Hill, Frank Brookes


Sept. 17, 1865-Aug. 27, 1930
Rev. Frank Brookes Hill was English by birth and training. He was born at Plymouth, England, September 17, 1865, and graduated from Taunton Methodist College with the A. B. degree. Brother Hill’s family were ardent Wesleyans. One of the most prized and cherished traditions connected the names of some of the family directly with the ministry of Charles Wesley. These memories and traditions were very dear to Brother Hill, as were the customs and ideals of his nation. Their influence not only molded his convictions; they determined his tastes.
However, when he came to this country, he came to devote himself to the service of both the nation and the Church whole-heartedly and with an ever-increasing enthusiasm. He came to the United States in 1908. On April 16, 1916 he married Miss Louise Payne, who was at that time superintendent of nurses in a sanitarium at Baton Rouge, and he was pastor of our Church at Logansport. He died suddenly August 27, 1930, at Bossier City, where he had been pastor for nearly two years.
The marriage of Brother and Mrs. Hill was unusually happy. Miss Payne also was of England. She had been trained in the noble science and art of nursing the ill and the injured. She had practiced the beautiful yet arduous profession In her native country and continued the work in the land of her adoption.
Brother Hill had, in England, been at one time a very successful man of business, having accumulated quite a competency. This was all lost In some economic upheaval. But in young manhood, and while his business was successful, he gave himself to preaching as a local preacher every Sunday, and of course without remuneration.
With that experience in preaching, on coming to this country, he went easily into the Y. M. C. A. work. Soon afterward he came under the notice of Bishop Candler, who ordained him and inducted him into our active ministry. He served two years in the Florida Conference—at Fort Meyers. Through a period of nearly seventeen years he served these charges in the Louisiana Conference: Wilson, Logansport, Patterson and Jeanerette, Jackson and Ethel, Ponchatoula, McDonoghville, Lecompte, Merryville, Bossier City. Near the close of the second year of his pastorate at Bossier City, he died. His body sleeps in Greenwood Cemetery, Shreveport, and a modest monument, marked with the sacred heraldry of the Church, bears his name.
At the funeral service on August 28, many of the brethren were in attendance and bore testimony to their appreciation of his worth. As a preacher he had in an unusual degree the gift of interpreting the Word. He had great felicity in illustrating the Word. Perhaps the best thing about his ministry was that of its personal character. By letter and by conversation, he perhaps preached to as many as from the pulpit, and with even larger effect. He easily made social and spiritual contacts with the young people. Some of these young people, who were especially inspired by his ministry, are now serving the Church in responsible places. This quality of personal ministry is evident, too, in the fact that he maintained so large a number of friendships with the prosperous and prominent of the world.
Brother Hill read with delight and appreciation, not only great books, but also many of the new books and current periodical literature. Hi~ contributions to the Church press, and to the secular press as well, were frequent and always informing and pleasing. But that which distinguished him was his love for the great hymns of the Church. He used them for the enrichment of his own life, and for the adornment of the gospel he preached; he quoted them effectively and sang them with delight. And nothing more certainly marks a preacher as a man with a fine sense of spiritual and intellectual values than a love of the reading of the Book of God and reading the hymn book of the saints of God.
Brother Hill served in many difficult places, and with no large plaudits from man; but he was devoted and high-minded and clean and truthful and brotherly.
His wife was a great help. Successful with young people, she gave herself without reserve to aid in their meetings,’ visiting in their circles, and In making the parsonage where she presided homes easy of access to them. They loved her and trusted her. She is deserving of all that honor that comes to the preacher’s wife who has put love of her husband’ s work and of a people’s need above love of ease and pride of place—who has comforted that husband when his mind was distressed and perplexed by the care and burden of the Church— who has hidden her own hurt that she might support his confidence in his people and his faith in God. Blessings upon her—and peace to his memory.
Cleanth Brooks
Source: Annual of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 111-113, 1931

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