September 30, 1847 - October 9, 1910
|James M. Beard was born in North Mississippi, September 20th, 1847, and died in New Orleans, October 8th, 1910. He began preaching in the ‘Memphis Conference in early manhood, but located and studied law at ‘Mount Lebanon, Tenn. After practicing law for a short time he returned to the ministry, and came into the Louisiana Conference in December 1877. During the Civil War he served in Forest’s Cavalry.
While in the service of the Louisiana Conference he served most acceptably many charges, among them Mansfield, Alexandria, Algiers, Moreau Street, Rayne Memorial and Felicity Street, New Iberia and the Crowley District.
A number of years ago he withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church. South, and entered the ministry of the Methodist Protestant Church. In this he served several appointments, and at one time President of the Conference. After a few years he returned to fel1owship of the Church of his first love. I have never doubted the sincerity of his motives in going from us and returning to us. During these years our friendship continued unbroken and my confidence in Dr. Beard’s piety and consecration was undiminished.
Dr. Beard was a men of wide information. He read generou1y, and had a very retentive memory. His preaching was marked by originality of thought and a peculiar individuality of style. His views were the result of mature deliberation and tenaciously held.
Socially, he was a most genial companion; he had a fine vein of quiet humor, which he often injected into his conversation. His estimates of men and affairs were always interesting and generally sagacious.
His personal religious life seemed to be a continuous experience of faith and peace. His pub1ic prayers were pervaded with a genuine spiritual power. At times he would converse upon the great facts of the inner religious life with fervor and true spiritual insight. He was an excellent pastor, diligent and sympathetic in working with his people. Steadfast in labors, unblemished in character, humble and sincere in his relations towards God and man, he lived his life in the light of genuine convictions and sustained by the faith he was ever ready to confess.
The end came suddenly, but he needed no warning. His preparation was made long ago. His life-long desire to know more perfectly the things of God is realized now. He knows even as he has been known. That which is in part is done away; that which is perfect has dawned upon his free spirit in the life of perfect fe1lowship in the presence of his God and oars.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1910, pages 56-57, by F. N. Parker.|