Bro. Anderson to come and see him, to whom he said, "Mr. Anderson, I missed the salvation of my soul; I am dying, and am lost."
Deacon Samuel Boone was an early pioneer to this country. He came to Missouri when it was a wilderness, and was for fifty years a faithful Baptist,for much of which time he was identified with the Mt. Horeb Church, Montgomery County. This church was organized at his house in the year 1833, he being one of the constituent members. He was for many years connected with the Little Bonne Femme Association, being identified with it in its darkest hours through the controversy on missions.
Samuel Boone was a relative of Daniel Boone, the pioneer of Kentucky. At a ripe old age God took him to his reward above. His death occurred in the year 1870.
James Clayton Armstrong was born in Franklin County, Missouri, November 10, 1847. The teaching and influence of Christian parents did much to shape his after life. He grew up on the farm, where he, labored until he was twenty-one, attending the district school three months each winter. In a log schoolhouse with puncheon floor and split-log benches, he laid the foundation of his education. In August, 1867, he was converted and joined the New Hope Baptist Church. In October, 1868, he entered William Jewell College, compelled by the lack of previous advantages to begin with the preparatory studies. In 1874 he took the degree of A.B., and in 1875 the degree of A. M. He chiefly supported himself in college, partly by superintending the Students' Boarding Club, and partly by teaching some classes in Latin and Greek.
In June, 1875, he received a call to the pastorate of the Miami Baptist Church, and was ordained the month following. In October, 1877, he resigned and became one of the editors of the Central Baptist. December 26, 1877, he was married to Miss Emma B. Pendleton, of Miami. From February, 1879, to October, 1881, he was pastor of the Garrison Avenue Baptist Church, St. Louis, in connection with his editorial labors. He was immediately called tothe pastorate of the Baptist Church of Mexico, and severing his connection with the paper, he moved to Mexico, May 1, 1882.
Nathan Ayres is a member of the pioneer brigade a native of Kentucky, born February 22, 1808. His parents were Baptists and members at Forks of Elkhorn. When nine years old he attended a meeting conducted by Eld. Jeremiah Vardeman, then in his prime, and was deeply convicted of sin, seeing the just judgment of God in his own condemnation. He prayed, sought justification by the law, failed, and finally gave himself up to the practice of many abominable sins. Of this period of his life he says, "I cannot understand why I thus acted against light and knowledge. It seems to me I came near committing the unpardonable sin."
He continued thus to live until about 15 years of age, when, under the ministry of Eld. Wm. Rice he was re-awakened to a sense of personal guilt, and in about a year he yielded himself into the hands of a perfect Savior and found peace for his soul. He soon after was baptized and became a member of the Baptist church at Forks of Elkhorn. A very large crowd was attracted to see the "little boy baptized." He says: "I felt a desire to tell others what a dear Savior I had found as soon as I had an evidence of Gods pardoning love. I talked to my schoolmates and exhorted them to repent of their sins." At his own request his father consented to give him his portion of the estate in an education. Under this arrangement he was sent to O'Haras Woodford Select Seminary. The head of this institution was a Catholic, and made the usual promise not to interfere with the religious views of his new pupil, but did all he could to bias the mind of young Ayres notwithstanding. No comments are needed. Before he was 18 years old he got a certificate as a qualified teacher in the French, Latin and English branches.
His church licensed him to preach while he was yet at school. His pastor made an appointment for him at the evening prayer-meeting,
and for fear of being made a gazing-stock he did not go. Subsequently, however, having partially overcome his timidity, he went forward in this duty.
In the fall of 1828 he came to Missouri and bought land in Marion County; then returned to Kentucky, taught school for a time, and married Mary R. Richmond December 17, 1829, with her returning to Missouri in 1830. On account of the prevalence of malarial fever he went back to Kentucky the same year.
His wife and some members of his church being opposed to his preaching, he spent much of the next ten years of his life teaching school. In 1841 he removed permanently to Missouri, bought the old college farm near West Ely, Marion County, and united with the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church near his home. Three years afterwards he removed near Union Church in the same county, into which he and his wife put their membership, and he became much more active in church work, occupying by request of the church one Sunday in the month in her pulpit, and soon after this succeeded Eld. Jer. Taylor in the pastoral office, he having resigned on account of great age. Upon his election to this office the Union Church called for his ordination, which service was performed by Elds. Wm. Hurley and Jeremiah Taylor in July, 1847. Immediately after his ordination he baptized one of his little school girls who had been converted under his ministry. He continued in the pastoral office at Marion Church for ten years, during which time the church enjoyed several revivals and had many ingatherings. He was also pastor of three other churches, which he visited monthly on Saturdays and Sundays after the usual custom, and returned to his school-room on Monday, all the while superintending the raising of a large family and the cultivation of a farm on which he kept a hired man to do the work. Mr. Ayres was an efficient minister for many years in Northeast Missouri, aided in organizing a number of new churches and in ordaining many preachers and deacons. For more than a year he traveled as missionary of the General Association of the state, and for one year he was corresponding secretary of the same body, with headquarters at Palmyra. The method of work at that time was this: The state was divided into five districts, three on the north side of the Missouri River and two on the south side, in each of which there was a general missionary reporting to the corresponding secretary every month. During the war of 1861 he spent a year in Kentucky, and while there was called to the pastoral care of old Forks of Elkhorn Church.
Brother Ayres is now an old man, having seen seventy-four winters, and is waiting with great resignation to cross the river.
Manly J. Breaker This gifted and brilliant young pastor comes of a family of Baptist preachers. His grandfather was a Baptist preacher; and his father, Rev. J. M. C. Breaker, D.D., highly esteemed and well known, is the able pastor of the First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas.
The subject of this notice was born in New Berne, North Carolina, March 9, 1850, but was brought up in South Carolina, as his father soon returned to that state. He was converted in September, 1865, baptized by his father, and united with Spartanburg Baptist Church in South Carolina. His education was pursued at Wofford College, S. C., Washington University, Mo., William Jewell College, Mo., and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. At this last institution he graduated in full in May, 1873; and soon after married Miss Mary Timms, Liberty, Mo. His first pastorate was at Glasgow, which he left to take the presidency of Mount Pleasant College, Huntsville. This he resigned and became pastor of the Baptist church at Fayette, Howard County, Mo., to which, and some neighboring churches, he has preached ever since, except three months that he spent at Austin, Texas. He has done some writing for the press, and especially has he rendered valuable assistance in the editorial work of the Central Baptist, having for some time conducted the Sunday-school department of that paper. His preaching is very largely expository; in style he is clear and forcible. No one questions his devotion to the interests of the Baptist denomination. He is fully identified with the work of the Missouri Baptist General Association and of the Southern Baptist Convention. As a theological thinker he is independent and recognizes no Master but Christ.
Samuel Driskoll was born in Rockingham County, North Carolina, December 10, 1799. His early religious convictions were deep and pungent, and followed him for many years. At one time his conviction of sin was so heavy as to cause sickness, requiring the attendance of the physician, who bled him, but to no purpose. Getting no better, he removed to Tennessee, where he succeeded in partially throwing off his convictions for three years. He then moved to Green County, Illinois, where he remained only four years, and from there to Morgan County, Missouri.
About this time, at thirty-five years of age, he lost two children,
which added affliction to his burden of guilt and resulted in the conversion of himself and wife. They were both baptized at the same time. Five years of hard and constant struggling against the conviction of duty to preach brought Mr. Driskoll into a state of mind bordering on despair. But the Lord one evening at his own fireside filled his soul with joy and his mouth with praise. Doubting the genuineness of his first conversion, he was rebaptized by Elder Greer, and began to preach. His first sermon was at the baptismal waters. He was now licensed and ordained, and continued to preach up to the time of his death. He was opposed to a paid ministry, and labored hard with his hands to support a large family. He said that God had called him to preach in the backwoods, and not to educated people, and yet it is said that educated people were delighted and profited by his preaching. On some public occasion after two educated men had preached, it is said that Eld. Driskoll followed in exhortation with such pathos and power that all were made to weep and tremble. On another occasion, when he came before a large audience unexpectedly, and saw the people clad in silks and broadcloth, he looked at his own blue jeans clothes, made by the hands of his own good wife, and said, "These clothes do not suit here," and immediately left the house and mounted his horse and rode home. His last hours were calm and peaceful, and he died as a child would go to sleep, December 27, 1870. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
Josiah Duncan This brother was for over thirteen years a minister among the Baptists. He was born in Kentucky, May 10, 1808, a son of Rice and Jane Duncan. While engaged in his daily labor he was converted, and soon afterwards joined the Greenville Church, Wayne County, Missouri, in 1836. His marriage to Miss Margaret Miller occurred in January, 1834. In 1845 he was ordained a minister, from which time he did much labor in the gospel in the St. Francois and sister associations. "In early life he was a great horse racer and gambler, but after his conversion he was never known to reflect, by word or deed, upon his Christian character. He died in November, 1858. (Eld. M. A. Taylor's MS.) Josiah Duncan was distinctly a Baptist, an earnest and devoted gospel minister.
Dr. Benjamin F. Edwards * was born at Darnestown, Maryland, July 2, 1797. He was the son of Benj. Edwards, who was,
* By William Elmer, in Central Baptist, May, 1877.
at one time, member of Congress from Maryland and a member of the convention that ratified the Federal Constitution. He was described by Wm. Wirt, the celebrated attorney-general of the United States, as being "one of nature's great men." He possessed great oratorical power, which on several occasions he used in the service of his country.
When Dr. Edwards was two years old his parents removed to Kentucky and settled at Bardstown, where his early life was spent. At the age of 20 he was converted and united with the Baptist church. From the first day of his new life to the last he realized that God had called him to work, and he immediately entered upon an active Christian life. In 1819 he married Miss Eliza Green, a daughter of Willis Green, of Danville, Kentucky, and soon after emigrated to Missouri, where he joined his brother-in-law, Gen. Duff Green, and formed the acquaintance of Gov. Gamble and other prominent men of that day.
His first stay in Missouri was short; it lasted only a year. He then returned to Kentucky and made his home in the neighborhood of Russellville. Here he practiced medicine, the study of which occupied most of his early years.
In March, 1827, he removed from Kentucky to Edwardsville, Ill., where his skill as a physician soon secured him a large practice. His rides extended so far from home as to make five relays of horses necessary to attend to his professional duties. It was while a resident at this place that he and a few others organized in his parlor the first Baptist church in Illinois that was solemnly pledged to the cause of missions. He also advocated and with the aid of Dr. Peck succeeded in organizing the first Baptist association in Illinois which advocated the same cause. But it was not in missions alone that he was interested. He realized the power of an educated ministry and was a prime mover in the organization of Rock Spring Seminary.
From Edwardsville he removed to Alton and continued to reside there till 1846, when he took up his residence in St. Louis. He came to this city with agreat reputation as a physician, and immediately entered upon a large practice. Even in this busy city and active life he was continually seeking to promote the good of the Baptist cause, and no worthy object was permitted to pass by without being recognized and substantially aided.
In 1849, during the height of the gold fever, he went to California and spent two years, at the end of which time he returned and resumed the practice of his profession in St. Louis.
In 1866 he purchased his beautiful home in Kirkwood and removed there to enjoy the peace and quiet of a country life. Finding no Baptist church here, he soon entered upon the work of organizing one. This could not be accomplished for some time, but at last his work was rewarded, and his dearest wish gratified when in 1870 the present Baptist church was founded. Soon after, almost alone, aided only by a few, he entered upon the work of building the present Baptist house of worship, and this neat brick edifice is to-day a standing monument of his zeal for God and his devotion to His cause. We realize that in his departure we lose an earnest, devoted Christian, a thorough Biblical student and an earnest worker in the cause of Christ. When well, his seat at church or prayer meeting was never vacant.
The family of Dr. Edwards comprised Sarah, Willis, Benjamin, Frank C. and Julia, who now rest with him in Bellefontaine Cemetery; and Mrs. Whittaker, of Kirkwood, Mrs. Ostrom, of New York, Mrs. Todd, of Columbia, Mo., Presley, of Hillsboro, Ill., and Cyrus, of Dennison, Texas, who are still living, besides many grandchildren.
His death, which occurred at his home April 27, 1877, at the advanced age of 80 years, covered with a cloud of sorrow the Baptist church and community of Kirkwood.
W. L. T. Evans After much suffering and patient endurance, this: man of God died of dropsy, at his home in Randolph County, May 26, 1879.
He was born in Maryland, February 7,1829. His parents were John R. and Catherine Evans. Four years of his early life were spent in Washington City with his aunt, Mrs. Ellen Alexander, where he went to school.
In 1855 he moved to Missouri and settled at Landmark, Howard County; thence to Milton, where he died.
