|Albert Jerome Cain was the ninth child of a family of eleven born to Rev. Leonard Wesley Cain and Vista Ward Cain in Houston, MS. He graduated from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans and then worked in New Orleans and Mississippi for three years before starting Southeastern College in Hammond, in 1930, where he played on the college’s first football team.
The feeling that God wanted him to preach had been with him since early childhood, and one morning he surrendered to the call as he stood alongside the highway waiting to hitch a ride to Hammond. His father, then the Presiding Elder of the Baton Rouge District, secured the necessary books for him to study; the official board of First Methodist Church in Baton Rouge recommended him to be licensed to preach, and in June his father appointed him to the Pine Grove Circuit. A year and a half later his father was appointed to a Shreveport church, so Jerome moved with the family and entered Centenary College.
In Shreveport he served Wynn Memorial as a student and then was sent to Jonesville for his first appointment, then to the Chalmette (John Wesley) church in New Orleans. In 1937 he met and married Elsie Sensintaffar, and since there was no parsonage in New Orleans, Jerome transferred to the Alexandria District, serving Trout/Good Pine/Eden charge and Urania/Tullos charge. In 1944 he moved to the Baton Rouge District where he spent 17 years serving churches in Ponchatoula, Bogalusa and Baton Rouge.
Throughout his ministry Rev. Cain always worked with young people in district camps, in the State Youth Assembly, and in the role of Junior Camp director for 13 years at Bluff Creek, the Baton Rouge Campground. During the ten years he was appointed to Houma, he continued this work as he and Elsie traveled with the youth each summer to Caney Lake Campground, and to Texas, Florida and Colorado. While in Houma, he was honored in 1974 as the Most Useful citizen of the Houma/Terrebonne Parish; was elected President of the local Rotary Club and President of the Ministerial Alliance; was valued as a member of a group attempting to keep pornography out of the city; and was appointed in 1975 to the Citizens Advisory Committee to –Home Rule Charter Commission for the City of Houma. One reporter for the Houma Courier wrote that Jerome was more than a minister because he befriended everyone regardless of race, creed, or color. In short, the reporter said Rev. Cain “devoted his entire life to helping others.”
The last four years of his ministry he served as the Alexandria District Superintendent. This appointment was almost like going home since he had come full circle, returning to the district where his ministry had started 47 ½ years earlier.
In retirement he wrote and published a book of his life and memories entitled You Better Believe. He wrote, “I guess I chose this title for I believe that anyone who goes through life without a faith in a loving God has really not lived. You Better Believe simple says for me if you don’t (believe), your life can never really be full.”
Jerome was a man of love and of faith. He was often described as a man of God, of prayer, and of worship. He never retired from his faith journey. He will be remembered by many for his love of singing; others will remember him for the jokes he always included in his sermons. He believed laughter was good for the soul.
After a brief battle with cancer, Jerome died peacefully in his sleep. His wife of 64 years, Elsie S. Cain; his daughters and their husbands—Haney and Evelyn Cain Alford and Dr. Alan and Rev. Barbara Cain Einsel; 4 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren survive him.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 2002, Memoirs By Elsie S. Cain|