Source - History of Methodism in Arkansas 1892
Benjamin L. Ferguson - Thomas R. Nichols - Felix L. Hartin - Jacob W. Shook - Rev. Thomas Hunt - Robert W. Evans -
Jesse Griffin - Edwin R. Harrison - William K. Pugh - W. B. Whitesides - John Pryor - James C. Greenwood - B. C. Weir - Rev. Robert Paine -
John J. Roberts - Eli C. Jones - George A. Schaeffer - M. J. F. Beasley - William P. Laney - Julius A. Stanley - Optimus C. Robertson -
James A. Anderson -Alfred P. Melton - Elijah Dickens - Thomas J. Smith - W. J. Dodson - John Harris - Benjamin F. Hall - Arthur Davis -
Robert B. Alston - James Sanford - Burrell Lee - James Taylor Stockton - James B. McKamey - Richard F. Colburn -
The Arkansas Conference for 1880 met at Fort Smith, November 10th, Bishop McTyiere, President. The admissions on trial were George W. Damon, Joseph H. Bradford, Joseph M. Floyd, George W. Hill and B. C. Curry. The transfers to the Conference were William L. Keith, W. J. Clark, W. D. Matthews, Thomas J. Taylor and L. W. Harrison. Bishop George F. Pierce presided at the White River Conference and the Little Rock Conference. The admissions on trial at the Little Rock Conference were Edgar M. Pipkin, T. E. Townsend, J. T. Thornton, H. P. Blakeley and Thomas G. Galloway. The transfers to the Conference were W. W. Graham, G. B. Baskerville and F. L. Carl. The additions to the White River Conference were John C. Ritter, Louis Kelly, William Martyn, Joseph S. Brook, John P. Hillburn, Thomas B. Hillburn, James E. Gay, H. E. Fleming, S. W. Register, John Moore, Riley P. Harwood. By transfer, J. J. Brooks, J. R. Jones and Z. W. Richardson.
There were two deaths in the Arkansas Conference during the year—John M. Bewley and Benjamin L Ferguson. As there were no memoirs furnished the Conference we are unable to give any definite information in regard to them. From the general minutes we learn that John M. Bewley was admitted on trial in the Conference in 1867. In 1868 he traveled the Dover Circuit. In 1869, Piney Circuit. In 1870, Bluffton. In 1872 he was placed on the supernumerary list. In 1873 he was on the superannuated roll, in which relation he continued until his death in 1880.
Benjamin L. Ferguson was admitted into the Conference in 1874, and was appointed to the Fort Smith Circuit. In 1875-6 to the Yellville Station. In 1877, Van Buren Station. In 1878-79, Ozark Circuit. Frorn the information.we have been able to obtain he was a good man and faithful pastor.
The Arkansas Conference for 1881 met at Dardanelle, October 19, 1881, Bishop Pierce, President. George W. Atkins, Benjamin C. Mathews, Owen H. Tucker, James H. Cummings, William E.Wilson were admitted on trial.
The Little Rock Conference for this year met at Pine Bluff. D'Arcy Vaughn, Joseph Nicholson, William B. Whitesides, William A. Steele, William T. Venable, Charles M. Keith, John R. Sanders, Luke G. Johnson, John W. Whaley and H. C. Thompson were received on trial.
The White River Conference for this year met at Beebe, December, 1881. Josephus Anderson presided over the Conference until the third day, when Bishop McTyiere appeared and took the chair. The admissions on trial were R. R. Raymond, R. S. Ellis and R. D. Woodley. The transfers to the Conference were W. A. Dollar and W. A. Gardner.
The Arkansas Conference for this year met at Bentonville, November 15, 1882, Bishop Granberry, President. The following were admitted on trial: J. J. Tarlton, Homer L. Jamison, George W. Williams, Frank Nailor, A. M. Elam, Charles H. Carey, J. E. Sutton, John M. Cantrell. By transfer, M. E. Butt, W. R. Gardner, D. J. Weems, J. R. Steel, Elijah Dickens and J. W. Bryant.
There were four deaths in this Conference during this year. Thomas R. Nichols, Felix L. Hartin and Jacob W. Shook. The following memoirs were furnished the Conference minutes:
Thomas R. Nichols died near Van Buren, November 25, 1881. He came to us from the Tennessee Conference in October, 1876, and labored faithfully among us until his death. He traveled in the order named : Spadra, ValleySprings, Marshall and Pleasant Hill Circuits. It was said of him that he was a close student, good preacher and a consecrated Christian."
Felix L. Hartin.—The Rev. Felix L. Hartin, aged thirtyone years, entered into rest, after a brief but painful illness, August 25, 1882, at Cabin Creek, Ark. He came to us as a traveling Elder from the South Carolina Conference, December, 1878, and has been doing faithful service in this Conference ever since. On the Paris, Booneville, Sugar Loaf and East Clarksville Circuits, he showed himself to be ' a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.' He had been nine years a preacher; was a close student, a preacher of good ability, a deeply pious man, and a true itinerant. He gave promise of great usefulness. He would not go in debt. He was not ashamed to work with his own hands to minister to his necessities. He sold books, circulated the paper, took up collections, held protracted meetings, and tried to do all the duties, great and small, of a traveling preacher. He had been feeble all the year, but if he had been well and strong he could not have done more than he had planned to do. He began his protracted meetings weak in body but strong in faith. His spirit was on fire to save sinners, but his physical prostration unfitted him for the arduous labors of the pulpit and the altar. Nevertheless, he did what he could, and more than he ought to have done. When he should have been at home resting and fighting against disease, he was, night and day, ' battling for the Lord.' His strength failed him at Knoxville. He said : ' I will go home and rest, and be ready for my meeting next week at Mount Olive.' He went home, but to grow worse and worse until he sweetly breathed his'last. He did not think of dying. To get well and be at his loved employ was his great desire. None of us thought him dangerously ill until a few hours before his death. He left no testimony but a pious life and blameless ministry. In the conclusion of his last sermon he opened, as it were, the pearly gates and took us to the tree of life, and the crystal river, and the God-built mansions. His last work was in the altar, pointing sinners to the Lamb of God. He said to his wife when he came home weak and weary : ' Wife, I have enjoyed so much religion at Knoxville.' His body sleeps on a hill-top which overlooks the little Town of Cabin Creek. He fell in the prime of life and in the midst of abundant labor. His death is a great loss to us. We sympathize most deeply with his sorrowing wife, so soon made a widow. But he has gone up on high to join the godly company, who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Jacob W. Shook.—The subject of this memoir, the Rev. Jacob W. Shook, was born in Madison County, Mo., January 29, 1823. At 7 years of age his father and family removed to Hempstead County, Ark., where he grew up to manhood. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at 14 years of age, and in a few months afterwards embraced and publicly professed religion. He was admitted on trial in the Arkansas Annual Conference, M. E. Church, South, in 1845. and remained effective until the Conference of 1869, at Fayetteville, when he located and remained thus for three years. In 1872 he was readmitted, and five years afterwards became supernumerary, at the Fayetteville Conference of 1877, and was continued in this relation till the Conference of 1880, at Fort Smith, when he was appointed to the Illinois Circuit, and in August of 1881. was compelled by failing health to desist from active labor, having, in April of that year, undergone the deep sorrow of losing by death his devoted and estimable wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Hulsey, to whom he was married March 24, 1853. In March, of 1882, he went to Florida, hoping to recuperate his health, but was attacked by pleurisy, and after a painful illness of several days, attended by one of his sons, he closed his ministry on earth, and was called, we doubt not, to a bright reward on high, leaving two sons with their families, and the Church, to mourn his loss. His ministry ran through a term of nearly thirty-seven years, during which time he was recognized by all who knew him as an humble, devoted man of God, true to the Church, and full of faith and the Holy Ghost. The absence of proper data forbid furnishing the various appointments he filled in the Conference. Suffice it to say he filled a number of important appointments—was chosen immemediately after the war to come West, as Presiding Elder of the Fayetteville District, and reorganize, as best he could, our scattered flocks, many of whose homes had been laid desolate in ashes by the sad fortunes of war. A man of God has fallen from our ranks, whose soul was fired with love to God and man; whose preaching was often in demonstration of the Spirit and power. Let us gird up our loins and press on to meet and greet him on the bright celestial shores."