Two years after he came to Missouri he professed religion and united with the Methodists; three years thereafter, being dissatisfied with his baptism and with the government of said church, he united with the Baptists and was baptized by Elder W. K. Woods, soon after which he was ordained to the ministry by Elds. Jesse Terrill and P. T. Gentry, and was a toiling minister in the Baptist denomination for nearly twenty years. His name is associated with the following churches in the counties of Howard, Randolph, Monroe, and Shelby, as pastor, viz Mount Vernon, Moniteau, Friendship, Roanoke, Enon, Pleasant Hill, Union, Hickory Grove, Oak Grove, Mt. Shiloh and Shiloh
(now Moberly). For several years he rode as missionary in Mt. Pleasant Association.
Bro. Evans was three times married his last wife (whom he survived only a short time) being the daughter of the lamented Eld. Jesse Terrill.
He was a successful gospel minister, and enjoyed in an eminent degree the confidence of the people among whom he labored and died. He was a man of prayer, full of the Holy Ghost. The salvation which he preached was through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He had no confidence in the flesh, but rested solely on the mediation of the Son of God.
The following tribute to the memory of Bro. Evans, is from the pen of Rev. Jno. C. Shipp, of Kirksville, Missouri:
"The sad news of the death of this useful servant of God, will doubtless cause deep feeling in many a heart. It occurred on the evening of the 26th inst., and the funeral took place on the day following at Hickory Grove Church, Monroe County, Missouri. It is not my purpose to write an obituary, but say a word in regard to the elements of power that he possessed in an eminent degree.
"That Elder Evans was a successful minister of the gospel we who knew him know quite well. No man enjoyed more the confidence of the people among whom he lived, labored and died. No man ever exercised a more commanding influence for good.
"What was the source of this power? What secured for him the confidence of the people? Was it unaided human wisdom? unsanctified talent? No; unquestionably, no. It came of his devotion to God, and truth and love of men. Rev. Jno. G. Swinney, in making some remarks at his funeral said, 'He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost;' which was certainly true of him.
"He believed and taught the religion of the Holy Ghost. He relied on Him to accomplish the work of salvation both in himself and others, and not anything he himself might say or do. He was an earnest believer in the efficacy of both private and public prayer. To him prayer was not a meaningless form; but a source of divine communion and a means of grace. He was a man of prayer.
"In his preaching he embodied in warm and earnest words the simple truths of God's word. Having suffered much in life, he introduced his own sorrows into prayer, sermon and exhortation, and that gave him increased power over his hearers.
"Socially he was pleasant and kind, and always had a kind word for every one. He cultivated this element of success that by it he might win souls toChrist. He loved fallen, depraved men, and they felt he loved them. By these elements of success, learned from Gods word, he secured the confidence and love of all who knew him. It may not be amiss for me to say that I am indebted personally to this departed servant of God. He was, of all the ministers I knew in childhood and youth, first to drop in my ear a word that led me to Christ. He it was, in connection with that excellent man of God, Rev. S.Y. Pitts, that most of all encouraged me to preach the riches of Christ. He it was who presided over the council that ordained me. He it was who took me by the hand when just struggling into spiritual and ministerial life, and I shall embalm his memory in my heart and by the grace of God follow his example for good in life."
William Fuqua was one of the pioneer preachers of Missouri. Of him Hon. A. P. Miller, of Pike County, says: "Bro. Fuqua was a good 'old time' preacher, rather above the medium for talent, in his day. I heard him preach in 1836 at Mount Pisgah. I took him to be then about 75 years old. My recollection is that he was a member of the Bethel Association, but subsequently left and became identified with the anti-mission brethren."
Henry Farmer In his ancestral relations, this very worthy servant of the Lord and minister of the gospel was a Virginian, but by birth a Tennesseean. He was the son of John and Sally Farmer; the grandson of Henry and Sally Farmer; the great-grandson of Henry and Aggie Farmer, of Halifax County, Virginia; and was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, September 17, 1809. In 1833 he made a profession of religion, was baptized by Daniel Briggs, of Meigs County, Tennessee, and seven years thereafter entered the ministry, having been ordained July 18, 1840.
Bro. Farmer came early to Missouri and traveled many thousands of miles in Western and Southwestern Missouri, preaching the gospel of the Son of God to the original settlers and their descendants, among whom he was highly esteemed, and with whom his name is now almost a sacred word.
He died January 30, 1870, and was laid unto his fathers.
Eld. Jeremiah Farmer, a cousin, furnishes the following facts:
Henry Farmer was from boyhood remarkably steady and studious, having been reared on a farm and at a time when opportunities for education were not good. He did, however, by
dint of hard study and the right use of books, succeed in making himself a very respectable scholar, save in English grammar, in which he was somewhat deficient; nevertheless, from his constant familiarity with good books he acquired the habit of using good language.
His preaching was profound and logical, and at times eloquent beyond anything I ever heard, holding his audiences spell-bound. He was earnest, butnot boisterous, and often so pathetic and tender that his hearers would be melted to tears.
He was of the Andrew Fuller type as to his doctrines; firm in his convictions, amounting at times almost to stubbornness. He had the stuff of which masters are made, yet he was courteous to those who differed from him. He never sought controversy. He was eminently successful in winning souls to Christ. All his churches grew and prospered up to the breaking out of the war.
His marriage with Miss Clarinda Jane Boothe occurred March 7, 1845. She and four children two sons and two daughters survive him.
He emigrated to Missouri in the spring of 1839, and united with the Union Baptist Church, Cass County. The presbytery, at his ordination the year after, consisted of Joseph White, Wm. Ousley, John Jackson and John Farmer.
Soon after his ordination he became pastor of Union Church and continued to serve it until within a short time of his death. He and Thomas A. Staton organized the West Fork Church in the latter part of the year 1842, and soon after he and others organized the Basin Knob (now Lone Jack) Church, Jackson County, of which he became pastor and so continued until the war. About the same time he became pastor of the Concord Church, Lafayette County. He served the Blue Spring Church as pastor for many years, and labored in the same relation also at Westport, West Fork, Big Creek, Big Cedar, Elm Spring, Greenton Valley and Harrisonville. For thirty years his labors in the ministry were arduous, traveling from church to church, often twenty miles apart, and all with but little compensation, for the country was new and the churches for some years were really mission stations; and as soon as they gained sufficient strength they had to build houses of worship. Thus did he and his contemporaries labor that others might enter in and reap. Few of those now living properly appreciate the sacrifices of the pioneer ministers among whom Henry Farmer was prominent. The ten churches of which he was pastor all became thriving institutions,
and during his career he baptized near 2,000 persons. He was the correspondent of David Benedict, the Baptist historian, and gave him an account of Blue River Association.
Henry Farmer was one of the most useful men in the Baptist ministry of Western Missouri, and his memory is yet fragrant among thousands in that section.
Joseph Flood was a native of Shelby County, Kentucky, a younger brother of the late Noah Flood, and was born October, 10, 1813. In August, 1830, he married Miss Eliza A. Major who survived him at his death. He removed to Callaway Co., Missouri, in 1846, settling near Fulton, where he resided for about twenty years. He removed to Clay County in 1868, and spent the residue of his life in and near Kearney.
In early life he became a Christian and united with the Baptists at Christiansburg Ky., and while he lived he was an ornamentto his profession.
As principal of the preparatory department he was connected with Westminster College in 1866, and held a like position in Stephens' College in 1867. Few men surpassed him in devotion to Sunday-schools. In the Richland Church, Callaway County, he was superintendent of the Sunday-school and served the same church as deacon for years. At Kearney he also was superintendent of the Sunday-school, and for his fidelity therein he was rewarded
by the news of the conversion of forty souls in the glorious revival of that place just before his death, many of whom were from the school. Mr. Flood served his county as justice of its court for some years, and was a member of the state convention in 1861, and wherever he served was regarded a man of sterling worth. In Kentucky he was licensed to preach, but did not exercise in that way after he came to Missouri. His death, November 14, 1878, was from asthma and heart disease, and he left behind him a fragrant and blessed memory.
John P. Glover, Sen.* Though not a minister of the gospel this pioneer of Montgomery County, Missouri, deserves a place in these sketches.
He was born in Charles County, Maryland, July 17, 1770. Surrounded by Episcopal and Catholic influences, while the Baptists were only known to be despised and treated with every indignity, even to personal violence and the ducking of the ministers one of which scenes he witnessed when a boy nevertheless he attended the preaching of the gospel, and at the age of 19 the grace of God reached his heart. He was made to "rejoice in hope of the glory of God," and by a public profession of faith in a buried and risen Savior, he united himself with the reviled and persecuted people of God.
Although his walk was in the vale of poverty, his education extending only to the rudiments of his native tongue, and his talents not above mediocrity, he felt that he had enlisted for the war, and he engaged as a good soldier for Christ with heart and mind for a life-long effort in his Masters cause. He sang, he prayed, he exhorted saints to walk close to God and sinners to flee the wrath to come. He took a deep interest in everything calculated to advance the Redeemers kingdom on earth. On one occasion, if no more, he walked several miles to a ferry on the Potomac, at which Eld. R. B. Semple was to cross on his way to a meeting of the missionary board in Philadelphia, that he might inform Mr. Semple of the destitution of his neighborhood and entreat him to "send us a preacher." Mr. Semple was detained on account of high wind and rough water, but the watchman of Zion was not thus to be foiled. He awaited the calm, and with it came Mr. Semple, who heard his solicitations and promised, if possible, to supply the destitute field. He did so. Eld. Sam'l L. Straughn was sent, who labored successfully,
* By D. W. Nowlin in Western Watchman, Vol. XII.
and many souls were added to the church, among whom were two of our subjects own children. In his old age he used to relate this circumstance with far greater joy and delight than any old soldier can feel in recounting his hair-breadth escapes.
About the year 1820 he removed to Missouri and settled in Montgomery County, just by what is now the site of Zion meeting-house, at which place he resided up to the time of his death.
He at once erected an altar in his house to Israel's God, and constantly maintained family worship during his life. In his house was constituted the first Baptist church in this region of country, he being one of the most efficient movers therein.
He never found the weather too inclement for him to walk to his church meetings, although the meeting-house was four miles off, and half the distance a prairie. His seat was always filled if his health permitted, and he generally enjoyed very good health. He was always ready to speak a word of consolationto the desponding, and to point the penitent soul to the cross of Christ. His religion was his meat and drink, his joy by day and by night.
One might suppose that such devotion would be attended by continual joy and peace, without any cloud to mar or distress. But such was not the case. After seeing the church constituted, and his house flourish and increase, and the greater number of his children added thereto, and a good comfortable log edifice erected as a place of worship, in 1840 the church passed resolutions strongly condemning missionary operations and all kindred enterprises, and declaring non-fellowship for any who might engage in or advocate them. This was touching the old servant of Christ in a very tender point, and it was a sore trial to his devout, pious soul. On the one side was the church of which he was the patriarch, all the members of which he loved, part of whom were of his own blood. On the other side was what he conceived to be the best interests of Christ's kingdom. He hesitated no longer than to reason with and persuade his brethren to abandon so suicidal a policy. They refused to take his admonitions. He asked for a letter of dismission, which was refused. Other members of the church were alike desirous to obtain letters; none were granted. At length, by advice of Eld. W. Hurley, the church granted to Father Glover and others, certificates of character, containing a statement of the cause of their discontent. They had in contemplation the constitution of a church upon more liberal principles, and Father Glover was greatly exercised
in prayer to God for grace and guidance. But before the anticipated constitution was realized his Master bade him cease his warfare, lay aside his armor and receive his enduring reward.
On the morning of the Sabbath, the 22d of November, 1840, just before the dawn of day (having retired the night previous in usual health), he arose to renew his fire, and spoke to his wife pleasantly of his family comforts, and returned to bed to await daylight. In a few moments he arose to a sitting posture in the bed, and quietly asked, "What's the matter? What's the matter?" and lay back in the bed. And before his aged companion and fellow-pilgrim from youth could arise and light a candle, he had passed from this state of trial to the full fruition of the joys of his Lord, having lived a few months beyond his threescore years and ten, over fifty of which were spent in the service of our Lord Jesus, in assiduously cultivating and using the talent intrusted to his care, and in realizing the promise, "Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season."
