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Autobiography of Bishop Isaac Lane, LL.D.
with a Short History of the C.M.E. Church in America and of Methodism:

Electronic Edition.

Lane, Isaac, 1834-1937


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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1997.

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Call number BX8473.L3 A3 1916 (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Source Description: Autobiography of Bishop Isaac Lane, LL.D.: With a Short History of the C.M.E. Church in America and of Methodism
Lane, Isaac, 1834-1937 Nashville, Tenn.
Printed for the author [by] Publishing House of the M.E. Church, South
1916


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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 19th edition, 1996

Revision History:


        

Illustration

[Cover Image]


Illustration

[Frontispiece Image]
BISHOP ISAAC LANE, LL.D.
(AT EIGHTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE)


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[Title Page Image]


AUTOBIOGRAPHY
of
Bishop Isaac Lane, LL.D With a Short History of the C.M.E. Church In America and of Methodism

PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR
PUBLISHING HOUSE OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH
NASHVILLE, TENN,
1916

COPYRIGHT, 1916
BY
ISAAC LANE

DEDICATION

        To the many hundreds of young men and young women of my Church and race who need encouragement and inspiration; to my Church in general, and the ministers in particular, whom I have served as pastor, presiding elder, and bishop for a period covering more than sixty years; and to the reading public in general

        THIS LITTLE VOLUME IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED


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PREFACE.

        IN writing this little book the purpose of the author is to narrate in a brief manner the most important events in his own life, give a short biographical sketch of the early bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America who were his contemporaries, and at the same time point out some of the conditions and circumstances attendant upon the organization of his Church. The author has set his hands to this task, using such manuscripts and documents as he has in his possession and relying very largely upon his own memory for much material which he has used freely. He was a witness, if not a party, to every important movement in the Church from its very organization to the present time. What contribution he has made to its progress and development he is perfectly willing for others to estimate and record, but suffice it for him to say that he has done what he could for his Church and for the race.

        In this work the author has had the encouragement of a great many ministers and laymen who have insisted upon his putting in permanent form some of the historical data that he has used so often in his sermons, addresses, and lectures. This he has felt free to do.

        While selecting the material for this book the author has kept constantly in mind two classes of


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persons who may read it - viz.: (1) The young men of the Church who should be acquainted with the struggles of their Church in its infancy, the ambition of the founders (their sacrifices, failures, and successes), and who want to get a clear understanding of the special mission of their Church in the world, its purpose and its polity. (2) The other class of persons whom the author has held in mind is the reading public at large. I refer to that great body of intelligent men and women who want information concerning the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, along with the other great ecclesiastical organizations having for their purpose the saving of the people. The author realizes that it is very difficult for many well-meaning persons to understand why there was ever a demand made for the organization of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, and still more difficult for many to understand its relation to other Methodist Churches, and especially to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. A studious effort, it appears, has been made to impress the world that this Church was "set up and off" contrary to the wishes and desires of the members. Our records show that such was not the case. Several of our Annual Conferences formally and openly petitioned for an independent body regularly organized and properly manned, and it was upon these petitions and in keeping with them that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, took action.


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        If the author has accomplished nothing more than to show how the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, and to set forth its necessity and the great service it has rendered mankind during these forty-five years of its splendid history, he feels amply repaid for all the efforts he has put forth.


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CONTENTS.


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ILLUSTRATIONS.


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INTRODUCTION.

        IT is with a sense of peculiar joy that I introduce to the reading public Bishop Isaac Lane, D.D., LL.D., as an author. The joy in doing the pleasant task is not due to my ability to do it well, but to a desire I have always cherished to be in some way associated with the life and deeds of great men. The privilege I esteem very highly because of the very helpful acquaintance I have had with the author, the powerful influence of his saintly life upon me, the unblemished life he has lived among the people, and the large service he has rendered his Church and race in particular and humanity in general.

        The author is a bishop of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, having been elected in 1873 at Augusta, Ga., and remained in active service until May, 1914, when, upon his own request, he was granted relief from episcopal responsibilities.

         Bishop Lane is a rare product and gives value and nobility to the age that produced him. Born in slavery, deprived of educational advantages, surrounded by untoward conditions to hinder the progress inspired by the determination of his own soul, he has pushed his way from gross ignorance to a plane of intelligence inferior to none of like surroundings and superior to many of more favorable advantages; he has pushed his way from abject slavery to the highest peak in the esteem and confidence of the best people of both races.


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        As a man he has embodied and exemplified the virtues of a noble manhood - industrious, frugal, and rigidly honest; polite and courteous to everybody; humble but not cringing, respectful but not subservient; noble in purpose, lofty in aim, and persevering in worthy efforts.

        As a Christian he has given evidence of genuine repentance, sound conversion, and regeneration unquestioned. His loving heart, gentle and forgiving spirit, broad humanitarian sympathies, loyalty to truth and justice, and unswerving devotion to the right stand him yonder upon a pinnacle, pure and white, sun-crowned, with his head and heart lifted to God.

        As a preacher he is soundly orthodox, sublime in his conception of God and his eternal attributes, firm in his faith of the ultimate triumph of righteousness. He is deep and profound in thought, logical in reasoning, persuasive in argument, and powerful in delivery.

        As a bishop he has been abundant in labors, safe in his leadership, and wise and honest in his management of the affairs of the Church. His services have been unselfish, untiring, and abundantly fruitful. He founded Lane College and has contributed much in energy, time, money, and sacrifice to its growth and perpetuity. No man in his Church has done more to upbuild and expand the kingdom than has the intrepid Bishop Lane. During the forty-one years of his active service as a bishop there was


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never a cloud or suspicion over his moral character, and his official conduct has never been called in question. He is still respected, honored, and revered.

        He has been a close student of men, books, and conditions and is fitted by study, travel, and wide experience to talk or write in a most interesting manner. For years he has been importuned by people of both races to write a book, and after years of hesitancy he has finally yielded to the wishes of his many admirers.

        This book will be found interesting for its simple, direct, and easy style. The contents are both informational and inspirational. In a style all his own, the author recites interesting incidents and experiences in his own life with a humility that is charming. If the reader finds himself wishing for more than is told, it will be due to disinclination of the author to write fully about himself. He gives also the origin of Methodism in England and in America and then narrates interesting facts concerning the beginning of the various bodies of Methodists. With becoming brevity he discusses essential items of the General Conferences of his own Church, gives a brief sketch of each of the bishops, and furnishes extracts from some of his sermons and lectures.

        With a noble and unselfish purpose, the book is sent forth in the name of Christ. May the blessings of heaven rest upon all who may read its pages!

J. ARTHUR HAMLET

JACKSON, TENN., August 27, 1916.


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CHAPTER I.

THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN AMERICA ORGANIZED.

        SHIFTING scenes and events brought on by the War between the States forced the recently emancipated Negro to face new conditions and to live a new life. Slavery was abolished, but all of its attending evils did not pass with it. The South had been devastated, her wealth destroyed, and her resources depleted. The Southern white man had not only suffered the sting of defeat on the battle field, but his wealth had been destroyed, and he began to realize that he and his family must erect and support hereafter a lower standard of living than what they had enjoyed before. He could no longer order the slaves to do his bidding. His sons, who had been indulged in idleness and who had acquired a great averseness to labor and been taught by the awful system of slavery to look down upon work as menial and beneath the dignity of a "gentleman," were then forced to till the soil and do all manner of work with their hands. Naturally the Southern white man, smarting under the sting of defeat of arms, dejected in spirit because of a lower standard of living forced upon him and his family as a result of the war, was in no frame of mind to sympathize with the colored man, although the Negro's


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condition was most trying. What the white man had lost under arms he now attempted to gain through the courts and legislation, and thus the Negro had new fields to enter and new battles to fight. Homeless and penniless, he was turned out upon the world without shelter and food; yet the Negro resolved, by the help of God, to find a way or make one. He did not find it, but he made one.

        In the social and economic life of the Southern white people a break had come, and it ran all the way through the whole social fabric. The Methodists and Baptists, the Presbyterians and Episcopalians, all had Negro contingents, and the new conditions in the South made imperative an adjustment in matters of Church and religious affairs to correspond with those which had taken place already in the civic and political life. It was of mutual advantage to both the white man and the Negro for a separation to take place; and fortunately for the good of the cause, both were able to see it and work in harmony for the same end.

        When the Civil War broke out there were two hundred and six thousand colored people who sustained the relation of quasi members to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. I say advisedly that the colored people were, after a manner, members of the Southern Methodist Church, in that religious services were provided for them, they were enrolled as members, and, with certain restrictions, they were permitted to have their own meetings. After emancipation


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Illustration

BISHOP ISAAC LANE, LL.D.
(At sixty years of age.)


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it can be easily seen that this relation was not satisfactory, and at once a movement was inaugurated to give the Negroes a separate and independent organization that would be regular and orderly in every way. We were severely criticized and maligned because we did not rebel and secede. Other independent Negro Methodist Churches had rebelled and seceded, and because we chose to be regular and orderly we were charged with being sympathizers with slavery. In many places we were called Democrats and the like.

        With a view to our permanent separation, before our ministers had obtained their credentials from the Annual Conferences of the white Church, and before we had been organized into Annual Conferences of our own, we had respectfully requested to be given a separate and independent Church organization. The bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, helped in every way the perfecting of the organization; and so, after three years of labor and much prayer and supplication, our Church was organized in Jackson, Tenn., December 15-21, 1870, and thus began the only regular independent Negro Methodist Church organization in all the world.

        This Church has grown until to-day it has about two hundred thousand members, eight bishops, eleven general officers, with the following departments properly officered and manned - viz.: Boards of Missions, Church Extension, Ministerial Relief


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Society, Epworth League, Education, and Publication of Church and Sunday School Literature. These departments are seeking to help in fostering the many interests of the Church and in developing the intellectual, moral, and spiritual life of her constituency. Being the youngest daughter of the Methodist family, "to her much has been given, and of her much is required."

        The Church has property whose value runs into millions of dollars. Lane College, Paine College, Mississippi Industrial College, Miles Memorial College, and Phillips College are the leading institutions of learning.

        The greatest asset of the Church is the loyalty of its members and the consecration of its ministers. These "servants of God" are willing to suffer for the advancement of the "Church our blessed Redeemer bought with his own precious blood."


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CHAPTER II.

HOW AND BY WHOM THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN AMERICA WAS ORGANIZED.

        IN order to throw more light on this subject, we give below the address of the bishops that was sent out in 1873. It is worthy of a careful reading, in that it throws much light on how the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was organized:

To the Members of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America.

        We esteem it our duty and privilege most earnestly to recommend to you, as members of our Church, our form of discipline, which has been founded on the line of a long series of years, as also on the observations and remarks we have made on ancient and modern Churches.

        We wish to see this little publication in the house of every Methodist, and the more so as it contains the Articles of Religion maintained more or less, in part or in whole, by every reformed Church in the world.

        Far from wishing you to be ignorant of any of our doctrines or part of our discipline, we desire you to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the whole. You ought, next to the Word of God, to procure the articles and canons of the Church to which you belong.

        We deem it proper in this place to give you a brief account of the organization of our Connection:


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        From the introduction of Methodism on this continent we have ever constituted a part of the great Methodist family, first as members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America and also after the change took place by which we were known as the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States; and when the division took place, in 1844, which we regard as a legal and constitutional division of the Church, we formed a part of that division called the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which relation we have continued to sustain until the organization of our Church took place at the General Conference held at Jackson, Tenn., which began its session December 15, 1870, which day was spent in prayer and supplication to the Almighty, that his blessings might rest upon us; and on the following day the regular business of the session began, Bishop Robert Paine, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in the chair.

        The circumstances which led to our separate and distinct organization were as follows:

        When the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, met in New Orleans in April, 1866, the Conference found that by revolution and the fortunes of war a change had taken place in our political and social relations which made it necessary that a change should also be made in the ecclesiastical relations, and provision was made for our organization into separate congregations, districts, and Annual Conferences, if we desired it, and that two or more Annual Conferences should be formed, if it was our wish and met the approbation of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; we should have a General Conference organization like that of the General Conference of the


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Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as deacons and elders; and, should a General Conference be organized and suitable men be elected to the office of bishop, that the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, would ordain and set them apart as chief pastors among us.

        At the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Memphis, Tenn., in May, 1870, it was found that five Annual Conferences had been formed among us and that an almost universal desire had been expressed on our part that we might be organized into a separate and distinct Church, which was acquiesced in by the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and recommended to said Conference in their address. Whereupon, by our request, the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, together with Rev. A.L.P. Green, Samuel Watson, D.D., Edmund W. Sehon, Thomas Whitehead, D.D., R.J. Morgan, D.D., and Thomas Taylor, D.D., were appointed by said Conference to aid in organizing our General Conference at the time and place above specified; and at the succeeding sessions of our Annual Conferences delegates were elected to attend our General Conference, in accordance with the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

        It was further determined by the acts of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1866 that, should the time arrive when we should be formed into a separate and distinct organization, all property which was intended for the use and benefit of people of color held by trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church should be transferred to trustees appointed by us, to be held forever for our use and benefit.


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        It will be seen from the facts in the case that our record is clear and that we have descended regularly from the very fathers of Methodism and that our organization is both legal and constitutional.

We remain your very affectionate brethren and pastors, who labor night and day, both in public and private, for your good.

WILLIAM H. MILES, JOSEPH A. BEEBE, LUCIUS H. HOLSEY, ISAAC LANE.


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CHAPTER III.

ORIGIN OF METHODISM IN ENGLAND AND IN AMERICA.

        THE early history of Methodism makes interesting reading matter. It began in the year 1729 in the University of Oxford, England. It was here that John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, and a few others, while students, banded themselves together for their own intellectual and spiritual improvement. They were so systematic about all things that the less serious-minded students of the University in derision gave them the name of Methodists.

        The name was so appropriate that we find no record of its ever being resented by the Wesleys or any of their followers; and now, after the name has been glorified by more than a century of splendid achievements, there is no stigma or reflection in it as seen or felt by any one.

        The organizations were known first as Societies and continued by that name for more than fifty years. The first Methodist Society was organized in London, England, in 1739 by Mr. Wesley. Like all other great movements, it had a small beginning There were about ten persons who formed it, but soon a great revival spread over all Britain, so that shortly thereafter there were hundreds who joined the little band of earnest believers. It is a subject that has been commented upon frequently that in the midst of spiritual darkness God raised up three servants the equals of whom the world had not seen since the days of the apostles - viz.: John Wesley, the bishop, a man of great spiritual power, unusual executive ability, a ripe scholar and parliamentarian; George Whitefield, the preacher; and Charles Wesley, the poet. To these men more than to any others Methodism is indebted for its existence.

        Methodism began with experimental religion in the heart, and by spontaneous energies it projected itself in every direction by leaps and bounds. Through its class meetings, love feasts, and prayer meetings it propagated itself until its power was felt far and near. Mr. Wesley's own experience as he told it set the work on fire, and soon the fire which "strangely" warmed his heart was felt in the hearts of men the country over. But Methodism that was sweeping over England was not to be confined to that country. It soon spread to America, where it found plenty of material on which to glow and burn.

Methodism in America.

        The first Methodist Society in America was organized by Philip Embury, a local preacher, in the city of New York in 1766. Barbara Heck, a Christian woman, was the prime mover in the work; and so a woman was in the lead in the formation of this Church, and it is a fact worthy of noting that woman has been used largely by Methodism ever since in forwarding its good work The first Methodist


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church was built in John Street, New York, in 1768. Thus began an organization that has spread from one end of our country to the other, and the world is better by reason of its influence and good work.

The First Annual Conference.

        Robert Strawbridge, Richard Boardman, Joseph Pilmore, Francis Asbury, and Richard Wright were all prominent workers in establishing the early Methodist Churches in this country. Francis Asbury soon became the most influential man in American Methodism because of his zeal and power as a gospel preacher. The first Annual Conference was held in Philadelphia in 1773. There were then but ten traveling preachers, six circuits, and eleven hundred and sixty members. Thomas Rankin, an honored minister of much influence and power, presided over the deliberations of the Conference. The business was very simple, and the session was brief. The most important work done was the agreement on the part of the preachers to abide by the doctrines and discipline of John Wesley. These Conferences were held each year at different places until December 25, when the last one was held in Baltimore in Lovely Lane Chapel. This session brought to a close the era of Wesleyan Methodism in America and at the same time prepared the way for the Methodist Episcopal Church. At this time there were eighty-three traveling preachers and fourteen thousand nine hundred and eighty-six members.


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        In 1784 the Methodist Episcopal Church was formally organized. Thomas Coke, an assistant of Mr. Wesley in England, was sent over for the purpose of consummating the organization. Thomas Coke, LL.D., and Francis Asbury were elected the first bishops by the Conference (called the Christmas Conference), which met December 25, 1784, and Continued in session until January 2, 1785. This organization now gave greater prestige to the Church as a Church. They had been called Societies, and now they were to be known as Churches. They had been considered members of the Established Church of England; now they were to be considered as a separate and independent organization. Mr. Wesley himself continued during his lifetime a regular presbyter in the Church of England and gave Dr. Coke authority to exercise the office of a bishop in America, calling him a superintendent, which is only another name for bishop. Mr. Wesley also directed Dr. Coke to ordain Francis Asbury to the same office; and thus began the episcopacy which has been kept up through all of these years in the various branches of American Methodism.

The First Methodist General Conference.

        The first Methodist General Conference convened in Baltimore, Md., November 1, 1792. The Conference directed that the next General Conference should meet after an interval of four years.


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Although recognizing its full ecclesiastical authority, the members bound themselves not to make any changes in the doctrine and polity of Methodism as enunciated by Mr. Wesley or in any of the recognized rules observed by the Methodists in the past, unless the new measure received a two-thirds majority vote. The presiding elder's term of office in any district was limited to four years, which rules have been followed in practice ever since.