Rev. Thomas Hunt was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, February 18, 1814. He was admitted on trial in the Arkansas Conference in 1847, and was a faithful, earnest worker as long as his health would permit. He was a strong, earnest preacher. Whether on a mission among the colored people on the Arkansas and Red Rivers, or on a first-class circuit, he was always found faithful. He delighted in our Methodist economy, and fully believed our doctrines, and he was fully able to defend both. He was a true friend and rather a bitter enemy until there were signs of forgiveness, then he was as tender as a child, and as forgiving as the law requires. He was a great admirer of real greatness and honor, and had a perfect contempt for petty jealousy and little meanness. He was a sincere Christian. He trusted in God and was faithful in duty. For several years he was a great sufferer, and yet with patient resignation to the will of God."
Robert W. Evans.—Of this devoted young preacher we have but little information, as no memoir was published in the Conference minutes. He was admitted into the traveling connection in 1874, and appointed to the Centerville Circuit. He filled in the order named the following pastoral charges : Centerville, Toledo and Bright Star ; remaining for two years on each one of these. He was an excellent young preacher, of studious habits, and was well received on all the works where he traveled."
The Arkansas Conference for 1883 was held at Clarksville, November, 14-19, Bishop Granberry. President. J. B. Stephenson, B. W. Aston, Russeil R. Moore, Louis S. Bird, Edwin L. Massey, and John R. Maxwell were received on trial. William Penn, W. S. Scott, B. H. Greathouse and B. H. Thrower, were received by transfer
Jesse Griffin.—This faithful servant of Christ was 82 years old at the time of his death. He professed faith in Christ and joined the Methodist Church at the age of 20 years. By the pressing request of his brethren he was licensed to preach in 1838. He moved to Arkansas in 1853, and was received on trial in the Arkansas Conference the same year and was appointed to the Gainesville Circuit. He was ordained Elder at this Conference, which was held by Bishop Andrew, at Tulip, Ark. In 1854 Brother Griffin was sent to the Lebanon Circuit ; 1855-6 to the Jasper work ; in 1857 to the Waldron Circuit; in 1858 to the Ozark Circuit. At the close of this year he located and remained in the local ranks eight years, during which time he traveled several works as supply. In the fall of 1866 he was readmitted, and was appointed to the Big Creek Circuit, which charge he filled two successive years. In the fall of 1868 he was sent to the Clinton Circuit, which work he also traveled two years in succession. In 1870 he was appointed to the Big Creek Circuit the third time. In 1871 he was appointed to the Marshall Circuit, where he traveled two years, and in 1873 he received his last appointment, which was the Bluffton Circuit. At the close of this year Brother Griffin was granted a supernumerary relation. At the next Conference, which -was held in 1875, he was granted a superannuated relation, which relation he sustained until God took him to the home of the good, June 28, 1883. At times, for several years, Father Griffin suffered much; but that God who cheered his boyish heart, and sustained him during his many years of itinerant life, did not forsake him in his old age. Last year the writer conversed frequently with Father Griffin. He found him cheerful and hopeful. For a number of years his natural vision had failed, but his faith vision became brighter and brighter. Father Griffin died a triumphant death, and his works are following him.
Edwin R. Harrison was the son of R. L. and M. L. Harrison ; was born December 4, 1837, and died July 31, 1883. His father was a preacher before him. He was converted in his youth in the year 1851, under the ministry of Dr. A. R. Winfield. He was licensed to preach in the year 1860, and was ordained Deacon in 1864 and Elder in 1866. He was married to Miss A. C. Harshaw at Hickory Plains, Ark., October 3, 1866. At the session of the Little Rock Conference, in 1861, he was admitted into the traveling connection, and traveled in that Conference till the fall of 1866, when he located. He remained in the local ranks thirteen years, and in 1880 was readmitted into the Little Rock Conference and transferred to the Arkansas Conference, and was appointed to the Point Remove Circuit, which he served one year. At the next Conference he was appointed to the Opelo Circuit, where he remained that year 1881 and this Conference year till his death. He died in peace in his own home, leaving his wife and four children to mourn his departure. Brother Harrison was a good man, and desired to do good. He was not demonstrative in spirit nor labor, but loved God and his cause. He was prevented from doing that amount of itinerant work which he desired to do by matters which he regarded sufficient to justify his course in reference to his itinerant life. In peace he closed his earthly course, and laying his armor by, passed into rest into the home of the just.
William K. Pugh was born July 28,1849. Brother Pugh professed religion in 1866, and joined the M. E. Church, South. He was licensed to preach July 24, 1875, and remained a faithful, devoted local preacher until the Annual Conference held at Ozark in the fall of 1879, where he was received on trial. Brother Pugh was sent to one of the hardest works, if not the hardest, in the Conference—the Mountainburg Circuit. He did a faithful year's work, and did it cheerfully. The reception was not so cold, the mountain so high, the impediments so great, as to quench the itinerant fire that sparkled in his heart and burned in his bones. He was a close student, brought up his course of study, but at Conference was too unwell to go before the committee. Brother Pugh was next appointed to the Valley Springs Circuit with Brother Stork, but was unable to travel. He went home to his mother's in Baxter County, Ark., where he remained, and suffered with that deceitful disease, consumption, till November 10, 1882, at which time he was released from suffering and carried to his reward above. Brother Pugh died as he had lived, full of faith and the Holy Ghost.
The Little Rock Conference for this year met at Malvern, Ark., November 28, 1883, Bishop Granberry, President. The following were admitted on trial, John T. Rascoe, W. W. Mills, Achilles O. Evans, Lorenzo W. House, Soule Scott, James Y. Christmas and John H. Callaway. Of these A. O Evans, James Y. Christmas, W. W. Mills, Soule Scott, J. T. Rascoe and L. W. House are all members of Little Rock Conference.
The Little Rock Conference, like the Arkansas Conference, suffered the loss by death of some most excellent preachers—John Pryor, B. C. Weir, J. C. Greenwood and W. B. Whitesides.