James N. Griffin* born in Kentucky, near Crab Orchard, June 12, 1809, departed this life July 12, 1880, aged 71 years and two months. Elder Griffin moved to Missouri at an early time, was baptized by the writer in February, 1845, being the first hopeful convert ever baptized by myself. At the same timeI baptized his wife and a number of other converts who were organized into a Baptist church some eighteen miles below Mexico, Missouri, on the west fork of Cuivre, in a little log schoolhouse. Afterwards they united with other brethren and formed what is now known as the West Cuivre Baptist Church, near his place of residence, where he spent the most of a long and useful life, raising a large and interesting family of children. Nine of them survive him with their mother to mourn his loss two sons and seven daughters-having lost one son in early life. Sister Sarah M. Griffin, his wife, was the daughter of my father, Elder Jeremiah Vardeman, and the only surviving sister I have. Eld. Griffin soon after his baptism manifested great zeal in his Master's work, was licensed by the church, soon after was ordained, and preached with good success in the highways and hedges and small churches in that then vastly destitute region. Bro. Griffin, however, lost his health to a considerable degree, being much distressed with a severe cough that lasted him for many years. But still he did all he could to promote his Master's cause while
* By Rev. W. H. Vardeman in Central Baptist, Vol. XV, No. 33.
he lived. His doors were always open for the entertainment of ministers and visiting brethren. He lived highly respected by all who knew him, died the death of the righteous, and has gone home to receive the welcome plaudit, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
I preached his funeral sermon in the presence of many mourning friends from that good old and appropriate text, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, etc.
John C. Herndon* was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, December 16, 1782. His parents were not wealthy, though in comfortable circumstances, and much beloved and respected.
When about twenty-two years of age he professed faith in Christ, was baptized by Eld. William Grinstead, then pastor of Long Branch Church, and was soon after elected a deacon in that church.
The next important event in his history was his union in marriage with Miss Alice Nutt, the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Nutt. Alice was raised a Presbyterian, though when married she was not a Christian. It was not long, however, before she was converted and united with the same church as her husband.
This union proved to be one of great happiness to both. With mutual attachment as husband and wife, and united in the great principles of evangelical truth, they were bound together by the strongest ties. For about twenty years after his marriage he was engaged in teaching school, during which time he educated most of his children, nor did he change his location orhis school, such was his popularity as a teacher. This, with a small farm which he had purchased, made a support for his family.
Elder Herndon and his wife, Alice, were the parents of twenty children eleven sons and nine daughters of whom four sons became ministers of the gospel of the same denomination with their parents. All that have made a profession have joined the Baptists. Eld. Herndon had some striking features in his character. He was a very decided man. He governed his children with great firmness and affection. The words of his mouth were the law, ultimate and final. His religious life was marked by firmness, consistency, devotion, zeal and benevolence. A custom with him, in which he showed the deep interest he felt for the religious training of his children, was to assemble them every
* By Rev. R. N. Herndon, in Virginia Baptist Ministers, 2nd Series, p. 223.
Lord's day and hear them read the Holy Scriptures, himself joining in the service.
The following incident occurred in his life. He and his associate deacon (Brother Love) were for a long time the only male members who attended the prayer meeting, and very frequently the only members; but they were not discouraged. On one occasion they met alone at the house of God and covenanted together that they would meet there as long as life and health were granted them, on every Lord's day, and pray for the prosperity of Zion and the blessing of God on their families and their neighbors. In 1828 and 1829 the blessing came through the ministry of Eld. William F. Broadus. More than one hundred souls were gathered into the fold of Christ. The revival continued for several years. Not long after the church ordained to the gospel ministry these two men of God, after they had filled well the office of deacons for twenty-five years. Elder Herndon was called to the church at Antioch, in Prince William County, where his labors were again blessed.
In the providence of God he conceived it to be his duty, for several reasons, to remove to the West. One was, that by becoming surety for another he had suffered loss in property; besides, he thought his children would be benefited by a removal to the fertile West. The struggle was hard to cut loose from brethren and long-tried friends.
But this was only preparatory to severer trials. Stopping awhile in Kentucky, with an only brother, he was called to give up the companion of his youth and riper years, the mother of all his children, and to pursue his future pilgrimage in life alone. She died September 12, 1838, with a firm reliance on the Savior.
He purposed to go to Missouri and pursued his journey with a heavy heart, but with that heart fixed, trusting in the Lord, he reached finally his destination. Settling himself in Missouri, he commenced preaching the gospel to some destitute churches. But his trials were not at an end; he was very soon called to follow several of his children, servants and other connections to the tomb. His own health also began to give way. He became permanently located in Lincoln County, near Troy, the county seat, still laboring in the gospel. From this time until his death, his health gradually declined, until toward the close of the year 1847 he was called to his reward on high. He died as he lived, calmly and fully persuaded that salvation was found only through the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ.
He cordially sympathized with the great benevolent movements of the age for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad, and cheerfully contributed his substance to carry out these designs. His remains sleep in Lincoln County at his late residence, with two sons, James and Samuel, and a loved daughter, Ann, to await the sound of the last trumpet.
Tyree C. Harris* The subject of this short sketch was the son of Tyree Harris, of Boone Co., Mo., and was the tenth of thirteen children. He was born in the year of our Lord 1824.
From childhood he was naturally very delicate. Although no marks of any settled disease were visible, yet he was unable to perform any hard physical labor. Possessing a playful and gentle disposition, he was a great favorite among his early companions rarely, if ever, known to be out of humor, or in the least to become irritated, as was common with boys of his age. He never used profane language, or engaged in gross wickedness of any kind.
In early youth, Tyree Harris possessed extraordinary sprightliness; at the age of six years he commenced school, and with uncommon aptness he comprehended, as with instinct, every problem presented to him. Though the schools of that day were greatly inferior to what they are now, yet his progress was remarkable. At the age of 13 fears were entertained of his early decline with consumption; but by such exercise as suited his inclination his health was restored.
In October, 1839, he attended the regular monthly conference of the Baptist church at Mt. Gilead, in Howard County, Mo.; and under the faithful preaching of Elder Thos. Fristoe, he, for the first time, clearly saw himself a helpless sinner before God. He went home the same evening in deep distress, with a clear view of the depravity of the human heart. But ere long the burden was removed; and delivered from the thraldom of sin, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, his soul was enabled to rejoice in His redeeming grace and dying love.
At the regular meeting of the Bethlehem Church, in Boone County, in November following, he was received into fellowship by experience and baptism, by that faithful servant of God, Fielding Wilhoite. His prayer at thewater will never be forgotten by those who were present. His whole soul was drawn out in the most earnest melting appeal and supplication to the Divine throne, that young Tyree Harris might be qualified to
* By Eld. X. X. Buckner, in Missouri Baptist, Vol. I, No. 37.
dispense the word of life and become an eminent minister of the gospel. He commenced the exercise of public prayer with great acceptance. In December, 1841, the church granted him license to preach, which he did, to the astonishment of multitudes who heard him. Shortly after this, Rowland Hughes of Howard County, learning the future promise of young Tyree Harris, and hearing him on one occasion himself, proposed to take him into his family and complete his education; which he did to the satisfaction of all concerned. He was educated in Boonville, under Professor Kemper.
His youthful appearance, together with his bold and earnest manner, his untiring zeal, his eloquent and pungent appeals from the pulpit soon won for him the name of the "boy preacher." His style was forcible, attractive and popular; his manner easy and graceful; his voice sweet and mellow. With a clear, strong mind, he possessed great vivacity of thought and versatility of style. Fluency of speech and lively imagination were combined to make him a "bright and shining light." His manner, both in private and public, in the pulpit and out of it, was such as to make him popular both with the church and the world.
In December, 1843, he assisted in the constitution of the first Baptist church in the city of Boonville; and in August following he commenced his labors with this church as their regular pastor. Though young, he commanded an influence for good and attracted great congregations, and soon succeeded in building a large and commodious house of worship. Under his ministry the church enjoyed a high degree of prosperity; members were added almost monthly by experience and baptism, until they became a large and influential body.
With the brethren in Boonville he spent the prime of his short life. This people loved him dearly. The name of Tyree Harris is still fresh in the memory of those who enjoyed the labors of this eminent divine. Whilst in this field he also for a time preached for the churches at Big Lick and Nebo, in Cooper County, and after eight years of successful toil he left a large church and took charge of the congregation in Fayette in 1851.
In 1852 he commenced his labors as pastor of the church in Columbia, Mo., where, by his distinguished pulpit efforts and his Christian and gentlemanly deportment, he endeared himself to a large circle of admiring friends and acquaintances.
During his pastorate here he was also president of the Columbia Female Academy. And under his able superintendence the
institution flourished beyond a parallel at that time. He canvassed the state in behalf of the institution, presenting the claims of female education; and his eloquent appeals met a liberal response, for around him were gathered 125 young ladies from all parts of the state.
In 1853 he was called to the chair of English Literature in William Jewell College, but did not accept the position.
In 1854 he was called to take charge of the Female College at La Grange, in Georgia, but did not accept. After two years of arduous toil in the pulpit and school-room, he was called to and accepted the care of the Baptist church in Lexington, Mo. He entered upon his labors in this field with renewed ardor and zeal, and determined to spend his life with the people of God there. He was soon attacked with typhoid fever, and in two months after he had entered upon his duties there he was called to his reward.
Bro. Harris was considered by all who knew him as the ablest and most promising young man in the state. View him as a man, as a minister of the New Testament, and hear his earnest appeals from the sacred desk, and you would mark him as a man of no ordinary talent. As pastor, he was kind, affectionate and prayerful; as a reasoner, clear and forcible; and as a speaker he had strength, beauty and eloquence. Possessing these rare gifts, he was successful in all his labors on earth, and now, whilst his works do follow him his memory is fragrant in the hearts of many.
Jesse A. Hollis* was born of English parents, in Fairfield County, South Carolina, December 13, 1824. Being left by the death of his parents an orphan at the early age of twelve years, he was while a mere child cast upon his own resources in life. Even at that youthful period he began his fortunes in the world by obtaining a position in a mercantile establishment in Columbia, South Carolina, and laboring persistently therein for the ensuing two years, the earnings of which time he appropriated to defraying his expenses at school in the same city for the two subsequent years. At this period of his life sixteen years of age he removed to Utica, Mississippi, where he was engaged in business for several years.
Fired with a noble ambition, by unceasing toil he accumulated enough to secure for him a thorough collegiate education at
* From the Missouri Statesman, as republished in the Central Baptist, Vol. II, No. 28.
Georgetown College, Kentucky, where, in July, 1852, he graduated with honor. In the September following he entered the Baptist Theological Seminary at Covington, Kentucky, and remained there until the suspension of that institution a few months later, when he returned to Utica, Mississippi, where, though only a licentiate and but twenty-nine years old, he received a call to the pastorate ofthe church of which he had previously been a member. On September 1, 1853, he married Miss Arzelia Echols, daughter of Robert C. and Arzelia Echols, of Jackson County, Missouri. By her he was the father of seven children, four of whom, little girls, the oldest ten years, with their mother survive him.
Shortly after his marriage, in 1854 he was regularly ordained a minister of the gospel in Utica, Mississippi. In 1854 he removed to Jefferson City, Missouri, where until 1856 he was pastor of the Baptist church, and together with his wife had charge of a school. During the winter of 1855 and 1856 he was chaplain of the state senate. In 1856 he was elected the first principal of the Baptist Female College, Columbia, and held this position for five months, when Rev. W. R. Rothwell was chosen president and Mr. Hollis assistant professor, which position he held till 1859, and during the years 1858 and 1859 was pastor of the Baptist church at Fulton. In 1859 he was called to the presidency of the Baptist Female College of Lexington, Missouri, one of the finest schools in Missouri, where he remained till 1863, during which period he was pastor of the Mound Prairie Church, Lafayette County. In 1865 he was a second time elected princinpal of the Baptist Female College, Columbia, and so remained to the day of his death. Two years of this, from 1865 to 1867, he was pastor of the Baptist church in the same place.
Few deaths have fallen with more suddenness or sadness upon our people, and the grief awakened is universal. On February 1, 1870, the board of curators of the college adopted the following series of resolutions relative to his death:
"Whereas, God, in his wisdom and mercy, has taken from us suddenly our long known and ardently loved president, J. A. Hollis, of The Baptist Female College, Columbia, Mo.;
"Resolved, 1st. That in the death of president J. A. Hollis, we have lost one of our best educators in the West; he has been connected with this institution as teacher nine years, and five years as president, both of which positions he filled with great acceptance.
"2d. That we deeply sympathize with his bereaved wife and children in this their sad bereavement, and commend them to the protecting care of our common Father.
"3d. That we feel his loss is a loss not only to them and us, but to the church and community at large, and his place cannot be easily filled.
"4th. That copies of these resolutions be transmitted to the widow of our deceased friend, and to the Missouri Statesman for publication.
J. M. ROBINSON, President.
WM. T. HICKMAN, Secretary."
