April 11, 1885


In a late number of the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE I see the obituary of Rev. I. W. Lawrence, who died in Columbus, Ky.

Forty-five years ago he married my sister Caroline. At that early date he was noted for consistent piety. Then Methodism was taking a firm hold in White County, Tenn., his home. John Kelley, father of Dr. D.C. Kelley, planted our church there. Uriah Williams, now a superannuate of the North Alabama Conference, and Jesse Hord, of Texas, also a superannuate, were the pastors of my parents when I was a child. The earnest Sullivan, who buried my mother, and John Brooks, the eccentric, were local preachers. Jeremiah Webb, Thomas Hudson, and Peter Burem, and John Yates, were all earnest and successful workers. The last-named died under a great shadow. John Mann, “the walking commentary,” and John Scoggins, left their impress upon the church. Seborn Priestly, a local preacher, and the sweet-spirited William Jared, did much to sustain and extend Methodism in old Caney Fork Circuit. Alexander Winchester and Andy Keathley were exhorters in those days, whose bugle-blasts stirred the camp-meeting multitudes at old Pisgah and elsewhere, when the slain of the Lord cried mightily for mercy, and the happy hosts of Israel, in shouting and singing, praised the Son Immortal. Cornelius Maguire often led the hosts to victory. Father Petit was our Carvosso, leading the classes , assisted by Henry Keathley and James Adair. These all were princes in their day. Our chief pastors were James Gwin (after whom my mother named me), A.L.P. Green, the saintly Moody, John Sherrell, and Wm. Burr. Elisha Webb alone remains there “till this day.”

Birmingham, Ala.

Submitted by Laurel Baty