The following memoirs were published in the minutes of the Conference :
W. B. Whitesides was born in Hempstead County, Arkansas, in 1853. He professed faith in Christ and joined the Methodist Church when but a small boy. He was licensed to preach at Prescott in 1877, and received on trial in the Little Rock Conference in 1881, and appointed to the Ultima Thule Mission. In 1882, he was appointed to the Texarkana Circuit, where he died during the year. He was regarded as being a good, faithful preacher, and left a good testimony behind him to comfort his friends.
John Pryor was recognized by all who knew him as one of the purest men that ever labored in Arkansas. He was a native of Sullivan County, Tenn., and at the time of his death was 72 years old. He was licensed to preach and joined the Tennessee Conference in 1830. He became a member of the Ouachita Conference in 1854 and remained effective until within a few years of his death, when advancing years and disease compelled him to take a superannuated relation the Church. He filled during his ministry a number of very important positions in the Church, and in whatever relation he was placed, his fidelity to the trust reposed in him, won for him the confidence and love of his brethren.
James C. Greenwood was a native of Giles County, Tennessee. He was converted and joined the Church in 1857, and was licensed to preach in 1858. He was admitted on trial in the Little Rock Conference in 1878, and appointed to the Sheridan Circuit. He traveled four full years, doing most faithful and effective service for the Church, and greatly beloved by the people in every charge he filled. It was said by one who knew that at his death the Church mourned for him as children for a father.
B. C. Weir was known among us as one of the most faithful and devoted preachers of the Conference. At the time of his death he was 79 years old, and had been a traveling preacher for forty-five years. It was said of him that, though he was appointed to some of what would be called hard appointments, no murmur was ever heard to escape his lips. He died as he lived, trusting with implicit confidence in Christ.
The White River Conference for 1883 met at Newport, December 12, Bishop Granberry, President.
The following were received on trial at this Conference: William Rutledge, James D. Rutledge, James R. Edwards, John Q. Maynard, William A. Pendergrass, Henry C. Kirby, Joseph B. Dodson. Received by transfer, N. Futrell and Francis A. Jeffett.
There was one death reported during the year. William M. Avery was about 33 years old at the time of his death. He was licensed to preach in 1881, and joined the Conference in 1882, but before he was able to go to his work was taken sick and died. He was a good and true man, and his end was in peace.
Rev. Robert Paine , D. D., Senior Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was born in Person County, North Carolina, November 12, 1799. In early life he removed to Giles County, Tennessee. Soon after this he was converted under the ministry of the Rev. Thomas L. Douglass, and this conversion was demonstrated to be real by a long life of devotion to Christ. He joined the Tennessee Conference in 1818, and for a long number of years he labored in circuits, stations and districts with very great acceptability and usefulness. In the autumn of 1829 he was elected President of LaGrange College, and for nineteen years he discharged the various duties with singular success and fidelity.
" He was a member of five General Conferences, and was a leading spirit in the ever-memorable session of 1844, and was the chairman of the committee on the plan of separation. He was an active member in the Convention that organized the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Louisville, Ky. He was elected Bishop by the General Conference that met at Petersburg, Va., in 1846, the first of the Church, South. He filled that office with great ability for thirty six years.
" Bishop Paine was truly a great and good man. In every way he was the highest style of manhood. His views of the doctrines of Christianity were broad and catholic. He was a firm man without austerity; a statesman of high order. As a minister, he ranked high. Those who listened to him in his best moods, say that he was never equaled in our Church, nor surpassed in any other. His long life was without a blot. He worked faithfully while able, and then suffered patiently until the Master called him higher."
The Arkansas Conference for 1883 was held at Clarksville, November, 14-19 , Bishop Granberry. President. J. B. Stephenson, B. W. Aston, Russeil R. Moore, Louis S. Bird, Edwin L. Massey, and John R. Maxwell were received on trial. William Penn, W. S. Scott, B. H. Greathouse and B. H. Thrower, were received by transfer.
There were four deaths in the Arkansas Conference during this year. John J. Roberts, Jesse Griffin, Edwin R. Harrison, and William K. Pugh,
John J. Roberts.—In the death of John J. Roberts, the Church in Arkansas lost one of the old veterans, whose labors did much to establish the Church upon a solid basis in an early day. The minutes of the Conference contain the following account of this devoted man :
" He was a native of Green County, Pennsylvania, and at the time of his death was 66 years old. He was converted and joined the Methodist Church in 1835. He spent several sessions in Allegheny College, and returning to his home, was licensed to preach, and was received on trial in the Pittsburg Conference, and transferred to the Arkansas Conference by Bishop Morris. He immediately started for his new field of labor, and landed at Helena, the seat of the Conference, November 14, 1842. He was sent that year to the Mount Vernon Circuit, where he had fine success.
" He filled the following charges in the order named : Van Buren, and Fort Smith Station, Batesville Circuit, Washington Circuit, in Hempstead County.
" For more than forty years he stood as a champion in "our Israel, sustaining all the relations of an itinerant preacher with great acceptability. During this time his heart was made glad at the sight of more than 6000 souls being led to God. The writer (Rev. James A. Anderson) asked him the day before he died what message he had for his brethren of the ministry. 'Tell them,' he said, 'I died all right, and without the shadow of a cloud.' He died March 14, 1883. His last words were 'Light! light!! light!!!'"
The Arkansas Conference for 1884 met at Van Buren, November 19, 1824, Bishop Hargrove President, J. W. Boswell, Secretary.
The following were admitted on trial: William B. Smith, Frank Naylor, Perry P. Burke, George S. Yarborough, William D. Powell, Charles C. Spence, Charles C. Graham, Harvey A. Storey,"William A. Mclver, John M. Cantrell and John H. Watts. Received by transfer, Young Ewing, James A. Walden and William W. Lundy. There was one death during this year.
Eli C. Jones died at his residence in Mountain Home, Ark., June 4, 1884. He was born in Stafford, Orange County, Vermont, July 12, l8ll. He was consequently 73 years old at the time of his death. He was an itinerant preacher about twenty years, the greater part of the time in Indiana and Wisconsin. Being an educated man, a profound thinker and a close student, he was called to fill important stations* circuits and districts. By his powerful reasoning hundreds were turned from their sins to Christ. He was a true Methodist and a bold, fearless defender of her doctrines. Eli Jones, as he was familiarly called, spent about eighteen years in this part of the country, and was known as a strong preacher, a good citizen and a devoted Christian. Notwithstanding he has been on the superannuated list for many years, and was granted a superannuated relation at our last Conference, he has had regular appointments almost every Sabbath. In addition to his faithful labors, he was a liberal supporter with his money. The preachers who have traveled this work will remember his home, his liberal support and wise counsel. He was the itinerant's friend.
The White River Conference for 1884 met at Batesville, December 3, Bishop Hargrove, President, and George Thornburgh, Secretary.
A. M. R. Branson, C. W. Rock, William F. Walker, E. M. Davis, Thomas Whitaker, A. J. Johnson, W. A. Pendergrass and Moses Harp were received on trial.
There were two deaths during the year, George A. Schaeffer and M. J. F. Beasley.