        After the organization of the first General Conference of the Methodist Church, the others were held regularly, and the ordinary routine of work was done from time to time as the welfare of the organization demanded. The question of slaveholding disturbed the peace and quietude of the Church as well as that of the State. The more prominent this question became in the halls of legislation, the more serious it became in the Church. So finally, in 1840, the question of slaveholding became an issue claiming much prominence in the General Conference. This storm that threatened the unity of the Methodist Church was brooding over the organization, without much hope of its being arrested or turned back. So at the very next General Conference, held in New York City May 1 to June 10, a Plan of Separation with the South was adopted. A fuller report of the separation is given in another chapter of this book.

        In 1856 Bishop Burns, of Liberia, was ordained the first colored bishop in the Methodist Episcopal


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Church. He was a missionary bishop and as such exercised the duties of his office only in Africa

        This great Church has grown until to-day her membership is three million six hundred and fifty thousand five hundred, with eighteen thousand nine hundred and fifty ministers and thirty thousand churches. Of these, there are more than three hundred thousand Negro members, who are represented in every sphere of service in the gift of the Church, save that of bishop as a general superintendent. Besides secretaries of the various departments and editors of official organs, Negroes preside over and teach in some of the best schools supported by this Church for Negro people. In these positions of honor and trust they have reflected credit upon the Church and the race to which they belong.

        The proposed organic union of the Methodist Churches, and especially the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at this particular time (1916) is receiving considerable attention. How this union, when consummated, will affect the status of the Negro membership is a question that is as interesting as it is speculative. It will be recalled that colored Conferences were established in this Church in 1852, and by 1860 practically all of the colored Churches belonged to the distinctive Negro Annual Conferences, and this system remains to this day; so the contact is not so frequent or so close as to be objectionable even to the most prejudiced of their fellow Churchmen.


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CHAPTER IV.

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH, ORGANIZED.

        THERE were perhaps several causes leading up to the separation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, from the Methodist Episcopal Church, but slavery was the one that furnished the background for the most of them. It was the one that could not be held in check or averted. The following resolution, offered by Griffith and Davis, two delegates to the General Conference of 1844, is self-explanatory and indicates the nature of the trouble that was brooding and the one on account of which the great Church was to be divided. (See General Conference Journal, May 23, 1844.)

        Whereas the Rev. James O. Andrew, one of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, has become connected with slavery, as communicated in his statement in his reply to the inquiry of the Committee on Episcopacy, which reply is embodied in their Report No. 3, offered yesterday; and whereas it has been, from the origin of said Church, the settled policy and the invariable usage to elect no person to the office of bishop who was embarrassed with this "great evil," as under such circumstances it would be impossible for a bishop to exercise the function and perform the duties assigned to a general superintendent with acceptance in that large portion of his charge in which slavery does not exist; and whereas Bishop Andrew, himself nominated by our brethren of the slaveholding population, was, nevertheless, free from all personal connection with


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slavery; and whereas this is, of all periods in our history as a Church, the one least favorable to such an innovation upon the practice and usage of Methodism as to confide a part of the itinerant general superintendency to a slaveholder; therefore

        Resolved, That the Rev. James O. Andrew be and is hereby affectionately requested to resign his office as one of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

        There were other documents of a more conciliatory nature introduced, but they served only as oil poured upon the flames already kindled. The delegates from the Southern States were already determined as to their course, and those from the Northern and Eastern States were equally determined in their course. All were able to see that a separation was inevitable. A Plan of Separation was adopted, and soon the movement for a separate and independent organization was set on foot. This plan left the initiative and the final decision with the delegates from the Southern States, and they were not very slow in acting. A general convention was called to meet the next year in Louisville, Ky.

The Louisville Convention.

        The Church in the South and Southwest, in her Quarterly and Annual Conferences, approved the course of their delegates in the General Conference and declared her conviction that a separate organization was necessary to her existence and prosperity. Delegates representing fifteen Annual Conferences


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assembled in Louisville, Ky., in accordance with the call, May 1, 1845. Bishops Joshua Soule James O. Andrew presided, and Rev. T.N. Ralston and Rev. T.O. Summers were elected Secretaries. The following resolutions were adopted, with only three dissenting voices:

        Be it resolved by the delegates of the several Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the slaveholding States in general convention assembled, That it is right, expedient, and necessary to erect the Annual Conferences represented in this convention into a distinct ecclesiastical connection separate from the jurisdiction of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church as at present constituted; and accordingly we, the delegates of the Annual Conferences, by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, entirely dissolved; and that a separate ecclesiastical connection under the provisional Plan of Separation aforesaid and based upon the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, comprehending the doctrines and entire moral, ecclesiastical, and economic rules and regulations of said Discipline, except in so far as verbal alterations may be necessary to a distinct organization, and to be known by the style and title of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

        Resolved, That we cannot abandon or compromise the principle of action upon which we proceed to a separate organization in the South; nevertheless, cherishing a sincere desire to maintain Christian union and fraternal intercourse with the Church (North), we shall always be ready, kindly and respectfully, to entertain duly and carefully consider


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any proposition or plan having for its object the union of the two great bodies in the North and South, whether such proposed union be jurisdictional or connectional.

        Bishops Soule and Andrew were requested to unite with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, "upon the basis of the Plan of Separation." Bishop Soule at once gave the convention to understand that he felt bound to carry out the plan of episcopal visitation as outlined by the bishops in New York, while Bishop Andrew connected himself with, and was recognized as a bishop of, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. On May 1, 1846, the first General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was convened in Petersburg, Va., Bishops Soule and Andrew presiding. General officers were elected, and the newly formed Church was provided with all the officers necessary for the proper care of every phase and department of the Church work.

        Thus began a Church that has grown in membership and wealth until to-day it is recognized as one of the world-wide powers for the establishing of righteousness in the hearts of men. This Church has upward of two million members, three large and flourishing Publishing Houses, a complete system of colleges and universities, sixteen bishops, fourteen general officers, and Church property valued at millions of dollars. In the Methodist family the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, takes second rank with the Methodist Episcopal Church.


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CHAPTER V.

THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL AND THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCHES - PRIORITY STILL AN OPEN QUESTION - HOW ZION WAS ORGANIZED; ITS GROWTH.

        WHICH of these organizations, the African Methodist Episcopal or the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, is the older is yet an open question. The irregular manner in which they were organized makes it very difficult to determine with any degree of satisfaction when they as organizations were born. The Zionists insist on the year 1796 as the beginning of their Church. If we take this date as their starting point as a denomination, we shall have to recognize this Church as the oldest of the separate and independent Church organizations among the Negro people of this country. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that "Mother Zion Church," in New York, was organized and established in 1796; but the Zion Church as anything like a connection was not organized until 1828. The members who afterwards became members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church remained with the mother Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, until about this time. This can be easily inferred from the following address, drafted February 22, 1820, by a committee consisting of John Dungy, James Varick, Charles Anderson, and William Miller and sent by them to the members and


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bishops of the Philadelphia and New York Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This address is taken from the history as given by Bishop J.J. Moore, of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church:

To the Bishops and Preachers of the Philadelphia and New York Arrival Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Assembled.

        Respected Brethren: We, the official members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Asbury Church of New York, of the Wesley Church of Philadelphia, of Zion Church of New Haven, Conn., and of Zion Church of Long Island, in consolidation forming a Methodist body, beg leave to present to your honorable body an address on a subject to us of great importance and, we trust, not a matter of indifference to you. In the first place, permit us to humbly and sincerely tender our thanks for what you have done for us in the kind service you have rendered us when in our infant state. We trust that the great Head of the Church in his goodness may continue to reward you for your labors among us, you who have been the instruments in bringing us from darkness to light, from the power of sin and Satan to God. Permit us further to say that when the Methodist Society in America was small the Africans enjoyed comfortable privileges among their white brethren, but as the white element increased the Africans were pressed back. Therefore it was thought necessary for them to have separate places of worship, giving the African a better opportunity of full religious enjoyment and privileges. It is well known that our


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number has greatly increased within the last few years. Many are still coming into the fold of Christ. Among us preachers have been raised up whose labors God has blessed. But hitherto they have been too limited in their ministerial privileges. They have not had the opportunity of traveling as we think God designs that they should have, at least to reach our own race in the evangelical work of the Christian Church. There is no provision in the mother Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, for us in the itinerant work, that colored preachers may go forth and dispense the Word of Life among our own race. And now it seems that the time has come when something should be done for the improvement of the colored brethren in the ministry. But how shall this be accomplished? We have not the least expectation that the African preachers will be admitted to a seat and vote with their white brethren in ecclesiastical assemblages. [This is not what they ought to have expected among Christian brethren, who could not fail to understand the divine lesson on its being a sin to have respect of person; and if simply on account of clothing, much more a sin on account of race or color. James ii. 9, 10.]

        We do not desire to unite with the R. Allen party, being dissatisfied with their general manner of procedure. The brethren in the city of New York, after due consideration, have concluded to form an itinerant plan and establish an Annual Conference for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion preachers, under the patronage of the white bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. We believe that such an arrangement effected would tend greatly to promote the spiritual interest of our people generally;


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our preachers would receive more encouragement in their ministerial labors. If we should commence this important work of forming said itinerant plan and establishing an African Annual Conference under the supervision of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the two Societies, the Zion and Asbury Churches in New York City, with the Philadelphia Society, with their connectional title, shall be the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in America. We have also selected a portion of the Discipline of the mother Church (the Methodist Episcopal Church) for our government, with the necessary modifications to meet the circumstances of our organization. To this we beg leave to refer you for perusal. After you have considered our case, should our proceedings meet your approval, and should you decide to comply with our wishes, we will stand ready to receive such advice or instructions as you may think proper to give us through our reverend father in the Lord, Bishop McKendree or any other whom the Conference may see fit to select. On the subject of ordination to eldership, of which our preachers have all been deprived, we might have obtained it from other sources; but we preferred to follow the advice of Bishop McKendree, given to us in New York, to wait until the meeting of your Annual Conference in this and the New York District; then we could fully understand what the mother Church could do for us in the matter. In consequence of some uneasiness in the minds of some of our brethren or members in New York City, we have been under the necessity of electing three of our deacons to the office of elders and some of the preachers to the office of deacons. We hereby show our people that


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their preachers can be properly authorized to administer the ordinances of God's Church. We believe it has had the desired effect of settling the minds of our brethren and advancing the work of the Lord. We expect our first yearly Conference to be held in the city of New York on the 24th day of June next, at which time we hope to have the happiness of hearing that our reverend father, Bishop William McKendree, presided and took jurisdiction of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. With this hope we rest, awaiting your answer, meanwhile praying that the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls may guide you in your deliberations, in ours, and in all other cases; that your conclusions may be pleasing in his sight and tend to advance the kingdom of Christ among the African race.

        N.B. - Should the above address be sanctioned by your honorable body, and should you be pleased to act upon it immediately, you will forward it on to the New York Annual Conference for their consideration and action. Should the time appointed by us for the sitting of the Annual Conference be inconvenient to the person who might be appointed to organize the same, we are willing to change the time a few days sooner or later, provided you will please give us timely notice for such change. But should you see fit not to favor the address in any respect, you will have the goodness to return it to the bearer.

        Signed in behalf of the official members of both Societies, at a special meeting called for that purpose, March 23, 1821, in the city of New York.

JAMES VARICK, Chairman;GEORGE COLLINS, Secretary.


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        The foregoing address being prepared, Rev. Abraham Thompson and Leven Smith were appointed a committee to present it to the official brethren of the Society at Philadelphia (the Wesley). They presented the same, and it was approved by them. Brothers Thompson and Smith then conveyed it to the Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, convened at Milford, Del. The Conference received it and acted upon it. In 1822 James Varick, Abraham Thompson, Christopher Rush, and James Smith were appointed a committee to wait upon Bishop McKendree, who refused to ordain the preachers or recognize them. These men were ordained shortly thereafter by James Covell, Sylvester Hutchinson, and W. M. Stillwell. During this same year an extra session of the Conference was called, and James Varick was elected superintendent of the whole connection.

Zion's First General Conference.

        In 1828 the first General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was held in Zion Church, New York City. There were twelve preachers present, with James Varick presiding. The Rev. Christopher Rush was elected superintendent, or bishop, for "the first time."* At first the bishops of this Church were elected annually; afterwards they were elected for a term of four years.

* Moore's "History of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church," page 100.

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        This continued until 1880, when the bishops were elected for life or during good behavior: Since then this great Church has had a remarkable growth. It now has twelve bishops, two hundred and eighty-nine thousand members, two thousand two hundred and four organizations, with Church property valued at more than five million dollars. This Church has a full set of general officers, a publication department, and much valuable school property. Livingstone College, at Salisbury, N.C., is its leading institution of learning.


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CHAPTER VI.

THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

        THE African Methodist Episcopal Church (Bethel) is the largest Negro Methodist Church in the world. Its history runs back as far as 1784, although as a Church organization we must take as the time of its birth the convening of the "Friend of Manhood Christianity" in Philadelphia, April 9, 1816. The following persons were members of the convention:

        The first General Conference of this infant of God was held in the city of Philadelphia in 1816. There we find in this body the following princes in heart: Rev. Richard Allen, Jacob Tapisco, Clayton Durham, James Champion, and Thomas Webster, of Philadelphia, Pa.; Daniel Coker, Richard Williams, Henry Harden, Stephen Hill, Edward Williamson, and Nicholson Gailliard, of Baltimore, Md.; Peter Spencer, of Wilmington, Del.; Jacob Marsh, Edward Jackson, and William Andrew, of Attleborough, Pa.; and Peter Cuff, of Salem, N. J.

        Bishop B.W. Arnett, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, gives the following account of the work of the first General Conference of this Church:

        Richard Allen was elected to preside over the body; Rev. Daniel Coker was elected Vice Chairman; Richard Allen, Jr., was elected Secretary.

        The convention resolved "that we will favor an


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independent Church organization." The committee appointed for this purpose reported the first Discipline of the Church. It was the Methodist Episcopal Church doctrine and government, except the presiding eldership.

        The convention elected, under the new form of government, two bishops, Richard Allen and Daniel Coker. Richard Allen was not present when the election took place; but the next morning when the journal was read he arose and informed the convention that he was sensible of the honor conferred on him, as well as the duties that would be expected of him, but, with a sense of his duty to his Church and the fitness of things, he was of the opinion that two bishops were too many for the organization to start with. One bishop was enough at this time, he said. He stated that he would resign his office and let the convention say which should hold over.

        This speech created some hard feelings on the part of the Baltimore delegation, who were in favor of Daniel Coker. The Philadelphians were in favor of Richard Allen. So the whole matter relating to the election of bishops was reconsidered, and a new election was held, when Richard Allen was elected; and on the 11th day of April, 1816, he was ordained by the imposition of hands of five ordained elders in the Church of God. The convention, after it had made arrangements for the meeting of the Annual Conference at Baltimore, adjourned, after completing one of the most important events of the age, when we consider the effects it has had upon the development of Negro manhood.

        In defense of the work of this convention, we quote further from the works of Bishop B.W. Arnett, of that Church:


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        If Mr. Wesley had a right to ordain Dr. Coke, by the same rule Absalom Jones might ordain Richard Allen, and the ordination must be equally valid. And if "three elders and one deacon" or "three elders" can "ordain a bishop" to answer the purpose, by the same party the ordination of the Rev. Richard Allen must be equal, in point of virtue, as any now among Methodists. Therefore why not emit and transmit as much sanctity among those on whom he may lay his hands as any other Methodist bishop, according to the doctrine of episcopacy, provided he be as holy in heart, walking with God, whereby he may do it in the power of faith under the sanctifying influence of the grace of God.

        No one has ever doubted the real strength of Richard Allen's character or his devotion to racial ideals. From 1816 Bishop Richard Allen continued as the only bishop of the Church until 1828, when Rev. Morris Brown was elected as the second bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. As the Church grew in strength of organization it grew in members, until to-day the Church has a splendid organization, with fifteen bishops, over seven thousand organizations, and more than five hundred thousand members. It has Church property valued at more than ten million dollars. Wilberforce and Morris Brown Universities are its leading institutions of learning.


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CHAPTER VII.

THE STORY OF MY EARLY LIFE.

        I HAVE delayed for some time the writing of this little book, in which I hope to set forth the principal events of my life, in a studious effort to put it in as brief a form as possible. Covering a period of more than sixty years of public service, the difficulty of selecting the material can be easily seen.

        I was born March 3, 1834, in the Western division of the State of Tennessee, in Madison County, five miles north of the city of Jackson, where I grew up to manhood. I was reared almost motherless and fatherless, having no parental care and guidance given me. I had an early conception of God, and somehow I was inspired to be religious. I sought religion when quite young; but I did not embrace faith until I was twenty-one years of age, that being the 11th day of September, 1854. It was then that I was happily converted and set out to serve God. Three or four months after my conversion I was called to preach. I joined the Methodist Church in Jackson, Tenn., October 21, 1854, where I retained my membership until the Civil War was over. It was then that I joined Salem Church, out about five miles from Jackson. I was licensed to exhort in November, 1856. This was the beginning of my public ministerial life. Being born in obscurity, out in the country, five miles from town, on a large


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farm, I thought that no good could come from one raised with these environments and under these unfavorable conditions. To begin with, one can see clearly that my way was dark; but with the gift that God gave me, I began to work and continued until I was brought into notice by the people among whom I lived.

        My early life was spent on the farm; and, like the majority of the members of my race of that day, I was denied all the advantages of early training such as would prepare me for public service. I shared in all the evils common to slaves during those dark and bitter days. Pen will never be able to record, tongue will never describe the trials, the sufferings, and the heartaches of those days. Truly, slavery furnishes the blackest chapter in the history of the American republic and is the greatest and foulest crime of the nation.

        I learned to read and write under the greatest difficulties. I was not only deprived of a teacher, but I was not allowed the use of a book or a pencil. I had to learn the best I could. I soon found out what a great advantage it was to read and write, and I applied myself diligently to them as opportunities could be made. After the Civil War I established regular hours for the studying and the reading of God's Word, and these I have kept all of these years. I coveted the morning hours the most, although in the evening, when the hours for work were over, I would read and meditate until my


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candlelight or pine torch would fail me or my body would succumb to fatigue and I would fall asleep. The Bible, Binney's "Theological Compend," Clarke's "Commentaries," Watson's "Bible Dictionary," and Ralston's "Elements of Divinity" were among the first books that I studied. These books I read with a fascination from which I have not escaped to this day.

