Aug. 6, 1850-Jan. 25, 1927
|Sallie Malinda Ross, the wife of Rev. Thomas S. Randle, a deceased member of the Louisiana Conference, was born in Bastrop, Louisiana, August 6, 1850; departed this life in a sanitarium in San Antonio, Texas, January 25, 1927, after about two years of sickness, and was buried beside her husband in Yoakum, Texas, there to await the resurrection morn. She was tke fifth child of her parents, Major and Mrs. Ely Kershaw Wiles Ross, who were of the old aristocratic stock and prominent in Bastrop and Morehouse Parish in those days.
On her birthday, August 6, 1867, at the age of seventeen, she was married to Mr. Randle, a son of Rev. Richmond Randle, a prominent Methodist minister. At the time of their marriage her husband was not a minister and she was a pleasure-loving, worldly-minded girl. It was not until after the birth of their first child that the young husband definitely decided to enter the ministry and was licensed to preach.
Being bitterly opposed to her husband being a minister, and especially a traveling preacher, the young wife for a time refused to accompany him to his work when he entered the traveling connection. Not being willing to endure the privations of those days of the Methodist itinerant in Louisiana, and claiming exemption on the ground that she did not marry a preacher, she remained in the home of her parents until her remarkable conversion.
She was converted at a camp meeting at, or near, Downsville, La., where she had gone with her husband and some of their friends. In telling of her conversion, she said: “1 was still rebellious against Mr. Randle being a preacher and went to that camp meeting with the devil in me as big as a mule. For a few days I cared but little for the services, but before the close of the meeting I got under conviction and felt that I was very wicked and, after quite a struggle with myself, I went to the altar and there in the sawdust surrendered to Christ and, becoming willing for my husband to preach, I found great peace and was so overcome by the Spirit that when I became conscious of my whereabouts the service had ended and I was holding to one of the posts of the tabernacle shouting and singing:
“‘Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song in eternity be:
Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves ~
After this experience she was a changed woman, cared no more for worldly pleasures, had a different view of life, was willing to endure the privations and hardships of the itinerant’s life for Christ’s sake, and ever after could sing with meaning:
“I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
I’ll be what you want me to be.”
I became acquainted with the Randle family in Opelousas in 1893 and at once became aware that “Sister Randle”, which she insisted on everyone calling her, was a very enthusiastic church worker. She would always have a class in Sunday school, was active in the Woman’s Missionary Societies, superintended Junior Missionary Societies, would pray in public, lead prayer meetings, and was a great help with the singing—generally directing and leading the choir. She was especially enthusiastic in revivals and loved to attend them. She was good at personal work, always testified publicly when opportunity was afforded, helped with the singing, often exhorted people effectually in the services to become Christians, and did good work, praying for and instructing penitents at the altar. She had learned to love the itinerant work and for many years expressed herself as being glad she was a preacher’s wife and often said: “I want all my sons to be Methodist preachers and my daughters to be Methodist preachers’ wives.”
In addition to her work in the activities of the church, Sister Randle had a very sympathetic nature. Every case of need, or poverty. or sickness, or sorrow, or distress of any kind appealed directly to her heart and she would give the last morsel she had to relieve the hungry; go in the rain, snow, heat or cold, night or day, to help with the sick or comfort the sorrowing, or help anyone in trouble.
She had implicit faith in God and believed that he would cause all things to work together for the good of his children, and was submissive to his will even in her own great sorrows, and would say, “Thy will be done”. She was greatly interested in the superannuate preachers and for several years solicited members for the “Conference Claimants’ Club”, thus adding many dollars to the Superannuate Endowment Fund.
She was not without faults but it may be said of her, as it was of Dorcas: “This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.” She has, no doubt, entered into “That rest that remaineth to the people of God.”
A. S. J. Neill.
|Source: Annual of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 103-105, 1927|