President Hollis was emphatically a self-made man. Beginning in childhood, friendless and fatherless, he had bravely trod the pathway of adversity till he had reached one of the most honored stations among men. But while he was distinguished for his indomitable energy of nature, he was no less eminent for his purity of heart and integrity of character. Determined, upright, affectionate, pious, he had all these elements, which, while they win the love and confidence of men, they lift their possessor above the common ranks of society. In all his relations in life he occupied a foremost and important rank. In his death the community loses a useful citizen, the church an exemplary, faithful minister, the school-room an earnest, forbearing teacher, and the family a loving husband and father. By his spotless example he was an unconscious instructor in every avenue of society. His good deeds were many and they will live after him. It was imperfect, for it were not human to be otherwise; but his influence for good far exceeded his influence for evil. Let us bury his faults let us imitate his virtues.
Robert C. Hill The following sketch is from the pen of his daughter, Miss Hattie Hill:
My beloved father died about 9 o'clock Tuesday morning, January 13, 1874. He was born July 11, 1806, in Madison County, Virginia; professed religion November 4, 1832; was baptized in the Roberson River by Elder John Garnett the second Sunday in November, 1832, and was licensed to preach January, 1833. On the 16th of August, 1841, he was ordained to the work of the gospel ministry at the request of the Mt. Horeb Church, Callaway County, Missouri. The presbytery was composed of the following brethren, viz.: Elders A. B. Snethen, Joseph Nicholls, Fielding Wilhite, R. S. Thomas, Wm. Stephens and Thomas Fristoe. He was married August 28, 1832, to Mary J. Hume, of Madison County, Virginia, moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1835, and remained
in Missouri till November, 1863. He then moved to Kentucky, where he remained till March, 1867. He then returned to Missouri in the spring of 1865. He had a severe spell of pleuropneumonia, from which he never entirely recovered; it left him with a severe cough which the physicians said terminated in consumption.
I never saw any one more reconciled to the will of God. He did not fear death; but often expressed himself anxious to depart and be with Christ. The day before he died he talked freely about his future prospects; said if it was the Lords will he would like to be carried to our new church house, sit in his rocking chair, and preach one more sermon to the unconverted from the text, "Prepare to meet thy God." He went to church on the third Sunday in December to hear Brother T. M. Colwell preach, and during the discourse he was made to praise God. Our new church house was dedicated on that day. He took great interest in raising money to erect a church edifice said he wanted to live to see the house erected and the church worshiping in it then he would be ready to depart. He went into the organization of the Cottage Grove Church in July, 1870, and was a member of it at his death. His funeral sermon was preached by our beloved pastor, Elder John Harmon, and he was buried by the Masonic fraternity.
He was a faithful servant of Christ; a thorough Baptist; did a great deal of preaching in different parts of Missouri; was pastor of a number of churches, and never let disagreeable weather keep him from his appointments. He delighted in reading his Bible. The 14th chapter of Mark was the last he ever read. He died sitting in his rocking chair. He leaves an affectionate wife, seven children, a brother and sister, and a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. Yet we mourn not as those who have no hope, for the faithful soldier has gone to receive his crown.
Bro. Hill was an old style preacher, somewhat favorable to Sunday-schools and missionary work, and a great friend of temperance. At the beginning of the war he lived near Kingston. He refused to take the oath and went to Kentucky, where he remained awhile during the troubles. He was a man of good sense, somewhat timid, and had not preached for some years prior to his death.
Wade Mosby Jackson * was for many years an active Baptist layman in Central Missouri. He was born in Fleming County,
* By Rev. J. M. Robinson, in Columbia Herald, March, 1879.
Kentucky, December 3, 1797, and died at his residence in Howard County, Missouri, March 22, 1879, being 81 years, 3 months and 19 days old. He leaves a loving wife and eleven children to mourn over their loss. He was the father of Mrs. Judge James Harris, of Boone, and a brother of the late Gov. Claiborne F. Jackson. He moved to Howard County, Missouri, in 1824, and had lived on the farm upon which he died 48 years. He became a Baptist 41 years ago. No man in Central Missouri has been more useful and honored as a citizen and Christian in his relations of life than W. M. Jackson. He represented his county in the legislative halls of his state, served it as county judge, and then as magistrate for ten years. As a farmer he stood in the front rank in his county. As a Christian, from the time he became one, he took hold with his brethren and earnestly and vigorously consecrated his intellect and means to the cause of Christ. For many years he gave his time, talent and means to the advancement of the mission work of Missouri, constantly standing at the helm of the mission board of the General Association, while located at Fayette. Then for ten years, embracing the last years of his life, he was trustee of William Jewell College. He also assisted in drawing up the present charter and in organizing and projecting said school. He also aided largely in advancing Mt. Pleasant College. His head, heart and hands were engaged in every good work. He had been quite feeble for months, but was taken very ill while sitting up and eating dinner, and died in about thirty minutes. He for some months had been quietly and calmly looking to and desiring this hour to come.
John P. Jesse was born in Cumberland County, Virginia, October 8, 1820. When quite young he professed religion, united with the Baptists and was baptized by Eld. Jenkins. At the age of 13 he, with the family, moved to Missouri, settled in Audrain County, and in 1836 went into the constitution of Hopewell Baptist Church, near Mexico. He commenced preaching in 1848, and in May, 1851, was ordained to the full work of the ministry by Elds. P. H. Steenbergen, J. N. Griffin and his father, William Jesse.
He was a man of considerable culture; as a preacher he was much above the mediocrity, and, during the quarter of a century of his ministry, he was an active and laborious servant of Christ. He died November 8, 1876, after several years of feeble health.
Richard M. Jones One of the most remarkable men we ever knew was he whose name heads this brief notice. Although he
had scarcely reached his prime when he was cut down, he had acquired a knowledge of six languages, five of which (including the English) he had mastered; and all this was done by his own resources.
He was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, July 15, 1821. His father, Stephen Jones, and his mother, Mildred Kinnaird, were both Virginians. When he was six years old his father and the family removed to Missouri, and settled first in Montgomery County, where Richard worked upon the farm. After three years the family moved to Lincoln County, and in 1833 the father died; after which time he and his two brothers, one older and one younger, both of whom rose to eminence in the medical profession, continued to cultivate the farm to support themselves and their mother, and a part of the time attended such neighborhood schools as the country then afforded. From 1840-'1 he attended school in Lincoln Academy, at Troy, Missouri. He then taught school for several years, after which he went to Kentucky and studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. Joseph Kinnaird, near Lexington. During this time he was converted and joined the David's Fork Baptist Church, and in 1845 was authorized by this church to use his gift as a preacher of the gospel, which he occasionally continued to do to the end of his life.
In the year 1846 he graduated in medicine at the Transylvania University, and at once entered upon the practice of his profession near Lexington. From exposure and overwork in a laborious practice his health failed, and in 1848 he went to Europe,
hoping by the change to improve his health, and at the same time to improve his knowledge of the medical sciences. He spent two years in Europe, visited many countries there and attended a course of medical lectures the first winter in Paris, and another course the second winter in Vienna. In his preliminary education he had made himself master of the French and the German, as well as the Greek and the Latin languages.
He returned to the United States and practiced medicine and surgery at Lexington, Kentucky, until 1856. At that time on account of failing health he returned to Missouri and located on his farm the old paternal homestead hoping to regain his health by means of country life. But nothing availed him relief, and on July 28, 1858, he exchanged his mortal tenement for the "building of God, the house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens."
Through childhood, youth and manhood, he was amiable and affectionate, faithful and true, and was much beloved by all who knew him.
William Metcalf Jones was a descendant of Welsh and Scotch ancestry, who from time immemorial were Baptists. His great-grandfather, Richard Jones, immigrated to America in the seventeenth century and settled in Botetourt County, Virginia; and William Jones, a descendant of Richard, and a citizen of Kentucky, intermarried with Miss Elizabeth Metcalf of the latter state, and of this union William Metcalf Jones was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, October 6, 1816, The family moved thence and settled
in Callaway County, Missouri, in 1820, where they resided many years.
Young William's parents were Baptists, and having a good home and servants their house was always open to Christian people as indeed to all who came, for they were kind and hospitable and the subject of Christian life and experience constituted the common topic of conversation there. This warm, constant religious influence in after years exhibited its power in his conversion and ministry. At his majority he and Elizabeth Wren Jones, daughter of Robert Payne Jones, were married, and their bond of union was one of deep and unfeigned devotion through life.
He was a man of poetic imagination, ardent affections, candid and upright with his fellow men, and of cheerful and amiable disposition, full of vigor and energy, and enjoyed life and the world with all its beauties and attractions; and so, although he was not insensible to the word of God and the appeals of conscience, conviction of sin did not come upon him until middle age. But when the Spirit of God touched his heart it was with irresistible power, and in his forty-second year he experienced a bright and joyful conversion. Thenceforward his theme was the goodness and mercy of God through Jesus Christ our Lord; and he entered into it and discussed it with all the ardor of his nature.
He made a public profession of religion in 1858 and connected himself with the Regular Baptists called Old School Baptists by joining the Siloam Church in Pike County, then under the ministry of Elder Wm. Davis; and in 1861 he was ordained to the ministry in that church by Elds. Davis, Rogers and Wright.
He entered at once upon his ministerial duties and attended to his secular affairs also farming and merchandising like Paul, working with his own hands that he might not be a burden to the brethren.
Macedonia Church, Providence Church, and the church at Jonesburg all in Montgomery County, Missouri were his regular spiritual charges for many years the first named, from soon after his ordination to his last sickness. Under his ministration these churches grew in grace and numbers, and Macedonia and the church at Jonesburg erected large, comfortable houses for public worship. He had large congregations at these churches and he and they greatly enjoyed the meeting days, for they were bound together by brotherly love. Besides his regular
appointments he preached at many other places as opportunity offered.
He was not a controversialist, and did not believe that creeds and doctrines would save sinners, but felt it to be his mission to preach Christ and Him crucified, and as a true evangelist he earnestly and eloquently proclaimed the gospel of salvation.
He and his churches were members of the Cuivre Siloam Association, of which he officiated as moderator and filled other official positions. In the later years of his ministry contention arose on certain doctrines called "Two-seed" and "Eternal Union," which he openly and vigorously opposed wherever he encountered them. This doctrinal contention resulted in a division of the association, after which he and his spiritual charges ceased correspondence with the other churches of that association.
He continued to preach to the three churches above named until prostrated in his last sickness, of which he died June 25, 1878, at his home in Montgomery County, Missouri. Thus did this servant of God after seventeen years of earnest and faithful ministerial work pass to his reward rejoicing in the gospel of peace.
He was esteemed as an upright man and an able preacher, defending the truth and strengthening Zion wherever he labored.
As a worthy tribute to his memory this sketch closes with extracts from the memorial resolutions passed after his decease by the church at Jonesburg:
IN MEMORIAM "It becomes a painful duty to record the death of that dear and excellent man of God, Elder Wm. M. Jones. * * * He was ordained to the ministry in June, 1861, * * * and thenceforward till his last sickness continued to defend with ability and zeal the great plan of salvation through the unmerited grace of God. * * * * "We most heartily believe and gladly place on record that by an earnest defence of his Master's cause, his love of truth, his kindly nature, unsullied honor and purity of life, he offered to the church and the world an example of uprightness and adorned the doctrine he professed.
"Our dear brother was distinguished for clear views of divine truth, earnest and lucid expression of his thoughts, unaffected sympathy for his hearers, and unusual acquaintance with the history of the church, her enemies and defenders. In the last
particular especially he stood distinguished among the men of his day. * * * *
"God has created a void in our midst which we all must feel his family, his church, the ministry of Christ and the world. May He grant the consolation which each one especially needs, and raise up others to perpetuate the testimony he offered to the truth of God and reap the fruits of his labors." * * * (From the church at Jonesburg.)
John T. M. Johnson fell asleep in Jesus, at his home in Ashland, Boone County, Missouri, October 4, 1876, aged 52 years and 11 months. In the death of Bro. Johnson the church as well as the community, sustained an irreparable loss. His character was a beautiful illustration of the power of regenerating grace upon the heart. Bro. Johnson was by nature quick and passionate, but by the influence of Gods grace, became one of the meekest and humblest of men. The worst elements of his character, if not obliterated, were held in complete subjection, while all the nobler instincts and impulses of the human heart were developed, strengthened and confirmed. He pitied the weakness of his fellow men, but detested all that was base, mean, or selfish in their actions, and encouraged all that was pure, elevating and good. In him the extremes of courage and meekness met and harmonized. One of the most humble before God, he was perfectly independent of men. The loveliest of God's creatures were not beneath his sympathy, yet he paid no homage to the rich or powerful. In his character were happily blended the courage of the lion, the meekness of the lamb, and the simple mindedness of the Christian.