George A. Schaeffer was received on trial in the Alabama Conference in 1853, and traveled in that Conference until 1858, when he was transferred to the Arkansas Conference, and appointed to the Fayetteville Station. In 1859, Fort Smith Station. In 1860, Clarksville Circuit. In 1861, Lewisburg Circuit. In 1862 and 1863, Dover Circuit. In 1864 he was transferred to the Texas Conference. He returned to the Arkansas Conference in , and continued to travel in the Arkansas and White River Conferences until his death ; in 1884. In the memoir presented to the Conference we have this estimate of his character as a preacher : "As a preacher he was above mediocrity. He was an elegant and refined Christian gentleman in all the varied walks of life. In his social intercourse with his brethren he was always pleasant and agreeable, and we shall greatly miss him from our annual gatherings. He died in peace, strong in faith. and has gone to his reward in heaven. He bore the burden of the itinerant life for more than thirty years, and has gone to reap the reward of that rest prepared for the people of God."
M. J. F. Beasley was admitted into the Conference in 1876, and was appointed to the Marvel Circuit. He continued to travel until his death in 1884. Of him the minutes say: " M. J. F. Beasley was a man after God's own heart, thoroughly consecrated to the work of the ministry, He exemplified in a life of holy living the vital principles of the gospel, and gave evidence to all around that he had been with Christ, and had learned of him. The divine afflatus was upon him. His religion was no dry intellectual abstraction, but a glorious experience, a blessed assurance within of his acceptance with God. In the death of Brother Beasley the Church has lost an indefatigable worker, humanity a friend, and this Conference one of its purest and most consecrated men. May we emulate his many Christian virtues, and may his mantle fall upon every surviving member of the Conference."
The Little Rock Conference for this year met at Little Rock, Bishop Hargrove, President ; J. R. Moote, Secretary. Joseph A. Baker, J. W. Scott, W. R. Harrison, J. H. Calloway, W. A. Freeman, L. W. House, J. Y. Christmas, W. W. Mills and E. M. Wright were admitted on trial.
The Little Rock Conference for 1885 met at Arkadelphia December 2-8, Bishop Granberry President.
William A. Cajul, Thomas D. Scott, William McKay, Nathan E. Bragg, Samuel A. Hill, B. B. McCraw, William C. Adams and R. T. Nabors were admitted on trial. W. G. Miller was received by transfer.
The Little Rock Conference suffered the loss by death of three active and promising young preachers—William P. Laney, Julius A. Stanley and Optimus C. Robinson.
William P. Laney was 31 years old at the time of his death. He was converted in 1872, and licensed to preach in 1874, and received on trial in the Little Rock Conference in 1878. He traveled the following circuits in the order named: Lacey, Hamburg, Bartholomew and Camden. His health failing in 1884, he was granted a superannuated relation, but that artful and insidious destroyer of human life consumption—had seized upon him as a victim, and day by day he grew weaker until his pure spirit was released by death. It was truthfully said of him that he was a man of fine mind and a sweet, loving spirit. He loved his brethren and they loved him. His race was short but brilliant, and he rests from his labors.
Julius A. Stanley was from Tennessee to Arkansas, and of his early history we have but little information. He was received on trial in the Little Rock Conference in 1879. He filled the following charges: Richwoods Mission, Maumelle Circuit and White River Circuit. His health failing, he was granted a superannuated relation, but the fell destroyer soon claimed him for its victim. Almost his last words were, " I am so happy." He was a studious, zealous and prudent man, and died without a blur upon his character.
Optimus C. Robertson was received on trial at the Conference with Julius A. Stanley. He was on the Amity Circuit for three years, then two years on the Social Hill Circuit. His last work was on the Camden Circuit. He died during the session of the Conference. One who knew him well said of him that " he was a noble, true man and a devoted minister. A strong, well-balanced man ; if God had spared him»he would have measured up to any of his brethren."
The White River Conference for this year met at Helena, December 9-14, 1885, Bishop Granberry President.
R. S. Deener, W. J. Vick, William Mavly, D. W. Reid, J. M. Denison, R. C. Bland, M. J. Hively, W. S. Southworth, T. B. Williamson, M. Martz, W. A. Peck were admitted on trial. W. E. Rutledge, Edgar M. Pipkin and J. R. Robertson were received by transfer.
There was one death during the year.
James A. Anderson was admitted on trial in the Little Rock Conference in 1879, and traveled in that Conference until 1882, when he was transferred to the White River Conference. Brother Anderson was a plain gospel preacher,. well received and greatly repected by the people on every charge he served. He was never married. He sent this message to the Conference : " Tell my brethren of the White River Conference that I died at my post."
The Arkansas Conference for this year met at Morrillton, November 25-30, 1885, Bishop Granberry President.
William O. Basham, John M. England, James B. Williams, William Jenkins and Samuel N. Burns were received on trial. A. M. Elam and William E. Rutledge were re ceived by transfer.
The following notices are taken from the memoirs furnished by the committee as found in the minutes:
Alfred P. Melton , son of Robert and Elizabeth Melton, was born in Gilmer County, Georgia, on the 31st day of March 1855, and died at the parsonage in Russellville, Ark., on the 5th day of September, 1885, in the thirty-first year of his age. The deceased was reared in McMinn County, Tennessee. At the age of 14 years he made a profession of religion and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he remained a member until the fall of 1871, when he joined the M. E. Church, South, whose name he adorned to the day of his death. On the 12th day of October, 1876, he was married to Miss Harriet Horton, of Quitman, Ark., whom he leaves a broken-hearted widow with two little boys to mourn him gone. He was licensed to preach in the month of May, 1875, by the Quarterly Conference of the Clinton Circuit, and was admitted on trial into the Arkansas Conference at its session held in Russellville in November, 1878. so that he fell on the very spot where he entered the itinerant service. From Russellville he was sent to the Walnut Tree Circuit. His next appointment was the Dardanelle Circuit in 1880-1, and in 1882-3 he served Springfield and Hill Creek Station with acceptability. In 1884 he was appointed to Russellville Circuit, and in 1885 to Rusellville Station, from whence he was summoned home. He was ordained Deacon at Fort Smith by Bishop H. N. McTyeire in November, 1880, and Elder at Clarksville, in November, 1883, by Bishop J. C. Granberry. Bro. Melton was one of the successful men of his time. His success was accomplished in spite of great disadvantages. He was reared by a widowed mother, who, with her family, had a hard struggle to gain a sustenance, and his service was put under tribute to this end. It was not, therefore, until he heard distinctly and unmistakably the inward voice saying ' Go!' that he set about the preparation for the journey. He at once set out for an educational qualification, which he attained to a satisfactory degree in the common English branches, and passed through the prescribed course of ministerial study with credit to himself, which gave great promise for future usefulness. His thirst for knowledge, started here, staid with him to the end, and made of him a student, as his earnest religious zeal made him sound in the faith and zealous for his Lord. He was quick and sharp in his criticisms, loving toward his brethren, fervent in spirit, bold in the pulpit, fearless of the world, solicitous in his pastorate, full of pathos, a man of prayer and full of faith and good works. Being abundant in labors, the body was consumed by the spirit, and he died a martyr to his work, with his grave watered with the tears of a bereaved people. Death has taken away this sweet-spirited, magnetic soldier; but death shall have a conqueror, and our brother shall rise and rejoice in another victory when it shall come to pass that ' death is swallowed up in victory.'
