March 19, 1872 - July 21, 1953
|Alvin Hatley Parker came into this world March 19, 1872, In Butler County, Alabama. He was educated at Bluntsville, Alabama and at Southwestern College in Georgetown Texas. He was married on April 14, 1897 at Center, Texas, to Miss Nanny Hollis.
In 1904 he was ordained minister in the Congregational Methodist Church but soon transferred to the Louisiana Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and was appointed to the Dry Creek Mission near Oberlin, Louisiana. He served three pastorates in Louisiana and then transferred to the New Mexico Conference, and then to the Texas Conference, returning in a few years to Louisiana, where he remained for the rest of his life.
His pastorates in Louisiana included churches at Gibsland, Greenwood, Colf ax, Coushatta, Belcher, Bossier City, Mer Rouge, Leesville, and Cotton Valley.
It was while he was in the latter pastorate that he was stricken with the illness which forced his retirement. He then returned to Bossier City, where he remained the rest of his life, with many of his children close beside him. He was released from’ many years of suffering on July 21, 1953.
By Brother Parker’s own choice, his pastorates were not lengthy, for he loved to move on to new experiences and to new people. What his pastorates lacked in length, he more than compensated for by the quality of his life and ministry. He was known and loved for his genuineness, his kindly interest in everyone, his strong convictions, his good sense of humor, and his love for all of those little -blessings of life - and love that too many take for granted. He loved all children and was especially attentive as a father.
To one so in love with life and with people it must have been a great trial to be stricken by illness while still in his active years and forced to remain in a sick bed for nearly one-third of his life. Yet he was not one to complain. Rather, he transformed his sickbed into a pulpit from which his quiet patience, his good cheer, his sense of humor, and deep faith radiated a message of courage and pain. He suffered long — and was kind. He learned even in pain the secret of “bearing all things, enduring all things”, and tho’ he could only see through a glass darkly, still he felt the presence of one whom some day he would see face to face. The same faith which he proclaimed as he comforted many a sorrowing heart in his active ministry, comforted him in his illness, and remains to comfort his family and friends. He has indeed fought a good fight, he has finished his course, and he has kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give him in that day, and not to him only, but to all of them also that love his appearing.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 161-162, 1954 by Alfred M. Brown.|