Reverend Isaac Alphonso Patton was born in Pollack, Louisiana , September 15, 1918 , the second son of the Reverend Isaac Aaron Patton and Birdie Mae Calk and the Grandson of the Reverend James Pryor Patton. After 90 years and two days God called Isaac home, September 17, 2008 . He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Velma Mae (June) Patton; son, Tommy Dawson Patton; daughter, Linda Susan Easterling; three grandchildren, Kimberly, Angela and Heather; three great-grandchildren, Caleb, William and Ashley.
In order to experience and treasure Isaac's wonderful Christian heritage, you must understand where it all began. The Patton name came from a Civil War veteran from Texas named James Pryor Patton. He and his two brothers were dismissed from the Southern Army after the war and were told to make their way home as best they could. They started down the Natchez Trace working for food and a place to stay. The brothers got to Vicksburg , Mississippi and crossed the river going back to Nacogdoches , Texas , where they were from.
In Louisiana they got lost and came to Mount Zion , Louisiana . There the brothers stopped at the home of Isaac Russell Strickland, where James asked to work for food and lodging. His brothers went on to Texas leaving him behind. Reverend Strickland's oldest daughter was home taking care of her father and over time he fell in love with Dolly Strickland and got married. James Pryor Patton was converted in the Methodist Protestant Church , was later called to preach, and became a state senator from his area. In time he was elected President of the Methodist Protestant Church of Louisiana.
To the union of James Pryor Patton and Dolly Strickland Patton was born four children: Emma, Elizabeth, Isaac Aaron and James Russell. Isaac Aaron Patton was also called to preach in the Methodist Church . Some of his earliest charges were on circuits which he went to on horseback or just walked, staying with folks in the communities where he preached. Isaac met and married Birdie Mae Calk and to their union were born Russell, Isaac Alphonso, Ruth, Thelma, Hazel, Marie, Lynn, Katheryn and Sarah.
Isaac Alphonso's youth was spent in West Monroe , Louisiana , where he went to Mitchell School and later Ouachita Parish High School . While there he was an all-state Tennis Star for Ouachita. After high school he went to work to help support his father and 2 younger sisters.
World War II came and he enlisted in the Navy in 1942. Sent to Corpus Christi , Texas , he met Velma Mae (June) Lockhart, fell in love and was married in 1943. He was shipped overseas where he served on the tanker, the USS Sea Foam. Isaac left the ship in 1945 at Tokyo Harbor , made his way back to New Orleans where he was discharged. He and June moved to West Monroe and there began life together.
In 1946 at the insistence of his father, Isaac Aaron Patton, he went to a revival and, as he put it, was converted, saved and born again in October 1946, the year son Tommy was born. He began preaching in a tent in 1947 by the Brown Paper Mill. Isaac quit his job at the Post Office and took June and his young son in an old worn out Ford to Asbury College , in Wilmore Kentucky , where he completed College and Seminary in 1952 with honors. During that time their daughter Linda Susan was born, and he called her his miracle child.
Isaac moved his family back to Louisiana where he began his ministry. His charges were Pioneer, 5 churches; Downsville, 3 churches; Stone Avenue , Monroe ; Brownsville , West Monroe ; and finally Sterlington, 3 churches. He retired in 1982 and moved back to Monroe . After retiring he continued to preach in small churches in the Monroe District. He “retired” again only to begin another 10 years as Minister of Visitation at Lea Joyner Memorial United Methodist Church , where he visited “Old Folks” until his death. In all Isaac preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 63 years. His grandfather, James Pryor, his father Isaac Aaron, and Isaac gave over 150 years of service to God and the Methodist Church .
To quote my dad, “All of my family were believing Christians whom I look forward to seeing in heaven to be with Christ forever. I had a great life as a boy, had a great family. Two great heartaches in life: the death of my mother when I was 17 in 1933, and the death of our son David Wayne, still born in 1955. I have fought the good fight and am looking forward to heaven. Just living one day at a time”.
|Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2009|