" Servant ot God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won.
Enter thy Master's joy."
Elijah Dickens, the son of John A. and Nancy Dickens, was born in Smith County, Tennessee, November 22, 1842. In early life he made a profession of religion and united with the M. E. Church, South. At the breaking out of the late war he was in his eighteenth year, and very soon he enlisted in the Confederate army, where he served his country until the surrender. He was married May 22, 1863, to Miss Mary C. Hubbard, of his native county. During the time he was in the army, like many others under the influence of evil associations, he went astray from the path of Christian duty and rectitude. At the close of the war, returning to the more congenial influence of a Christian home, he soon returned to his first love, and became an active Christian worker. He was licensed to preach October 5, 1867 ; ordained Deacon October 8, 1871, by Bishop G. F. Pierce, and Elder October 10, 1875, by Bishop Wightman. He was admitted on trial in the Tennessee Conference in the fall of 1875, and spent six years of his itinerant life within the bounds of that Conference. He was transferred to Arkansas in 1882, and appointed to Cauthron Circuit, Fort Smith District. In 1883 he traveled the Rover Circuit, where he endured many hardships, privations and even persecutions ; but with the spirit of a true embassador of our Lord Jesus Christ, he stood to his post of duty amidst them all. At the last session of the Conference he was appointed by Bishop Hargrove to the Opelo Mission. As soon after the close of the Conference as he could move his family he was at his work, where he did a faithful and successful work up to the time of his death. On the morning of the 12th of October he was taken suddenly and violently ill with congestion of the brain. He lingered in an unconscious state until Thursday morning, October 15, 1885, when he ceased to live and to work. Brother Dickens as a preacher possessed to a high degree a logical mind, and being well posted in the scriptural doctrines of Methodism, he not only loved her doctrines, but was an able defender of the same. He leaves a wife and four children to mourn their loss."
T. J. Smith , familiarly known as ' Uncle Tom,' passed into heaven Thursday morning, November 26, 1885. While he was making preparation in order to answer to his name at roll-call, a pain struck him in his heart, and in twenty minutes he fell asleep and went up to answer the roll-call of the skies. The message, 'Uncle Tom is dead,' went through the Conference like an electric shock. We came to Conference with the shadow of death upon us, for Brother Dickens and Brother Melton had been taken from labor to reward within the year. However, we were happy to meet our now ascended brother in the enjoyment of his usual health, having had no sickness during the year or for many years. He had been at every Conference since 1867. In answer to the question, ' Have you had a good year ? ' he said to the writer: ' It has been one of the happiest years of my life.' He went to Dardanelle with ' fear and trembling,' it being the first station to which he was ever appointed, but he came to Conference with tears of joy in his eyes, because he had gathered many sheaves for the Master during the year. He had been heard to say frequently: ' I want to cease at once to work and live. I would like to go from the pulpit or an Annual Conference to heaven.' God granted his wish. After an active and successful ministry for thirty years— laboring from 1855 to 1867 in Missouri, and from 1867 to 1885 in Arkansas—he reported his year's work to the Annual Conference, and then went up from the midst of his brethren to report his life-work to the great Master of the vineyard. He was born in Tennessee, March 30, 1831. His parents moved to Crowley's Ridge, Ark., when he was a small boy; thence to Barry County, Mo., where the subject of this sketch was born again in his fourteenth year, and joined the M. E. Church, South. He was married to Miss Mahala Stennett, September 6, 1855. He was licensed to preach in 1852 and joined the Missouri Conference in 1855, in which Conference he remained until he was forbidden to preach by the Federal authorities. He spent eleven years of his itinerant life in Arkansas on circuits; six on districts, and one year on Dardanelle Station. In these different and difficult fields of labor he showed himself ' a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.' He made no pretence to learning, but was well read in our standard theological literature and was a good student of holy scripture. He laid no claim to exceptional excellence of Christian character, but his piety was pure, strong, fervent. Wherever he went his warm, true heart and blameless life secured for him the love and confidence of the people, and gave point and power to his sermons. He was a good preacher. The people loved to hear him. His sermons were not abstract, speculative, apologetic, but plain, practical, doctrinal, hortatory. The duties and doctrines of the gospel and the great atonement of Christ—these were the themes of his preaching. Protracted and camp-meetings were his delight. On such occasions he preached with great boldness and power. But he is not, for God has taken him. There is but one remaining link that binds the Conference of 1885 to 1867. By transfer, location and death, the Conference has so changed in its membership that the Rev. A. C. Ray is the only representative of the Conference of 1867. Our ascended brother rests from his labors and his labors do follow him. His heart swelled with emotion, and his eyes filled with tears as he listened to the eloquent sermon of the Rev. Dr. Hunt, from the text ' Ye are complete in him.' The vision of that evening has become a glorious reality."
The fiftieth session of the Arkansas Conference was held at Ozark, Ark., November 24, 1886, Bishop Galloway, President, John W. Boswell, Secretary. The admissions on trial were Irwin F. Harris, George A. Marvin, Jesse M. McAnally, John W. Head, James P. Keith, Stonewall J. Dobson, Geo. W. Davis, John S. Wilbanks, Hugh A. Armstrong, Andrew M. Colson, Charles H. Culpepper. By transfer, Bascomb Monk.
There was one death during this year.
W. J. Dodson was born near Somerville, Tenn., October 19. 1835. At the age of fifteen he came with his father to this State and settled in White County. He was licensed to preach in 1870, and joined the White River Conference, held by Bishpp Keener, at Mount Zion, Cross County, Ark., the same year. He was at once transferred to the Arkansas Conference, hoping to find within its bounds a more healthful locality. He served the following charges : Dardanelle Circuit from 1869 to 1871, Galla Rock Circuit from 1871 to 1875, Dardanelle Circuit from 1875 to 1877, Lewisburg District from 1877 to 1880. From that time to his death, his health having failed, he was placed on the superannuated list.
