Boltz, Henry Jefferson

10/31/1949

HENRY JEFFERSON BOLTZ
September 25, 1855 - October 31, 1949
 
Rev. H. J. Boltz was born near the town of Camden, Wilcox County, Alabama, September 25th, 1855. He died in Shreveport, Louisiana, Octo-ber 31st, 1949—age 94 years, one month and six days. His mother died when he was an infant. His father and a good Christian step-mother moved to Louisiana and established their home in the New Hope commu-nity, near the town of Many, in 1869, where he grew to young manhood, and received his scant education; He was married to Miss Arnanda Lou Vidler in 1880. Five children were born to them, but three died in childhood. His good and faithful comrade for 32 years died in 1913. He never married again. His only son to reach maturity died in 1930. He is sur-vived by his daughter, Mrs. Dessye Bannerman, of Shreveport, and one grandson
Bro. Boltz was baptized in infancy by a Presbyterian Minister, but joined the Methodist Church at New Hope in 1875 and licensed to preach in 1879—a member of the Methodist Church for 75 years and a Methodist Preacher for 70 years. He was admitted on trial and ordained deacon in 1883—a member of the Louisiana Annual Conference 66 years. He served seventeen pastorates during his 42 years of active ministry, built seven churches and five parsonages. Hundreds of people found Christ and joined the Church under his ministry and several young men led into the ministry.
He entered the ministry during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War when the Southland was prostrate. He was assigned to rural circuits mostly, with four to eight struggling churches scattered over large areas, when the only means of travel was horseback or buggies over rough and unkempt dirt roads. There were many hardships in serving these charges unknown to the preachers of today. He served one charge in his early ministry and received only $87.50 in money for the year’s work! Yet he always rejoiced that he had a place where he could preach the Gospel and serve his Lord and his Church!
Bro. Bolts was truly a man of God, deeply religious and thoroughly consecrated. His gentle, unpretentious, kindly nature, his love and devotion to his holy work, his deep interest and concern for the people he served won for him the highest respect and abiding friendship of hosts of people. He became extremely deaf in his later years and was compelled to take a Superannuate relation long before his physical strength began to wane. Yet he continued to serve where he could and to preach until his strength failed. For several years he made his home in Ruston where he had many friends and where he was highly respected. His last years were spent in Shreveport, mostly in the Highland Sanitarium, where his daughter, Mrs. Bannerrnan, was head bookkeeper, and where she tenderly cared for him until the end. His body was laid to rest beside his departed wife in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Through privation and hardship, through pain and suffering, through sorrow and affliction, with fortitude, courage and faith he “bore the Torch,” carried the Cross and preached the glorious Gospel of Christ. No wonder he could say, as he did during the writer’s last visit with him, “The Church, our Church, is the greatest Institution on earth, and the Gospel of Christ is the greatest cause known to man. Thank God for having some small part in its great work!”
Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 165-166, 1950 by Robert W. Vaughn