The third name upon the list of moderators of our General Association is Rev. James Suggett. He was born in Orange County, Virginia, May, 1775.
When he was six years of age his parents moved to Kentucky. For some time their home was in Floyd's Fort, where the whites were compelled to collect and hold at bay with their rifles the murderous savages. Afterward they went to Bryan's Station, where again the women and children were defended by the unerring rifles of the brave men.
James Suggett was married at the age of 19 years. We would not commend this act as the best example for the young men of our day, especially young men preparing for the ministry.
In the same month, when he was twenty-five years old, he was baptized by his father-in-law, Rev. Joseph Redding. This was in May, 1800. He began immediately preaching, and in a few years Elder Redding, having changed his place of residence, Suggett was chosen as pastor of Great Crossings Church, which position he held until his removal to Missouri in 1825. We see the Baptists, at that period, did not change pastors except for reasons that made a dissolution a necessity. For a quarter of a century he was among the most prominent in the Elkhorn Association of Kentucky. Many gracious revivals were enjoyed by the churches to which he ministered.
He commanded a company in the regiment of Col. R. M. Johnson in the War of 1812, was promoted to the rank of major and was chaplain. He led his company at the memorable battle of the Thames. This was the battle where the great warrior Tecumseh was slain by Col. Johnson. In fact, the mounted regiment of Col. Johnson did most of the fighting and really won the field.
We learn, therefore, that Capt Suggett did his full duty as a soldier in defense of his country, as well as a soldier of the Cross. It has been said of him: "On the tented field, as in the quiet church, his appeal to sinners was fervent and successful."
He had been in Missouri eight years when, after prayer and consultation, the brethren decided to organize for more effective work in carrying the gospel to the destitute.
He lived first in Boone and then in Callaway County. In both places he was constant in labor, and God gave him much fruit. The first meeting of the Central Society (now General Association) was held
with his "home church," and many of the pioneers found a hospitable welcome to his own habitation. He was noted for his cordial hospitality. November 1, 1851, he passed from the labors of earth to the refreshment of the better land.
His life was his best preaching. He exhibited in his own godliness the principles of the gospel he so earnestely commended to others.
He died November 1, 1851.
[From J. C. Maple & R. P. Rider, editors, Missouri Baptist Biography, Volume I, 1912, pp. 108-110. This document is from the St. Louis [MO] Public Library. — Jim Duvall]
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