December 9, 1853 - July 11, 1919
|Rev. Virgil D. Skipper was born in Clarke County, Ala., December 9, 1853. His parents, John W. Skipper and Martha J. Skipper (nee Stanford), moved to Stewart County, Ga., when be was an infant In his boyhood days he attended the common county school during the summer months and worked on the farm the balance of the year. When he was nineteen years of age his father sent him to a good school where he learned rapidly because he applied himself diligently. When attending this school he was converted. Soon after his conversion be felt a call to preach, which he kept to himself; but it grew on him clearer and clearer for eight years. During this time he was a class leader, would pray in public and occasionally make little talks in the prayer and class meetings. He was a schoolteacher and taught in both public and private schools.
On the 27th of July 1881, be was licensed to preach. At this time, he was living near old Spring Church, within the bounds of the De Kalb Circuit In the Mississippi Conference. After two years as a local preacher, he was admitted on trial In the Mississippi Conference at Crystal Springs, Miss., in December 1882.
His appointments have been as follows: Brandywine Circuit, 1883 and 1584; Meadville Circuit. 1885, 1886 and 1887; Mayersville Circuit, 1888 and 1889; Rocky Springs Circuit 1890; Walnut Grave Circuit, 1891; Sharon circuit. 1892 and 1893; Clinton Station, La. 1894: Homer Station, La.. 1895; presiding elder of the Alexandria District, 1896 1897 and 1898; Louisiana Avenue Church, In New Orleans, 1899; New Iberia Station, 1900. In August of 1900, Bishop Galloway transferred him back to the Mississippi Conference and stationed him at Edwards, Miss., where be spent the balance of 1900 and all of 1901, 1902,and 1903. He was stationed at Morton In 1904, West End, In Meridian, in 1905, Hazelhurst in 1906, and Wesson Station In 1907.
In 1908, Bishop Key transferred him to the Missouri Conference and appointed him to Canton Station in Northeast Missouri. The climate was too cold for him; so in 1909, he was transferred to the Louisiana Conference and was stationed at Mer Rouge. He was stationed at Leesville in 1910,1911 and 1912; at Tallulah in 1913,1914,19l5 and 1916; then back to Leesville in 1917 and 1918.
After thirty-six years of continuous service, finding himself afflicted and his strength failing, he was granted a superannuated relationship at the 1918 Conference. Brother Skipper was a most remarkable preacher. Some of his sermons were masterpieces and people would ask to have them repeated time and again. He assisted in a great many revivals and a large number joined the church under his ministry.
On the Sunday night prior to his death, he had a glorious vision of Heaven. It was during the hour of evening worship and the song “More Like the Master” was being sung across the street at the Presbyterian Church. He heard the music and in his feeble voice took up the strain and sung two verses. He said he saw the glories of God, the pearly gate wide open, and his loved ones calling him to come. He said, “Help me up and let me go; it is enough. I have suffered long enough.” Thus he lingered as a patient sufferer until Friday, July 11, 1919, when he passed away and entered into the rest that remaineth for the people of God. He was buried at Hazlehurst, Miss., on Saturday, July 12, 1919. He leaves a widow and three children to mourn their loss.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1919, pages 60-61, by. Albert S. Lutz.|