My First Marriage and Early Experiences.

        When I was nineteen years and ten months old I was married to Miss Frances Ann Boyce, a young woman of eighteen years, who had attracted considerable attention because of her industry, modesty, neatness in dress, and ladylike bearing. She was not a converted Christian, and I was exceedingly anxious for her to have the joy and love that had come into my life when I was brought from darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. I at once began to pray that my mother and wife could enjoy the gift of grace unto salvation. There were three large families on the plantation on which I lived, and we held prayer meetings every Saturday night. Many persons professed faith in Christ in our meetings, and one of these was my wife. It was remarkable to me how she was converted. We were singing an old plantation melody, and these were the words: "God has done delivered Daniel; why not deliver me?"

        At night I would hold family prayer with my


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wife and mother; and in those prayers the good Lord blessed my labors, and they were brought into the Church. They joined New Salem Church with me.

        To us were born eleven children, who lived to reach manhood and womanhood. Many were the trials I had to pass through to rear them; but I established the custom of praying three times a day on bended knees alone and in secret, and God did not fail to hear me. This custom I still observe. When I had no closet in which to enter, I made one of my hands, for I wanted to be a good man. I desired not only to live right before the people of the community, but before my wife and children as well as before my God. The natural gifts that God gave me when called upon to lead prayer service soon brought me to the front; and as practice makes perfect, the more I was called upon to pray, sing, and exhort, the greater was the number who professed faith in Christ. This caused my fame to spread throughout the community, and a great many sinners and wicked men were brought to Christ. Soon my reputation as a preacher having power with God and influence with man went abroad among both white and colored people. This was the period between the years 1856 and 1861. When the Civil War broke out, the white people were very hard on the Negroes. They did not want them to meet in any kind of gatherings, save that for preaching and praying. Ofttimes this was offensive and called for


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the greatest vigilance on the part of the slave owners. The only time blood was drawn from my body after I was a man was on the occasion of our holding prayer meeting. As all well know, the Negroes were praying to the Almighty to be set free, and the white people were praying to the Lord that they be held in bondage. So for three years there was much supplication. The whole country was in hostility. The North was arrayed against the South, and the South was pitted against the North, and the Lord only knows how the Negroes were made to suffer during those trying days. Those were times that tried the very hearts of men. It has been a wonder to me how I made it through so well with my home affairs. I had a large family to support, but a painstaking, devoted, and true wife. To me she was a true helpmeet. Her honor and word were above gold and silver. She enjoyed the fullest confidence and profoundest respect of all who knew her. For purity of life, personal honor, and integrity no woman ever surpassed her.


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CHAPTER VIII.

MY EARLY LIFE IN THE MINISTRY.

        SHORTLY after my conversion I was overcome with a feeling that I ought to preach. I strove for months to get rid of it, but without success. I went to a man in whose piety and Christian virtue I had much confidence and made known to him my struggle and the feeling that was then strong upon me. He gave me his sympathy and directed me to a certain preacher for counsel and aid; but this man did not believe in Negroes preaching, and he gave me no encouragement. I next sought the advice of a colored man whom the Methodists had helped. He was a pure Christian man, and he told me that if God had really called me to preach he surely knew his own business better than man and advised me not to trouble myself, but trust God. I did trust him; and soon thereafter the inspiration came, and I firmly decided to enter upon the work of a minister.

        I sent in my petition to a Quarterly Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for license to preach. The Conference did not grant my request, but gave me license to exhort instead. The committee explained that the Church did not believe it proper to grant license to Negroes to preach. Rev. George Harris was the presiding elder, and Rev. A.R. Wilson was the preacher in charge of the local Church. Rev. Wilson was my


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personal friend up to the time of his death, and he took a lively interest in my career and my work. In the early days of my ministry I regarded him as a great and good man, and during all the years of our acquaintance thereafter the esteem in which I held him when I was a young man did not suffer in any way.

        During the Civil War the attitude of the Southern Methodist Church toward granting license to Negroes to preach had undergone some changes, and so I appeared again for license to preach. This time I was sent before the Quarterly Conference presided over by Elder William H. Lee. After asking many questions bearing upon almost every phase of the doctrines of Christ and the Church, I was granted license to preach. I recall many of the questions that were asked and the answers that I gave. I shall never forget the occasion and the keen interest every one seemed to feel in the examination I was called upon to take. I give below a few of the questions and the answers that provoked considerable interest and discussion - viz.:

        Question. Are all men sinners?

        Answer: Yes.

        Q. What Scriptural proof or reference have you to offer?

        A. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

        Q. Is conviction a voluntary act or an involuntary one?

        A. Involuntary.


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        Q. Can you give a Scriptural reference?

        A. "The grace that brings salvation has appeared unto all men, teaching them godliness."

        Q. What is the difference between justification and repentance?

        A. Justification is the work done for me, while regeneration is the work done in me. The former takes place in the courts of heaven, while the latter takes place in the human heart.

        These questions, together with others somewhat similar, being satisfactorily answered, I was granted license to preach, and I felt a freedom that I had not enjoyed before.

        I have already spoken of the prayer meetings and the splendid opportunity they afforded in exercising the gifts that God had given me and the deepening of the work of grace in our hearts. These meetings proved to be a great preparation for the work that I was called upon to do after I had entered fully into the work of the Christian ministry. Being licensed to preach, I was frequently called upon to preach and exhort, especially on Sunday afternoons, not only to my people, but the white people also would come out in large numbers to hear me. At first I was very much embarrassed to preach before such large crowds, because I realized fully that I was without education and had but little opportunity of learning anything. But God helped me wonderfully and blessed my work.

        From the time I was licensed to exhort up to 1865 I held meetings for our people. We had glorious


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times, and many converts would rise and "tell of Jesus and his love." These meetings made our country famous for Methodism during the war. At some places we had stormy times. The old days of the beginning of the Wesleyan Movement in England, in Ireland, and in Wales had their reflex in these. Many times my life was in great danger, and the white people were constantly being reviled and reprimanded because they had encouraged me in preaching. The persecutors went so far as to burn down the church houses in which I had preached to my people. But I had gone too far in the work to be stopped by such methods. Too many people, both white and colored, believed in me to be sidetracked by any such methods; for at this time not only Methodists, but Christian people of all denominations, upheld me and sought to give encouragement. One good old Presbyterian brother said to me after I had preached in his church: "Brother Lane, keep on preaching the gospel, and we will keep on building church houses until the trumpet blows. Let them burn down. We will build, and you shall preach."


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CHAPTER IX.

THE EARLY DAYS OF FREEDOM.

        THE Emancipation Proclamation that had been prepared by President Abraham Lincoln in the month of July, of the year 1862, was not issued until January 1 of the year 1863. It did not go into effect at this time, as we all know, but its influence was felt at once the country over. A studious effort was made on the part of a good many people to keep the issuance of this proclamation a profound secret to the Negroes. But it could not be done. There was too much excitement for such a clever piece of work to be done with any degree of success, and there were too many Negroes who were able to read and understand the trend of affairs to be misled by any subterfuge that might be resorted to by the sympathizers of the Lost Cause. The Confederacy was doomed, and this proclamation was the death knell to slavery on the American continent. The moral effect was wonderful. Strong men who had put all their faith in the supremacy of the Confederate army now began to weaken and became despaired of success. The slaves saw it, and it required great effort on their part to suppress their feelings of rejoicing.

        After Lee had surrendered and the Confederacy had gone to pieces and Jefferson Davis had become a refugee, our owners called us together and told us


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we were free and had to take care of ourselves. There I was with a large, dependent family to support. I had no money, no education, no mother nor father to whom to look for help in any form. Our former owners prophesied that half of us would starve, but not so. It must be admitted, however, that we had a hard time, and it seemed at times that the prophecy would come true; but the harder the time, the harder we worked and the more we endured. For six months we lived on nothing but bread, milk, and water. We had a time to keep alive; but by praying all the time, with faith in God, and believing that he would provide for his own, we saved enough to get the next year not only bread, milk, and water, but meat also.

        The next year my family fared much better, and I was able to devote more time to the work of the ministry. I took an active part in the Church and soon gained the confidence and respect of both white and colored people. At our own request, our Church was organized as an independent society, and we took the name of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. In 1866 we had a Conference of our own in Jackson, Tenn., known as the Tennessee, North Alabama, and North Mississippi Annual Conference. I was elected and ordained deacon one day, and on the next day I was elected and ordained elder. At the close of this Conference I was appointed the presiding elder of the Jackson District of the above-named Annual Conference,


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which position I held for four years. Meanwhile we found that the territory and membership embraced by this Annual Conference were entirely too large; and so later on out of this Conference we organized the Tennessee, North Alabama, North Mississippi, and West Tennessee Annual Conferences.

        As I won the confidence and respect of the people I grew into prominence in the Church. At the session of the Tennessee Annual Conference that convened in Brownsville, Tenn., I was elected the leader of the Tennessee delegation to the first General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Bishop David S. Doggett, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, presided over the deliberations of this Conference and gave service that was highly satisfactory to all the brethren. It is difficult for any one who was not present to understand and appreciate the attitude of the Southern Methodist Church, as exemplified through its bishops and other leaders, toward the colored work. It is far more difficult to explain it. There was a fraternal sympathy, a mutual good will, a kindly interest that made the relation cordial and highly helpful.

        The Jackson District was a prominent appointment. As the elder I was given an assessment in the way of a salary of four hundred dollars per year. As a matter of fact, I was paid all the way from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars a year


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during the four years I served in this capacity. Having served the time limit, I was afterwards assigned to the work as pastor of Liberty Colored Methodist Episcopal Church at Jackson, Tenn., and served that congregation for a little more than a year for the handsome salary of one hundred and seventy-five dollars! My family was large and growing, and I had to do much work on the farm in order to support my family properly. Nevertheless, during my pastorate I was successful in increasing the membership of this Church from seventy to three hundred members. These were great days for me in the ministry. I preached with much freedom and great power. My conversion and conduct showed to the people that I was sincere in my purpose and earnest in my efforts, and men seemed to realize that I was called of God. All of these things gave me the confidence and respect of the people, and I gradually grew into prominence and general favor.


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CHAPTER X.

OUR FIRST GENERAL CONFERENCE.

        As early as the fall of 1877 several of the Annual Conferences of the future Colored Methodist Episcopal Church were organized, and by the spring of 1870 the number had been greatly increased. The General Conference had been called to assemble in the fall of 1870, and there was much interest displayed in the affairs of the new organization. I shall always remember the session of the Tennessee Annual Conference that convened at Brownsville, Tenn., and was presided over by Bishop David S. Doggett, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The day before the convening of the Conference my wife's mother received a stroke of paralysis and fell dead. I received the message and had to return home to be with my loved ones during those sad hours. I rode all the way from Brownsville to Jackson on horseback. After giving all the comfort and consolation possible, I returned to the Conference room with a heavy heart. I was informed that the brethren, during my absence, had selected me as one of the delegates to the forthcoming session of the General Conference. I felt very keenly the confidence thus expressed and the honor conferred and sought by my conduct to prove worthy of it. I had labored earnestly, and this recognition was a source of comfort to me.


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        In reading of the work of those early days let us remember that conditions were unlike the conditions of to-day in many respects. The people were greatly scattered and were constantly moving from one place to another. This was necessarily true because of the unsettled condition of everything in the country. It was no easy task to keep up with the people and safeguard the interests of the Church.

        On December 15, 1870, the first General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America assembled in Jackson, Tenn. This was an interesting gathering of men. Among the more prominent persons who made up this Conference, as I recall, were Revs. Worden P. Churchill, Joseph Crouch, Benjamin Bullard, R.T. White, John W. Lane, Esquire Bobo, Isaac H. Anderson, R.H. Vanderhorst, and Lucius H. Holsey. W.H. Miles was a reserve delegate from the Kentucky Annual Conference. Among the active laymen there were Henry Hammond, James Graves, Augustus Bostick, and Wesley Ware. These men were the leaders in doing the early legislation of the Church. December 15, the first day of the Conference, was spent in prayer. I shall never forget the scenes of that day. A great work was to be done, and all seemed to realize the necessity of divine help and guidance. It was a precedent worthy of the men and the occasion and one that the succeeding General Conferences might do well to emulate. The white brethren commissioned by the Church to help us in every


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way necessary were there praying with us, that no mistake be made in the important work before us. During that service a great spiritual wave swept over us as we lingered at the throne of grace. Bishop George F. Pierce, D.D., presided over this Conference; while the Rev. James A. Heard, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was the Secretary pro tem. Bishop Pierce then requested Dr. A. L.P. Green, of Nashville, Tenn., to read the action of the General Conferences bearing upon our request to them for a separate organization and their action with respect to the same. These documents made clear the fact that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was anxious to help in every way possible to establish our Church and give us the advantage of their experience and knowledge. After listening to the reading of these documents, the brethren set their hands to the work before them.

        The organization was made permanent by the election of Rev. J.A. Heard, Secretary, and the Rev. L.J. Scurlock, Assistant Secretary. A majority of the delegates elected being present, the Conference proceeded to business. Besides the various committees that were appointed, the following work was done in a manner highly creditable to the Church and the delegates: The Rules of Order as set forth in the "Manual of Discipline" of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were adopted for the government of the Conference. The Conference chose as the name of their Church the Colored Methodist


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Episcopal Church in America. It adopted, in the main, the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with such changes as necessity required, as the Book of Discipline of the new Church. It elected the Rev. William Henry Miles, a reserve delegate from the Kentucky Annual Conference, and the Rev. Richard H. Vanderhorst, of Charleston, S. C., as the first bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. It created and established a Publication House, locating the same in Memphis, Tenn., with the Rev. L.J Scurlock as Agent. It established the Christian Index as its official organ and elected the Rev. Samuel Watson as its first editor. It established and fixed the boundaries of the nine Annual Conferences already organized, prorated the amount of funds to be raised by the Annual Conferences, and adjourned to meet four years from that date or at the call of the Senior Bishop, W.H. Miles. Without precedent or experience, the leaders entered upon their duties with a deep sense of their responsibilities and obligations. The polity of the Church had to be established, its relation to all other bodies had to be defined, and the protection of its interests had to be secured. It can be easily seen that these things were enough to fill the hands of the leaders to overflowing; and we venture the assertion that, had they not been men of action and of great vision, they would have failed in their first attempts. Be it said to the credit of the General Conference that both of the


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bishops elected were men of strong personal character and much executive ability. Rev. William H. Miles was a great preacher and a strong executive, while the Rev. R.H. Vanderhorst had won a wide reputation as a great evangelist and a matchless orator. These men with much ceremony were ordained bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America by Bishops Robert Paine and Holland N. McTyeire, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and were consecrated to this holy office December 19, 1870. Both being endowed with great physical parts, they gave promise of many years of usefulness to their Church. But not so. The duties were too onerous, the work was entirely too heavy, and the physical and mental strain was too great for them to live long. In July, 1872, Bishop R.H. Vanderhorst died, after serving the Church only eighteen months as a chief pastor. His passing was a subject of much grief and disappointment to the entire Church. Befitting memorial services were held throughout the connection to his honor and memory. The death of Bishop Vanderhorst multiplied the duties devolving upon the shoulders of Bishop Miles and forced the convening of the General Conference one year earlier than had been planned.


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CHAPTER XI.

THE SECOND GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN AMERICA.

        ON Wednesday, March 19, 1873, a called session of the General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America convened in Trinity Church, Augusta, Ga. It will be noted that the Conference met in March instead of in August. This was done so as to provide for the holding of the spring Annual Conferences and the summer district meetings that meant so much to the new organization. During these days of organization all of these meetings needed episcopal supervision and direction.

        Since the adjournment of the last General Conference Bishop Vanderhorst had passed away, and the work had grown to such magnitude and importance that the demand for more bishops was imperative. Besides the care of the work itself, there was an estrangement between the other Methodist bodies and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America that seriously threatened an open breach. This came about by the other Churches occupying property that legally and of right belonged to the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. It can be easily seen that these problems and others that were constantly arising would involve us in ecclesiastical entanglement unless they were handled firmly and wisely, and Bishop Miles desired the counsel and


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advice of associates. It stands to the credit of the leaders of our Church that, in a measure, these denominational differences were adjusted in a Christian spirit, and the open breach was averted. It is true that we lost some valuable Church property, especially in the great cities of the South and East. Some of the other Churches sent men from the North, especially persons who had some experience in public life, as politicians and the like, into the South to corral the people in large cities and thus persuade them to leave the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and align themselves with the other Churches. Because we did not have men to cope with the situation, our organization lost heavily.

        At this General Conference a goodly number of the white brethren were on hand. They had come to offer words of encouragement and advice and to give assurances of their continued interest and good will. They knew of many of our trials and hardships and were in great sympathy with us. Among these godly men I recall Bishop George F. Pierce, D.D., Rev. Thomas Taylor, Dr. Sehon, Rev. J.E. Evans, and Dr. Whitehead. Bishop Miles presided over the deliberations of this Conference, and the Rev. J.W. Bell, of Kentucky, was elected Secretary.

        After the devotional exercises had been held and the organization perfected, Bishop W.H. Miles read the first episcopal address ever delivered to a Colored Methodist Episcopal General Conference. It was a masterly production and clearly showed that


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Illustration

TRINITY CHURCH, AUGUSTA, GA.
Where Bishop Lane was consecrated to the office of bishop, March 23, 1873.


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the author had a full grasp of the situation and a clear comprehension of the problems before the Church, as well as the true mission of our Methodism in the world. The Conference was so thoroughly in accord with the work of Bishop Miles that it adopted all of his recommendations and elected three bishops to help him superintend the work of our rapidly growing organization. This election took place after much prayer on the morning of March 19, 1873. On the first ballot the Rev. Joseph A. Beebe, of North Carolina, and the Rev. L.H. Holsey, of Georgia, each having received a majority of the votes of the Conference, were declared bishops elect of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America by Bishop William Henry Miles. On the third ballot Isaac Lane, of Tennessee, was elected bishop, which election was duly announced by the presiding officer. The next Sunday, March 23, Bishop George F. Pierce, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, preached the ordination sermon and assisted otherwise in the ordination of the bishops elect. This work was done in historic old Trinity Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, of Augusta, Ga., where, since then, many notable gatherings of colored Methodists have been held. The whole machinery of the Church was now put into operation. The financial plan was improved upon, the publication department took definite form, the educational and missionary work was begun, and the Church work gained in prestige and power.


