Davies, D.D., Stephen J.

7/23/1937

STEPHEN J. DAVIES, D.D.
August 27, 1857 - July 23, 1937
 
The life and activities, of this good man span four-fifths of a century, beginning at the Orange Grove Plantation. St. Mary Parish, State of Loui-siana, August 27, 1857, and ending at Shreveport, La., July 23, 1937. On this day he Finished his course in the ‘triumphs of a living faith; having served his day and generation by the will of God he fell on sleep and was laid unto his fathers.
Stephen was a Methodist to the manor born, the ‘second son of Rev. Stephen J. Davies and Ann Muggah. His father came to this country while yet a child from Cardiganahire,. Wales. He became a minister of the gospel and a member of the Mississippi Conference, and was one of’ the charter members of the Louisiana Conference when it was organized at Opelousas. La., January 6, 1847.
Young Stephen was reared in a Christian home and he stood steadfast to his’ early training. He received his early education from tutors and private schools. As a young man of high ideals and lofty aspirations he matriculated in Centenary College at Jackson, La., 1878. And here under the godly influence of the venerable A. G. Miller, President of Centenary College, and others he joined the Methodist Church and gave his life to her service. He studied one session at Hiwasee College, Tennessee, but returned to Centenary and received his B. A. degree in June 1882. His affection for Centenary was second only to that of his love for the Methodist Church.
Dear old Centenary was a mighty giant in those days and was faithful in the occupation of one pound and gained beside it ten pounds. By means of her faithfulness she became great and her poverty she translated into enduring riches. And out of her treasures she gave to the Church, the State and the Nation many men who in their day were renowned as preachers, educators, lawyers and physicians, all of whom wore worthily and kept untarnished the good name and escutcheon of their alma mater, but none more worthily and faithfully than Stephen J. Davies.
As far as 1 know, he was never reckoned among the great, nor was his name recorded among the “Who’s Who” in educational and ministerial circles, but, ‘measured horn the standpoint of faithful service, his name will stand high among those, acclaimed great in the kingdom of God. - And even now his brethren must accord him a first place among that great multitude of Cod’s faithful sons who walked and did not faint.
This faithful servant of the Church and alumnus of Centenary College merits the enconium of the true and faithful. This true and worthy man, fifty years after his graduation, was finally recognized by his alma mater In conferring on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
While a young man at Centenary College he was licensed to preach, April 19, 1879, by the Quarterly Conference of Jackson and Pipkin’s Chapel circuit, Woodville, District. Mississippi Conference, Rev. James A. Godfrey P. E. H. was admitted into the Louisiana Conference at Baton Rouge, La., January 1886, Bishop John C. Keener, presiding.
He was ordained deacon in 1884 and elder by Bishop Joseph S. Key at Shreveport, La., 1885. His first charge was Grand Chewer. and his last charge Coushatta. Ills itinerancy literally covered the State and at one time or another he served in every District of the Conference. And during his long term of service of thirty and nine years he served his Conference in the several capacities of pastor, presiding elder, and educator. He was a writer of no mean ability and he exercised this gift in many worthy contributions to both the religious and secular press.
Brother Davies was twice married. His first wife was Miss Ada Pylant, who died July 6, 1586, leaving no children. His second wife was Miss Maggie H. Thompson of Opelousas, La., whom he married on December 18, 1888. She shared with him all the joys and triumphs and disap-pointments and struggles incident - to an itinerant life and in the closing of the years she bore with him the hardships and uncertainties, of a superannuate relation.” This good woman and their three children, Stephen E. Davies and Jane A. ‘and Mary T. Davies, all of whom reside in Shreve-port, are left to mourn his going who was indeed a husband and a father. But while they wait they have the blessed hope a! a happy reunion on that day when all shall be gathered home.’
“Finis” may not properly be written as the final to the Christian’s life; it only marks the conclusion of the earthly pilgrimage. For it is written, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit that they may rest From their labors: and their works do follow them.”
Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 99-100, 1937, by S. S. Bogan