His liberality knew no bounds but the want of means to indulge it. No bereaved or afflicted one ever applied to him without securing sympathy and comfort, no one in distress that did not receive aid. His last dollar or his last loaf, were free to those who needed them more than he.
His faith in God was a strong tower which could not be shaken. His religious obligations were paramount to all others. His labors as a minister were faithful and untiring. No ordinary circumstance could hinder him from fulfilling an appointment.
His conscientiousness would not allow him to take what was known as the "iron-clad oath;" but with penalties of fine and imprisonment hanging over him, he put the whole matter into
the hands of God, and thought no more of it, the rather laboring with greater diligence, because others faltered. Feeling it his duty to preach, he never stopped to inquire about his salary; had it been dollars or stripes he would have preached all the same. None doubted his sincerity he gave more to the support of the gospel than he received for preaching.
As a preacher he was sound in doctrine, clear in expression, concise in utterance. His doctrine though simple, was elegant. His reasoning was plain but comprehensive, affording problems to the learned, yet adapted to the understanding of a child. His sermons abounded in gospel truth, acid overflowed with love to God and man. The aged loved him, the young reverenced him, and children trusted and confided in him. Such a man must needs have been deeply interested in the salvation of sinners, and had the prosperity of Zion near his heart. A man of many sorrows himself, he considers them not worthy to be compared to the glory which should be revealed in him. He was a peace maker, humble, meek and pure in heart of such, Christ said, "Blessed" are they. ("S." in Central Baptist, Vol. XI, No. 43.
William P. Lanier* This gifted young man fell early in the conflict. He came to Missouri from Overton County, Tennessee, and in 1845 was the minister at Pleasant Grove Church, Platte County, Missouri. He was a man of much promise of usefulness, was ordained, we think, by Eld. A. P. Williams, and in November, 1845 (another account says December, 1845) died of lung fever and was taken to his final home. His remains now sleep in the cemetery at Pleasant Grove Church, of which he was the first pastor, and which he served for the brief space of ten months.
Evan Lawler+ Was a good man and a deacon in the Baptist denomination upwards of forty years. He died in Dallas County, Missouri, October 4, 1875, while visiting his daughter, Mrs. Strickland; being then in his 76th year. He was a native of the state of North Carolina. In 1840 he and his wife became members in the organization of Coon Creek Baptist Church, St. Clair County, Missouri, of which they were steadfast communicants until it was dispersed by the war of 1861. They always were firm supporters and loving friends of their pastor, who always found a home at their house. To them were born nine children, all of whom they raised (four sons and fivedaughters);
* By Elder Jonas D. Wilson.
+ By Elder Benjamin F. Lawler, a son.
all of whom, save one, they lived to see professed Christians. Three of the four sons are now ministers of the gospel among the Baptists. What a heritage! How God honors his consecrated servants!
Elisha Landers When a child this brother came to the territory of Missouri in 1811, and settled in Cape Girardeau County. He grew up with Indians for his neighbors and the most limited opportunities for culture. He seldom heard preaching until after he was a grown man. In 1838 he made a profession of religion and joined a Baptist church called Mount Zion (in Wayne County we think); six years afterwards he began preaching, labored for a time as a missionary in Black River Association and then moved to Southwest Missouri, settling first in the bounds of Spring River Association, then in Southwest Bethel Association. In 1871 this pioneer man of God was 65 years old and lived in Barry County.
John Hill Luther The subjoined sketch of Rev. J. H. Luther, president of Baylor Female College, Texas, appeared in the Lexington Caucasian in 1872. His former relation to the Baptist institutions of Missouri demands for him a place in this work, and such is most cheerfully given.
"John Hill Luther, now the sole editor of the Central Baptist, is a native of Rhode Island. On his mothers side he is of Huguenot origin, while his ancestors on the fathers side were among the Welsh emigrants who founded one of the earliest Baptist churches on the American continent, the Rev. Samuel Luther being the second pastor of the Swansea Baptist Church.
"He graduated at Brown University in the class of 1847.
Among his classmates were Dr. Fisk of Yale College, Dr. Boyce of South Carolina, and R. A. Guild of Providence, who have distinguished themselves as authors, and the late Benjamin Thomas, probably the most distinguished missionary to the East since the day of Boardman. While at Brown he received the University prize for English composition.
"Immediately on his graduation he repaired to the Newton Theological Seminary, pursuing a thorough course of theological instruction and graduating with honor in 1850.
"Declining several calls to the pastorate, he chose the South as the place of his residence and life labors, and immediately opened a classical school in Savannah, Georgia. For three years his career in this state was a series of successes in the work of teaching. But his heart was in another department of labor. He longed to devote himself exclusively to preaching. In 1852 he was ordained, and having received a call from the church in St. Peter's Parish, Beaufort District, South Carolina, he immediately took charge of that ancient church. Here he married and here he won for himself a reputation as a man and a minister which is to-day cherished with affectionate remembrance by thousands in the Palmetto State.
"In 1857 Dr. Luther emigrated to Missouri in company with several families from South Carolina, settling in Kansas City, where he established a Young Ladies' Seminary, which, when the civil war broke out contained over a hundred pupils.
"Compelled to abandon his school, he retired to Saline County and took charge of the Miami Church, succeeding the late Dr. A. P. Williams. Yet again, by the unsettled state of things, forced to seek another settlement, he became the pastor of the Palmyra Church.
"It was in this city that he commenced the publication of the Missouri Baptist Journal, in January, 1866. Rev. W. R. Painter in connection with a few colaborers obtaining a thousand subscribers before the first number went to press. Among the gentlemen who strongly urged Dr. Luther to embark in this hazardous enterprise were Williams, Buckner, Hollis, Hickman and Pitts, now gone to rest, and Dr. Dulin, Prof. Rothwell and Rev. S. A. Beauchamp, who yet live. Dr. Luther was then under bonds for preaching without taking the oath required of ministers, and it was mainly with the design of opposing this encroachment on religious liberty and furnishing a common organ of communication for the Baptists, that this paper was established.
"In 1868 the Journal and the Baptist Record of St. Louis were merged into one paper, becoming the Central Baptist, and the leading Baptists of the state rallied to its support as the organ of a united denomination.
"Whether this periodical has been a success may be judged from the fact that it is now on its eighth thousand, its subscription list steadily increasing every week, and being recognized in every part of the country as a first-class journal.
"Its editor has at different times been associated with some of the best minds of the state in the editorial department; but he has always been the recognized chief, and has devoted himself to the paper with an unwavering faith in its ultimate success, an untiring energy and a spirit of self-sacrifice which but few will ever know.
"That he is eminently qualified for his position is not doubted by those who have watched his progress from the commencement. His training under Wayland, Sears and Hackett, his intimate association during the early years of his ministry with such spirits as Sherwood and Campbell of Georgia, and Johnson and the elder Manly of South Carolina, all conspired to fit him for the various duties of a journalist. He is emphatically a newspaper man.
"The Courier-Journal of Louisville, and the Boston Traveler, in their sketch of the ministers of the South Carolina convention, speak of Dr. Luther as a fine rhetorical scholar, a thorough theologian and a "born editor." William Jewell College, for whose endowment he has ever labored, conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He is also an honorary member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
"In politics, as might be supposed, he is thoroughly southern in his sympathies; but we doubt if any editor has succeeded better since the war in making a strictly religious paper. Better than all other things he loves the Baptist cause, and to make its adherents a unit in this great state his religious sympathies have overshadowed all others."
During Dr. Luther's residence in St. Louis he filled the pastoral office for a time both at Fee Fee and Carondelet, and not long after his retirement from the editorship of the Central Baptist he removed to the state of Texas, where, for some years, he has successfully filled the presidency in Baylor Female College, at Independence. He is the honored father of Mrs. Anne L. Bagby, the gifted and devoted missionary to Brazil, South America.
Matthew Pierce Matheny was born in Putnam County, Tennessee, October, 1852, where he grew up to early manhood, living in orphanage from eight years of age. Early in 1870 he removed to Marion County, Kentucky, where he was converted and united with the Mt. Washington Baptist Church. In January, 1875, he was licensed to preach and at once entered Georgetown College. Here he continued until 1878, in May of which year he was ordained to the ministry by Bacon Creek Church. His wife was Miss Lou Radcliff, of Marion County, Kentucky, to whom he was married in September, 1875. In June, 1880, he removed to Missouri, and became pastor at Troy and New Hope, in Lincoln County; also for a time of Ebenezer and Indian Creek Churches, in Pike County, to which he continued to preach until October, 1881, when he was elected corresponding secretary o f the Sunday-school board of the Missouri Baptist General Association, upon which work he entered the following December, with his headquarters at Montgomery City.
Albert Gregory Mitchell now living and yet preaching, is a Virginian, a native of Amherst County, where he was born April 26, 1813. His father, Tarplin Mitchell, was of English parentage.
The state of Virginia continued to be his home through childhood, youth and into manhood. In 1833 he became the husband of Miss Amanda Jane Davis, of whom were born to him a large family of children. When about thirty years old he attended the baptism of his wife, and while looking on the scene he was
brought under the deepest conviction of sin, soon after was happily converted to God, and by the profession of a voluntary and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and baptism in obedience to His command, became a member of the Maple Creek Baptist Church.
Very early in his Christian life young Mitchell clearly indicated a more than ordinary degree of consecration in the service of the Master, being often engaged in holding meetings from house to house for prayer, exhortation, &c. This feature of his life being discovered by his church (now Cove Church in Bedford County) he was licensed to preach. This event occurred some two years after his conversion.
In November, 1845, Mr. Mitchell moved to Missouri and settled on a farm some five miles northeast from Auburn, in Lincoln County, shortly after which event he attached himself to the Ramsay's Creek Baptist Church, then some miles from his home. Here in 1847 he was ordained to the ministry, Elds. A. D. Landrum and T. T. Johnson acting as the presbytery; since which time he has devoted himself to the country pastoral life, giving most of his time to the churches at Ramsay's Creek, New Hope, Buffalo Knob and Mill Creek, the two latter of which he mainly built up. His pastorate at Ramsay's Creek Church is one of the extraordinary ones. Here he was first called to this office in the year 1850, and is now serving out his thirty-second year, which will close in May, 1882. This church has been and is now one of the most efficient bodies in Pike County, having numbered among its members some of the most influential men of the county, among whom we may mention the name of the late Judge Newton McDonald.
Eld. Mitchell is the highest type of a Christian gentleman, a man of sterling character, well acquainted with his text-book, the Bible, and an excellent expository preacher of the olden time sort. He has for almost forty years been a standard bearer in the Baptist denomination in Eastern Missouri, and very much might be said in his praise. He is now spending the evening of a most useful life with the wife of his second marriage, who was Miss Helen Carr, daughter of Deacon James Carr of St. Charles County, Missouri. He also continues his ministrations to the churches, one of which is forty miles from his residence near Wentzville, St. Charles County. May the grace of the Highest sustain him when called to pass over the river.
John S. Major "full of years and of the Holy Ghost," died at his home near Kearney, Clay County, Missouri, September 16, 1872, aged 84 years, 5 months and 20 days.
He was born in Culpepper County, Va., March 26, 1788. In 1791 he removed with his fathers family to Kentucky. He served under General Harrison in the war of 1812, and held the rank of major in the campaign of General H. in the Northwest. In the year 1819 he professed religion, united with the Baptist church at South Benson, was baptized by Elder Wm. Hickman, and soon afterentered upon the work of the ministry. In 1850 he left Kentucky and settled in Clay County, Mo., where ho continued his ministry until overtaken by the infirmities of age.
It is a privilege to bear testimony to the moral character of such a man. Exemplary from his youth, when he embraced religion he brought his whole heart with him into the service of his Divine Master. His Christian course has been "as the shining light shining more and more unto the perfect day." In his old age he was a living exemplification of that inspired sentiment: The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." He was highly favored in being permitted to see a large family of children grow up and settle around him, and in being permitted to look upon his great-grandchildren.
Walter McQuie was of Scotch parentage. He was the fourth son of John and Sally Mosely McQuie, born October 19, 1802. Longevity was a characteristic of his ancestry.
In 1835 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Jane Basket, of Fluvanna County, Virginia. She became the mother of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, and died February 24, 1858, in the 44th year of her natural life.
Walter McQuie was in Missouri as early as 1834, he being that year in the organization of the General Association.
In 1859 he wrote an article in defense of his action in separating from the Baptists, in which he says: "I have been a professor of religion for thirty years, and a minister of the Baptist denomination for twenty-five years." This carries his conversion back to 1829 and the commencement of his ministry to 1834.