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CHAPTER XII.

MY EARLY EXPERIENCES AS A BISHOP.

        HAVING been elected bishop on the 19th day of March and consecrated to that holy office on Sunday, the 23d of March, A.D. 1873, to go out as a bishop and preach the gospel and administer the laws of the Church was no little embarrassment to me. In those early days of the freedom of the race the people were crude and had their own ideas of religion, of the ministry, and especially of the bishops. There was much curiosity attached to the coming of a bishop. This situation had to be met and in a way satisfied in order to reach the people in the interest of the Church.

        After our election and consecration, Bishop Miles called us together, and then and there we allotted and assigned the work for the year. I was called upon to preside over the Northwest Texas, the East Texas, and the Louisiana Annual Conferences. At that time our entire connection was composed of mission Conferences when compared with the work as it is organized to-day, and my work was from every viewpoint missionary. The territory was exceedingly large, covering the present States of Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. As all know, this territory was wholly undeveloped and sparsely settled by a wild and adventurous people, who cared very little for the Church, religion, and the ministry. Railroads


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were very few, and most of the traveling had to be done by stage, on horseback, by boat, or on foot. To travel over this vast territory entailed many hardships, deprivations, and much suffering. Pen cannot describe, tongue can never tell, nor can language express the mental anguish and the physical pain I endured on those perilous trips. I shall never forget those early experiences.

        Being without money with which to purchase the necessary clothing, buy books, and the like, I was much embarrassed. At that time the railroad fare was five cents per mile, and my Conferences were far apart. After providing for the protection and care of my family, I started out to hold the District Conferences. Bishop Miles had asked me to hold some of these Conferences for him, and I did so. My first Conference was held at Cumberland City, Tenn. After calling the Conference to order, we conducted our devotional service. I made a talk based upon some portion of Scripture and then called for the election of a secretary. In those days it was a very difficult matter to secure the services of one who could write and record with any degree of intelligence the proceedings of our meetings. Therefore much care was exercised in the selecting of a competent secretary. This having been done, the Conference settled down to work. I spoke to the brethren on the duties of the presiding elder and the pastors. A great congregation was there to hear and see the newly elected bishop, and we had a


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splendid meeting. I returned home only to spend a few days with my family, and then I was off to Minden, La., the seat of the next District Conference that I was to hold. En route to Minden I stopped at Water Valley, Miss., where I enjoyed the hospitalities of friends for a few days, and then I continued my trip. In order to reach the Conference I had to travel seventy miles on horseback. After getting there I was so tired and worn that I could scarcely go. The brethren were there in large numbers, and there was much uneasiness among them as to the proper care of the work of the Conference. I knew the attitude of the brethren, and I went on bravely in His name. Before we had gone far into the work of the Conference the brethren began to see for themselves that the interest and well-being of the Church were safe in my hands, and they soon accorded me all the courtesies, respect, and recognition due the presiding officer of their Conference. We could not secure a competent secretary, and I had to record the proceedings of the Conference and preside also. This made the work irksome and slow. After closing what was considered as one of the best Conferences ever held in Minden, I returned home and made preparations for the holding of my first Annual Conference.

My First Annual Conference.

        My first Annual Conference was the West Texas Annual Conference, which convened at Waxahachie.


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Ellis County, Tex., in 1873. En route to the seat of the Conference my experiences were everything but pleasant. I had only a small sum of money, and while on a train a man robbed me of that. I had to go through St. Louis and Sedalia, Mo., and then via the St. Louis and Texas Central Railroad. I reached the State line of Texas and Oklahoma (then the Indian Territory). It was about sundown, and I had some sixty miles yet to go before reaching Dallas, my destination. Here I found Rev. A.J. Burrows hard at work. From Dallas I went to Waxahachie, a small town about sixty miles south of Dallas.

        The Conference was well attended; but the year had been a hard one for the brethren, and their reports were very poor. The preachers had not received very much in the way of support, and the general interest of the Church had suffered likewise. To indicate the nature of the support that was given, I give one item that will be quite interesting to the students of the conditions that prevailed during those days. For the support of the bishop the Conference had been asked to raise forty dollars, and they reported having raised three and one-half dollars. It was at this place that one of those unpleasant events took place - viz., the African Methodist Episcopal Church had gotten a hold among our people and greatly divided them. As a result the African Methodist Episcopal Church did not do very much and made impossible the success we


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would have had under favorable conditions. I lectured and preached and exhorted and helped them in every way I could and then left for my next appointment.

My Second Annual Conference.

        My next Annual Conference took me to Henderson, Rusk County, Tex., a distance of over two hundred miles. Of this, forty miles had to be traveled on horseback. It was a long and painful trip. Upon the advice of friends, I stopped with Brother McElroy, a very aged man who was greatly afflicted with the palsy. He could not do anything for my comfort; but his wife, a young woman, did what she could to make my stay pleasant. I found the brethren much disappointed and disgruntled. For years Bishop Miles had been using a white man as the secretary of the Conference. The brethren had learned that this white man could not be present, as he had been called to attend court in a neighboring town, and they were at a loss to know how the Conference could be held without a competent secretary. The delegates and ministers hesitated in coming into the Conference room. We opened after the usual manner and then sent for the brethren to come in, as we were ready to begin the work of the Conference. We sang, read the Scriptures, exhorted, and preached the best we could, and gradually the brethren saw that we could have a good meeting if the secretary was not there to make a record of our


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Illustration

RESIDENCE OF BISHOP ISAAC LANE.


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transactions. With my personal assistance, we used a layman and got along very well with the minutes and the work of keeping the journal. This was a large Conference; and although asked to raise three hundred and eighty dollars for the support of the bishop, they reported only fifty-seven dollars. When we called the attention of the brethren to the importance and necessity of raising the small amount asked for the support of the bishops of the Church, the brethren seemed to have been surprised to know that they would be expected to bring money for the bishops instead of the bishops sending money to them.

My Third Annual Conference.

        The Louisiana Annual Conference, which convened in Homer, La., was the third Annual Conference I was called upon to hold. En route to Minden I stopped over in Marshall, Tex., where I preached to an audience of white and colored people. They heard me gladly and gave me twenty dollars to help in carrying forward the work in which I was engaged. This made seventy-seven dollars that I had received in the way of salary during the year. At Homer we held the Conference under many difficulties. Our work was not organized, the people had not been trained, and there was apparent everywhere a want of unification of purpose and a concert of action on the part of the workers. As a result during the year the brethren had not accomplished


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what they might have done under more favorable conditions. Of the three hundred and eighty dollars that the Conference was assessed, they had raised only eighty dollars. I explained the system of finance we were inaugurating, and the brethren promised to do better another year. Let it be said to their credit that they lived up to their new resolutions.

        With the adjournment of this Conference my first year as a bishop came to a close. I had worked hard during the year and had but little financial help. On my salary the Church had paid me only one hundred and sixty dollars and fifteen cents during the year, and my expenses necessarily carried me far into debt. My family was large and dependent, and my responsibilities were many. In order to make my episcopal tour I had borrowed two hundred dollars. My note was about to fall due, and something must be done to enable me to meet it. My wife and children had a crop of cotton. This I sold, and with the money I paid the debt and took up the note. I then worked hard to replace this money. I cut wood and hauled it to town and sold it, making enough money thereby to buy such things as clothing and other provisions that were needed by my family. This was a hard year for me and one that I shall never forget. The labor, deprivations, and hardships I endured were enough to bring tears to my eyes. The young ministers of our Church, even those serving missions to-day, do not know our


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suffering during those early pioneer days of our Church.

        In the early spring of 1874 I was called to Texas on business for the Church, and after attending to the work I attempted to return home. The high waters prevented my returning; and a white brother, learning of my condition, gave me enough money to pay my fare to Louisville, Ky., where Bishop Miles had called us to our annual meeting. The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was in session in Louisville at this time, and it was very necessary for us to meet in that city. I reached Louisville at night and took a carriage for the home of Bishop W.H. Miles. He was out of the city, but his wife provided for me the best she could. The next morning Bishop Miles and the other bishops of our Church reached the city. We had a short session and then adjourned in order to visit the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Conference gladly heard our message and renewed their assurances of interest, sympathy, and good will. The next day we had our annual meeting. The bishops made their reports, which showed steady progress and improvement. We laid off the work for the next year the best we could and discussed many of the perplexing questions and problems that were still before the Church.

        Our General Conference was soon to meet, and there were the usual things to be done prior to the


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meeting of this body. The message had to be written, the recommendations had to be agreed upon, and general direction given to the advancement of every interest of the Church. I had entertained the hopes of getting some money at this meeting, but all my hopes soon vanished when it became evident that there was not a cent available for such purposes. During the year I had received far less than my expenses incurred in traveling over the connection. The bishops agreed to my preaching en route home, and by taking up collections I thus became able to pay my fare home. This I did, arriving home after an absence of six or eight weeks. Finding my wife sick and despondent, I gave such comfort and help as I could; and I began at once to make preparation for the care of my family during my absence in attendance upon the General Conference and the Annual Conferences that were soon to be upon me. This I did to the best of my ability. I cut and hauled to town wood for sale and did such other job work as I could get to do and at the same time helped in every way I could with my crop.


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CHAPTER XIII.

THE THIRD GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN AMERICA

        THE General Conference that convened in Louisville, Ky., in August, 1874, was the third General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. At this time the country was passing through a great financial crisis. On account of the long drought, crops had failed, money was scarce, and there was much suffering among the people. In spite of these untoward conditions, the General Conference was well attended. The brethren soon got down to business. Although there was to be no election of bishops, the interest in the general work of the Church was not wanting. The report of the bishops showed much improvement in our organization. There were reported fifteen Annual Conferences, with a membership of six hundred and seven traveling preachers and seventy-five thousand communicants. Like the rest of us, the Senior Bishop, William H. Miles, was impressed with the importance and necessity of a better-prepared ministry as the one outstanding, crying need of the hour. This one idea grew upon this great and good man until finally he threw himself into the movement of founding a great central school, with a number of smaller and more elementary schools that were to


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serve as feeders. It became the one burning and all-absorbing question upon his mind and heart. He had laid his plans before the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, just a few weeks before and had been given some encouragement from the bishops, general officers, and delegates. One member of the Memphis Conference gave one hundred dollars, while others gave smaller amounts. The other bishops of the Church joined the Senior Bishop in this work, the General Conference indorsed the movement, and upward of sixteen thousand dollars was raised for this purpose. Later on Bishop Miles traveled far and near, urging the importance of this work and making appeals in its behalf. I remember many of his terse, trenchant sayings. Being a man of unusual ability, he swayed his audiences by his convincing logic and his matchless eloquence in his appeals. It is said that no man could sit under the sound of his voice without being thoroughly moved. The General Conference took steps to carry out the plans of its great leader. It adopted the Central University as the name of the proposed school and decided upon Louisville, Ky., as the site. It appointed Bishop W.H. Miles as its Agent and urged the ministers throughout the connection to take a collection for the college, sending the same at once to the Agent. It called upon our people and friends of the race everywhere to assist in this great and laudable enterprise.


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        While the establishing of a system of schools was the one outstanding question, there were other matters that received the attention of the Conference. The salary of the Senior Bishop was placed at one thousand dollars per year and his traveling expenses, while the salaries of the other bishops were placed at seven hundred and fifty dollars per year and their traveling expenses. These amounts were prorated among the various Annual Conferences and were regarded in a way as assessments. While this money was never raised, the action of the General Conference made clear a plan that some day was to be operative in the Church.

        The Rev. E.B. Martin was the efficient Secretary of this Conference and as such rendered signal service to the Church. He afterwards became editor of the Christian Index and pastor of Center Street Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, at Louisville, Ky. Martin's short and brilliant career in the Church came to a sudden close because of family troubles that he could not control and of conduct involving his moral character.


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CHAPTER XIV.

THE PERIOD FROM 1874 TO 1880, INCLUDING THE FOURTH GENERAL CONFERENCE.

        I REGARD the period from 1874 to 1880 as one of great transition. Everything was still in motion. There was nothing that had become fixed and definite in form or mode. Every Church movement was being tried and every plan inaugurated tested. It is not surprising that many of these plans failed. It is rather astonishing that so many of them succeeded. We were feeling very keenly the encroachments that the other Churches were making upon us. They constantly referred to us as a Southern Church, a rebel Church, and the like, and those names were very distasteful to our people.

        As early as 1866 the African Methodist Episcopal Church, through their bishops, urged our uniting with them, claiming that there was no room in this country for another independent organization. A memorial in the form of a petition was sent to the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, during their General Conference that convened in New Orleans, La. At once we made it known that we preferred a separate organization of our own, regularly established and organized after our own ideas and notions. The bishops and General Conference of the Southern Church readily agreed with us, and the petition was most respectfully returned


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with regrets that the present conditions would not justify the granting of the petition as it had been presented.

        During this extraordinary period there were many overtures made for organic union between our Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the colored members of the Methodist Episcopal Church; but no plan or basis of union was ever worked out and submitted on which we could agree, and this division has continued all these years.

        Our Publication House up to this time had not proved a paying proposition. There was constantly a deficit in the publishing of the Christian Index, and now something had to be done to save it to the Church. It had been moved from Memphis to Louisville, and from Louisville to Memphis again, and the deficit continued. What was to be done was still the question.

        Our educational movement had proved to be more of a failure than our publishing department. Fifty thousand dollars was needed to establish the connectional school, and it was necessary to have ten thousand dollars at once to save to the connection the property already purchased by Bishop Miles. This money could not be raised; and Bishop Miles, disappointed and greatly disheartened, decided to abandon the educational work and leave the field for others to cultivate. This was in 1878.

        The period from 1874 to 1880 was not only a


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period of great trial to the Church, when her plans and policy were being tested; but it was also a period of much hard work, many disappointments, and hardships for her bishops. Demands for their services were constantly made, and the money necessary to cover their expense in traveling over the railroad from one point to another was not available. As we have already recorded, our salaries were small, and rarely did any of the bishops receive more than six hundred dollars per year in the way of salary. In 1875 I received two hundred and seventy dollars, and the next year I was paid the handsome salary of three hundred and eighty dollars! The territory over which I traveled entailed much traveling; and had I not been energetic and ambitious for my family, we should have suffering during those days.

        In the fall of 1877 I held the Georgia Conference. Among the other discussions provoking much thought were the requirements of a person who desires to become a member of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. The next year (1878) the General Conference met in Jackson, Tenn., and I requested the bishops to pass upon a form that might be used throughout the connection by ministers in receiving members into the Church. This form as drafted by me was adopted by the bishops and the General Conference; and, without any change, it has been used ever since. It is as follows and can be found in our Book of Discipline


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on page 257: "To this question, asked by the minister, the candidate must answer in the affirmative: 'Do you solemnly, in the presence of God and this congregation, ratify and confirm the promise and vow of repentance, faith, and obedience contained in the baptismal covenant?' "

        This General Conference did much constructive work in the way of legislation and is regarded as one of the best we have ever held.

        It was at this General Conference that it became very apparent to all that unless something was done our beautiful Israel Metropolitan Church, in Washington, D C., would be lost to the connection because of financial conditions that had developed. The local Church was unable to take care of the large debt that was hanging over the Church property, and we were notified that unless something was done at once the Church property would be lost to the connection. In order to give the necessary relief, the Conference levied an assessment of ten cents per member upon the whole Church, and I was elected as the Special Agent and Treasurer of this fund. We raised enough money to "tide" the property over, but the original debt was not reduced to any appreciable extent. That debt has continued to exist all these years and has been a decided drawback to the building up of our Church work at the seat of our national government, where we should have not only a representative church edifice, but a large, representative congregation of worshipers.


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        The General Conference of 1882 enacted much important legislation. The Church work began to take on the departmental form, and the machinery had to be adjusted to meet the demands of the times. The Church manifested considerable interest in the founding and establishing of her educational institutions, and new leaders were being developed for the advancement of the interests of the kingdom of Christ. The failure on the part of the Church in establishing the schools at Louisville, Ky., and Sardis, Miss., had dampened the educational ardor of the leaders, but in no way discouraged the people or lessened the desire of both leaders and people for schools of their own. So as early as 18/8 there was a movement inaugurated in the Tennessee Conference for the establishing of a school of high grade at Jackson. Rev. D.L. Jackson, of Alabama, Revs. C.H. Lee, J.H. Ridley, Sandy Rivers, Berry Smith, J.K. Daniel, and others were leaders in this movement. In 1879 Bishop Lane came to the assistance of the Church, and the movement began to take on a tangible form which eventually led to the founding of Lane College. A similar movement began in Georgia under the leadership of Bishop L.H. Holsey and resulted in the founding, in 1883, of Paine College.


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CHAPTER XV.

MY WORK FOLLOWING THE FIFTH AND SIXTH GENERAL CONFERENCES.

        THE fifth General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America convened in Augusta, Ga., May 4, 1882, and transacted some very important business. Among the most striking pieces of constructive legislation done by the General Conference was the one requiring all ministers, both local and traveling, to subscribe for the Christian Index, the official organ of the Church. This law has relieved the Church of the continued embarrassment in the publishing of the connectional organ. Its wisdom is recognized in that this law has never been repealed and is in vogue to-day. The Publication House was moved from Louisville, Ky., to Jackson, Tenn., where it has remained ever since 1882.