John Harris.—The death of the venerable John Harris, which occurred during this decade, carries us back to the beginnings of Methodism in Arkansas. It will be remembered that he was the second itinerant preacher to enter the the Territory of Arkansas. Some of the old pioneers delight to talk of the ministry of this old veteran. We have heard most graphic descriptions of his personal appearance, his methods of travel in those primitive days, when he would frequently have to travel for days without finding a house at which to stop, when he would camp out and find for his only shelter some friendly tree. They would tell of his hairbreadth escapes and how he crossed swollen streams before there were any ferries or bridges for the accommodation of the traveler. The following sketch will be of interest to the reader of these pages:
" The venerable John Harris, after a long and eventful pilgrimage of many years, died during this year. It will be remembered that he was the second itinerant preacher toenter the Territory of Arkansas; William Stephenson being the first. John Harris was admitted on trial in the Missouri Conference in 1816, and appointed to the Wabash Circuit,. Illinois District. In 1817 he was appointed to the Hot Springs Circuit, which at that time embraced the greaterpart of the Territory of Arkansas. In 1818, Cache River Circuit. In 1819, Boone Lick and La Moine. In 1820, Bellevue. In 1821, Mount Prairie Circuit. In 1822, Arkansas Circuit. In 1823, Fishing Creek. In 1824, Bellevue. In 1825, Fishing River. In 1826, La Moine Circuit. His health failing in 1827, he was placed on the superannunted list. In 1828, New Madrid. In 1829, Helena Circuit. In 1830, Chicot Circuit. In 1832 he was again placed on the superannuated list. In 1833 he located. In 1839 he was readmitted into the traveling connection. In 1844 he was again placed on the superannuated list, and remained in that relation until his death in 1867. It will be seen from this list of appointments that this old pioneer was prevented by feeble health from the active labors of the Church for many years. We are not to suppose that these were years of idleness. Whether in the local ranks or on the superannuated roll, he labored to the full extent of his ability. The old citizens of Arkansas delight in telling of the many remarkable incidents connected with his eventful life. The following letter from the venerable preacher to his son will be of interest to many :
" My Dear Son—I have concluded to write you a few lines. it may be my last. I have just returned from a camp-meeting in the neighborhood of Lewisburg, at which I met some eight or ten preachers, with Bro. Carlisle at their head. It was a peculiar meeting to me, as well as to many others, for the power of God was manifested in a glorious manner to many precious souls. It was thought when I left on Tuesday that some forty had found salvation, and the meeting was progressing with increasing interest. I returned home sick and have not been able to sit up part of the time since. But I feel that I am fast recovering, and that by God's blessing I shall be able to attend our last quarterly meeting next Sabbath. I have attended three different appointments in Conway County, each continuing from five to seven days, and it seems a marvel how I have been sustained by the power and grace of God. Our camp-ground was near Sister Isaacs'. It has a splendid arbor and some eight large camps have been built. The shed cost $250. The people came together in the spirit of true worship, and the Holy Spirit was felt in every sermon. Bros. Duncan, Mc, and Caldwell were there and did good work, Bro. Duncan, in his ecstacy, shouting at the top of his voice that he would be in my bundle when God came to gather up his jewels. He found himself in good company, for Bros. Carlisle and Rainwater and Greer all acknowledged the same, and poor Bro. Harrison, if he could rise from the dead, would have said the same. I do not suppose, my son, that ever such a train of circumstances as was presented to a minister of Christ in this country is likely to occur again. When I preached on Monday from Samuel 26 : 'It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.' In my closing remarks to the preachers, I told them not to be discouraged ; that God's salvation was spreading and getting wider and deeper. I adverted to the time when the president of the meeting was in the arms of his mother forty years ago, and the streams of salvation started from his father's house in the cane-brakes of Arkansas ; the stream had carried many to heaven. Such streams of light, life and power rolled over the congregation and the whole encampment that all parts felt the shock. I felt thankful God had given me the privilege to clear my skirts of the blood of souls once more.
" Oh, that you, my son, may have the spirit of your God, then you will succeed.
" Your mother is very feeble. I know not that we shall see you on earth again; our life is on a slender thread. Elizabeth and her husband are with us at home; he has been licensed to preach. I think he will offer himself to the Conference. He promises usefulness to the Church if faithful to his God. Your poor mother is desirous of starting to Missouri. She is hardly able to go. The Lord pity and bless us in mercy. Let us all meet in heaven. Amen.
Rev. Cadesman Pope, says : " Rev. John Harris once related to me an incident, which occurred in his life. He was on his way to an appointment one Saturday, and his road led him by a cross-road grog-shop, where a number of men were assembled, drinking and in high spirits. When they saw him coming some one of the company proposed to treat him, and if he would not drink with them they would pour it down him. All agreed to this. As he approached, they accosted him : Good morning, stranger ; take something to drink ! Harris politely declined, but they insisted, but he still refused. Finally they told him he had to drink. He saw determination in their eyes, and wondered what he should do. All at once it occurred to him to appeal to their patriotism. He said: Gentlemen, this is a free country ; you have a right under the laws to drink, if you wish to do so, and I, as a freeman, have the right to decline; now in the name of our liberties, in the name of our fathers, who fought for these liberties, I appeal to you. Will you force a freeman to drink, when he is conscientiously opposed to it? At this a stalwart fellow stepped out, threw off his coat, and with clenched fists, said : The first man that touches this stranger will have me to whip. They knew him too well to touch the stranger, and so he went on his way rejoicing. The man was an old Revolutionary soldier, and the appeal in the name of the Revolutionary fathers stirred his patriotism, and he was now as ready to fight for the rights of a single freeman as he once was for the liberties of his country."
The Arkansas Conference for 1879 met at Ozark, November 12-17, Bishop Pierce, President. The admissions on trial were: James A. Anderson, Jasper N. Moore, William
B. Austin, Marcus L. Butler. John W. Kaigler, Joseph S. Shangle, John R. Robertson, Bryce B. Hudgins, William R. Pugh, W. A. Derrick. Received by transfer, T. A. Graham,
C. R. Taylor, F. S. H. Johnson, F. L. Hartin.
The Little Rock Conference for this year met at Camden, December 10-15. The admissions on trial were E. B. Kelly, O. C. Robertson, George W. Burnett, E. M. Evans, A. Turrentine, J. A. Stanley, James C. Greenwood, R. H. Poynter.
The White River Conference met at Jacksonport. The admissions on trial were: Frank R. Noe, Isaac A. Vernon, George W. Richardson, Henry C. Davis, Thomas H. Wheat, John T. Carvar, Robert L. Smith. There were two deaths in the White River Conference this year Benjamin F. Hall and Arthur Davis.
"The Rev. Benjamin B. Hall, was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, November 28, 1835, and moved with his mother to Arkansas some where about the year 1849. In the year 1853 he professed religion and joined the M. E. Church, South. September, 1855, he was licensed to preach by the Rev. John Cowle, and was received on trial into the Arkansas Conference in the year 1855. Bro. Hall's first appointment was on the Salem Circuit, where he was married to Miss Mary E. Goodall. She did not live long. Bro. Hall was again married on the 25th of July, 1858, to Miss Margaret Hutchinson, who survives him. His second appointment was on Marion Circuit. Your committee herewith append a part of the publication of a Church committee, appointed in the Town of Evening Shade, on the 19th of October, 1879, in reference to Bro. Hall:
" He came from the most humble walks in life, and rose upward under a Divine Providence, without other aids than his own intellect and exertions. He was endowed with a strong mind and most excellent sense. His intellectual powers were of an exalted character. His best efforts in the pulpit, when animated with zeal and devotion to his Master, afford unequivocal proofs not only of a vigorous intellect, but of high and original genius. There was nothing commonplace in his thoughts, his images or his sentiments. Everything came fresh from his mind, like jewels, with the vividness of a new creation. His chief characteristic, as a preacher was a clear, logical analysis of his theme, clothed generally in apt and excellent language, and delivered with a force and eloquence which carried conviction to his audience. The effect of his preaching upon his hearers was always marked and visible. Very often, under his ministration, the house of worship became ' a place of tears.' He commanded attention from the very start, and as he passed on, with increasing power,'flashing his ideas' upon the minds of all within the scope of his voice, led the congregation to a full and solemn recognition of the great truths of the Christian religion, and the importance and necessity thereof in this life and the life to come. Being a man of warm and devoted affections and of high and generous spirit, he was popular with the masses, and these qualities, combined with the ornaments of eloquence and the graces of a regenerated heart, made him a pillar in the Church and enabled him to accomplish much good for mankind. It seemed that his whole desire was to be a blessing to the Church, and that the Church should be a blessing to him, and no man in his time did so much to ' spread holiness in these lands' as B. F. Hall.
