Methodist Preachers from the Town of Mexico

Source:  Black River and Northern Conference Memorial, Third Volume, Containing Sketches of Deceased Members from 1880 to 1923, by Albert Loucks, dtd May 1923, The Corse Press, Sandy Creek, NY.


            Joseph Henry Lamb


 
Rev. Joseph Henry Lamb
Our Boanerges is gone.   Honorable mention should  be made of his character and the value of his service. A biography of his eventful life, uniting the present with the past, would form an  important chapter in the history of the church  to which he gave the energy of his days.

For 85 years he stood like an ancient tree, a faithful guide to his generation. His personality was so unique that it will continue the center of delightful recollections. The records of his ancestry need not be repeated here. However, his grandparents were born in England, married in Halifax, Vermont, and died in Mexico, N.Y. Brother Lamb was the eldest of five children, and was born in Mexico, N. Y., January 1, 1815.

During a wonderful revival of religion in Colosse, N. Y., in 1830-31, still treasured in the traditions of that town, Joseph H. Lamb, with many of the substantial members of the church at Mexico, was converted. That glorious event became the basis of his uniform piety and success as a preacher of righteousness. Enthusiastic as he was, experimental religion was more than mere enthusiasm to him.

His ministerial record appears in the following order:  His license to exhort bears date, July 17,
1837, given by Jesse Penfield; renewed July 16, 1838 and May 18, 1839, Isaac Stone, presiding elder. His license to preach was issued September 7, 1839; renewed July 17, 1840, and again July 21, 1841, Gardner Baker; presiding elder. At the sixth session of the old Black River Conference, held in Rome, N. Y., 1841, Bishop Soule, presiding, J. H. Lamb appeared, with six others, with his recommendation for reception into the "traveling connection" of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of his six associates all preceded him to their reward.

Brother Lamb's entrance upon the Christian ministry forms an interesting epoch in his history. Re-
sults clearly demonstrate the genuineness of his call.  His ardent fidelity and holy solicitude did not pass away with the ardor of young manhood, but gave character to the labors of half a century, and were conspicuous in the closing years of his long and useful career. Heroic incidents attended the ministry of this pre-eminently gospel preacher.  His clear personal expenence, his persuasive, convincing power, his remarkable expectancy of success, made him one of the most evangelical preachers of our Conference. To trace his ministry from Liverpool, N. Y., in 1841, to Whitestown in 1887, would be a record of ability, devotedness and success.

He was unobtrusive, but prompt, modest and self-respecting.  The virtues of a noble Christian man were well assembled in him, and well expressed. Ruggedness of thought and speech was qualified by sentiment, sympathy and spirituality. 

Through his long ministry of more than half a century, the intellectual, the accurate, the aged, the young, the careless, the solemn, felt the stimulus of his presence. His sermons were clear, logical, unique in form and attractive in delivery. He preached as if by a recent commission from God which impelled him with a sacred boldness. Expository preaching had for him all the force of a habit. He had a rare voice-resonant, musical, effective and persuasive. In his palmy days his strong body shook with emotion when swayed with the intensity of his feelings as he spoke in quarterly and camp meetings. There was a sense in which Brother Lamb was a popular preacher, though he detested those artifices by which some would attract the idolatry of their congregations. 

During his term as presiding elder on ogdensburg District, in 1859-62, he was justly credited with ad ministrative skill, shrewdness in management, sagacity, judicious treatment of preachers and churches, breadth of vision and self-reliance. Though he had astute leaders as his associates, Brother Lamb upheld the dignity, prestige and intelligence of his office and its functions. 

But superannuation came; not, however, to find Joseph H. Lamb a cynic. The entries in his journal concerning the present, show that he took a very hopeful view of society. With recollections of the heroic days of Methodism flashing before him, he had the largest sympathy with the young people's movement of the times and gave it his fullest endorsement. He had cheer for every reformer. He did not sit in sackcloth amid the ashes of the past.  He hailed every advance, and prophesied better things. In the interest of Christian education he gave practical and substantial proof.