        During the General Conference of 1886, in laying off the plan of episcopal visitation, I was assigned to the Western field of labor again. My first Annual Conference met at Mountain Fork, Ind. Ter., August 19, 1886. On my way to this Conference I stopped at Clarksville, Red River County, Tex., and then went on to Shawneetown. I had been advised to spend the night in the home of Brother Mitchell Shaw, one of our preachers. I went there and was received by him and his wife. Mrs. Shaw was an Indian and did not know anything of the


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manners and customs of the States' people. Crude and coarse, there was a complete want of all social intercourse and pleasantries, and for that reason I did not care to stay. Brother Shaw was living after the most primitive manner, and I decided that it would be pleasanter for me to be traveling along during the night than to stay there in the hut of Brother Shaw under the existing conditions. With my pony, I set out on this long and perilous trip. It was during this night that I had the saddest experience of my life. In fact, at one time I gave up all hopes of living to see the next morning. I had never traveled through that country before and did not know the paths (for there were no roads) nor the directions. I was soon lost in the woods, in the thickets and heavy undergrowths, and wandered about until about midnight, when I came to a man's house out in the lonesome forest, far removed from the roadside or any other house. It was the hut of an Indian. He and his wife heard my call and came out to the fence almost nude. Their very sight was frightful to me. I tried to tell them where I wanted to go, and in reply they gave me signs with their heads which were as meaningless to me as they were amusing. In fact, I could not understand them, and all I said was meaningless to them. I now saw that all efforts on my part to make myself understood were useless, and I left with about as much satisfaction as I had before I stopped.

        I continued to wander about until I came to a


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village called Monther Fork. I passed through the village to the outskirts; and there I stretched out on the ground, using my saddle as a pillow, where I remained until daybreak. I did not sleep or rest any because of the strangeness of the place and the many unsightly things thereabout. At the dawn of day I saw a man across the way feeding his stock. I went over and talked with him. He was a white man and could speak English. I was glad to find some one whom I could understand and who at the same time could understand me. He informed me that he was personally acquainted with Rev. Lemon Butler, one of my preachers, and took great care in pointing out the direction and describing the way by which I could reach his home.

        I was greatly encouraged and started out with renewed determination. It was shortly after seven o'clock when I reached the home of Rev. Butler. After he and his family found out who I was and my mission, they gladly took me in, gave me breakfast, and ministered to any comfort the best they could. After resting there awhile, these good people put me on the road to the church house, Brown's Chapel, named in honor of Dr. Robert Turner Brown, their former pastor, who built it.

        There I held the Indian Territory Mission Conference. Some well-dressed Indians came out to hear me preach. They appeared friendly enough, but I could not get acquainted with their peculiar mannerism and apparent indifference. I saw many


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hopeful signs for this Mission Conference. All in all, we had a fairly good Conference.

        At the adjournment of the Indian Territory Mission Conference I started for the seat of my next Annual Conference, which was to be held at Newton, Kans. I returned largely the way I went. When I got to Red River I lay out all night. The next morning I got an early start for Clarksville, and from there I went on to Sherman, Tex. In order to fill some engagements that had been made for me, I went up the Texas and Houston Central Railroad to Stringtown, Ind. Ter., and other places in that section of the country. At Stringtown I had a very pleasant stay in the home of an aged man who once lived in my native town. It was, indeed, a pleasure to talk with him about the ways of the people in the Territory and the conditions that prevailed at that time in that new and open country.

        From Stringtown I went on to Newton, Kans., where I held our Annual Conference in the white people's church in Newton. The people, both white and colored, showed me every courtesy and made our work a success. I traveled over Kansas with Rev. Berry Smith. He was my strongest man out there, as was Rev. U.S. Smith in the Territory. These two old pioneers of our Church were great men in that day for the people of that country. They did a service for the race and Church that was far-reaching in its influence. The history of our Church work in the West would be incomplete without a full chapter


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being devoted to the work and sacrifices of those early fathers. God bless their memory!

        At Newton we held a good Conference, at the close of which I hastened home to be with my family and to make preparation for the meeting of the General Conference at Little Rock, Ark.


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CHAPTER XVI.

THE SEVENTH GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND SOME TRANSPIRING EVENTS.

        SINCE the adjournment of the General Conference that convened in Augusta, Ga., May 5, 1886, many important events had taken place within the Church. The general fund assessment created for the purpose of raising money with which to meet the obligations of the general Church had worked well and was far superior in results to anything that the Church had ever tried before.

        Mr. Samuel B. Wallace, a prominent layman of Columbia, S.C., resolved to leave the African Methodist Episcopal Church and come over to the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Others agreed to follow him; and finally the whole membership, together with the congregation - the membership numbering about six hundred, with a following of something like fifteen hundred - came with him and joined the Colored Methodist Episcopal connection, bringing with them much valuable Church property. Wallace was a man of rare gifts and many talents, and soon after joining the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church he was licensed to preach. His stay in the local ranks was short, as his services were soon needed elsewhere. He rose rapidly into prominence, and at the time of his untimely death he was one of


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the most prominent preachers in the whole connection. It was generally conceded that, had Wallace lived, he would have been called to the episcopacy of the Church of his choice. His career in the ministry was short but brilliant, and his death was a subject of great lamentation throughout the connection.

        Among the Church schools that were now organized were Lane College, Jackson, Tenn., Paine College, Augusta, Ga., Phillips College, Tyler, Tex., Haygood Seminary, Washington, Ark., and two Alabama schools located at Booker City and Tuscaloosa, Ala.

        From the above facts it can be easily seen that the approaching General Conference would be interesting. No bishops had been elected since the Conference convened in Augusta, Ga., in 1873, and some of the delegates thought it well to elect at least one more bishop at this Conference. The advocates of the election of an additional bishop pointed out the fact that Bishop Miles was in feeble health and that Bishop Holsey was in need of rest and recuperation, and they urged the importance of the Conference's electing at least one more bishop. Much confusion and disputation existed among the brethren, and finally it was agreed to abandon the idea of increasing the number of bishops at this session of the Conference. Bishop Holsey asked to be relieved of episcopal duties in order that he might regain his broken and impaired health. The matter was taken under advisement, and the bishops saw their way clear to


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lighten his duties and responsibilities, and this was done to the satisfaction of the Bishop and the Conference.

        The General Conference had established its relation with all other Methodist bodies and had fraternal delegates at the Ecumenical Conference and the General Conferences of all the other Methodist Churches, and thus with the close of the quadrennium the Church was recognized as never before as a great power for good in this country.


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CHAPTER XVII.

THE GREAT NEED OF A DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOL - MY INSPIRATION AND EARLY EFFORTS - FOUNDING OF LANE COLLEGE.

        I BEGAN the work of a bishop under great disadvantages. Not having had the opportunity of early training in the science of letters, it was very embarrassing to me to preach to congregations composed of so many persons who had enjoyed those advantages. Nevertheless, by consecrating myself to my Heavenly Father and applying myself to such books as I had, I got possession of a vocabulary of words and a line of thought that served me well on all occasions. Wherever I went, my services were acceptable, and the people heard me gladly. I continued to study, and by using all I had I grew in knowledge and power of speech. Above all, I wanted to be a good man, and when a young man I resolved that I would live a pure, upright life before God and my fellow man. I knew that if I could not be learned or rich I could be upright in my life.

        I took special notice of the conditions of my people and found that our preachers needed a common-school education such as would enable them to read and write and speak the English language correctly. It became apparent to me that unless the minister were able to speak the native language correctly he would not be able to command respect and recognition


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from the better-informed members of the congregations, whose influence he most needed. We needed a training school. I saw also that we could not maintain our Church as a separate organization without intelligent representatives who were able to defend its doctrines and support its polity. I realized, furthermore, that if other denominations trained our young people they would train them largely in their doctrines and Church usage, and that would mean that our people would be in a measure trained from our Church. So it became necessary and urgent for us to establish and operate a school of high grade for our Church. But what could I do? I was poor and had a large family of children to care for, and I had to work hard in order to give them a chance at an education and at the same time provide properly for their support.

        Some years before Bishop William Henry Miles saw the situation as clearly as I and attempted to carry out a scheme that was in keeping with his vision and the necessity of the hour, but his ambition was too great and his plans were too big for the resources and wealth available to carry them into effect. He wanted to establish a system of schools, and a failure was inevitable. These observations did not make the field very inviting to me. I had been among the colored people a great deal, and I knew that they did not have much money and but little love for education. Just out of slavery, poor and ignorant, it was almost unthinkable for


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Illustration

OLD MAIN HALL, LANE COLLEGE.


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them to own, control, and operate a high school or college. Such was looked upon as preposterous.

        Bishop L.H. Holsey spent several weeks in Tennessee raising money with which to purchase the grounds for a school to be located within the bounds of the State. I then came to the work and took it up where he had left off. The brethren had met with some reverses and were much disheartened. I met with them and soon had the situation and plans well in hand. We had raised enough money to buy the four acres of ground upon which the principal buildings now stand, paying cash for the same. Having accomplished this much, the enterprise took on new life, and then we started out to construct a building. In the summer of 1882 the first building was erected at a cost of one thousand one hundred and fifty dollars. It was a two-story frame structure thirty-four feet by forty-four feet, containing a chapel, a library, and recitation rooms. The large attendance soon demanded a more accommodating building, and thus we were pressed for more funds with which to operate the school and provide for the ever-increasing demands. We needed very much a room where the preachers might meet and read and study the Bible and the doctrines of Christ and his Church. I remember quite well how we would study such works as Binney's "Theological Compend" and Wesley's "Lectures and Sermons." They were our textbooks. We would read and discuss the doctrines of the Church as we


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understood them, and in this way the ministers were greatly improved in their knowledge of the Bible and the teachings of their Church.

        As the years passed by the school grew into prominence, and we found it imperative to have larger and better buildings. The success of this work in the early days was due to the careful management and the sacrifices on the part of so many earnest, upright Christian men and women who became interested in it. The trustees selected their teachers with care, and from the very beginning the work had the indorsement and encouragement of the best of our people. Among the trustees who were associated with me in the early days of this work were: Rev. W.T. Thomas, of Alabama; Rev. J.A. Hatcher and Rev. P.A. Samples, of Kentucky; Revs. I. H. Anderson, S. Bobo, R. Bates, M. Ralston, Berry Cannon, and J.C.W. Smith, of Mississippi; J.W. Thurston and G.L. Davis, of the Tennessee Annual Conference; besides the following, of the West Tennessee Annual Conference: Revs. H.N. Snow, C. H. Lee, W.W. Sevier, M.D. Partee, W.M. Payne, W.H. Daniel, E.W. Moseley, R.T. James, H. Thompson, J.K. Daniel, Sandy Rivers, and Berry Smith. Among the early teachers who rendered the Church and race great service as teachers in the early days of this work, we might mention with propriety Miss Jennie E. Lane (now Mrs. N.C. Cleaves), Prof. J.H. Harper, Dr. C.H. Phillips, Prof. T.J. Austin, Prof. E.W. Benton, Prof. E.


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W. Bailey, and Prof. E.L. Honesty. All of these men and many others equally as earnest and deserving helped to lay the foundation for a work that is now known extensively as Lane College.

Rapid Developments.

        Because of the labors of these men, Lane Institute (now Lane College) grew rapidly in public favor and gained prestige. The one crying need was larger and more modern buildings in which to carry on the work and provide for the care and protection of the many young men and young women who were coming from different States to enter. It was apparent that the main hall would cost at least fifteen thousand dollars, besides the furniture and equipment. This was a great outlay of money for our people and required sacrifice on the part of those who had challenged the cause. In 1895 this building was completed; and in the fall of the same year, October 23, in the presence of a large concourse of people, it was dedicated to the cause of Christian education by Bishop R.S. Williams, of Augusta, Ga. Bishop Williams was assisted in this work by Bishop Elias Cottrell, Dr. C.H. Phillips (then editor of the Christian Index, now bishop), and several of the trustees of the college. I acted as master of ceremonies.

        After this building had been erected and furnished, there were other demands made upon us. Our boarding department was not sufficient to care


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for the number of students who were coming to us from other places. This forced us to provide for a dormitory for the young men and at the same time enlarge the one we had for the young women. This meant an expenditure of something like ten thousand dollars more. Two cottages and an industrial hall were afterwards erected.

        These buildings served the purpose of the school until November 4, 1904, when a disastrous fire completely destroyed the plant. Our loss was great, and we had but little insurance on the property. It was a sad scene on that dark and cloudy night, amidst the sprinkling of rain, to see go up in smoke and down in ashes buildings that had cost so much in labor, prayers, and suffering. The school that was in session was put out of doors, and what to do was the one great question that confronted us. When the money from the insurance companies was collected, we had less than ten thousand dollars. We constructed a temporary building in which to continue the school work the best we could. By placing the young men in the city, we took care of the girls in the young men's hall, which by chance had been saved, and under these unfavorable conditions the work went forward during the year.

        In passing over this period of time we must stop long enough just here to make mention of the interest and help bestowed upon us by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In all of our struggles we found the members of this Church, together with


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Illustration

GIRLS' HALL, LANE COLLEGE.


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their bishops and leaders, anxious to help. They made contributions from the very beginning and are helping to foster and carry on the work now.

        In 1886 we petitioned the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to furnish us a teacher, one who could give instruction in the science of theology. The very next year they selected for this work the Rev. T.F. Saunders, D.D., of the Memphis Conference. Dr. Saunders devoted thirteen years of his life to this work and did what he could for its advancement. During these years Dr. Saunders served as President of the school and Professor of Theology, and much good work was done under his administration. He retired from the work with the confidence and respect of all who knew him.

        During this time I traveled extensively among my people and among the white people, making appeals for financial assistance. I sold tracts, pamphlets of all kinds, books, pictures, and the like, and applied the proceeds from the sale of these articles to the building fund. I made public addresses, delivered lectures, and preached sermons. By taking up collections and by private solicitations and public appeals we raised money with which to establish and carry on this work. God gave me strength and health, and I used these in his name.

        When the last dollar on the old buildings had been paid and I had about decided to turn my attention to the mission work of the Church, the disastrous fire of 1904, of which I have already spoken, took place.


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The years of toil and suffering entailed in raising money for our educational work will never be forgotten by me. Regarded by some as a crank on the subject of education, by others as a beggar, I was ofttimes rejected; but I continued to work and pray, receiving just enough consideration to give encouragement. While some men of wealth and influence refused me even an audience, others made small donations and thus kept me in good spirits and in good cheer. I continued to work, showing much earnestness, and thus grew in favor with the people of our race, as well as with the people of the white race. In accomplishing the work I have done for the educational uplift of the young people of our race the world will never know of the pain, toil, suffering, the many sleepless nights, headaches, and the mental and physical anguish I endured all of those years.


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CHAPTER XVIII.

A YEAR OF GREAT TRIAL AND SEVERE AFFLICTION.

        AS I look over the past twenty-one years of my career, I regard the year 1904 as being one of great trial and affliction for me. On September 14 of that year I lost by fire some valuable personal property, the results of years of sacrifice and toil. The insurance did not begin to cover the actual loss. On October 14, while en route to Warrensburg, Mo., to hold the Missouri and Kansas Annual Conference, an excursion train collided with a through freight train about three miles east of Warrensburg. We got there in time to see the sight, with all of its horrors and sufferings. I had never seen so many dead and wounded people before. Two little boys died after we reached the scene. It was enough to move the hardest heart to tears.

        It was during this Conference session that I received a letter from my wife telling me that our old family horse had died. From that Conference I hurried home for a few days' rest and recreation. But before I had rested from the trip the principal buildings of Lane College were destroyed by fire. This took place Wednesday night, November 4, 1904. Our loss was upward of thirty thousand dollars. It was a sad time for me. I was about to give the work up; but my friends, both white and colored, said, "No; let's build again," and I set out to rebuild.


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        On December 27 my dearly beloved son, the Rev. Charles Wesley Lane, D.D., pastor of our Church at New Madrid, Mo., came to visit me. He had spent only two days before he took critically ill and died. He was one of the most talented of my children and the only one who felt a divine call to the ministry. His career, although short, was brilliant, and his life was useful. He was the pastor of a good many of our largest and best charges and as such rendered great service as a preacher and pastor. For four years he presided over the Memphis District, winning much credit to himself and honor to his God. His death brought great grief to me. I then counted the words of Job: "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away." His death was a sore trial; but the Lord was with me, and I said: "Though he smite me, yet will I trust him."

The New Lane College.

        We now come to a period of great activity. The principal buildings at Lane College had been destroyed in the awful fire of 1904, and I had made it up in my mind to undertake the work of rebuilding.

        The first and most needed building was a main hall, in which recitation rooms, classrooms, study halls, chapels, library, and office rooms might be had. We employed Mr. R.A. Heavner, of Jackson, to draw up the plans and specifications for such a building. We gave him an idea of what we wanted; and, after several months of waiting, he presented a


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Illustration

Boys' Hall at Lane College, Jackson, Tenn.

        BOYS' DORMTORY, LANE COLLEGE.


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suggestive plan. With some modifications, this plan was accepted, and the specifications were all drawn and accepted by the building committee appointed by the Board of Trustees. These plans called for a building one hundred and twenty-eight feet long by seventy-six feet wide, three stories high, brick with stone trimmings, and a flat roof. It was a most beautiful structure, well built, having large assembly rooms, study halls, recitation and lecture rooms, a library, a reading room, a chapel, laboratories, and the like. This building, together with its furnishings, cost nearly thirty thousand dollars. It was completed in 1906.

        Rev. T.F. Saunders retired from the presidency of the school in the spring of 1903 and was succeeded by Rev. J.A. Bray, A.M., LL.D. Rev. Bray took charge November 17, 1903, and continued until June, 1907. The fire took place and the work of reconstruction began during the years of his administration.

        Before the main hall had been paid for, work on the girls' dormitory was begun. The campaign for funds was on, to remain until the old buildings were replaced by larger and more modern ones. This hall is a large, well-constructed, three-story brick structure with stone trimmings and a metallic roof, containing the kitchen, laundry, dining hall, reception rooms, the Young Women's Christian Association room, and dormitory rooms to accommodate sixty-four young ladies. This building, together


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with a large heating plant, cost about twenty-one thousand dollars. In order to accommodate the grounds with reference to the proper location of the new buildings, some of the old buildings had to be moved, and the campus then took on a new form. The President's home was moved, as was also the Industrial Hall, and thus the new and greater Lane College began to make its appearance.

