Sweeney, Frank Newton

12/19/1936

FRANK NEWTON SWEENEY
May 5, 1859 - December 19, 1936
 
Life cannot be reckoned by its day or by its decades, but rather in terms of its intensity, its character and its usefulness. With the passing at Franklinton,, La., of Rev. Frank Newton Sweeney, on December 19, 1936, a long life span of more than 77 years was closed, but more than that, a vital force for righteousness and a ready spirit of human helpfulness was lost to the Church and community where he lived. The length of his life upon the earth does not matter so’ much but the quality of his life and of his service to his generation matters a great deal.
Brother Sweeney was, in many respects, a remarkable man. He ‘was ready, day or night, to answer any calls for service, from whatever source, that came within the range of his powers. Although he was a superannuate for the last twenty years of his life he was always very active in those labors characteristic of the pastorate. He visited the sick, ministered to the sorrowing, buried the dead when his services were requested for this ministry, worked on the ‘vacation Bible schools, looked after the interests of the Advocate for his pastor and did such other work as opportunity offered or his pastor, his church, or his community requested.
His capacity for friendship was phenomenal. Wherever he served—whether among his
own kin or among strangers,’ whether among poop1e of his own church or those of other denominations, he always made friends whose respect and love for him never faded with the years. And out of’ his numerous friendships came many happy experiences to brighten and enrich the later years of his life.

During his years on the effective roll of the Conference Brother Sweeney did excellent work. He brought to his task great earnestness of spirit and readiness of mind and energy.
Wholesome background of piety inherited from his parents, coupled with a profound personal experience of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, lent solidity and moaning to his ministry. The late Dr. C. C. Miller, who was a judge of such matters, said, “Everything Frank Sweeney preaches rings true.” Ill health intervened to take him out of harness after seventeen years of service, though he served several years as a supply in Washington Parish.
After his superannuation Brother Sweeney made his home in Franklinton, La., where a
home was provided for him, almost entirely through the generosity of devoted friends.
In his relations with his pastor Brother Sweeney was the embodiment of loyalty. To
quote Dr. Miller again, “Brother Sweeney will stand by the preacher in charge. He will never say or do anything that will hurt his pastor or his pastor’s work.” This statement takes force out of long years of friendship and out of four years of intimate association as Brother Sweeney’s pastor.
Rev. Frank Newton Sweeney was born at Grand Cheniere, La., and May 5. 1859, and died at Franklinton, La., December 19, 1936, aged 77, years, seven months and fourteen days. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Gussio St. Cyr Sweeney of Franklinton, and by twelve children: Mrs. Dennis Morgan and Mrs. Morgan ‘Smith of Jennings, La., Ivy Sweeney of Shreveport, La., Dennis ‘Sweeney of Sulphur, La., Mrs. C. M. -Babington, Mrs. C. Gnsbam and Mr.. Louis Radelat of New Orleans, La., Mrs. N. 0. Bickbam of Charleston, 5, C., Mrs. J. E. Foil of Bogalusa, La., Frank Kent Sweeney of River Forest, Ill., Horace Parker Sweeney, and Mrs. J. M. Burns of Franklinton, La.
Brother Sweeney’s body rests in Ellis cemetery at’ Franklinton, but the willing spirit of the. time-worn traveler La. gone on to be with God
To serve man or Master; To toil or to pray; -
To guide crag feet back into the way;
He was ready:
To plod with the weary or run with the strong;
To share a great heartache or join in a song -
To journey for Christ, for a day, or—for LONG;
He was ready!

Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 103-104, 1937, by Charles E. McLean