Dec. 23, 1891-Aug. 28, 1926
|Joseph Langsford Greenway, first-born son of Rev. James L. and Mrs. Mary B. Greenway, was born in Greencastle, Indiana, December 28, 1891, and died in El Paso, Texas, August 28, 1926.
Joseph received Christian nurture from his consecrated parents, his father being at that time a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, in the northern home, when a lad of twelve years, made a Christian profession on a Sunday morning under the preaching of his father and united with the church.
While a resident of Greencastle, he attended the well-known De Pauw University, where he was a student for three years, and received that mental discipline which was most valuable preparation for a successful life work.
His father’s family having removed to the state of Mississippi and having united with the M. E. Church, South, he joined them in their home at Ridgeland, and united with our church. The Rev. Paul D. Hardin, who became acquainted with the family at this period, writes as follows: “As a son in the father’ s home he was bright and dutiful and stood ready for any service which he could render to others. We were not surprised later to learn that, when the clouds of war gathered and our country was calling for men to defend the great principles of our government, Joseph Greenway was quick to answer the call. But, because the insidious disease which afterwards took him to his grave had already begun to make inroads upon his form, he was rejected for army service. Nothing daunted, he at once took training for Y. M. C. A. work, and later became a Y. secretary at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It was there that Brother Greenway did what will perhaps stand out as his most monumental work. He served in this capacity until the close of the war. Here he came in touch with hundreds. perhaps thousands, of our brave men and ministered unto their spiritual wants when they were most impressionable to the divine appeal. In writing to his father during this period he stated that for quite a while he saw at least one public profession each day among the soldiers in the camp.
“When he had completed his services at Fort Sill he continued in the Y. M. C. A. work for a while as secretary at Bogalusa, La. It was while stationed there that he responded definitely to the call to preach, which doubtlessly he had been conscious of since a boy in his father’s home.”
Brother Greenway was licensed to preach May 10, 1920, by the New Orleans District Conference, and in the same year was recommended for admission on trial into the traveling connection. In November he was thus admitted into the Louisiana Conference, and received his first appointment as junior preacher at Ruston, where the late Dr. J. M. Henry was appointed preacher in charge.
The relations between senior and junior pastor were from the beginning affectionate and mutually helpful, but, after a few months, Dr. Henry’ s health was such that the burden of pulpit and pastorate fell almost entirely upon Brother Greenway. Dr. Henry died in October, and the young pastor, with splendid satisfaction to all, finished the work of the year. So genuine, joyous and attractive was his Christian personality that he had made an indelible impression, especially upon the young life of the community.
Brother Greenway decided that it would be wise for him to complete his unfinished college course and the following year he entered as a senior in Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, and at the close of 1922-23 session he was graduated with the B. A. degree.
In November, 1928, he was appointed to Farmerville, “where he started the year’ s work with every prospect of success, but, after serving with acceptability until some time in April, he was compelled to relinquish his loved employ and return to the home of loved ones in Mississippi.
“On the 12th day of June, 1919, Brother Greenway was happily united in matrimony to Miss Eunice Longino, of Silver Creek, Miss., who, with one child, remains to mourn his untimely going. The burial took place in the cemetery at Silver Creek on Monday afternoon, August 80.”
Brother Greenway completed promptly the studies of the Conference course, but on account of the condition of his health was unable to attend the sessions of the Conference in order to be received into full connection and to be ordained. He has rather been called to the Conference in the skies, to join the church of the “first-born” and to unite with that glorious company “who have come out of great tribulations and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
(The substance of this memoir was prepared by Rev. Paul D. Hardin, of the Mississippi Conference.)
R. H. Wynn
|Source: Annual of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Page 98-99, 1926|