Age made him benign and noble, serene and beautiful. Indeed, he never grew old. He was an incarated sunbeam. In every manly soul he found a congenial comrade. Who can forget his Conference love feast testimony, given Sunday, April 22, 1900, at Rome. It was itself a psalm of life. His last public testimony given in his home church at Mexico was especially edifying and stimulating. In it he declared his abiding and adequate trust in God, in the nobility of the Christian ministry, and the outlook of the church of Jesus.

Brother Lamb was twice married. First, February 27, 1838, to Miss Laura Barnes. To them were born four children, all of whom long since passed to the excellent glory, and lie in their respective graves in Ogdensburg, Theresa and Mexico, N.Y., and Newark, N.J. After sixteen years of happy wedded life came his inconsolable grief. Then May 25, 1855, a charming union was formed with Mrs. Arvilla Loveys, widow of the Rev. Jonathan Loveys of the Black River Conference, which continued thirty-seven years, when he was again called to mourn and his home thrown into desolation.

After a sojourn of a few years in Utica, N. Y., this venerable man of God, now homeless and childless, wended his way to the town of his nativity to spend the evening of his days amid the scenes of his childhood.

On Friday, June 8, 1900, as a result of a fractured hip, after two weeks of suffering, his soul sprang upward into the depths of heaven to follow infinite day.

The funeral services were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mexico, N. Y., on Monday, June 11, 1900. Rev. S. T. Dibble, presiding elder of Oswego District; J. B. Foote, D. D., A. P. Palmer, E. S. Cheeseman, J. H. Buck, A. C. Danforth, and the writer, bore loving testimony to the useful life and glorious career of this typical Methodist minister. His body rests in the cemetery at Herkimer, N. Y., by the side of the wife of his early years, borne thither and buried by the hands of his fellow laborers.  His furlough has arrives, ours lingers.

Men will never lose confidence in the possibilities and glories of the unselfish life as long as the name of Joseph Henry Lamb is remembered.  He is chanting the doxology in the noon-days of eternity with Ninde-the father- and son-Chase, King, Dempster, Bingham, Baker and a host of others-his fellow laborers.  "He has passed up to be a prince in that land to which pilgrims carry only what they know and what they are."

Thos. B. Shepherd


DAVID D. PARKER
Rev. David Dennison Parker


The Rev. David Dennison Parker was born in Paris, Oneida County, N.Y., Feb. 10, 1819, and died at Felts Mills, N. Y., Jan. 7, 1898, aged 78 years, ten months and 27 days.

Brother Parker, when a boy, with his parents to Mexico, N. Y.  He was converted Feb. 13, 1843, under the labors of Rev. B. Holmes.  He was licensed to exhort in 1845 by the Rev. N. R. Peck, and to preach in 1848 by the Rev. Gardner Baker. He joined the Black River Conference at the sessio held at Adams, July, 1848, and was appointed to North Manlius, with the Rev. Alvin Robbins, preacher in charge. In 1850 he was received into full connection, ordained deacon by Bishop Waugh, and appointed to Phoenix. His subsequent appointments were: 1852, Parish; 1853-4, Central Square; 1855, Liverpool; 1856-7, Bangor; 1858, Fort Covington; 1859, Norfolk; 1860-61, Natural Bridge and Wilna; 1862, Russell; 1863-64, Lisbon; 1865-66, Buck's Bridge; 1867-69, Gilbert's Mills; 1870-72, North Western; 1873, supernumerary, at Lowell; 1874-76, Pamelia; 1877-79, Watson; 1880, superannuated and settled at Felts Mills; 1886-87, he supplied Woods Mills, living at his home. Thus he spent thirty-three years in the active ministry, including the two years that he supplied a charge while occupying the superannuated relation. On his first charge he obtained eighty-three new subscribers to the Northern Christian Advocate, every Methodist family subscribing for the paper. He was an earnest preacher, excellent pastor and successful in revival work. Many. are living that began a public Christian life under his pastorate, of whom the writer is one. During his superannuated life he was loyal to his local church, his pastor, and his conference. As he had a very strong constitution, the battle for life was vigorous, though attended with intense suffering, especially during the last eight years; but he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. On Jan. 7, 1898, he passed into the unseen holy, a victor through Jesus Christ.