Elder McQuie was a man of unquestioned piety. We never knew a man who seemed to be more conscientious in all he did. He was for some years missionary of the General Association and traversed much of the territory of Eastern Missouri in preaching the gospel in earlier times. In 1834 he attended the
meeting of the Salt River Association as a messenger from Noix Creek Church. He was at that time a preacher. When he became more permanent in his work, and performed much pastoral labor, his field was confined mainly to the counties of Ralls, Pike, Lincoln, St. Charles, Warren, Montgomery, and parts of Marion, Audrain and Callaway. The following were among the churches of which he was pastor towards the close of his ministry: Bethlehem (now Fairview) and Sulphur Lick, in Lincoln County; Indian Creek, Pike County; and Middletown and Montgomery City (formerly Elkhorn), in Montgomery County; the last three, we think, he helped to constitute.
He was a plain, earnest preacher of the gospel. During the latter part of his life there appeared some differences in his views of church polity and the faith of the denomination. This difference finally led to his withdrawal from the Baptists in 1859, after which, on account of said withdrawal, he was formally excluded by the Baptist church at Montgomery City. So far as we have been able to learn, all who knew Eld. McQuie accorded to him sincerity of motive in his withdrawal from the Baptists, but most persons thought he erred in his judgment. He lived several years after this event, and died near Middletown.
During his twenty-five years ministry he held a great many revival meetings, and baptized large numbers of converts into the fellowship of the Baptist churches in his field of labor.
John E. Moore* was born in Somerset, New Jersey. His parents emigrated to the state of Illinois when he was but ten years old. He was early brought under the influence of the saving grace of God, and was converted to Christ at the age of 14 years, and was baptized by Rev. Mr. Newal into the Baptist church at Canton, Ills.
Soon after his church relation he entered Shurtleff College, at Upper Alton, Ills., and commenced his studies for the gospel ministry. Here he pursued his studies and graduated in 1854. He loved to preach the gospel, and while in college he preached part of the time to the churches. He went to Kansas about the year 1859, and came to this state about 1870, locating in DeKalb County. During these six years he was devoted to church work. At the time of his death he was pastor of three churches, dividing his time among them, spending one-half of his time with the Baptist church in Maysville, the county seat.
* From Joseph C. Miller, in Central Baptist, Vol. X, No. 48
Bro. Moore seemed to realize that his work on earth was near to a close, and he seemed anointed anew with the Holy Spirit, he was so earnest and loving in his pulpit work. Long will his last sermons be remembered by the church here. They were full of Christ and love. Bro. Moore was in his 46th year when he died; yet he looked young and healthful; was sick about two weeks, preaching the gospel up to the time he was confined to his bed. Brain fever was said to be the messenger that took him away. As a minister of the gospel Bro. Moore had peculiar excellencies. He possessed that combination of intellectual and moral qualities which makes a fervently useful preacher.The subject of this sketch departed this life December 5, 1875, leaving a wife and four children to mourn his loss. His home was at Standard, De Kalb County, Mo.
David Orr* In very early times, even before Missouri became a state, Eld. David Orr labored in the lowlands of Southern Missouri with great success in building up Crooked Creek Church and several others. He was a man of fine accomplishments, with much self-reliance, great zeal and energy in the cause of Christ. He was a graduate, but of what institution we have not learned. Very soon after the territory became a state, he was elected to the legislature, which had a tendency to draw his mind from the great work of preaching the gospel, and which gave rise to considerable dissatisfaction among his brethren. Eld. Moses Bailey succeeded him as pastor of Crooked Creek Church.
We will here give an anecdote of these two brethren, which was told us by persons acquainted with them at the time it occurred. Brother Bailey was then a member of the Methodist church. They had an interview which resulted in a debate on the subject of baptism. Some time afterwards the disputants met at a neighbors house, when the subject of debate was again introduced. Each defended his side with great warmth, until at last forgetting themselves in their great zeal to support their respective opinions, they came to blows. Bro. Orr proved too strong in this contest as he had done in the war of words. In a short time after, Bro. Bailey yielded the question, and united with the Baptists, Bro. Orr having the pleasure of baptizing him. After this they went about preaching together indifferent parts of the country, and the most sincere friendship was preserved between them up to the time of Bro. Orr's death.
* Elder William Polk (Sketches by) Christian Repository, Vol. VI, p. 292.
Joab Powell* was a pioneer preacher in the true meaning of that term. He, as a worker in the Lord's vineyard, was in the ranks of those who raised the standard of the Cross along the western border of Missouri. The wilderness has been made to blossom as the rose; and those myriads of flowers, once waving in silent grandeur over our rolling prairie homes, have, like the subject of this sketch, become the pioneer emblems of the advancing wave of civilization.
The last twenty years of his life were devoted to preaching the gospel in Oregon. There he is also remembered as one of those plain, old-fashioned preachers, ever ready in every good word and work, to win souls to Christ.
Mr. Powell's father was a Quaker, who at an early day moved from Pennsylvania to Claiborne County, Tennessee. Joab Powell was born and brought up here. He married when young, Miss Anna Buler, and in 1826 emigrated to Jackson County, Missouri. Together these two lived in harmony along and useful life, and together in death they now sleep near Scio, in Linn County, Oregon. He died in that state in January, 1873.
In the vigor of manhood Brother Powell embraced the religion of Jesus Christ, and united with the Baptist church at Big Barren in his native county.
We have said he was an illiterate man. So he was; but he was not an ignorant one. Far from it. He was of course ignorant of some things, so are all men. He knew not the sciences, but was well versed in experimental religion and the doctrines of the Bible and of the Baptists.
When anti-missionism, like the miasma of death, was about to enshroud the Baptist cause in Western Missouri, he threw all the power of his influence against such unheard-of heresies. He sought not to lead, but shoulder to shoulder with Jeremiah and Henry Farmer, W. P. C. Caldwell, Lewis Franklin, William Duval and others, he believed it right to "preach the gospel to every creature."
A mighty man in Israel has fallen has laid his armor by on a distant shore; without the polish of the schools, yet he was instrumental in doing much good.
Thomas Pitts We have been able to collect but few facts concerning the life of this man of God. He was the first Baptist minister to preach the gospel in Hickory County. He and Eld.
* From a sketch by J. J. Robinson, published in the Christian Repository, April, 1875, p. 270.
John Miller organized the first church in the county, about 1843, of six members, in Turner Washburns house. Pitts was their minister for some 17 years. He now sleeps with the fathers. (From Eld. L. J. Tatum's MS.)
John W. Renshaw was a good doctrinal and exhortational preacher of Moniteau County, Missouri. He was born May 24, 1818, and died May 29, 1869. He was raised in Missouri. At about 24 years of age he was converted and joined Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church of Cooper County, and soon after began to preach the gospel. His field of labor was for the most part in Moniteau County, and mostly as pastor of churches. His education was quite fair in the English branches. (By his son, A. J. Renshaw.)
William Rice* was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, in 1790, and was married to Miss Nancy Arnold, October 22, 1812.
They both professed religion early in life and united with Clear Creek Baptist Church in Woodford County. Their fathers, Richard Rice and John Arnold, were from Virginia, and they were among the first settlers of Kentucky. They were also members of Clear Creek Church.
Bro. William Rice was ordained to the ministry in a short time after he was married, and his labors were greatly blessed while he remained in Kentucky. In 1834 he with his family moved to Clay County, Missouri, uniting with Rush Creek Baptist Church, where his membership remained until the division took place on account of the institution of missions. This church being weak soon dissolved, and he then joined Little Shoal Church, where he remained for several years; but on account of some trouble in the church he left it and joined the Kearney Baptist Church, where his membership remained till his death.
He was attending the Old Baptist meeting at Clear Creek, near Kearney. He was at the morning services and seemed to enjoy himself as well as he did while in the bloom of youth. He came back to the afternoon service, and after listening to another soul-stirring sermon by Brother Wright (an Old Baptist), he seemed to be much revived, and rising to his feet he asked permission to say a few words. Permission being granted, he began with an unusually clear, strong voice to speak.
He said he had long waited for the summons, and that he felt like he was ready to go." He went on speaking about the solemnity of the judgment; "but still," said he, "it would be glorious to meet loved ones who have passed on before us." He
* Rev. W. T. Campbell in Central Baptist, August 23, 1877.
spoke four or five minutes, and began quoting Hosea 13:14: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Oh, death! I will be thy plague; Oh, grave! I will be thy destruction; repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."
He had quoted and commented on the two first clauses, but when he came to the other two he reversed them and said: "Oh, grave! I will be thy destruction; Oh, death!" when he fell full length on the floor, with the word death lingering on his lips. He only breathed three or four times after befell. Several persons rushed to him and raised his head there for a few moments and then carried him out into the open air; but all to no effect, for death had come to claim its victim. Dr. Yates, of Kearney, arrived soon after and pronounced it apoplexy.
His death occurred in August, 1877. He was 87 years old. His remains were carried to his old farm, two and a half miles north of Liberty.
James Schofield* now a resident of Dallas County, Missouri, was born in the state of New York June 7, 1801. He was reared with out the advantages of a liberal education, though by the energetic application of a naturally strong intellect, he succeeded in over coming many of the difficulties growing out of this disadvantage. Forty-seven years ago, in his native state, Bro. Schofield was ordained to the work of the Christian ministry, and from that time to this, his consecration has been single and earnest. In his native state he labored in
* From the Central Baptist, August, 1877.
the ministry until he was forty-two years of age, when he emigrated to the West and settled in Illinois.
In Kendall County he labored in the ministry for three years, and in Stephenson County, under appointment of the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, he labored for nine years. During this time his labors were blessed to the conversion of many souls and he organized and assisted in the organization of thirteen churches, several of which he served more or less as pastor. He was with the Freeport Church from the time of its organization until he left the state of Illinois.
He went into this region of the country when it was sparsely populated, and the inhabitants were mainly new settlers who were just beginning the establishment of farms and homes. There were no Baptist churches in that region. Most of the thirteen churches constituted during the stay of Bro. Schofield are still in existence, and among them we name Rock Run, Galena, Warren, Mt. Carmel and Oregon in Illinois, and York and Shellsburg in Wisconsin.
In 1853, with a commission from the Home Mission Society, Bro. Schofield moved to Iowa. Here he lived for twelve years. Nine of these years he devoted to the mission work and was permitted to witness the prosperity of the cause to which he gave his life energies. He organized a church at Farmersburg, McGregor, Rossville, Alkadar, Strawberry Point, Hardin and other places. To all of these churches he preached more or less from the time of their constitution until he accepted an appointment as chaplain in the United States Army, which position he held for three years.
In 1867 he moved from Iowa to the southwestern portion of Missouri, and settled in Dallas County, where he now lives. This section of the state of Missouri had been desolated by the war between the North and South, the people were impoverished, the population was made up mainly of widows and orphans, churches had been dissolved, and the field was one for missionary work. Bro. Schofield gathered the people together in the forests, and there, with such comforts and conveniences as nature may have provided, preached the gospel to listening souls. He applied himself to the work of building houses of worship for the people of God and such as attended worship with them. He is just now finishing the third house. One of them the people have named Schofield Chapel. Since coming to this state Bro. Schofield has not received more than fifty dollars for his
ministerial services. Yet he is a decided advocate of ministerial support where the congregations are able to pay it. He is also a decided friend to ministerial education. During the years of his ministry he has organized and helped to organize forty-three churches. He never succeeded but one man in the pastorate, and that was the late Rev. John Tolman. His main topics of preaching have been and are those most intimately connected with the great facts of a crucified and risen Savior, and these topics he is wont to present in a logical and fervent style of public speech. He has ever been steadfast in maintaining and teaching the distinctive doctrines of the Baptist church, believing that New Testament ordinances in manner and order of observance are of Divine authority, and that man has no right to omit or modify them.
Elder Schofield is the father of eighteen children ten sons and eight daughters. These were the offspring of three different marriages. The oldest son, Rev. J. V. Schofield, is well known to our readers as the pastor of the Fourth Baptist Church, St. Louis. The next is Gen. John M. Schofield of the United States Army, and now in command at West Point. Geo. W. is also in the army, and is commander of the post at Fort Duncan in Texas; Elisha died a few years ago in the shocking catastrophe at Richmond, Va. the falling in of the floor of one of the chambers of the State house. Frank D., is a farmer in Dallas County, Missouri, and Chas. B., a graduate of West Point, is adjutant to Gen. Mills, U. S. A. Two young men are with their venerable father at home. The other sons are dead. But two of the daughters are living.
More than threescore years and ten of the life of this venerable man are numbered with the past. He says he takes far more pleasure in contemplating death than in realizing life; yet in his old age he feels to give himself anew for the work of his Master, though he sometimes imagines that he can hear the boom and dash of the waves on the boundless ocean of eternity. He testifies that he has never known what it is to be jealous of rising young ministers. He takes delight in their promise and prays for their success. May God bless the declining years of this veteran soldier.