        The third building to be erected was the boys' dormitory. The plans and specifications for this building were drawn by Mr. Moses McKissack, of Nashville, Tenn., and called for a three-story brick structure, containing dormitory rooms, the Young Men's Christian Association room, reception hall, workshop for the boys, and a suite of rooms for the preceptress. This building was constructed by Mr. William Burrows, a contractor and builder of Memphis, Tenn., for nineteen thousand six hundred and thirty-nine and one-half dollars. With the heating and lighting and other furnishings, the building cost nearly twenty-five thousand dollars. Toward the erection of this hall the General Education Board of New York made a donation of seven thousand dollars. This was done in 1912.

        The college has been working for the uplift of our people for thirty-four years; and the results are seen not so much in the valuation of the property to be found on the grounds, but its greatest work is seen in the men and women who have been trained within its walls - persons whose minds and hearts


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Illustration

NEW MAIN HALL, LANE COLLEGE.


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have been touched and inspired with the spirit of Christ, who while on earth went about doing good wherever an opportunity presented itself. Up to the time of my retirement as an active bishop I had raised more than one hundred thousand dollars for this work. The buildings may not stand, the reputation may pass from among men, but the work will remain forever.


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CHAPTER XIX.

MY LABOR AS A CHURCH EXPANSIONIST - WORKING IN THE MISSION FIELD.

        THE greater part of my life as a bishop has been spent in the mission Conferences, especially in the North and West. Here I observed our people moving from the South and East in great numbers, and it became clear to me that unless we followed them up with our Church organization they would soon be lost to the connection. The changed civic and economic conditions in the South, the constant agitation of the race question by political demagogues, the lynchings, and other unjust treatment accorded the colored people are responsible for the manifest unrest and the grim determination on the part of so many members of our race to migrate to the North and West, where a change for the better with respect to some of these conditions, if not to all of them, can be had.

        Among the many mission points I began which have grown into good, self-supporting charges are the following - viz.: Lane Tabernacle, Cleveland, Ohio, organized in 1902 with about twenty-four members, has to-day property valued at more than thirteen thousand dollars and a membership of one hundred and fifty. St. Paul Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago, Ill., organized about ten years ago, now has Church property valued at twelve


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thousand five hundred dollars and a membership of five hundred. Lane Chapel, St. Louis, Mo., organized about fifteen years ago, now has Church property valued at twenty-five thousand dollars and a membership of five hundred. Kansas City (Mo.) Station, organized about sixteen years ago, now has Church property valued at ten thousand dollars and a membership of one hundred and eighty. Kansas City, Kans., was organized about eighteen years ago and now has property valued at ten thousand dollars and a membership of one hundred and eighty-five. Lane Chapel, Topeka, Kans., organized about nineteen years ago, has Church property valued at twenty-five thousand dollars and a membership of three hundred. Oklahoma City, Oklo, was organized about fifteen years ago and now has Church property valued at twelve thousand dollars and a membership of two hundred. Muskogee, Okla., was organized about twelve years ago and now has Church property valued at thirty thousand dollars and a membership of three hundred. Tulsa, Okla., was organized twelve years ago and now has Church property worth three thousand five hundred dollars and a membership of one hundred and twenty-five. Champaign, Ill., was organized about eighteen years ago and now has property worth five thousand dollars and two hundred and twenty-five members. East St. Louis, III., was organized about twelve years ago and now has Church property


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worth three thousand dollars and about one hundred and twenty members.

        These are only a few of the many Churches in mission territory that were organized through my personal efforts and official direction. There are many smaller and less conspicuous appointments that mean equally as much to the progress of the Church and the saving of men that might with propriety be mentioned. Suffice it to say that I labored unselfishly, and, on the whole, God blessed my labors.

        In doing this work for our Church I made it a point to keep in sympathetic touch with our friends, and especially those who were able to give assistance. On Monday mornings, where there were such meetings, I would visit the Ministerial Alliance of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and would talk with them and pray for them. I did not hesitate to make known our needs and our desires. Occasionally they would give a helpful suggestion or encourage me in a more substantial way. In St. Louis, Mo., where I have a host of friends among both white and colored people, Mr. Richard Scruggs (white) became so much impressed with the importance and necessity of our work in that great and rapidly growing city that he gave five thousand seven hundred dollars to our Church. This is the largest gift ever made to a Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of which I have any knowledge. In other places we solicited smaller sums. While in themselves these contributions were not great, they were


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Illustration

LANE TABERNACLE, ST. LOUIS, MO.


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sufficient to give our members encouragement and served the very great purpose of an incentive for them to do their very best.

        This kind of constructive work in mission fields has been so attractive to me sometimes that I feel I was called especially to do it. If one would stop and think long enough, he would see that from Cleveland, Ohio, on the east, to Muskogee, Okla., on the west, our strongest appointments were begun under my administration.

        I have not spoken of my work accomplished in the South, as this is well known by the Church at large. In the North and West it was freely predicted that these organizations would be a great burden upon the general Church. But I did not see it that way. I asked the general Church for some financial assistance at certain strategic points, and it gave some little help. Time has vindicated all the claims I made for this work; and instead of being a burden to the general Church, they are a great help in that they give their support to all the general interests of the Church and contribute their share in the support of all its work.

        The great Northwest is a wealthy section of our country and one that has hardly been touched by our Church. It presents a splendid field of rare opportunities to us. The foundation has already been laid, and my successors can go forward with the construction in keeping with their increased strength and enlarged opportunities.


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CHAPTER XX.

CHURCH ACTIVITIES IN RECENT YEARS.

        THE past ten years have been marked by many activities within the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. For the most part, these movements have been wide in their scope and helpful in their results. The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church is seen, perhaps, at its best in its educational work and activity. During the period of time under our survey just now Lane College, at Jackson, Tenn., and Paine College, at Augusta, Ga., have doubled their holdings, their plants to-day being valued at more than one hundred thousand dollars each. Phillips College, at Tyler, Tex., has virtually been reestablished and is now, in point of facilities and scope of work, far in advance of what it was prior to this period. The same is true of Miles Memorial College, at Birmingham, Ala., and the Homer Industrial College, at Homer, La. This period embraces the time of the founding and establishing of the Mississippi Industrial College, at Holly Springs, Miss., and the Arkansas Industrial College, at Pine Bluff, Ark., both of which from their very organization have had remarkable growth.

        Be it said to the credit of all of those who have been interested in this work that the sacrifices made by our people in establishing these schools have called forth the applause and words of commendation


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Illustration

FRONT VIEW OF NEW BUILDINGS AT LANE COLLEGE.


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of the friends of Christian education the country over, and their success has done much toward establishing the confidence our people have in themselves and their ability to provide in a way for their own educational advancement. A friendly rivalry between the patronizing bishops and Conferences fostering the various educational institutions has helped in the raising of large sums of money for this very worthy cause.

        In 1910 the General Conference of our Church convened in Augusta, Ga. This Conference was largely attended. As usual, the greatest interest was centered in the election of the bishops and general officers. Contrary to our custom and all precedents, some ambitious men resorted to political methods to promote their friends and measures. I do not mean to say that all of the previous General Conferences had been free from political trickery. Such could not be successfully maintained. But I do assert that never before was there so much boldness and affrontery as was displayed at this Conference in such methods and actions. As a natural result, some of the brethren became distrustful of the others and at every point showed their distrust by being ready to impugn their motives and call into question their integrity and honor. This was very unfortunate and greatly embarrassed the Church and its work during the quadrennium.

        Despite all of these unfavorable conditions, this Conference did some very good work. The Discipline


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of the Church was revised; the ministerial course of study was enriched and otherwise improved upon; an appellate court for the trial of ministers was created; and a more friendly relation toward all other evangelical Churches, especially those of the Methodist persuasion, was strengthened and established. In a hotly contested election the Rev. M.F. Jamison, D.D., of Texas, and the Rev. George W. Stewart, D.D., of Alabama, were elected to the office of bishop. These brethren had served the Church in various capacities and were promoted in recognition of their services to the Church.

        At this writing (1916) Bishop M.F. Jamison, D.D., presides over the Fifth Episcopal District, where he is held in high esteem by both laymen and ministers. Bishop George W. Stewart, D.D., served the Church as bishop only two years, when he became entangled with some money matters in Alabama which resulted in his being retired without salary by the General Conference that met in St. Louis in 1914. During the very next year (1915) the Bishop died, leaving a wife and several children and the Church at large to mourn his death.

        The General Conference of 1910 elected the Rev. A.J. Cobb, A.B., D.D., of Georgia, to the office of editor of the Christians Index. During the quadrennium following this Conference, when there were so many divisions and so much confusion and dissatisfaction in the Church, Editor Cobb displayed many excellent traits of a rounded Christian character.


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His editorial policy was of a conciliatory nature, and he left the office in 1914 with the full confidence and respect of the Church at large. Dr. Cobb took seriously ill in 1915 and died at his home in Barnesville, Ga., surrounded by a host of admiring friends. He is survived by Mrs. Helena B. Cobb, the efficient Principal of the H.B. Cobb Female Institute, the only school of its kind fostered by our Methodism. It is located in Barnesville, Ga.

        The quadrennium following the General Conference of 1910 was marked by the passing into the great beyond of a good many of the most prominent of our Churchmen. Among these were Rev. G.F. Welch, of Alabama, Rev. W.B. West, D.D., of Texas, Rev. J.H. Coley, D.D., of Alabama, Rev. Ralston, of Louisiana, Rev. V. Washington, of Alabama, and Rev. R.O. Williams, of Louisiana. These brethren were closely followed by Bishop George W. Stewart, Rev. Henry Bullock, Dr. A.J. Cobb, Rev. J. B. Washington, Rev. I. S. Person, D.D., Rev. J.W. Smith, A.M., and two prominent laymen, Mr. L.F. Few, of Oklahoma, and Mr. J. B. Meadows, of Memphis, Tenn.


                         "Servant of God, well done!
                         Thy glorious warfare's past;
                         The battle's fought, the race is won,
                         And thou art crowned at last."


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CHAPTER XXI.

THE THIRTEENTH GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN AMERICA.

        THE thirteenth General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America convened in Lane Tabernacle, St. Louis, Mo., in May, 1914. At the very opening of the session all of the bishops were present, and a full set of the delegates were in their seats ready to answer to the roll call. This was the first time in the history of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America that a General Conference convened in a city north of the Mason and Dixon line.

        The following work was done during the two and one-half weeks' session: The Department of Ministerial Relief and Support and the Department of Education were created. A financial budget for the quadrennium was made, and the amount of money required each year to meet the demands of the general Church (seventy-five thousand dollars) was placed as an assessment on the Church at large and then prorated to the various Annual Conferences to be raised. The salary of the bishops was increased from two thousand dollars to two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars, so as to relieve them of all embarrassment as to their railroad expenses in traveling over their dioceses. At my own request,


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the General Conference gave me a retired relaxation; and, according to the provisions already made for their retired bishops, six hundred dollars was set aside as a yearly stipend for my support. The Conference went on record as favoring many reforms in the Church. Some were necessary, while others were not altogether out of place.

        The Church had been greatly embarrassed because of charges of misapplication of Church funds on the part of Bishop George W. Stewart, D.D., and the Rev. Henry Bullock, D.D., the Book Agent, who had resigned his office during the quadrennium. There were charges also of unbecoming conduct on the part of Bishop Elias Cottrell, D.D. These charges and rumors caused a cloud to hang over the skies of Church people which did not pass away by a vote of the brethren or by impassioned appeals made by interested persons who discussed the matter. Bishop Cottrell was given a vote of confidence on the part of the Conference in that his character was passed, and he was continued as one of the bishops of the Church. As has already been stated, Bishop Stewart was retired without salary; and the Rev. Henry Bullock, D.D., was allowed to adjust his alleged shortage in whatever way he could.

        Amid all of these things there was the usual interest manifested in the election of the bishops and other general officers. My retirement was the strong argument advanced by those in favor of an increase in the number of bishops, and it became clear that


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the Conference would elect two or more bishops at this Conference. There were an unusually large number of aspirants in the field, and they were not slow in making it known that they had an ambition to serve the Church in that capacity. I hope the time is not far off when the Church will consider any man unworthy who will urge his election to the office of a bishop or seek to organize his friends with that in view. Be it said to the credit of this Conference that there was but little, if any, wirepulling on the part of "friends" seeking promotion. We want to see less and less until there will not be observed any semblance of such in the Church of the living God.

        There was no election for bishop on the first ballot. On the second ballot the Rev. R.A. Carter, A.M., D.D., of Atlanta, Ga., and the Rev. Nelson C. Cleaves, D.D., of Columbia, S.C., each having received the votes of a majority of the delegates, were declared bishops elect of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. These young men represent the product of our own schools; and because of their training and wide acquaintance with the Church, its history and polity, they should be able to serve the Church and race in a large and most effective manner.

        Having accomplished much valuable legislation in behalf of the Church, the General Conference adjourned, and the work of the Conference became a matter of history.


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CHAPTER XXII.

DEATH OF MRS. FRANCES A. LANE.
[From the Christian Index.]

        SISTER FRANCES A. LANE, wife of Bishop Isaac Lane, was born in Haywood County, Tenn., October 16, 1834, and died May 11, 1895, at 8:45 A.M., aged sixty years, six months, and twenty-five days. The deceased was married to Bishop Isaac Lane December 24, 1853, and lived in holy wedlock forty-one years, four months, and seventeen days. There were born to them during these years of devoted companionship twelve children, five of whom were sons and seven daughters. Sister Lane enlisted in the cause of Christ at a prayer meeting in. the fall of 1864 and joined the Methodist Church at Salem. She transferred her membership to Liberty Church, Jackson, Tenn., in 1868, where for twenty-seven years she lived a faithful member and a consistent Christian.

        As a wife she was devoted and affable, contributing largely to the comfort and happiness of her husband, sharing his sorrows and burdens, and was a factor in all the accomplishments of him who mourns his loss.

        As a mother she was gentle, kind, and affectionate, imparting that instruction, by precept and example, which is embodied in the words of Solomon: "Train up a child in the way he should go." Her


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gentle and loving hand, like a magic wand, has led a large family through the meandering of childhood into manhood and womanhood and bequeathed to them the legacy of noble sentiments and lofty aspirations.

        As a Christian she was meek, yet persistent; quiet, but firm; steady, but true. In her was the combination of those qualities which made her life "shine more and more unto the perfect day." Steady, firm, and true to the end, it may be said of her that she kept the faith, finished her course, and is now in that land of Beulah, joined with her loved ones, where the wicked shall cease to trouble and the weary are at rest.

Your Wife Is In Heaven; We'll Meet Her Again.

(A Poem Dedicated to Bishop Isaac Lane.)

BY SOLOMON G. BROWN.


                         Dear Friend: Sad news comes here to-day
                         That God has called your wife away;
                         For forty years she's been your bride,
                         But now she's taken from your side.


                         None more than you can feel her loss;
                         None know but you what it has cost.
                         By words you can't describe your pain,
                         And feel you'll ne'er get right again.


                         You'll meet her when this life is o'er,
                         Then you will meet to part no more;
                         You'll meet your wife in heaven above,
                         Where all is joy and peace and love.


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Illustration

MRS. FRANCES ANN BOYCE LANE.


Page 137


                         You'll meet her at the throne of God;
                         She'll introduce you to the Lord;
                         She'll meet you at the pearly gate
                         And all her heavenly joys relate.


                         The cutting pain has reached your heart
                         Because your wife from you did part;
                         So long you've traveled through this life
                         As lovers, husband, father, wife.


                         We mourn with you and share your grief;
                         Could we but offer sure relief!
                         Just how you feel no one can tell
                         But Christ, who doeth all things well.


                         He saw it best that she should go
                         And leave this world of pain and woe;
                         And when she bowed to him in prayer
                         He came from heaven and met her there.


                         Just when she started from her knee
                         He softly said, "Rise, follow me";
                         Heard her prayer and deemed it best
                         That he should call her home to rest.


                         While down at prayer she heard the call;
                         She quickly rose, was seen to fall;
                         Her body struggled for its breath
                         Till finally o'ercome by death.


                         On her he laid his hands of ice,
                         Her soul steals out and goes with Christ;
                         Forever there her soul will stay,
                         Where there's but one eternal day.


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                         That dreadful news soon spread around,
                         That Bishop Lane's dear wife had gone;
                         This news a sad impression made
                         On all who learned their friend was dead.


                         Her friends stood grieving o'er her form,
                         From which a precious soul had gone -
                         Gone where? Can any mortal say?
                         And is that soul at rest to-day?


                         At rest! O yes, as Jesus lives,
                         A full assurance she would give.
                         While death relieves her from all pain,
                         She's dead, but rose to life again


                         To-day she wears the heavenly palm,
                         Free from all the tempter's harm,
                         Falls prostrate at the feet of God,
                         Where she receives her great reward.


                         Her joys are full, her griefs are o'er;
                         She meets with thousands gone before -
                         Relatives, kindred, neighbors, friends -
                         Whose union there will never end.


                         She's given up all cares of life
                         And all her duties as a wife;
                         She freely parts with all she owns
                         To take her place around God's throne.


                         You've lost a loving, faithful wife,
                         Who's been your bosom friend through life;
                         She loved you dear, but when God called
                         She followed him and gave up all.


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                         To God's will we all must bow;
                         'Tis hard, but Christ will teach us how.
                         We know our loss is her great gain;
                         She's free from strife, released from pain.


                         Look on her form; look, friends, and weep -
                         So calm, so peaceful, fast asleep.
                         Will any mortal dare profane
                         Or say one word against God's name?


                         Who gave her life? Who takes away?
                         Who fixed the limits of her stay?
                         If she has made her peace with God,
                         She goes to meet that great reward.


                         This is God's plan. O brother, yield
                         While you her loss so deeply feel;
                         Give her to Christ, where she belongs;
                         Prepare to join the heavenly throng.


                         Soon you shall meet in realms above,
                         And join her in that perfect love,
                         Where you'll be truly one in heart,
                         From each and Christ will never part.


                         Sleep sound, dear one, so free from stain;
                         Sleep in the tomb where Christ was lain;
                         Sleep there in peace till that great day
                         When all will rise and come away.


                         Farewell, dear wife; we'll meet no more
                         Till I come down to Jordan's shore.
                         For this shall be my earnest prayer,
                         That you, with Christ, shall meet me there

WASHINGTON, D. C.