The Arkansas Conference met at Russellville, October 23, 1878, Bishop McTyiere, President. The Little Rock Conference met at Hot Springs, November 27, and the White River Conference met at Searcy, December 4, of this year. Bishop Doggett presided at both of these Conferences. The admissions on trial at the Arkansas Conference were: Preston B. Hopkins, Thomas A. Sctzer, Julius M. Woolam, David C. Ross, William M. Anderson, William F. England, James S. Best, Alfred P. Melton, Thomas E. Martin, Robert Storks, Robert W. Gonalock, William M. Baldwin, B. T. Crews and Francis A. Jeffett. At the Little Rock Conference the admissions were: Robert F. Crow, William P. Laney, R. T. Nabors, A. S. Power. At the White River. Conference the admissions were: George W. McGlasson, Jason T. Wade, Ed. C. Castleberry, D. G. Smith, John F. Troy, John W. Wood, Ezra Warren.
The Little Rock Conference for this year lest two valuable preachers by transfer—Cadesman Pope, who transferred to the North Georgia Conference, and B. Malone, who transferred to the North Alabama Conference. Cadesman Pope came to the Little Rock Conference from the Georgia Conference in 1858, and was consequently ^identified with the Little Rock Conference for twenty years. During this time he did most faithful work on circuits, stations and districts, and everywhere greatly endeared himself to the people by his.pleasant manners, upright life and earnest gospel ministry. As a pastor he had but few equals in the Conference. At present he is the honored President of the Millersburg Female College, an institution justly popular throughout the States of Kentucky and Arkansas.
There was a decrease in the membership of the Church in Arkansas this year. While there was a small increase in the Arkansas Conference, it was not sufficient, to overcome the large decrease in the Little Rock and White River Conferences.
Rev. R. B. Alston was born in 1840 in Yorkville, S. C., professed conversion in his eighteenth year, and was licensed to preach in 1857, and was admitted into the South Carolina Conference in 1858, and was transferred to the Little Rock Conference in 1870. and was employed in school teaching for three years. He then traveled the Camden Circuit one year, and was then supernumerary for three years. He was then appointed to the Camden Station, which was the last appointment he ever rilled. He was happily married to Mrs. Julia Brown, of Camden, who survived him only a few years, and passed away to meet him again in heaven. One who knew him well describes him as a fine preacher, closely logical and strictly accurate. His sermons were always plain, pointed and like finished and polished steel. He was an earnest Christian and perfect gentleman. For the last few years of his life he was a great sufferer, and the patience with which he bore his afflictions was a living comment upon the sustaining powers of divine grace. The exalted purity of his character won for him a warm place in the affections of the people of the pastoral charges which he served so well.
While the Church was called to mourn the loss of one so gifted, and full of promise of usefulness, it was also called upon to lay away to rest in peace the oldest preacher in the Conference, who, full of years and usefulness, like a ripe shock of corn, was gathered into the garner of God.
Rev. James Sanford was born in April, 1790, in Gloucester County, Virginia, converted in 1808, and licensed to preach in 1810 by that remarkable man and pioneer of Methodism, Jesse Lee. He was admitted on trial in the Virginia Conference in 1811 at Raleigh, North Carolina, and appointed to Franklin Circuit, with Thomas Burr as his colleague and Samuel Garrett as his Presiding Elder. In 1812 he was appointed to Williamsburg Circuit; in 1813 he was ordained Deacon, and appointed to Neuce Circuit; in 1814.
to Tar River Circuit; in 1815 to River Circuit; in
1816 to Mecklenburg Circuit. He located in 1817, and settled in Chesham, N. C. In 1818 he removed to Tennessee and labored with great acceptability in the great revival that swept over Tennessee and Kentucky about that time. He was instrumental in the conversion and receiving the McFerrin family into the Church. He often alluded to this event in his life with great satisfaction, and was a great admirer of the Rev. John B. McFerrin, and in extreme old; age regarded it as one of the greatest privileges to hear him preach. In 1859 he removed to Arkansas and settled in Hot Spring County, where he labored with great earnestness and zeal until 1869, when he was readmitted into the traveling connection in the Little Rock Conference, and appoi ited to Polk Mission ; in 1870 to the Buena Vista Circuit. In 1871 he was granted a superannuated relation, which he retained until his death, which occurred September 29, 1877,. in the eighty-eighth year of his age. Our information is that in early life he was a very fine preacher and abundantly useful. Although the greater part of his long and eventful life was spent in the local ranks, he was always the friend of the itinerant, and nothing but the demands of a large family prevented him from remaining in the itinerant ranks during his entire life. The singular purity of his life endeared him to all who knew him. The end was as we would expect such a life to be. For many years he was in a constant joyous frame of mind. His sun set in a clear sky. His death was triumphant and full of the most blissful anticipations of the future life.
The Arkansas Conferences for the year 1877 were in the Episcopal District assigned to Bishop Kavanaugh.
The Arkansas Conference convened in Fayetteville, the Little Rock Conference in Monticello and the White River in Augusta.
The ministerial force of the Conferences was strengthened by the addition of a number of valuable accessions. In the Arkansas Conference Martin L. Williams, John E. Dunaway, Jesse L. Massey, Henry W. Brooks, John L. Wytche, H. W. Burns, William C. Brodie, Michael Martz. By transfer, Vincent V. Harlan, W. J. Wood, J. Handlin and John T. McLaughlin.
The Little Rock Conference received the following additions on trial: Bascom Monk, James R. Moore, William M. Crowson, Richard P. Wilson, Josephus A. Biggs and John R. Cason,
The White River Conference : H. B. Neil, N. E. Skinner, Z. T. Griffin, Isaac T. Morris, John L. Watson, M. M. Smith, Z. W. Lindsay, A. S. Blackwood, W. A. Lindsay, and Samuel Bayliss. The reader will recognize in this list of accessions an unusually large number who have remained in the traveling connection until the present time, and occupy prominent positions in their respective Conferences. The entire class from the Little Rock Conference are in the traveling connection in some of the Conferences at the present time, and the greater part of those in the other two classes are in the traveling connection in some of the Conferences.
W. C. Brodie, of the Arkansas Conference, transferred to the Northwest Texas Conference. John A. Corbitt, of the White River Conference, transferred to the Memphis Conference, and Edward Orgain transferred to the Western Virginia Conference.