He was survived by two sons, M. M. Parker, of Felts Mills, and A. B. Parker, of Watertown; one daughter, Mrs. Gertrude Mooney, of Felts Mills, and one sister, Mrs. Eunice Duell, of Mexico, N. Y.

One daughter, Addie Bennett, passed into the spirit world from Fulton, Aug.26, 1869. His faithful wife, who shared with him the joys and labors of his itinerancy, the mother of his children, the solace and comfort of his superannuated life, left him in the shadow as she entered into her eternal rest some two years before him.

His funeral was held in the church at Felts Mills, Sunday, Jan. 9, 1898. The Rev. S. O. Barnes, his presiding elder, assisted by his pastor, the Rev. L. D. Green, and the Rev. S. Call, the Rev. C. M. Smith, the Rev. A. M. Child, the Rev. S. G. Carley and the writer conducted the services. The day was beautiful, the congregation large, the bearers his brethren Conference; and as one said, it was more triumphal march than a funeral train as we attended the funeral rites of our brother.

"Weep not for our brother deceased,
Our loss is his infinite gain;
A soul out of prison released, 
And freed from its bodily pain.
With songs let us follow his flight 
And mount with his spirit above,
Escaped to the mansions of light, 
And lodged in the Eden of love."
J. B. Hammond


S. F. KENYON

Rev. Sardius  F. Kenyon
Rev. Sardius  F. Kenyon was born in Mexico, N.Y., May 6, 1819,  and died at Oneida, N.Y., May 22, 1895. 

Brother  Kenyon's boyhood days were spent in his native town.  He obtained his education at the Mexico Academy. George G. Hapgood was principal at the time. No doubt the influence of that noble, godly man had much to do with the after life of Brother Kenyon. He was converted at the early age of fifteen, and ever after strove to follow the teachings of his Lord. He was exceedingly conscientious and very susceptible to the movings of the Spirit, and felt that it was his duty to enter the ministry. He was licensed to preach when about twenty-one years old, near which time he was also married to Miss Ann Eliza Davis, the daughter of a local preacher.  Brother Kenyon was naturally a very diffident man; a clear reasoner, his sermons were generally arranged in orderly manner; his preaching was earnest and practical; no doubt many will rejoice in the "great day" on account of the noble work performed by this man of God. He joined conference on trial in 1852, was admitted into full membership in the Black River Conference which met at Camden, N.Y., in 1854, was ordained deacon by Bishop Morris; he was ordained elder in Syracuse in 1856, by Bishop Waugh.

His appointments were as follows: 1852, Phoenix; 1853-4, Hermon; 1855-6, Heuvelton; 1857 Bucks Bridge; 1858, Madrid; 1859, Oneida Lake: 1860-1, Seneca River;  1862, located;  1864, readmitted; 1864-5, North Bay; 1866, Holmesville; 1867, Orwell; 1868, South Canton and Pierrepont; 1869, Hermon; 1870-1, Chateaugay;  1872, St. Lawrence; 1873,  Sackets Harbor; 1874-6, Hammond; 1877, Philadelphia; 1878, Edwards and Fine; 1879-80, Colton; 1881, Amboy; 1882-3, Vienna; 1884, Natural Bridge; 1885, Russell; 1886, supernumerary; 1888, superannuated, from which time he lived at Oneida. He was in the active relation for thirty-two years, and a consistent gospel minister for about forty years. His pastor, W. H. York, in referring to his religious life, states that his testimonies in the class meeting were always bright, positive and up to date.

