April 23, 1853 - Nov. 6, 1917
|Rev. Charles. Fletcher Staples, the subject of this memoir, was one. of those humble great men of the Methodist Itinerancy, commonly referred to as field hands. In whatever field he labored, he wrought faithfully and brought things to pass.
He was not noted for physical strength. He was not so richly endowed, nor so highly gifted as are some of God's servants, but, his thorough consecration and faithful service made up largely for any lack in these rich endowments and desirable gifts.
Writing of his conversion, he says: "I was brightly converted at home in my own room May 17, 1875. I never had any doubt of my conversion. I felt that `Old things had passed away and that all things' had become new.'"
He was born on April 23, 1853, in Wilcox County, Ala. His parents, J. H. and H, E. Staples, moved with him to Union Parish, Louisiana, in 1866, where Charles Fletcher grew to manhood's estate on the farm. He joined the M. E. Church, South, in 1874, and served in every official relation and was licensed to preach in 1887. He spent one year at school at Southwestern University. Part of 1S88 he served as Junior Preacher on the Bienville Circuit under Rev. P. Burkett. At the Conference in New Orleans, December, 1888, he was received on trial and sent to Indian Village. There, during his first year, he had one hundred and forty-four accessions to the Church.
He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Haygood, December 7, 1890, and Elder by Bishop Galloway, December 18, 1892.
Following are the works he served and from all of them brought up good reports of churches and parsonages built, church debts paid, conversions and accessions: Indian Village, Vivian, Grand Chenier, Winnsboro, Vernon, Lanesville, Zwolle, Mooringsport, Gueydan, Bayou La Chute, Coushatta, Gibbsland, Tallulah, Ida, Greenwood, Cedar Grove and Jennings, his last appointment which he was unable to fill on account of failing health.
Failing health, sore bereavement and family affliction caused a beclouding of his mind.
While in this condition, he in some way slipped away from his care-takers and was killed by a train Monday evening, November 6, 1917.
Such is the summing up of a humble, useful life. He has passed from the shadows and cloudland into the land of cloudless day, several of his children having gone on before.
Faithfully he served; fruitful in his labors, he has now entered into rest.
To mourning wanderers given.
There is a joy for souls distressed,
A balm for every wounded heart,
'Tis found above-in Heaven."
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1917, page 64, by J. I. Hoffpauir.|