Lewis Reed

Early Louisiana circuit rider

Lewis A. Reed was born in September of 1812 in Henderson, Kentucky. He married Miss Eleanor Martha Phillips. He had joined the Poydras St. church in 1842. Before entering the ministry, Rev. Reed worked as an accountant. He was also a partner in a N.O. omnibus company. He sold his interest in the omnibus company after his conversion, because he refused to have a hand in a business that operated on the Sabbath. 

The itinerant life was hard on the Reeds. Their little girl, Rosina, died in 1853 when she was six years old. Only two years later, their eight month old son, Robert, also died. 

A number of his charges were to "colored missions". It was said that "few men were ever respected and reverenced by the whites or beloved by the negroes as was Brother Reed." Even though he might have seemed serious on the outside, the children and youth adored him. He made effective use of the Scripture in his sermons and was a better than average doctrinal preacher. 

His first appointment was in the New Orleans area in 1845. Rev. Reed served the Napoleonville/Lafourche (from 1851 to 1853) and Lafourche/Bayou Black Circuits (from 1854 to 1856). He wrote to the Advocate several times at this period to list marriages he had performed. It appears that a popular spot for weddings was the Rose Cottage, a beautiful home in Terrebonne Parish. He quit the ministry temporarily in 1867 due to money problems. He later went back to the Lafourche Circuit (1876-1878). He continued to serve charges around Louisiana until his death. He passed away on January 20, 1899.