Rev. Wm. D. Stayton was born in Washington—now Marion--County, Ky., April 1st, 1826; married to Miss Francis H. Ashley July 6th, 1847; converted in August, 1848; licensed to preach in January, 1856, and died in Coushatta, La., January 18, 1883.
On a recommendation from his Quarterly Conference he was received on probation in the Louisiana Annual Conference on February 5th, 1857, from which time to the year 1869 he served faithfully and acceptably the following works: North Rapides Circuit and Colored Mission in 1857-58; Calcasieu Circuit in 1859-60; Natchitoches Circuit in 1861-62; Farmerville Circuit in 1863-64-65; Downsville Circuit in 1866; Bartholomew Circuit in 1867; Iona, now Rayville Circuit in 1868; Waterproof Circuit in 1869.
At the close of 1869 he was transferred to the Memphis Conference and appointed to the Decaturville Circuit. He was permitted, however, to labor on this Circuit but eight weeks, owing to physical inability.
At the close of 1870 he was re-transferred to the Louisiana Conference and traveled the Springville Circuit in 1871-72-73; South Bossier Circuit in 1874.
At the close of 1874 he located, but was re-admitted into the Conference in December 1876. He traveled the Colfax Circuit in 1877; Springville Circuit in 1878-79; Pleasant Hill in 1880. He was appointed to South Bossier again for 1881, but a severe attack of pneumonia, which developed into a fatal consumption, prevented his going to his Circuit.
Brother Stayton was ordained Deacon by Bishop Paine at the close of his second year in the itinerancy and Elder by Bishop Andrew in December 1865. He was a good man, a faithful and earnest preacher, a devoted and affectionate husband and father.
] During his illness he rejoiced much “in hope of the glory of God.’ In the word of God and the incomparable hymns of the church he took great delight. He sung almost to the last, and often in great suffering he would sing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” etc.
Brother J. B. Cassity, who was with him much, says: “I returned from Conference just in time to spend his last hours with him. I saw on entering his room that he was crossing the ‘narrow stream’ and was almost touching the other shore. He recognized me, took me by the hand and said he was not suffering much. About an hour afterward he passed away.” The next day, after appropriate funeral services at the church in presence of a large concourse of people, he was buried in the cemetery at Springville, one mile from Coushatta.
Brother Slayton leaves a wife, two sons and three daughters, all grown, two of whom are members of the church. He lived the life of a Christian and died in the triumphs of the Christian Faith.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1883|