Hearn, Alta Fordham (Mrs. John Elton)


Alta Fordham Hearn was born on June 29, 1903 in Jackson Parish, the daughter of Sally and Jerry Fordham, who was a United Methodist circuit rider. When she married John Elton Hearn in 1920 at the age of 17, she was already teaching elementary school in a rural school in north Louisiana. J.E. Hearn was a banker in Olla, Louisiana at the time. After the birth of their first three children, they built a new home there. When her husband felt a call to the ministry in 1930, her devotion to him, to God and to the Church was clear, for she left that new home for his first appointment in McIntyre, Louisiana and a four room parsonage without inside walls or plumbing. There fourth child was born there.
She was a wonderful cook and an accomplished seamstress. The Bible and the Upper Room were her daily companions throughout her life. When her husband became the treasurer of the Louisiana Conference in 1950 she learned to type and helped daily without pay with the work of the treasurer’s office. After his death in 1979, she continued to live in Ruston and was a member of Grace United Methodist Church.
She was the mother of four children: Dr. John Hearn, Jr., a physician in Leesville, Louisiana; Valerie Hearn Chappel of New Orleans, Louisiana; Bonnie Hearn Fisher of Houston, Texas; and Bishop J. Woodrow Hearn, Bishop of the Nebraska Area of the United Methodist Church.
At the time of her death on December 12, 1991, she was surrounded in love by her family: four children, 13 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 1992, p. 219 By Anne C. Hearn

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