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        She was affectionately kind to all of her husband's friends, and especially to preachers. As a hostess she found great pleasure in providing for their comfort. She had the highest regard for Bishops William Henry Miles, J.A. Beebe, and L.H. Holsey, and Bishops Williams and Cottrell were winning her affections. She entertained Bishop Henry M. Turner one week in her home, which visit he mentioned quite frequently in his public addresses. As a husband, I have lost a true, affectionate wife, a great and good woman. As a mother, my children have lost a kind and loving one. She strove earnestly, both by precept and example, to rear her children right. But she is gone, to come to us no more. Her place in our home circle is vacant. Our loss is irreparable.

        Below is a select sentiment of sympathy from a few of the letters and telegrams from our many friends:

WASHINGTON, D. C.

        Dear Bishop Lane: Your telegram of the death of your dear wife brought sorrow to our hearts and sadness to our home. It was the mysterious providence of God in taking her so suddenly from you. You have my prayers. May God bless you and family!

BISHOP R.S. WILLIAMS.

WASHINGTON, N.C.

        I am surprised to hear of the sudden death of your dear wife, Sister Lane. You and family have my sympathy and prayers. God bless you and sustain you!

BISHOP J. A. BEEBE.


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CHARLESTON, S.C.

        Bishop Lane: I am in great sympathy with you in the lose of your dear wife. God bless you!

BISHOP M.B. SALTER.

AUGUSTA, GA.

        Yours just received. I am perfectly and profoundly shocked to receive the sad intelligence of the death of your dear wife. Little did I think that I was taking the last look at her pleasant face and smiling countenance just five days ago. God bless you!

BISHOP L. H. HOLSEY.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS.

        Dear Bishop Lane: I am sad to hear of the death of your dear wife. God bless and support you in this your sore affliction!

BISHOP E. COTTREEL.

LOUISVILLE, KY.

        You have my sympathy in your great bereavement. Prepare to meet your dear wife on the shores of sweet deliverance.

DR. DAVY MORTON, Sec. Church Ex. Dept.

        The following are the names of a few of our friends who have sent us letters of sympathy which we take this opportunity of acknowledging: Rev. O. T. Womack and wife, Longview, Tex.; Hon. Edmund Geary, Philadelphia, Pa.; Rev. R.T. Lewis, Denton, Tex.; Rev. W.S. Battle, Northport, Ala.; Rev. A.J. Harrington, Prescott, Ark.; Rev. W.E. Stewart, Frankfort, Kans.; Rev. J.T. Clay, Centerville, Miss.; Hon. W. P. Churchill, Louisville, Ky.; Rev. M. Walton, Sardis, Miss.; Rev. P.A. Sowell. Clarksville, Tenn.; Rev. W.A. Jackson, Covington, Ky.; Rev. J.M. Porter, Rutherford, Tenn.; Rev.


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J.F. Fitzpatrick, Smith Station, Ala.; Prof. D.W. Byrd, Central Tennessee College, Nashville, Tenn.; Rev. E. Wills, Memphis, Tenn.; Rev. A.K. Hawkins, Jackson, Miss.; Rev. J.H. Bell, Trenton, Tenn.; Mrs. Oscar S. Ridley, Memphis, Tenn.; Prof. M. W. Dogan, Central Tennessee College, Nashville, Tenn.; Mrs. Susie Payne, Louisville, Ky.; Mrs. H.E. Hamilton, Washington, D.C.; Mrs. F. P. Moseley, Newbern, Tenn.; Miss S.A.C. Harper, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Mrs. Miami Davis, Washington, Ark.; Mr. and Mrs. L.G. Murray, Meridian, Miss.; Mrs. S.E. Watkins, Jackson, Tenn.; Miss E.M. Carter, Shreveport, La.; Miss Mollie McWilliams, Memphis, Tenn.; Mr. J.A. Wilson, Asheville, N.C.; Mrs. Lizzie Clairborne, Brownsville, Tenn.; Miss S.B. Nichols, Nashville, Tenn.; Mrs. N.J. Curry, Washington, Ark.; Mr. J.L. Bayliss, Dresden, Tenn.; Miss Addle Melton, Knoxville, Tenn.; Mrs. Mary E. Smith, Marshall, Tex.; and a host of others, besides the Christian Index, the Christian Advocate, the Tennessee Methodist, the Jackson Whig, pastor and members of Capers Chapel, and pastor and members of Lane Tabernacle. All have spoken words of sympathy and consolation in this hour of our sore affliction. We hereby acknowledge our friends' notice of us.

ISAAC LANE AND FAMILY.


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CHAPTER XXIII.

BIOGRAPHICAL. SKETCHES OF THE BISHOPS OF THE COLORED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN AMERICA.

Rt. Rev. Bishop William Henry Miles.

        BISHOP WILLIAM HENRY MILES, the first bishop of our beloved Methodism, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, was born in Springfield, Washington County, Ky., December 26, 1828, and died in Louisville, Ky., November 14, 1892, aged sixty-three years, ten months, and eighteen days. In 1859 he was married to Miss Frances E. Arnold, of Lebanon, Ky., with whom he lived to the day of his death. Eight children blessed their union. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1855 on probation and was happily converted in October of that year. He was licensed to preach in 1857 and was ordained deacon in 1859 by Bishop Andrew, of that Church. His term of service as pastor or presiding elder was short, the first General Conference electing him bishop in 1870. He served as senior bishop of his Church for twenty-two years. During all of these years he was recognized as a man of great influence and power. To write of his life and activities during these years would mean a history of the Church during that same period of time. His life and activities were so connected with those


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of his Church that the one cannot be recorded without writing of the other. Bishop Miles was a magnetic preacher. Great crowds would come from far and near to hear this great gospel preacher. He would travel, lecture, and preach, carrying books, pamphlets, and tracts of all kinds, which he would sell or give away in order to acquaint the people with the work of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and thus establish it as an organization among the people of this country. He was a matchless orator. His thoughts were ponderous, his manner of delivery was attractive, and his discourses teemed with great spiritual power. I remember the first sermon I heard him preach. He took for his text the twenty-second verse of the fourteenth chapter of the Acts, which reads as follows: "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." After giving historical data covering much of the experiences of the disciples, he then told of the afflictions and suffering they had to endure in order to bring the truth of the gospel to light. He pointed out the many things we had to endure in this life to enter the kingdom of grace and then the heavenly kingdom. He spoke with much feeling as to how we suffered in order that the truth of our Church might be brought to light. His argument was a forcible one. Having a strong personality, a rich flow of language, and a general acquaintance with men and


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Illustration

BISHOP W. H. MILES.


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the affairs of this life, he was able to sway his audiences regardless of classes. He had a message for them all. As a parliamentarian and organizer Bishop Miles had no superior and but few equals. After his death I collected funds with which to erect a suitable monument to mark the last resting place of all that was mortal of this prince of Israel. His remains were deposited in the Cave Hill Cemetery, in Louisville, Ky.; and I never consider my visit to that city complete without going out and paying a tribute of respect to the memory of a man who was to our Church what Asbury was to the Methodist Church of this country, Allen to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Varick to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Bishop Richard H. Vanderhorst.

        Bishop Richard H. Vanderhorst, the second bishop of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, was born at Georgetown, S.C., December 15, 1813, and died in July, 1872. While a young man he served an apprenticeship under one Samuel Dunmore and learned the carpenter's trade. He moved to Charleston, S.C., in 1835 and joined Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church. He was at once made a class leader. Later on he joined Bethel Church, where he continued to exercise those gifts that were to make him a leader of men in the future. He served as class leader until he was given a license to preach. It will be recalled that during


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the days of slavery it was contrary to the State laws and the Discipline of the Southern Methodist Church for quite a long while to grant to Negroes a license to preach. As soon as he was given a license to exhort and then to preach he took high rank as a preacher. He was a delegate to the first General Conference, which convened at Jackson, Tenn., when the Church was organized as a separate and independent body. This was in 1870, at which time he was elected to the office of bishop. He served the Church only eighteen months as a bishop, and then he laid aside the cross and took up the crown that is prepared for the faithful. Bishop Vanderhorst may never be regarded as an executive, parliamentarian, or organizer on the order of Bishop Miles; but as a gospel preacher and as an evangelist he had no superior. Eloquent and logical, his sermons would stir the hearts of men. Although short as to time, his services were very valuable to the Church. As long as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church lives the name of Bishop Richard H. Vanderhorst will be remembered, loved, and revered.

Bishop Joseph A. Beebe.

        The third man to be ordained to the office of bishop in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America was Joseph A. Beebe, of North Carolina. He was born June 25, 1832, and died in Washington, N.C., June 6, 1902. His ancestors were noted for their long lives and for the number of ministers


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Illustration

BISHOP J. A. BEEBE.


Page 151

who were connected with their family. However, the Bishop lived to reach not quite seventy years of age. He began a term of apprenticeship as a shoemaker at seventeen years of age and followed the trade some years afterwards. He was happily converted in 1851 and was married to Miss Cornelia Bookrum in 1858. He was ordained deacon in 1865 and elder in 1866. Having joined the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America in 1871, he was appointed presiding elder of the Washington (N.C.) District, which position he served for two consecutive years. In 1873, at a called session of the General Conference, he was elected bishop in Augusta, Ga., during the month of March. He was senior bishop from the time of the death of Bishop Miles, in 1892, to the time of his own death, in June, 1902. I made an appeal to the Church at large for funds with which to erect over his grave a suitable monument. I collected enough for this purpose; and the last resting place of Bishop Joseph A. Beebe is marked by a stone which in a feeble way expresses the love and appreciation of a grateful Church for the years of faithful services rendered by this great and noble man. Bishop Beebe was a man of some education. His language was choice, his diction pure, and his thoughts were always systematic and orderly. Neat in his appearance, his was an attractive personality. He reared a family of useful children and was regarded as an affectionate father and a devoted husband. At his funeral many beautiful


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tributes were paid this great and good man by both white and black who had known and loved him for many years.

Bishop Lucius H. Holsey, D.D.

        Bishop Lucius H. Holsey was born in Columbus, Ga., July 3, 1842. He lived on the farm three years, during which time he was a pupil under Bishop George F. Pierce, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He was converted at an early age and joined the Methodist Church. He was soon thereafter called to the ministry, and in 1868 he was licensed to preach. He served only three appointments as pastor. These appointments were the Hancock Circuit, Savannah Station, and Trinity, in Augusta, Ga. He was a delegate to our first General Conference, which convened at Jackson, Tenn., and served as teller in the election of Bishops W.H. Miles and Richard H. Vanderhorst. In 1873 he was elected to the office of bishop at the General Conference that convened in Trinity Church, in Augusta, Ga. He was a delegate to the first Ecumenical Methodist Conference, which met in London, England. In 1882 he was our fraternal delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, where he ably represented the Church and race. In 1904 he was an honored delegate to the Sociological Congress that met in Washington, D.C., and on many other important occasions he has served the race and his Church in a


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Illustration

BISHOP L. A. HOLSEY D.D.


Page 155

large and effectual way. Bishop Holsey was the prime factor in the founding and establishing of Paine College, an institution of learning located in Augusta, Ga. He traveled extensively for this work and raised a large sum of money for it. Bishop Holsey served as Secretary of the College of Bishops for a number of years and as such wrote most of the quadrennial addresses that have been read before the various General Conferences of the Church. He revised the Book of Discipline of the Church and the Manual of Discipline and compiled the Standard Hymnal that is used extensively in the Church. He has written a book of "Sermons and Addresses" and is regarded as a writer of no mean ability. For several years he published a newspaper known as the Gospel Trumpet, of which he was the editor in chief, and wrote extensively for other papers and monthly magazines. As a gospel preacher he is eloquent, polished, and attractive. He is the senior bishop on the bench and has presided over the deliberations of the College of Bishops since the death of Bishop J. A. Beebe, in 1902.

Bishop Isaac Lane, D.D.

        Rev. Isaac Lane was the fifth man to be elected to the office of bishop in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. He was born in Madison County, Tenn., near Jackson, March 3, 1834, and has maintained his home in his native city. Inasmuch as a comprehensive account is given


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in another part of this book, suffice it to say just here that he was married to Miss Frances Ann Boyce in 1854, with whom he lived happily for forty years. To their union were born twelve children, seven girls and five boys. His first wife having died, he afterwards was married to Mrs. Mary E. Smith, of Marshall, Tex. He was converted September 11, 1854, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the following October. He was granted license to exhort in 1856 and received license to preach shortly thereafter. He was ordained deacon in 1866 by Bishop Robert Paine, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and elder the very next year. He was made the presiding elder of the Jackson (Tenn.) District, which work he served for four years. He was afterwards appointed as pastor of the Liberty Street Church, at Jackson, Tenn., where he remained until the convening of the General Conference in Augusta, Ga., in 1873, when he was elected and consecrated to the office of bishop. He was the fraternal messenger to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which convened in Dallas, Tex., where he rendered conspicuous service. He founded Lane College, at Jackson, Tenn.; and because of the fact that it was the first school of the Church to be established and successfully operated by the Church, he is generally regarded as the pioneer in the school work of the Church. Mention has already been made of his work in the mission and


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Illustration

MRS. MARY ELIZABETH LONG SMITH LANE.


Page 159

educational fields. He successfully raised to splendid manhood and womanhood several children, who have been an ornament to the Church and a blessing to general society. The following ones have passed to the great beyond, where "sickness, pain, and death are felt and feared no more": Martha A. Lane Lancaster, born October 8, 1854, died August 25, 1885; Luna A. Lane, born March 29, 1869, died October 20, 1882; Isaac Lane, Jr., born August 9, 1865, died April 24, 1889; Rebecca Lane Wilson, born January 4, 1858, died December 7, 1915; Charley W. Lane, D.D., born February 19, 1867, died December 28, 1904; William Henry Lane, M.D., born February 8, 1872, died December 2, 1915. The following children are still living: Mrs. Rachel Lane Berry, the wife of Mr. J.W. Berry, of Jackson, Tenn.; Mrs. Jennie E. Lane Cleaves, the wife of Bishop N.C. Cleaves, D.D., of Memphis, Tenn.; Mrs. Ida M. Lane Burrows, the wife of Mr. William Burrows, contractor and builder, Memphis, Tenn.; Mr. Joshua W. Lane, letter carrier, Jackson, Tenn.; Mr. J.F. Lane, A.M., Ph.D., President of Lane College, Jackson, Tenn. He often says: "My family is about equally divided between heaven and earth; and whether I go or stay, I shall be with them until the families of both heaven and earth shall join, never to be divided again."

Bishop Robert S. Williams, D.D.

        Bishop Robert S. Williams was born in Caddo Parish, La., October 27, 1858. His education was


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obtained at the common public schools and Wiley and Howard Universities. He was married to Miss Willie Williams, of Washington, D.C., October 21, 1891. He was converted and joined the Church in 1878. He joined the Louisiana Conference in 1881 and was transferred at the same Conference and appointed to the pastorate of our Church at Longview, Tex. In 1884 he was transferred to the Virginia Annual Conference and appointed to the pastorate of Israel Metropolitan Church, at Washington, D.C., where he labored for four years. From this place he was transferred to the South Carolina Annual Conference and given the pastorate of Sydney Park Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, in Columbia. At these two important places Rev. Williams demonstrated such qualities of mind and soul, as well as ability to do constructive work for the Master, that he won the recognition and admiration of the Church at large. From Columbia he was sent to Augusta, Ga., as pastor of Trinity Church, which work he served for three years. It was from this pastorate that he was elected to the bishopric of the Church by the General Conference which met in Memphis, Tenn., in May, 1894. Rev. R.S. Williams was one of the most successful pastors our Church has ever produced. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Lane and elder by Bishop Miles. He was the fraternal messenger of our Church to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church which met in Pittsburgh, Pa., and a delegate to the third


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Illustration

BISHOP R. S. WILLIAMS, D.D.


Page 163

Ecumenical Conference of the Methodist Churches, which convened in London, England, in 1901. He is a man of splendid parts. As a preacher and lecturer his services are in great demand. Eloquent and impressive, he never fails to make a deep impression. He has written a book of sermons and addresses that has received a wide circulation. Bishop Williams takes a keen interest in all matters pertaining to the uplift of the race and has a host of admirers and followers not only in the Church, but throughout the country, among all people. He is honored and respected by all who know him.

Bishop Elias Cottrell, D.D.

        Bishop Elias Cottrell, D.D., was born in Marshall County, Miss., June 31, 1853. His education was obtained in the public schools of the county and in Central Tennessee College, at Nashville, Tenn. He was married to Miss Catherine Davis, of Nashville, Tenn., January 1, 1880. To their union was born one child, a daughter, who survives her mother. Bishop Cottrell's public career began as a school-teacher in his native county in 1873. He was converted in August, 1874, and was licensed to preach in November, 1875. In January, 1876, he was admitted on trial into the North Mississippi Annual Conference. Having been ordained deacon in 1877 and elected and ordained elder in 1878, he served some very important charges. Prominent among them, we mention Olive Branch, Miss.; Capers


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Chapel, Nashville, Tenn.; Lamar, Miss.; Byhalia, Miss.; Liberty Street Station, Jackson, Tenn.; Dyersburg, Tenn.; Brownsville (Tenn.) District; Collins Chapel, Memphis, Tenn.; and Dyersburg Station. He was selected Book Agent in 1882 at the General Conference that met in Washington, D.C.; and in 1890 he was elected to the office of Commissioner of Education for the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America. He was the fraternal messenger to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1892 and was elected and consecrated to the office of bishop at the session of the General Conference that convened in Memphis, Tenn., in 1894. As a preacher Bishop Cottrell has but few equals. Argumentative and forceful, he delivers his message with great power. Aside from his mental powers, he was a very attractive personality. His greatest work is seen in the founding and establishing of the Mississippi Industrial College, at Holly Springs. He traveled, preached, lectured, and raised large sums of money for this work. Under his magnetic leadership the patronizing Conferences have done a remarkable work at Holly Springs. The Bishop resides in Holly Springs, but is at present (1916) in charge of the Conferences of the Third Episcopal District.

Bishop Charles Henry Phillips, D.D.

        Bishop Charles Henry Phillips, LL.D., was born in Milledgeville, Ga. January 17. 1858. He was


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Illustration

BISHOP ELIAS COTTRELL, D.D.