Adiel Sherwood Although this venerable and eminent servant of the Lord Jesus Christ spent only a part of his long and useful life in Missouri, the history of the Baptists of this state would not be complete without the following sketch of him. Few
men live through as many years as he spent in the ministry. He calmly "fell asleep" August 18, 1879. Of him the Central Baptist says: "Adiel Sherwood was born at Fort Edward, Washington County, New York, October 3, 1791.
"He graduated at Union College, Schenectady, under the celebrated Dr. Nott, and at Andover Theological Seminary, where he was a pupil of Moses Stuart. Soon after his graduation he went to Georgia and preached four years in Liberty County and vicinity. In 1836 he was elected to the professorship of Learned Languages and Biblical Literature in Columbian College, Washington City, and was also appointed general agent of the college. His efforts saved the institution from financial ruin. In 1837 Dr. Sherwood returned to Georgia and was tendered and accepted the professorship of Sacred Literature and Moral Philosophy in Mercer University. A flourishing church was built up under his ministry in Pennfield, the seat of the university. July 7, 1841, he was elected first president of Shurtleff College, and was afterwards, for awhile, pastor at Fee Fee, St. Louis County. From 1846 to 1849, Dr. Sherwood was president of the Masonic College at Lexington, Mo., an institution which was noted for its high standard of scholarship and excellent management. Among his pupils at this time was Col. A. W. Slayback of St. Louis, who speaks of his instructor in terms of warmest affection. Afterward he went to Cape Girardeau, where he remained some years. Precarious health necessitated a change of climate, and he removed to Griffin, Georgia, where he remained nine years. After the close of the war he returned to St. Louis,
where, with three years at Kirkwood, he has resided till the time of his death."
The following is from Campbell's Georgia Baptists pp. 414-'15 biography of A. Sherwood:
"In October, 1818, he arrived in Savannah, where he preached his first sermon and taught the academy at Waynesboro, Burke County, during the ensuing winter. He was ordained at Bethsaida Church, Greene County, in March, 1820, by a presbytery consisting of Mercer, Reeves, Roberts and Mathews, and was pastor of Bethlehem Church, near Lexington, in 1820 and 1821. In May, 1821, he was married to Mrs. Early, relict of Governor Peter Early. He and Jesse Mercer aided in the organization of the Baptist church at Greensboro, in June, 1821, of which he was pastor eleven years in succession. In April, 1823, he attended the Baptist General Convention of the United States, and in the summer of the same year he and Mercer visited the mission station at Valley Town, North Carolina. In 1820 and 1821 he was missionary of the Savannah Missionary Society in Pulaski, Laurens and other counties in that region. In October, 1820, he became the author of the resolutions passed by the Sarepta Association, which resulted in the formation of the Georgia Baptist Convention at Powellton in 1822. Having lost his first wife, he was married to Miss Heriot of Charleston, South Carolina, in May, 1824.
"In 1827 he took charge of Eatonton Academy, Putnam County, and at the same time preached to the churches at Eatonton, Milledgeville and Greensboro. He was pastor at the former place ten years, and during a portion of that time rode forty miles and back monthly to preach to the newly constituted church at Macon. He also had under his instruction a few theological students in the Georgia Baptist convention in 1831 he made the motion for a theological institution, which finally culminated in the establishment of Mercer University.
"He was a delegate from Georgia in 1829 to the Baptist Triennial Convention. This year he went in company with Dr. Manly of Charleston. In 1832 he attended the same convention with the Hon. Thomas Stocks; and in 1835 with Jesse Mercer. He aided in the formation of the American and Foreign Bible Society in Philadelphia.
"During his connection with Shurtleff College the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by Dennison University, at Granville, Ohio.
"In 1852 he became pastor at Cape Girardeau, Mo., where he continued for five years. Rheumatism compelled a return once more to Georgia in 1857, and he took charge of Marshall College, with which he was connected until called to the pastorship of Griffin Church. He resided in that city several years, which he at length left for his farm in Butts County, where he was broken up by the Federal army in its march through the state in the fall of 1864. He and his family struggled against want until Sept. following, when they returned to Mo. settling in St. Louis."
Dr. Sherwood was fond of literary pursuits and employments, His first work was the Gazetteer of Georgia; published in 1827, Another, Jewish and Christian Churches, is a concise work, and conclusive on the subject treated. His Notes on the New Testament, doubtless his most important work, is aninvaluable contribution to Baptist literature. This work was stereotyped in New York, was first published in 1856 in two volumes, and has gone through seven editions.
For many years he wrote very extensively for magazines, reviews and other religious papers all over the land, on all sorts of subjects affecting the welfare of mankind, and especially the interests of Christ's cause.
Quoting again from the Central Baptist:
"In the years 1827-'35 he was noted as a revivalist. It is said that 14,000 persons were baptized in Georgia in meetings which were the outgrowth of the revival services he began. As a preacher he was plain, earnest and evangelical. As a writer he was terse, forcible and always to the point. As an educator he was popular with those he taught, but never failed to secure good discipline among his students. None knew him thoroughly but to esteem and love him. He had a great heart. He was an Israelite in whom there was no guile. He was so modest and unobtrusive that it took time to find out his true worth. Compliments greatly embarrassed him, and he changed the subject as soon as possible when the conversation was about himself. While men of a tithe of his sense and learning blatantly proclaimed their attainments, Dr. Sherwood retired from the public gaze, and only came forward when forced out by his brethren.
"For sixty-nine years he proclaimed the unsearchable riches of Christ. What a life! No human tongue or pen can tell its significance. Part of its results have gone before him; part will follow after. To have preached Christ sixty-nine years were grander than to have been king of all this world."
Alia Babb Snethen* John Snethen, Sr., a native of New Jersey, emigrated to Kentucky in 1799, and in 1802 he married Miss Prudence Bowles, a native of South Carolina. The year previous they had both become Baptists. In 1809 they moved to the territory of Missouri, and soon after (in 1810) went into the organization of a Baptist church near Loutre Island, Montgomery County, the first church of any order north of the Missouri River and west of St. Charles County.
The war of 1812 drove nearly all the settlement on Loutre to the Boone's Lick Forts in Howard County, where the settlement bad become much the strongest. Here John and Prudence Snethen became in 1812 constituent members of Mt. Pleasant Church, the second one formed this far west and north. The war over, they returned to their home on Loutre, and subsequently became members of the Baptist church at Mount Horeb, then located in the eastern borders of Callaway County, some ten miles north of where they lived. They continued members of this church until their death, at the time of which he was 81 years old and she was 71.
The oldest child of John Snethen and Prudence his wife, was Alia B. Snethen, the subject of this brief notice. He was born in Estill County, Kentucky, August 4, 1803, and during his boyhood was of moral deportment. About the year 1822 he was happily converted and joined the Baptist church (Salem, we believe,) on Coates Prairie, having been baptized by the pioneer, Lewis Williams. Within a few months of this event he commenced preaching, and about two years after, at the age of 21 years, he was ordained to the ministry by William Coates, Dr. Absalom Bainbridge, and another whose name is not now remembered.
In 1828 he became the husband of Miss Caroline Johnson, who is still living, and resides on the old farm nine miles south of Danville, county seat of Montgomery County.
When the conflict on missions arose in the Baptist denomination, A. B. Snethen thoroughly repudiated the principles of the anti-missionaries and continued with the regulars or missionaries. A few years subsequent to his marriage he studied medicine under the instruction of Drs. Maughas and Forshey of Danville.
From twenty to twenty-five years he gave a large share of his time to the ministry among the churches and as a missionary of the General Association, often sacrificing his own interests and
* From a MS. sketch by Hon. John Snethen, Jr., of Lincoln County.
those of his family. But toward the last years of his life, the responsibility and expense of a large family and the constant practice of his profession forced him to give up the charge of all the churches, to be attended to by other hands.
He was a close student, and read everything of a solid or practical character that came within his reach, and during his life he collected quite a handsome home library at considerable expense.
About five years before his death he was suddenly paralyzed in one side of his head, shoulder and arm, and lost the sight of the opposite eye. From this affliction he partially recovered, so that he attended to his duties as physician again. About the 1st of February, 1867, he was much complaining for a day or two, but still able to administer medicine from his office. On Sunday morning the third day of the month, he got up and sat by the fire, remarking to one of his sisters, then on a visit to his house, that he had long expected to die on the Sabbath, and he should die on that day; requesting her not to leave his room nor to alarm his family by repeating what he had said. He was conscious that his chest was being paralyzed.
His wife, stepping in the room after an absence of a few minutes, saw that a speedy change was taking place. He was at once helped to his bed, and gave directions to blister his breast, which was done. He continued to give directions to the last without the least apparent excitement, and expired about 8 oclock A.M. of that day, without pain.
Elisha Sutton* The life of this young man was hardly begun. He died June 16, 1871, in Henry County, Missouri, then in the fourth year of his ministry.
He was born in Logan County, Kentucky, in 1849, and while a child removed with his parents to Missouri. Under the ministry of Rev. W.A. Gray, he made a profession of religion and was baptized September 23, 1866, and the following year was licensed to preach.
Few young men have been the means, in Gods hands, of doing so much good in so short a lifetime. Beloved by all who knew him, his sermons were thereby rendered effective, and always the means of doing good, either in persuading sinners to come to Christ or encouraging the disciples of Christ to hold fast the faith. Well knowing that his disease (consumption) must soon prove fatal, he, a few days before his death, met with his church, and with calmness bade them farewell, entreating them
* R. F. H., in Central Baptist, December 12, 1872.
to continue faithful and meet him in heaven. The last morning of his life he told his mother that Jesus had met him in his dreams the night before, and told him his mansion was ready and he must now go home. He sat up in his bed during the day, and with a voice clear and full of melody sang the last four lines of his favorite song:
"This robe of flesh I'll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout while passing through the air,
'Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer.'"
And at night a hemorrhage of the lungs called him to his reward. May God help us to so live that we may meet him there.
William Thompson Rev. W. H. Burnham, of Fulton, who for four years was a student of this eloquent American orator, offers the following "tribute to his memory:"*
"William Thompson was born in Scotland about the year 1820. At the age of sixteen he came in company with his parents to this country. His parents settled near Washington City, and he attended for several years one of the literary institutions located in that place. At the age of twenty-one he returned to Scotland and entered the University of Edinburg, where he devoted himself with interest and zeal to his studies. I have heard him say that it was his general custom to study all night every other night, and till 12 oclock the succeeding night; thus sleeping only six hours in forty-eight.
"He graduated in this renowned institution at the age of twenty-five, and shortly afterward returned to the United States. Here he employed hisvigorous talents for a short time in the study of the law. While thus engaged he was convicted of sin and happily converted to God.
"From the day of his conversion he felt strong and forcible impressions that it was his duty to preach the gospel, though he struggled earnestly to stifle these impressions and hush the whispering of the silent voice that called him to duty. He applied for and obtained admission to the bar, and soon entered upon a fine and lucrative practice. lam uninformed as to where he first entered upon the practice of law; but he had not long been engaged in the legal profession before he moved to the state of Illinois. Here he met with a sad accident, which he always believed was a judgment of God sent on him for his refusal to preach the gospel.
* From the Missouri Baptist Journal, Vol. I, No. 8.
"He was traveling on a stage-coach to a town some twenty miles distant from the place of his abode, on business connected with his profession. The interior of the coach was filled with ladies, and he was compelled to take a seat above. As they were passing rapidly over a rocky hill-side, the vehicle was overturned, and Thompson was thrown violently down the hill-side. His head struck the sharp corner of a flint rock, and the blow cracked the skull near the suture that unites the parietal and occipital bones on the right side of his head. The effect of this unfortunate accident followed him through life, producing periodical seasons of delirium, and often causing him the intensest suffering.
"On his recovery from the illness that succeeded the accident, he recognized the hand of God in this afflictive providence, warning him to go and preach the gospel. He heeded the warning, and immediately and solemnly turned his attention to the ministry.
"He married in Illinois, but did not long enjoy the sweet society of his companion, before she was called to take her chamber in the silent halls of death. She left an infant daughter to remind her afflicted husband of the sad loss he had sustained.
"Thompson preached in Illinois for several years with no marked success; nor did he gain any very extensive or desirable reputation in that state. He was surrounded by some unfortunate circumstances that seemed to stifle his energies and cramp his powers. Finally, difficulties concerning the slavery question arose in the churches of Illinois, and he determined to move farther
westward. He had some relatives living in Iowa, and, though he was in destitute circumstances, he determined to endeavor to reach them. Alone, and on foot, with a bundle of clothes his only fortune tied up in a handkerchief and thrown across his shoulder, he started from Southern Illinois to Southwestern Iowa.
