December 8, 1861 - 1947
|Time and accident have removed from our ranks another retired member, Joseph Franklin Waltman, one of God’s noblemen, a direct descendant of Valentine Waltman of the “House of Waltman” of Ger-man nobility. Brother Waltman was the forty-first minister of this line, as shown in a book written by Mrs. Lora S. LaManse of Lake Wales, Florida.
He was born, the son of Eli and Nancy Waltman, at Shubuta, Mississippi, December 8, 1861. His death resulted from being struck by an. automobile while crossing U. S. Highway 80, near his home in Hallsville, Texas. He had been reading the 8th chapter of Romans and laid the Bible down to cross the highway to read a sign. In attempting to recross the highway, his mind, doubtless, occupied with the wonderful assuring truths he had just read, and being oblivious to any danger, he stepped in front of an approaching car, was struck and passed away in about three hours without regaining consciousness. Brother Waltman had always been oblivious to danger, especially when confronted with a question of duty or of the needs of someone in trouble.
It would be fatalism to conclude that this accident was the Heavenly Father’s foreordained plan, or that it was Brother Waltman’s fixed time to die. Brother Waltman’s own mental preoccupation and lack of caution supplied the cause and time, which then became God’s time mercifully to take his faithful servant to his reserved inheritance.
Joe Waltman, as familiarly called by close friends and associates, moved from Shubuta to Natchez, Mississippi with his parents and family at the age of 16, and secured employment in a textile mill. As the years passed he was promoted from one position to another until he became foreman of the spinning department, which position he held for about ten years.
Joe Waltman was united in marriage to Miss Eudora East, of Natchez, October 12, 1882, and they celebrated their sixty-fourth wedding anniversary October 12, 1946. To them were born six children, namely: Adrienne (Mrs. L. A. Trainor), Eloise (Mrs. L. C. Prothro), Ben W., William L., Joe F., Jr., and J. Henry (deceased). There are eleven grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren, one deceased. Two of the sons, Ben W. and Joe F., Jr. have followed their father in the ministry.
Brother Waltman and his wife were converted and joined the Wesley Chapel Church, of which his father and mother were charter members. Both were faithful to their Church. Immediately after his conversion, Brother Waltman entered actively and consistently into the Church life and work. He soon began to feel the call to the ministry. The impression deepened until, after much thinking and praying, he applied for license to preach, which was granted by the Quarterly Conference of Wesley Chapel Church in 1891 or 1892.He preached his first sermon in Vidalia, Louisiana, in 1892. He evidently was ordained Deacon in 1896 or 1897, and most likely at a session of the Mississippi Conference in Natchez.
After serving his connection with the textile mill, Brother Waltman moved, with his family, to Clear Creek, Louisiana, in the summer of 1898. Being persuaded by a brother-in-law, he joined the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church in November of that year, and was ordained Elder by this Conference in 1889. He served charges that included a list of ten churches in the six years he was a member of this Conference.
He decided to return to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and was received as an Elder from the Methodist Protestant Church into the Louisiana Conference in December 1904, and served as pastor of the following charges: Indian Bayou, Calhoun, Pleasant Hill, Ida-Hosston, Haughton, Elizabeth, Gilbert, Colfax, Coushatta, Jonesboro, Farmerville, Trout-Goodpine, and Lake Arthur. He was granted the superannuate relation in November 1932.
After being superannuated, Brother Waltman moved his family to Shreveport, where they lived for eight months. Then, he moved to Hallsville, Texas, where he remained until his death. During his years of retirement he continued to render such service as opportunity afforded: teaching in Sunday Schools and supplying pulpits in Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and other Churches, as needed.
I have known Brother Waltman since I was about fourteen years of age. He was then married and the father of one child. He also was then a devoted Christian and active in Christian work, such as praying in public, leading prayer meetings, assisting with and conducting services in the hospital and the jail on Sunday afternoons, and the regular Church and cottage prayer meetings.
He was held in high esteem by all who knew him. He was known for his honesty, his integrity, and his consistent Christian life. There was no hypocrisy in Joe Waltman.
His opportunity to attend school was quite limited. However, he graduated in the four years Conference Course of Study in the Correspondence School of Vanderbilt University. To my certain knowledge, he was a strong Biblical, logical, earnest, and convincing preacher, making winsome appeals to hearers to surrender to God and to live righteous lives.
Brother Waltxnan attended our Louisiana Conference for the last time in 1946 when it met in Alexandria. It was there that he received the button of the Retired Methodist Minister, which was the first time such buttons were presented in the Louisiana Conference.
Joe Waltman has left a most valuable heritage, more valuable than gold, to his descendants. It is the heritage of a noble and pure life, and an unsullied character. I affectionately place it as a wreath of pure white lilies, sparkling with the crystal tears of sorrowing ones, upon the tomb of my departed brother and friend:
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 112-114, 1948 by A. S. J. Neill.|