Nov. 23, 1866-Oct. 28, 1929
|John Gethron Sloane, son of Robert B. and Margaret Laughlin Sloane, was born in what was then St. Landry parish, near the sitc of the town of Crowley, La., on Nov. 23, 1866. He was reared in a Christian home, and educated in the public schools of that section, and in the Iuka Normal School, Inks, Miss., teaching for a while after graduation.
He was married on Dec. 30, 1886, to Miss Mary Almeda Hayes, who was born and reared in his home community. Through nearly twenty-five years of married life, she was a faithful and devoted companion. Six children blessed their union, one of whom died in infancy. The only daughter, Dola, afterward Mrs. L. S. Hays, lived to a mature Christian womanhood, devoting herself to her father and brothers as the home-maker for a number of years after the death of her mother, which occurred on June 13, 1911.
On May 25, 1916, Brother Sloane was married to Miss Dora A. Jenkins, of Eunice, La., a deeply consecrated woman, who walked with him In beautiful spiritual fellowship to the end of his life, caring for him with affectionate devotion through the years of enfeebled health which preceded his death.
In his youth and early manhood, Brother Sloane was wild and wayward, departing from the teachings of his home, until, doubtless through the reproaches of conscience, he became hard and defiant toward any religious approach. In the spring of 1894, through the death of his infant child, to whom he was tenderly devoted, the writer of this sketch bad the providential opportunity to bring to his heart the saving message of the gospel. After a few words of sympathetic exhortation, he broke down and confessed that be was such a sinner he was afraid the Lord could not save him. Immediately, he made the decision to give his heart to God, and, the following Sunday, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Crowley, where he bad his home. Several months Later, during a district conference in his home church in Crowley, on Aug. 8, 1894, a date which he recorded and always treasured, he entered into a definite and clear assurance that his sins were forgiven, and began at once the active and joyous service of his Master. In 1895 he professed the experience of entire sanctification, and to the end of his life held to this joyous experience. When he was first converted, there were many, who, knowing his previous life, doubted the reality of his conversion. One of these saw him one day on the street sorely tried, as an old enemy tried to force him into a quarrel. Brother Sloane quietly laid his hand on his shoulder and said, “My friend, you know you could not have talked to me like that a few years ago, but I am trying to serve the Lord now, and it’s all right,” and walked away. The critic went home and told his family, “Something has happened to Getty Sloane,” as indeed it had. As when Samuel said to Saul, as he anointed him to be first king of Israel, “Thou shalt be turned into another man,” and the record followed, “God gave him another heart,” so it had transpired in the life of John 0. Sloane. No wonder then that the proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” should have found Its echo in his case.
Several years after his conversion, he felt a distinct call to the ministry and unhesitatingly accepted it as from God. When at the Conference held in Mansfield in 1898 he applied for membership, there were some leaders of the Conference who felt that at the age of 32, with a growing family, and with a question in their minds as to his readiness for the responsible work of the ministry, it would be unwise to admit him, and their attitude led to his being refused admission. This was a crushing blow to him, but he received it with Christian fortitude, and accepted, as a supply, an appointment which was one of the poorest In the Conference, cheerfully giving up a prosperous career In business, and served throughout the .year at the pitiful salary of 235. At the end of the year his presiding elder, Dr. Charles W. Carter, heartily recommended his admission on trial, and without further hesitation, he was admitted In 1899. He was appointed to Grand Chenier, which he had supplied the previous year. He served Glenmora In 1901-02; Olla and Wlnnfield, 1903; Farmervllle, 1904-07; Bonlta, 1903; Haughton, 1909-12; Slidell and Covington, 1913; Dubach, 1914; Gibsland, 1915-16; Haynesville, 1917.19; Bienvllle, 1920; Pelican, 1921-22.
During his second year at Pelican he suffered a serious breakdown In health, and was forced to give up his work, accepted the superannuate relation at the ensuing session of the Conference. For the seven years following he made his home in Shreveport, holding himself always ready to serve in any way his failing health permitted. He preached as often as opportunity offered until he found it impossible. He suffered much and several times came so near the point of death that it seemed impossible for him to live, but rallied. Finally, in the early morning of Oct. 28, 1929, with all his family about his bedside, he peacefully passed away. Just before his going, he talked with his pastor, Dr. Cleanth Brooks, about his approaching end, with a smile of triumph on his lips, and lovingly urged his four sons, Robert, Byron, Joe and Nolley, to follow him to the better land. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, after services conducted by Dr. Brooks, Dr. H. T. Carley and the writer, he was laid away beside his loved ones in Greenwood cemetery, Shreveport, La.
After the radical revolution brought about by his conversion, and until the end of his life, he was characterized by a deep consecration, a bright and joyous Christian experience and an unwearying passion for the conversion of souls. When the end came he welcomed the call of the Master to the mansions of light where there shall be no more pain nor sorrow.
W. Winans Drake
|Source: Annual of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 118-120, 1929|