Burrell Lee was born in Davidson County, Tenn., October 20, 1809, and died at his home in Batesville, Ark., May 28, 1877. He was converted in his sixteenth year, and though raised by Baptist parents, he cast his lot with " the people called Methodists." No sooner had he united with the Church than he felt called to preach, and forthwith he commenced, receiving license, first to exhort, at the hands of Bishop Morris, on the Old Red River Circuit, in Kentucky, then in the bounds of the Tennessee Conference. He was licensed to preach by Bishop Paine July 28, 1828. The following fall he was received on trial into the Tennessee Conference, and was discontinued at the end of one year. In the autumn of 1830 he came to Arkansas, and was immediately employed by the Presiding Elder and put in charge of two circuits—the White River and the Spring River.
In 1831 he obtained a recommendation to the Annual Conference again, but being unable to get to Conference on account of sickness, he had the recommendation withheld. He renewed the application, and joining Conference in 1833, was i.rdained Deacon by Bishop Soule, and sent to Cherokee Mission in company with John Harrell, and served the Indians three years. He was ordained Elder by Bishop Roberts in 1834. In 1836 he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Batesville District, and at the commencement of his term settled in the Town of Batesville, which place he called home until the close of his life. At the end of his third year as Presiding Elder of the Batesville District, he obtained a supernumerary relation, but circumstances finally forced him to locate, and he remained in the local ranks until the fall of 1856. His life from that day to the day of his death is well known to thousands in Arkansas, and it is only necessary to say that he filled all his appointments with zeal and usefulness, and was faithful. Father Lee was for forty-nine years a preacher of the gospel— forty-seven of which were spent in Arkansas. He was among the first who planted the fruitful seed in this western world, and he lived to see his Church a large and influential body of men and women; and when no longer able to lead the host, his brethren placed him on the superannuated list, and in this relation he closed his life. As a preacher he was plain, practical, pointed, and but few were more successful having received into the Church more than five thousand persons. As a Methodist he was devoted, yielding to no man in his attachment to the doctrines and usages of the Church. His last sickness was long. He lingered two months. His sufferings at times were excruciating, yet he never complained ; and if there was any impatience, it was to "depart and be with Christ." He frequently said " I suffer, but it must be all right." He died in the faith. A multitude followed him to the grave, loving hands committed his body to the earth in the hope of a glorious resurrection. The writer will never forget a remark of the sainted John Mann. In his plain, blunt way he said: "Burwell Lee! God bless him ; he is worth his weight in gold, but he is worn out." . And on May 28, 1877, "the weary wheels of life " stood still.
The Church in Arkansas lost three very effective and faithful preachers during this year by death, one from each of the Conferences.
James Taylor Stockton was born in Kentucky, June 12, 1813; was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, about the year 1846. Soon after he was licensed to preach the gospel and was received on trial in the itinerant work in the Florida Annual Conference about the year 1854. He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Andrew'at Alligator, Fla., December 28, 1856, and Elder by the same in 1858. He was married to Miss Harriet P. Bake, May 17, 1859. He moved to Arkansas in 1874 and traveled the Marshall Circuit as a supply. He was readmitted into the Arkansas Annual Conference at Fort Smith, October 31, 1874, and was appointed to the Huntsville Circuit, and in 1875 was appointed to the Hindsville Circuit, which charge he reached December 25, 1875, and in two days was stricken down with flux and spinal affection, and died January 9, 1876. The grace of God sustained him in a wonderful degree during his whole sickness. He was patient and resigned, calm and happy with sweetest joy of hope and rest.
James B. McKamey was born in Lauderdale County, Alabama, February 10, 1823, was converted in 1843 and licensed to preach by William McFerrin in 1847. He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Andrew in Brownsville in 1852, and Elder by Bishop Paine, in Jackson, Tenn., in 1861. He removed to Arkansas and was admitted on trial in the White River Conference in 1872. He was a plain, useful man, and was known as a good and faithful preacher. As death approached he was strong in faith, and while his brother was repeating the Seventy-third Psalm he fell asleep to wake no more until the angel trump shall wake the sleeping dead.
Richard F. Colburn, at the time of his death was a member of the Little Rock Conference, but he had been for many years a member of the Arkansas Conference. One who was so long identified with the Church in Arkansas should receive more than a passing notice at our hands. The following sketch of his life is taken partly from the memoir given in the minutes and partly from other sources of information :
Richard F. Colburn was born in North Carolina in 1814. He first studied medicine, and was admitted to practice, but after his conversion, feeling that it was his duty to preach the gospel, he was licensed to preach and admitted into the traveling connection in the Missouri Conference in 1840. In consequence of an attack of rheumatism he had to seek a more southern climate, and was transferred to the Memphis Conference, where he filled the following appointments: Oxford, Hernando, Grenada and Trenton Stations, all of which he filled with great acceptability and usefulness. He transferred to the Arkansas Conference in 1855, and was stationed at Fort Smith. In 1856-57 he was at Van Buren. Here follows a brief period in his life to which he always alluded with regret. In order to support his family he felt compelled to locate, and being an excellent physician, he engaged in the practice of medicine for a number of years. In 1863 he was readmitted into the traveling connection in. the Little Rock Conference. In 1863-64-65 he was stationed in Little Rock. But few men have been required to endure as great affliction in the discharge of ministerial duties.
He came to the station during the war when the Church was greatly reduced in membership, and was suffering from the consequences of this loss. To add to his troubles, when the City of Little Rock fell into the hands of the Federal troops, the authorities of the M. E. Church availed themselves of the power given them by the celebrated Ames Stanton order, and compelled Dr. Colburn to vacate the church, which was seized and occupied by the preachers of the M. E. Church. That this procedure was directed against the M. E. Church, South, and not against Dr. Colburn personally, was shown by the fact that Dr. Colburn was permitted to preach in the Christian Church without molestation from the authorities. The intention of the representatives of the M. E. Church was to secure the property that belonged to the M. E. Church, South. This property was not surrendered to its rightful owners until after the close of the war, when an order was obtained from President Johnson commanding them to surrender the property to its rightful owners. During the troubles of this period Dr. Colburn preserved the Church at Little Rock from dissolution, and upon the return of peace it was ready to resume its great work of sustaining the cause of religion in the capital city of the State. He continued in the active work of the ministry until 1868, when his health failed, and he was granted a superannuated relation, which he sustained until his death. For about ten years he was a great sufferer, but he endured his sufferings with a patience and resignation that nothing but the grace of God could have produced. He was made perfect through sufferings. His death was a glorious triumph of the power of God to sustain his servants. His dying message was.' " Tell my brethren that I die in the faith." He died at his residence in Little Rock, December, 1876. Dr. Colburn was a preacher of very marked ability. His fine personal appearance, polished manners, and chaste language made him a very attractive preacher. He was the father of Samuel G. Colburn, for a number of years one of the honored members of the Little Rock Conference. His widow still lives in Little Rock, and is greatly venerated as a woman of devoted attachment to the Church, of which her husband and son were honored ministers. One of his sons, Dr. John Colburn, is a practicing physician in California; another, Jesse Colburn, is a prominent druggist in Little Rock. One of his daughters is the wife of Rev. Thomas H. Ware, of the Little Rock Conference, another daughter is the wife of Charles Butler, of California. These are all highly respected in the communities where they reside.