Page 167

educated in the public schools, Atlanta University, and Central Tennessee College, graduating from the regular college course of the latter institution in 1880 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was married to Miss Lucy Ellis Tappan, of Nashville, Tenn., December 16, 1880. At the age of seventeen he was converted and joined the Church at his home. He was licensed to preach by the Rev. R.T. White in 1878. He served as Principal of Lane Institute (now Lane College) for two years and rendered splendid service during that time. He joined the West Tennessee Annual Conference in 1879 and was appointed pastor of Collins Chapel in 1885. Among the other large appointments he filled may be mentioned the following: Israel Metropolitan Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C., for four years; Center Street Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, Louisville, Ky., for two years; and presiding elder of the Mount Sterling District for some time. In 1894 he was elected editor of the Christian Index, the official organ of the Church, and served in that capacity until he was elected to the bishopric of the Church by the General Conference which met in Nashville, Tenn., in May, 1902. Prior to his election to the bishopric of the Church, Bishop Phillips had been a member of several of the General Conferences, was fraternal messenger to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School Convention, which Convention met in


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London, England, in July, 1889. He was appointed delegate to the Ecumenical Conference of Methodists which met in Washington, D.C., in 1891. His address before that body elicited much favorable comment. In 1901 he was again sent as a delegate to the great Ecumenical Conference of Methodism that met at this time in London, England. Bishop Phillips has enjoyed splendid educational advantages. Besides being a college graduate, he is a graduate in medicine and theology. He holds the degrees of A.B. and M.D. because of the courses he took while in school. Several years afterwards Wiley University, at Marshall, Tex., and Philander Smith College, at Little Rock, Ark., conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1916 Wilberforce University, the leading school of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, conferred upon the Bishop the degree of Doctor of Laws. He is a fluent speaker, scholarly and dignified in his manner. He is recognized as one of the most representative men of the Church and the race. The success of the educational work in Texas under his leadership and the splendid work consummated in establishing and organizing the Conference in the Golden West add another page of glory to his record as a bishop. He is a strong preacher, an author of recognized ability, an erudite scholar, and a fine executive. He presides over the Fourth Episcopal District.


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Illustration

BISHOP C. H. PHILLIPS, LL.D.


Page 171

Bishop M.F. Jamison, D.D.

        Bishop M.F. Jamison, D.D., was born near Rome, Ga., November 27, 1848. When but a boy his parents were carried to Alabama, and of course he went with them. Here he grew into manhood. He had no chance at an education, as during those days it was unlawful for Negroes to be taught to read or write. He professed faith in Christ at Newbern, Ala., in October. 1867, and in the very next year he felt a divine call to the ministry. He was licensed to exhort in 1870 and was licensed to preach by one Rev. Mimms in 1871. Shortly thereafter he moved to Texas and was admitted on trial into the East Texas Annual Conference in 1874. Returning from the Conference, he was married to Miss M.A. Flennoy January 14, 1874. At this time he made his home near Marshall, Tex., and was assigned to the pastorate of Marshall and Longview. Among the other charges that he served so faithfully and well, we might mention the following, Sherman, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Leesburg; while he served as presiding elder over almost all of the districts in his Conference. He became editor of the Christian Advocate, a paper published in the State of Texas. While editor of the Christian Advocate he was presiding elder of the Tyler District and moved the office of that paper to Tyler. Bishop Jamison was a delegate to the General Conference for a number of years and was recognized as a leader in his Conference. In 1890 he was elected


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General Secretary of the Church Extension Department by the General Conference that convened in Little Rock, Ark. In 1893 the General Board elected him editor of the Christian Index, the official organ of the Church. In 1908 Phillips College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, and in 1910 he was elected and consecrated to the office of bishop. During the past six years of his service he has been faithful in the discharge of the many difficult duties coming to him as a bishop. In Texas, where he spent the first four years of his life as a bishop, he accomplished great things for the educational work in that State.

Bishop R. A. Carter, D.D.

        Bishop Randall Albert Carter was born at Fort Valley, Ga., January 1, 1867. He is the son of Tobias and Grace (Chivers) Carter. He was carried to Columbia, S.C., the home of his maternal parents, when a child and attended the public schools of that city until he had completed the common school course. He was among the first students to matriculate at the newly founded Allen University, of Columbia, S.C., and attended that school from 1880 to 1884, completing the normal course and going through the sophomore class. He matriculated at Paine College, Augusta, Ga., in the fall of 1887; completed the college course in 1891, being the first person to complete the college course in that institution; and was given the D.D. degree by his Alma


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Illustration

BISHOP M. F. JAMISON, D.D.


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Mater in 1901. He was married to Miss Janie S. Hooks, of Macon, Ga., an alumnus of Paine College, April 22, 1891, from which union one child, a daughter, was born. He joined the South Carolina Annual Conference in 1887, being received by Bishop W.H. Miles at Green Pond, S.C. He has pastored some of the smallest charges, as well as some of the largest, in South Carolina and Georgia. He was elected Epworth League Secretary at the organization of that department in the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in 1898; was a member of the Colored Methodist Episcopal delegation to the Ecumenical Conference of Methodism held in London in 1901; was fraternal delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held at Chicago, Ill., in 1900; was for twenty years a member of the Committee on Episcopacy of the General Conference; was chairman five consecutive times of the Georgia Conference delegation to the General Conference. He was elected bishop at St. Louis, Mo., in May, 1914. Bishop Carter's services as a lecturer are in great demand. Clear in thought, precise in expression, he succeeds in impressing his audiences as but few speakers can do. He is a writer, pulpiteer, and scholar. Although just beginning his work as a bishop, he has made a favorable impression upon the Church at large. He should render a large service to the Church and race because of the preparation he has had for his life work.


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Bishop N.C. Cleaves, D.D.

        Nelson Caldwell Cleaves was born on a farm near Oakland, Fayette County, Tenn., October 7, 1865. He is the son of Lilbon and Annie Cleaves. He attended the public school in the county until he was sixteen years old and then entered a private school under William Penn Liston, a highly educated white man, who came into the county in 1883 and gave his valuable service to the uplift of the Negro. In 1885 he entered Lane College, Jackson, Tenn., and graduated from the normal course in 1887. In 1888 he entered Fisk University in the senior college preparatory year, but left on the advice of physicians. Benedict College conferred the honorary degree of D.D. upon him in 1912. He taught in the public schools of Fayette and Madison Counties for five years, was principal of the city school in Minden, La., and founder of Minden High School. He was principal of the English Department of Lane College three years. On August 27, 1889, he was married to Miss Jennie E. Lane, and to their union were born four children - Frances N., Shellie B., Lane C., and Florence E. - all of whom survive. He was converted and joined the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church September 12, 1882. Following the impression of early years, he applied for admission on trial in the ministry at Dyersburg, Tenn., in 1893. He was admitted and assigned to the pastorate of the South Jackson Circuit, where he served one year. He served with


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Illustration

BISHOP R. A. CARTER, D.D.


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acceptability the following charges: Lane Chapel, Humboldt, two years; Wesley Chapel, Clarksville, three years; Collins Chapel, Memphis, three years; Israel Metropolitan Church, Washington, D.C., four years; Sydney Park Church, Columbia, S.C., eight years. His ministry was characterized by peace and harmony, the ingathering of souls, and financial harvests. He served the Church in several representative capacities. The bench of bishops appointed him fraternal messenger to the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church which met at Columbus, Ohio, in 1900. He was Secretary of the General Board from 1898 to 1906, Assistant Secretary of the General Conference at Augusta, Ga., in 1910, and Secretary in Chief of the General Conference at St. Louis in 1914. While pastoring in Washington he served as President of the Interdenominational Ministers' Alliance. In Columbia, S.C., he was actively allied with the Ministers' Union, State Sunday School Union, Associated Charities, and other organizations which work for the social, civic, and religious uplift of the people. He was elected bishop by the General Conference at St. Louis May 19, 1914, and was assigned by the College of Bishops to the Seventh Episcopal District. He is President of the Board of Trustees of Miles Memorial College, Birmingham, Ala., and Mississippi Industrial College, Holly Springs, Miss. He is a member of the Southern Sociological Congress and of the Federal Council


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of the Churches of Christ in America. Bishop Cleaves is a pulpiteer of no mean ability. Clear in diction, ponderous in thought, and fervent in speech he never fails to impress his hearers with his message. As an executive he takes high rank. His Conferences are always orderly, and his work is systematic. His services are in great demand.

        

Illustration

BISHOP N. C. CLEAVES, D.D.


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CHAPTER XXIV.

EXCERPTS FROM A SERMON ON "FAITH."

        TEXT, Hebrews xi. I: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

        This entire chapter is on the subject of "Faith and Hope." In this Epistle the apostle had been writing on the priesthood of Christ, the excellency of his priesthood, the atonement, and the efficacy of the sacrifice made; and now he comes to consider the sublime subject of the nature and fruits of faith. He begins this subject with the sentence we have just quoted as our text.

        We are given to understand that faith is a substance; and, of course, the substance is the principal part of anything. If we are talking about material things, the substance is the strength, the valor of the thing. The substance of faith is hope. Without hope there can be no faith. Now, what is hope? Hope is compound in its meaning, made up of the idea of desire and the idea of expectation. It is not the same as a wish, for a wish may be at random; but hope is a desire and an expectation combined. The two must be together, or it is not a hope. It is also definite.

        Faith is the foundation of all religions. There must be the idea of a God, and there must be faith in his existence and personality; otherwise there


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can be no system of religion or creed involving the idea of a God. It is comprehended in the very attribute of his nature. It is God's will to reveal in his plan to man this faith and the hope in the immortality of his soul.

        This chapter contains a great many references to faith, both historical and otherwise. By faith the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the world was formed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death, and was not found because God had translated him. In this chapter of Hebrews we find that the subject of faith is mentioned twenty times, with reference to twenty different kinds of faith. Finally, the apostle said that time would fail to allow him to make mention of all the characters that the Bible made statement of. In fact, there is so much on the subject that it would take a great deal of time and much patience to attempt to mention all pertaining to the subject of faith.

        There are degrees as well as qualities of faith. Faith is a supplement to knowledge. What we cannot know by the power within us to reason, we may believe or have faith in the subject. This is a common


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requirement made of us in the study of history, the natural and metaphysical sciences. When we talk of natural faith we mean worldly faith in things of a worldly nature, such as the business of a farmer and the faith he must exercise in the carrying on of his work. The Bible says: "He that ploweth should plow in hope." This kind of faith may be exercised in the regularity of the laws of nature. So all that we cannot know that is necessary for us to know requires faith on our part.

        There is a quality of faith called persuasion, and it is seen when we accept a notion because of the sentiment rather than the knowledge we have received concerning it. There is another quality of faith which I call grace. This is attained not directly, but indirectly. This God freely gives to all. There is also the faith of grace. But we are considering here soul-saving faith. This means faith in God; faith in the acceptance of a personal God; faith in all the attributes of God, both natural and moral. This quality of faith does not save men, nor is it the means of salvation. The faith that effects the union between God and man is faith in God's plan to save - that is, faith in Jesus Christ and the merits of Christ in the sacrifice which he made that his blood is the efficacy of atonement. This is God's plan. We are, then, to accept Christ as a divine substitute, for Christ bore all our sins in his own body on Calvary's cross. This is truly the medium by which we have peace with God. "Therefore


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being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. v. I.)

        We shall now consider briefly the doctrine of the Church of our choice on this subject. We have three evidences. First, the Holy Bible. This is God's will revealed to man. Secondly, the effect that religion has on the world. This is ofttimes called external evidence. Thirdly, our own experience that we are brought from darkness into light. Each believer can say for himself that "I am a new child in Christ, killed to the love of sin and made alive in the love of Christ." This is an evidence of a personal faith in the saving grace of Christ, making the soul a new creature in Christ, establishing a communion between God and man. Then there is faith in his grace that he will bring me home to heaven when this life is over and I am called to stand at his bar to be rewarded for work done in this life. I can then know that I am with him, and then I will be known "even as I am known."

        This faith will condemn and drive the wicked away. Christ is the medium of happiness. This is the faith Enoch had, that he walked with God and was not, for God took him up to be at home in heaven - a faith that I will recognize my kindred and loved ones in that spiritual world out of the flesh, out of this world with Christ, free from sin and pain and death. Christ came into the world to save us from this great death and to give us life in him, for "he that hath the Son of God hath life eternal."


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CHAPTER XXV.

EXTRACTS FROM AN ADDRESS ON "HOLINESS" DELIVERED BEFORE AN ANNUAL CONFERENCE.

        SINCE the organization of our Church I have held to the idea that a pure ministry and a holy membership are the only hope of our doing the work expected of us as a great Church. Holy living follows peace with all mankind. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." ( Heb. xii. 14. )

        If we note the order of things, we find that the higher the order the greater is the responsibility. Accordingly, the preacher should be an example for the flock not only in doctrine, but in living with the people. His conversation and entire dealings should be such as become a preacher of the gospel, always having something helpful to give the people, some noble example for them to emulate.

        The Methodists have three special evidences, one of which is experimental. It is most commonly expressed as follows: "I know that my Redeemer lives, for he lives in me." This evidence should stand out in a Methodist's life. With the Methodist there is nothing to be found against the doctrine of holiness, while on the other hand there is everything in its favor. Our righteousness should be free from every known sin. If we love God with all our soul, mind, and body, and this love of God predominates


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our entire being, it is not difficult to live a pure and upright life. "Love is the divinest of all the train," filling both mind and soul.

        If we understand Methodism, it means Christianity and earnestness. No one who seeks to live a holy life has any argument against holiness, but there may be a question as to whether any one can live a holy life in this world. The way to answer this is to ask whether or not any one has failed to live this life who has desired it, sought it, expected it, and at the same time has lived up to the uttermost of his moral power to attain unto it. Now, when any one does not believe he can be holy, when he begins to doubt its possibility, there is no way by which he can attain unto it. But let him desire it, expect it, crave it, and it will not be difficult for him to live up to it. Desiring it, looking for it, and using every power within us to reach it is all that is required of us. This is better than making loud professions or demonstrations in words.

        God makes it our duty and privilege to be holy; and if we are not, we alone are to blame. Our duty to God, to ourselves, to the Church, and to our families is involved and laid upon us. Our privilege to be holy is a responsibility we must meet if we please God. When we stop and observe ourselves and our relation to each other and to our God, we can then more clearly realize our moral duty and opportunity. Our daily prayer should be: "Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord."


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CHAPTER XXVI.

A DISSERTATION ON "WHY BAPTIZE CHILDREN?"

        THE baptism of children is a subject that should be considered carefully by us all. We are often asked: "Why baptize children? What good is there in it? What good will it do the child? If there is no good to be accomplished thereby, it should be discontinued."

        In reply to these interesting questions we ask: What good does it do any one to be baptized? The only answer that comes is: "To fulfill the commandment of the Lord." Just before our Lord ascended unto heaven he said to his disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

        There are two classes of subjects for baptism - viz., adults and infants. Faith is required of the adult, but not of the infant. If faith were required of the infant, then the child would be lost, as it is not susceptible of exercising faith. We believe that a child should be baptized, because Christ said: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." If such as they are in heaven, then they should have


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a place in the Church, his sanctuary on earth. The Church on earth represents the kingdom of heaven, and as such the children should find a place in it.

        The question may be asked: "What authority have you for infant baptism?" To this question we may reply simply calling the attention of the interrogator to the obligations and responsibility assumed by a parent to train "up a child in the fear and admonition of the Lord," to teach the child the meaning of baptism, that it means his dedication to the Lord, and that it means, after all, about as much to him as it does to an adult and, in fact, does the infant just about as much good as it does the adult. The parent should take the time and teach the child that he has been dedicated to the Lord and to the cause of righteousness. If that child has the confidence and utmost respect for his parents, it will be satisfied with its relation to the Church.


                         "Infant sprinkled once was I,
                         And since that is done
                         I have laid it all by"

        may be urged against the baptism of children, but the same argument can be made against the baptism of the adult. The obligations of the parents with respect to the attitude of their children toward the Church has always been great. "Come thou, and all thy house, into the ark," saith the Lord to Noah.

        "What is the purpose of baptism?" is a question that is often asked. Baptism is the seal of a covenant


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between God and man, and as such it is God's plan and not the plan of man. As to the mode and manner in which it is to be done, there are many opinions prevailing among men. We hold that there is no virtue in how it is to be done, but it is necessary for us to obey the order. "To him that is able to believe and be baptized," saith the Lord. How it is to be done is just where so many opinions have arisen. Some urge that the word "baptize" means to dip, to plunge, or to bury, while others hold to other views about the matter. If I were to urge any question at all on this subject, it would be: Is there any virtue in the mode, the manner in which baptism is done? John the Baptist said that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Now, did Christ do what John the Baptist said he would do? If so, how did Christ baptize you? Was it in a river or a pool, a pond or a creek? Who took you down in it, took hold of you, turned your back, dipped you down in it, and then pulled you up out of it?

        You are to judge for yourself how you were converted, if that means baptism. Inasmuch as water baptism does not cleanse our hearts of sin, it does not matter very materially as to how the baptism takes place or how it is done.

        It is of the highest importance, however, that the parent feel the weight of the responsibility to God, the Church, and the child to teach why it is baptized and give the child the idea that it is dedicated to the


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Lord. This obligation was recognized and entered into when the child was baptized. After the parent has received this obligation, the minister offers a prayer after this manner: "O merciful God, grant that the old Adam in this child may be so buried that the new man may be raised up in him. Amen. Grant that all carnal affections may die in him and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him. Amen. Grant that he may have power and strength to have victory and to triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh. Amen. Grant that whosoever is dedicated to thee by our office and ministry may also be endued with heavenly virtues and everlastingly rewarded through mercy, O blessed Lord God, who dost live and govern all things, world without end. Amen. Almighty, ever-living God, whose most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins, did shed out of his most precious side both water and blood and gave commandment to his disciples that they should go teach all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: regard, we beseech thee, the supplications of thy congregation, and grant that this child, now to be baptized, may receive the fullness of thy grace and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."


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