December 3, 1890 - March 1, 1961
|On March 1, 1961, one of the sons of the Belah Community and Methodist Church returned home. There amid the familiar surroundings of boyhood, and among lifelong friends and loved ones, James Robert Strozier will rest from his labors.
It was in this community near Jena, Louisiana, he had joined the Church July 1913, and from which he decided to answer the call to the Ministry. Brother James was born December 3, 1890, of James T. Strozier and Adelle Anthony Strozier. Four years after becoming a Christian he became a Minister of the Methodist Protestant Church, and continued as one of their ablest men until Unification. Among his best known Charges in this group were Mt. Zion, Arcadia, Chatham, Ball, and Mt. Pleasant. After Unification he served such places as Melder, Rochelle, Melville, Ida-Hosston, Pleasant Hill. His last work was Elizabeth-Hopewell where he rendered one of the outstanding services of his entire ministry by the wonderful way he guided his people during the strike in the plant there. With Church members on both sides of the picket lines, he kept peace, and continued to have the respect and love of the entire group.
He retired from the active Ministry at the Conference of 1956, and moved to Ruston, Louisiana to occupy one of the Homes for Retired Ministers. There by the very warmth of his friendship, and the genuineness of his life, he won many friends in the Church and community. it was not strange then, to hear him say to his pastor, “The Trinity Church is one of the friendliest Churches I ever saw.”
Brother Strozier never served the larger places of the Conference, but he did a splendid job with the smaller ones, which comprise the vast majority of those of Methodism. He was a credit to his denomination ‘by the genuineness of his life, as well as his ability to get along with people. He loved the Church, and gave his attention to its every need and call. ‘Complaining and jealousy and bitterness were foreign to his make-up, and he came down to the end thankful for his opportunity to serve the Kingdom, and witnessing in every way which opened to him.
As the end approached, he said to his good wife, “I may go see God today, it is such a beautiful morning.” And now she lives with wonderful memories of their lives together, In the service of the Church, knowing so well that he is “In the Father’s House.”
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 218-219, 1961 by Jolly B. Harper.|