Rev. Fleetwood Ball, who for 28 years has been pastor of the First Baptist Church, Lexington, Tennessee, was born March 16th, 1876, being the oldest child of Rev. Martin Ball and the late Mrs. Lizzie McKay Ball. He was educated in literary branches at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, capturing the Strickland Medal at the time of graduation, which meant that he was accorded the highest honors of his class. He procured his theological training at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. For 22 consecutive years he has been moderator of the Beech River Baptist Association and for 16 years Recording Secretary of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. He has served as pastor, in addition to his full-time work at Lexington, the following churches: Rock Hill, 26 years; Chapel Hill, 22 years; Piney Creek, 18 years; Union, 5 years. To these country churches he preaches once-a-month each on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. He has the distinction of marrying more couples and preaching more funerals than any other preacher in the County. He was married in May, 1907, to Miss Flossie Lee Melton of Lexington, Tennessee, who died in December 1918, leaving four daughters, Mary Elizabeth Ball, Flossie Melton Ball, Lily McKay Ball and Martha Joe Ball, who were reared by an affectionate grand-mother, Mrs. Martha Vesta Melton of Lexington. He is the most outstanding and influential man of the County at present and gives his life to his work.
From the History Of Henderson County by Auburn Powers 1930
We gave but bare notice last week of the appointment of Rev. Fleetwood Ball, pastor of Lexington First Baptist Church, to the position of Chaplain of the Lower House of the Tennessee Legislature, for the first half of the session.
The yet young if "Reverend" gentleman has served the Lexington church 24 years, all of his ministerial life except just a few years, but his work has not been confined to Lexington, for the in the capacity of Secretary of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, he has become one of the best known Baptist ministers in Tennessee--and in addition to which he has done considerable work as correspondent and otherwise for secular papers--and, as the newspaper men sometimes say of each other, "he wields a trenchant pen."
With this for Chaplain Ball in the state, now we can say without fear of successful contradiction, that he is by odds the strongest one man in Henderson County. He has preached in so many places, he has tied so many nuptial knots, he has officiated at so many funerals and he has written so many notices of them after he married them and helped to bury them that he has a Henderson county standing that in politics would mean an invincible machine.
We congratulate Speaker Barry, Junior, on the appointment, and trust that whatever Bro. Ball may say in prayer at the opening of the legislative sessions may tend to make the members do their best for the welfare of Tennessee.
BALL, FLEETWOOD JAMES (b. Cherry Creek, Pontotoc County, Miss., Mar. 16, 1876; d. Lexington, Tenn., May 1, 1941). Pastor, evangelist, recording secretary of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and denominational leader. Son of Martin and Lizzie (McKay) Ball, he was fifth and last in a line of Baptist ministers. He graduated with the B.S. degree from Union University, 1896, and took the English course at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Later Union awarded him the D.D. degree. He married Flossie Lee Melton, May 14, 1907, who died Dec. 8, 1918.
Four daughters, Mary Elizabeth, Flossie Melton, Lily McKay, and Martha Joe, all graduated from Union University. Ball served the following churches as pastor: Friendship (Henry County) 1894-1905, Henry, Denmark, Malesus, Cottage Grove (12 years), Erin, Union Academy, Mount Nebo, Wildersville, Huntingdon, Parsons, Perryville, and Decaturville. He was pastor, First Baptist Church, Lexington, Tenn., 34 years (Dec., 1902-Dec., 1936). During this time he served the following rural churches which met in the afternoon: Rock Hill, Sand Ridge, Piney Creek, Chapel Hill, and Union. When roads were bad, he walked. He led Cottage Grove, Perryville, and Lexington in building houses of worship. Ball served as moderator of Western District Association for several years and of Beech River Association for 31 years; was recording secretary of the state convention 25 years; contributed the column entitled "Among the Brethren" in the Baptist and Reflector for 40 years; was actively connected with operating Baptist Memorial Hospital and Union University; was a member of the Tennessee Baptist mission board 10 years, a correspondent of the Commercial Appeal, an editorial assistant for the Lexington Republican. A score of young men in Henderson County at one time bore the unusual name Fleetwood.