"His failure to complete his journey, and detention in Missouri, seems to have been peculiarly providential.
"One evening, in the latter part of July, there came a careworn and wearylooking stranger to the house of Mr. Hawkins, in the northern part of Boone County. He asked for a draught of water, and then enquired if Mr. Hawkins was at home. When informed that he was absent, the stranger observed that he was very sorry to learn it, for he was desirous of seeing him.
"After resting for a few minutes, the stranger arose, wished them good evening and started on his journey. He had not, however, gone far from the house before Mrs. Hawkins commanded one of her sons to go and call him back, stating, at the same time, that there was something about his looks that attracted her attention, and made her desirous that he should remain, at least long enough for her husband to see him.
"The stranger returned. The evening was spent in conversation, during which the stranger informed them that he was a Baptist minister; that his name was William Thompson; that he had learned before his arrival at the house that Mr. Hawkins was a member of the Baptist church, and hence he desired to see him.
"Mr. Hawkins reached home late in the evening, and was peculiarly struck with the travelers manner and conversation.
"Before the family retired, the stranger was invited to pray. He cheerfully complied, and those who knew him may easily imagine how Thompson, surrounded by such circumstances, could pour forth his soul in prayer. So earnest and so eloquent were the utterances that came heaving up from the depths of a wounded and bleeding heart that the family were startled and moved to tears. Mr. Hawkins said that he remained upon his knees, with his face in his hands, listening to the suppliant until "he could stand it no longer," but was constrained to rise up and look at the man from whose lips were flowing such torrents of eloquence as he had never heard before. When he turned to look upon the praying man, behold! all the members of the family were standing before him, gazing in his face, while tears were streaming down their cheeks.
"The next morning Mr. Hawkins invited the stranger to remain with him for a few days, and preach the next evening at his house. He consented, and so well pleased yea, so utterly astonished were they by the extraordinary powers of the man, that they urged him from night to night to remain longer and preach for them. He yielded; a revival broke out; a church was organized; Thompson married a widow lady living in the neighborhood, and served this little church for some time.
"His reputation rapidly extended, and he was called to the care of the Baptist church in Fayette, Howard County. Here his congregation rapidly increased, and the work of the Lord prospered in his hand. He extended his acquaintance in the county and through the surrounding counties, everywhere meeting with large congregations of eager listeners.
"I have heard him say that the number of his sermons during these several years of his active ministry averaged more than four hundred annually. His health began to decline under the pressure of such excessive labors, and he was prevailed upon to accept the presidency of Mt. Pleasant College, located in Randolph County. Here he remained for two years, and his efficient labors and prudent discipline, gave character and standing to the institution.
"He was called from this station to the presidency of the William Jewell College. This institution had long been laboring under severe embarrassments, and had once been compelled, on account of financial difficulties, to suspend operations. But everything pertaining to the institution seemed re-invigorated with new life as soon as it was known that Thompson was president. The endowment fund rapidly augmented; the reputation of the institution extended over the state; the number of students steadily increased, and every circumstance indicated that it would soon become one of the first, if not the first, institution in the state, when the war broke out and swept everything before it.
"Thompson resigned, and, being unable, on account of the war and the financial difficulties that then overwhelmed the country, to gain a support by preaching, he was compelled to return to the practice of law. This he did, and with flattering success. He continued for two years in the legal profession, when he was called to the presidency of a college located at Sidney, a town in the southwestern part of Iowa. Here he remained until his death, which was caused by a severe attack of typhoid pneumonia in the winter of 1865.
"His loss will be long felt by the Baptists of Missouri. But let us be comforted. Our loss is his infinite gain. He now rests in the bosom of God."
Speaking of Thompson, another writer* describes his pulpit powers in the following lucid manner:
"It was in the summer of 1854, when descending the Missouri, we learned casually that Rev. Wm. Thompson was to preach at a big meeting to be held with the Rehoboth Church) which is back from the river, and about fifteen miles from Glasgow, Miami and Arrow Rock. We were very curious to see and hear him. His name was on every lip, and his fame filled the state. Years before, an accident received in Albany, New York, had well nigh dethroned his reason. Such was the effect upon him that he had been repeatedly deranged. When in this condition he would travel, and would leave his buggy at one place, his harness at another, his horse at a third, and so would rid himself, at the places of entertainment, of his overcoat, watch, and whatever he might have in his possession, regardless whether they belonged to himself or to another. This made much talk.
"When we heard him at Rehoboth the tongue of scandal had been stilled. The man was too unmistakably a power with God and for God, and it became perilous to attempt to undermine his reputation or malign his character.
"On arriving at the place we found the prayer meeting in full tide of success. Rev. Mr. Fristoe, of Glasgow, had charge of the meeting, as he was pastor ofthe church. In that country, and at that time, such a man was to be obeyed. If he told a minister to preach, he must; or if to pray, there was no appeal. The time for service drew on. Expectant hundreds, if not thousands, had gathered from near and from far to be in at the opening of the gospel war. The crowd of well-dressed slaves, the multitudes of women coming on horses, equaled in number by the wild-looking swarthy men presented a scene of romantic and thrilling interest.
"At length it began to be whispered, Mr. Thompson was sick yesterday it is to be feared he will not be here. A feeling of disappointment crept over the faces of all. At length it was decided by Father Fristoe that a certain youthful editor should take the vacant place. Protests were in vain. As best he could he proposed to discharge the trust, and took for his text the familiar passage, 'God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross
* Correspondent Christian Times, Boston, published in Missouri Baptist Journal, Vol. I, No. 18.
of our Lord Jesus Christ.' The first hymn and prayer had passed; the last verse had been reached; when there was a noticeable stir, and a look of delight overspreading the features of the audience. Rev. Wm. Thompson had arrived and had entered the door. A glance at his features showed that he was master. We have heard of the racehorse in the West, with wide nostrils, shaggy mane, falling ear, but with gray eye, that with head down and lazy step comes on to the race-course and waits for the rider to stroke his back and the starting word to be given, when he reveals his winning properties and outstrips all competitors. Something like this looked Wm. Thompson. His nose was flat, his nostrils wide, his eye blue, his hair coarse and black, and cut as if by a woman, square off, without taste or much care, his clothes black and faultless in their neatness, but cut and made by some honest tailor who knew little of the latest fashions; his hand delicate, his foot small, his step nervous and his voice clear as a bell, sweet as a flute and powerful as an organs peal. Introduced to the expectant preacher, he at first made the condition of his health an excuse for not preaching; but when assured that it would not do to disappoint the people, with the grace of a master he arose and announced for his text the identical one which had been previously chosen. Who will forget how grandly those words sounded: 'God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Surely we thought we should know now whether or not he is the man described. He was five feet eight inches in height, square shouldered, and when in the pulpit as straight as an arrow. Twelve years are gone, but those tones still ring in our ears.
"As we have seen a wind creep stealthily into a forest, first lift the topmost leaf, and now gently touch a bough, and increase in power until, laying its mighty hand upon its head it bows its neck to the earth; so began and terminated that wonderful discourse. His divisions were admirable, his language simple, chaste and beautiful. He painted, with the hand of a master, the things in which the world gloried, and then after weighing them each in turn and proving them lighter than vanity, he turned to Christ and portrayed his life in language so loving, so appreciative, and yet so commanding, that every eye was kept bent upon that form moving from the flowing Jordan to the reeking cross. At last we stood before Calvary. Long since we had forgotten Cone, and Welch, and Fuller, and believed that the half had not been told about the rapt preacher before us. Did we look about,
the sight was appalling. There were western hunters and muledrivers standing with tears streaming down their cheeks, and with the agony of the Cross delineated upon their faces.
"For over an hour he held the audience, and closed with this illustration: 'It is said that away up at the source of the mighty river that flows through your valley, there is a fountain from which two streams take their rise. One goes westward and empties into the Pacific; the other flows close beside us and pours its freight into the Gulf of Mexico. I have imagined a ledge of rocks hanging over that fountain, and from that rock a dew-drop suspended. A wind coming from the east will bear it into that portion of the fountain whence the Columbia takes its rise, and it will be borne to mingle with the blue waters of the distant Pacific. A wind coming from the west will bear it into that part of the fountain whence the Missouri takes its rise, and so it will be borne to the Gulf. Sinner, you hang like that dew-drop upon that ledge of rocks to-day. A wind coming from the gates of heaven and controlled by the Holy Spirit may bear you to that portion of the fountain whence the stream takes its rise that flows just by the throne of God. A wind coming from the opposite quarter shall result in the destruction of your soul for time and for eternity.' Then in a brief way he sketched the agonies of the Cross and the agonies of the damned. The scene beggars description. The audience forgot itself. Hell was opened to its gaze.
"Then turning, he swept with the rejoicing throng up the shining steeps of glory. We came up here before the throne; the Crucified was victor. Oh, how he looked! How he welcomed us, one and all. The sermon closed the spell was onus.
"For three days that scene was repeated. His powers of description were unsurpassed, but as he could not be trusted amid the excitements of the city, he lived and wrought in places like this, far removed from the din and bustle of a noisy life. * * * * He was simply an earnest, gospel-loving, Christ-honoring minister of the New Testament, possessed of more magnetic power than any man in America. He had not the dramatic power of a Gough, nor the force power of a Beecher, nor the splendid appearance of a Fuller, nor the culture of a Williams. Yet there was something about him which surpassed them all, and which made him the greatest preacher of his time, and had he been able to exist in a city, his fame would have crossed seas and continents. We visited his home once
after riding two hundred and fifty miles to secure his services in a protracted meeting in St. Louis. We found him living in a neat log-house, with a plain log-stable for his horse close by, a library of about fifty volumes, a Greek Testament, and an old well-red Bible for companions. His wife was a plain, uncultured woman. His meals consisted of boiled potatoes and pork, bread, no butter, and water, which we drank out of a bowl. Thus this preacher lived in Missouri. We rode together for days. He was a brilliant conversationalist, a courtly gentleman, and yet he was contented with his humble manner of life. He was literally without ambition, loved to preach, and seemed conscious that he was valueless for all else.
"In Missouri he was almost an idol. Every one loved him. Every one stepped aside and awarded to him the first place. He took it gracefully, and kept it with still greater ease."
Thomas Taylor The subject of this sketch was a native of England, and spent only a few years in this country. He was born near the city of London, March 8, 1796. At the early age of 16 years he was converted and became a Baptist, uniting with a church of that denomination. When 24 years old he commenced preaching, and as a minister he faithfully discharged his duty. He was educated in his native country. In 1859 or '60 he landed in St. Louis County, Missouri, and settled in the neighborhood of Fee Fee Church, with which he united and to which he belonged when he died. He was a man of unquestioned piety and strong in faith.
He triumphed in death November 22, 1865, and now lies buried in the old Fee Fee Cemetery. When in the last agonies of his struggle, he exclaimed, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
Mark A. Taylor* for years the leading minister in St. Francois Association, and afterwards of the Wayne County Association, was born in Lee County, Virginia, January 2, 1826, and lived in the same county for thirty years. In March, 1854, he married a Miss Warren, and two years after came with his fathers family to Missouri. They were on their way to Texas to locate, but on reaching Wayne County they stopped a few days to rest their teams, and while thus temporarily delayed, having made some observations of the country, they decided to locate here. Mr. Taylor opened a store and for several years sold goods, even up to the time of the late war. He grew up on a
* Taken in part from the MS. of E. P. Settle.
farm and was required to labor very hard. When a youth of about 10 years of age he secured 45 cents and purchased a Bible, which he read through and through. While other boys were engaged in their plays and sports he was engaged in reading his Bible.
He professed religion in Virginia in 1854. The year after he moved to Missouri (1857) he was ordained by the Sinking Creek Church (now dead) in Reynolds County. He served as pastor of Sinking Creek, Cedar Creek, Lebanon and McKenzie's Creek Churches.
From the time of his ordination (one informant says that this occurred in 1860) until his death, October 31,1879, he was active and zealous as a gospel preacher. He had a fair English education and a strong and vigorous mind. He was indeed a "workman that needed not to be ashamed." In spirit and in fact he was a missionary. His views were broad, they encompassed the entire field the world. He advocated ministerial culture, and was a contributor to William Jewell College for this purpose. In 1871 he traveled as missionary of St. Francois Association at a salary of $260. No man in Southeast Missouri, perhaps, did more to enlighten the people and build up the cause of truth by awakening a missionary spirit and establishing Sunday-schools than Eld. M. A. Taylor. He was in the organization of the Wayne County Association, and was the life of all effort in it.
In April, 1876, he organized the first Baptist church in Greenville, county seat of Wayne, and was its pastor up to the time of his death. The death of no other man would have been so lamented by the people of Wayne County.