January 3, 1857 - June 29, 1940
|For more than fifty years Rev. J. 0. Bennett had been a member of the Louisiana Conference when transferred to the conference of the redeemed, on June 29, last, from. the home of a daughter, Mrs. W. H. Kaufman, Seymour, Indiana. Interment was in Colfax, La., beside the grave of Mrs. Bennett.
Born near Booneville, Miss., on January 3, 1857, son of Rev. Anderson Pollard Bennett, a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Elizabeth Ann Philpot, he was at eighteen received into the church by his father and soon admitted into the Bell Presbytery as a candidate f or the ministry. Later he became a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and after five years was ad-mitted on trial into the North Mississippi Conference. Bishop Duncan ordained him a deacon at West Point, Miss., in 1886, and an elder at Baton Rouge, La. in 1889, Bishop Keener having transferred him to the Louisiana Conference the preceding year.
In Louisiana, Rev. J. 0. Bennett served as presiding elder of the Arcadia District and as pastor in nearly every section of the State— at Haynesville, Gibsland, Coushatta, Jonesboro, Zachary, Eunice, New Iberia and elsewhere, retiring in 1925.
On December 29, 1879, he married Miss Margaret Verdie Estes, of Lee county, Miss., who “for forty-two years,” her memoir says, “liveed a life devoted to the interests of her husband and his work as a preacher of the gospel.” Four of six children survive their father— William Anderson, Robert Clay, Grace Olive, whose husband is Rev. A. S. J. Neill of the Louisiana Conference, and Ethel, whose husband is Mr. W. H. Kaufman.
Bro. Bennett had an unfailing source of humor which must have served him well in the trials often incident to the life of a pastor and it made him “good company~~ in any circle that . included him. In a letter to the secretary of his Conference last winter he referred to the severe weather in Indiana and added that he would rather be “on the inside looking out than on the outside looking in.” He had in abundant measure a warm love for people and a deep interest in those about him. An able preacher and .a good pastor, in the many places blessed by his ministry he served his Master well. Living longer and better than most, he approached the end of a pilgrimage of eighty and three years in declining strength of body in ratio inverse to the growing strength of a character attaining unto perfection through life-long faith in the eternal verities.
To the “manor born,” reared in a preacher’s home, he followed a good father’s steps, leaving his own footprints along the course of his pilgrimage—to guide those who knew and loved him through the strait gate and up the narrow way “which leadeth unto life.”
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 92, 1940 by. R. H. Harper|