January 2, 1870 - 1936
|A prince and a great man is fallen in Israel. II Samuel, 3:38.
David seemed to hate stated the qualities of Abner here, on the plan of working toward a climax, but the title can and has been worn by many unworthy of the name. A man is more important than a prince. “Princes and lords may perish and may fade, a breath can make them as a breath has made,” but a man is the noblest work of Gad.
Brother Lee was a man in a high sense of that word. He was a prince in a real sense of that ward. He was a man physically, a strong man, capable of great physical endurance. He could walk, work, run, and endure longer than most men who were permitted to walk by his side. And he was an inspiration to less .vigorous men to do their best. He was a man intellectually. No half-baked work was turned out by his hand; he bought, read and mastered the best books. Then he did his own thinking. And what he passed an to his audiences was his own product.
He read poetry, descriptive literature, theology, philosophy and history. He knew his facts, he was a master of good English, he was an orator of high order, and what he believed was his own conclusion, and the form in which he expressed it was beaten oil. And he was not easily dislodged from his conclusions once made up. Brother Lee believed in his mind and heart the fundamental tenets of Methodism, and he taught them with a clearness and vigor that carried conviction.
John Walter Lee was born January 2, 1870, and reared near Daisy, Plaquemines Parish,
Louisiana. He was educated in the public school of his community, and secured his further education in Louisiana State Uni-versity, the first of the three of our preachers who were educated there. He was born again under the ministry of Rev. Noel Norwood, who was a remarkable pastor and evangelist, and was especially noted for his clear statements of the process of evangelical conversion. And Brother Lee entered with an informed mind into the experience of saving grace.
Brother Lee was a man spiritually. He examined critically the foundations of his beliefs, and there was no faulty stone in the structure c-f his faith. He came to grips with his spiritual foes and conquered them. The result was that he was no weakling. He took the punishment of those who are willing to suffer for their convictions and did his share of drudgery, and reaped his share of the honors incident to the Methodist itinerant system. His rewards were a healthy self-respect and the respect and honor of his brethren. He was a manly preacher and appealed to men, and he had a large circle of friends among the men where it was his lot to serve.
Brother Lee joined the Louisiana Conference at the session held in Homer in 1893. He was admitted into full connection and ordained deacon in 1895, and elder at Mansfield in 1898. His appointments were: Sulphur, 1894; Spring Creek, 1895; Hineston, 1896; Montgomery, 1897, 1898; Big Cane and Melville, 1899-1902; Baker, 1903-06; Melville, 1908; Kentwood, 1909-Il; Lake Providence, 1 912-i 5; Winnfield, 191 6; Natchitoches, 191 7-20; P. E. Baton Rouge District, 192 1-23; Parker Memorial, New Orleans, 1924; Crowley, 1925-26; Homer, 1927-28; P. E. Lake Charles District, 1929-31; Arcadia, 1932; Colfax and Montgomery, 1933-36. During his pastorate at Homer he suffered an attack that resembled a paralytic stroke, but such was the vigor of his constitution that he re-covered much of his former strength and worked on for several years. The recurrence of that affliction came early this year and ended his labors near the scene of his earlier work.
He was twice married, first to Miss Eva Norwood, of Clinton, daughter of Rev. N. B. Norwood of the Louisiana Conference, to which union two songs, Walter and Norwood, and one daughter were born. His first wife died at Baker, August I 2, 1906. He was married again in 1908 to Miss Lena Merritt, of which union two daughters, Helen and Ruth, were horn. His second wife and four of his children survive him. A prince and a great man is fallen. “He rests from his labors and his works do follow him.”
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 91-92, 1936, by H. N. Brown|