He came down to the valley full of hope, ready for the crossing.  In his last illness, when his pastor called and prayed for him, he was asked if the gospel was to him what he had preached it to others. His face lighted up as he said, "Yes, and a great deal more." Truly death did not find him unprepared.

He left a wife, two sons, George and Morris Kenyon, both of Oneida; and two daughters, Mrs. Susan Jermy, of Oneida and Mrs. Francis Coville, of North Platte, Neb.

In the funeral services the writer was assisted by the Rev. Samuel Jessup, D.D., of the Presbyterian church, and the Rev. W. H. York, of the M. E. church.  The burial was at North Bay.

W. F. Brown



OTHNIEL HOLMES

Rev. Othniel Holmes

The Rev. Othniel Holmes, A. M., was born in Marcellus, N. Y., June 14, 1823, and died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  November 4, 1899, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.

On Christmas day, December 25, 1838, under the preaching of his own father, in the village of Camden, Brother Holmes surrendered to Jesus Christ and was converted. From this period he seemed to be possessed by a serious earnestness to get the broadest preparation possible for a useful life.  His college course was taken in Wesleyan University. After graduating with honors, he taught in Falley Seminary, in the high school at Jordan, and at Naugatuck, Conn.

In the spring of 1854, Brother Holmes gave up his profession of teaching, and, yielding to the call of God, he entered the work of the gospel ministry. By a singular coincidence, he was received on trial in the old Black River Conference, in 1854, in the same church where he was converted a little over fifteen years before. For thirty-five years Brother Holmes was a true, faithful and laborious Methodist preacher. He had no easy charges. He asked for no preferment. He went where he was sent, to do his best for God and the church. His appointments were: 

1854, Trenton; 1855, Cape Vincent; 1856-57, Ohio; 1858-59, New Bremen; 1860-61, Mannsville; 1862-63, DeKaib;  1864, Bucks Bridge; 1865-66, Waddington; 1867, again at DeKaib; 1868, Richville; 1869-71, Edwards; 1872-74, Russell; 1875-77, Steuben; 1878, Trenton; 1879-80, Vernon; 1881-83, Cold Brook and Russia; 1884-86, Starkville and Van Hornsville; 1887-89, Norway and Gray. In 1889, he retired from the active service, and because of impaired health he removed to Iowa. 

In the second year of his ministry, Brother Holmes was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Scott, at Rome, N.Y., who survived him, and who was a most faithful wife and helpmate during all the years of their wedded life. To them three children were born; Mrs. James Hall of Marshalltown, Iowa, and Mr. George B. Holmes of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Frances died at the age of. thirteen in the parsonage at Russell.

Brother Holmes was always a studious man. He loved the companionship of good books.  Familiar with the languages in which the Holy Scriptures were first written, it was his great delight to seek out the deeper meanings in God's word.

As a minister he possessed many excellent qualities. He was pure minded, unselfish, unambitious for place, wise in administration, tender of the erring, gentlemanly and courteous to all. He was a calm, earnest and scholarly preacher of the Word.  Not many knew him thoroughly, but those who did loved and appreciated him for his true worth.

For some months before his death, it was evident that the end was near. About three weeks before the end came, he and Mrs. Holmes planned a visit to their son in Cedar Rapids. He grew gradually worse and passed away in the full assurance of the faith he had so long and faithfully preached to others. His funeral service was held in the Methodist Church at Marshalltown, on Tuesday, November 7th. The Rev. Dr. Van Ness, the pastor, had charge, and read resolutions of respect adopted by the official board, and also resolutions passed by the ministerial union of the city. The Rev. Dr. Crippen, to whom I am indebted for a large part of this memoir, and who was a special friend of Brother Holmes and his family, delivered the principal address. The remains were laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Marshalltown. His life was a benediction, his memory is precious; he sleeps the sleep of the just.

H. E. Waugh



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