|I appreciate the honor of writing the memoirs for my long time friend and father in the ministry, David Baker Boddie.
My ministry began when I got off the train in Opelousas in July of 1928 and was met by Brother Boddie and W. D., a boy of 12 years of age. They took me to the parsonage which was to be my home not only for the next months, but for life. He invited me to share a ministry with him serving the Opelousas Church and six small congregations he had assembled into a circuit which was known as The Ville Platte Circuit. I was to receive forty dollars a month and board. Boarding a 21-year-old boy was no small thing in itself. I became a member of the family, a son to Brother and Mrs. Boddie, a brother to the boys—W. D., Harbin and George Baker. Let me take this opportunity to give an evaluation of this interesting and remarkable man.
I would first like to characterize him as a happy Christian. He attracted young people all the years of his ministry. The first evidence of this is in his own boys. They grew up in the midst of church activities, loving it enough to continue after their adulthood, one becoming a minister, the others active laymen. Many other men across the Conference bedside me point to a relationship with Brother Boddie as helping them to find a place in the ministry.
He was a churchman. He planned and conducted the first District Camp in Louisiana—Camp Grant Walker. He invited young people from around the Conference to assist him and carry on the work. He brought together the Ville Platte Circuit, to which I was assigned, and it did not last more than one year after he left Opelousas. He planned a French Mission work which was scuttled by an arbitrary Bishop who did not know anything about Louisiana.
Brother Boddie made a contribution everywhere he went, not alone in buildings and programs, but in people, especially young people, who after all these years rise up and call him blessed.
Brother Boddie spent the first seven years of his ministry in pastorates in east Texas, moving from Kirbyville, Texas, to Rochelle, Louisiana in 1919, when he became a member of the Louisiana Conference. His pastorates in Louisiana included Glenmora; Opelousas; Oakdale; Pineville; Lake Providence; Sulphur; Hodge; Gibsland; Morgan City; Delhi; Clinton; Gueydan; Davidson; Lafayette; and following his retirement in 1956, Canal Street, New Orleans; First Church, New Orleans, associate, following the merger of Canal Street and First Church; and Trout.
Mr. Boddie is survived by a sister, Mrs. Moses (Ella) Walker, Jena, Louisiana; and three sons, George Baker (Jack) Boddie, Raleigh, North Carolina; D. Harbin Boddie, Shreveport, Louisiana; and Dr. W. D. Boddie, pastor, First United Methodist Church, Monroe.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1974; p. 145 By Jolly B. Harper|