Aug. 20, 1833 - May 16, 1907
|Thomas H. McClendon was of a generation of men we love and honor. The glory of their lives shed a luster over the closing years of the last century and not infrequently shot its bright text and purest rays from the pulpits of our country churches, and about the hearthstone of the rural home. He was tried as by fire and yet found faithful. No human agency could deflect him from the pathway of duty, no wile of Satan seems to have been left untried to tempt him. Misfortune and sorrow were his lot, yet he triumphed in the mystery of hidden strength. His was a nature that gathered might from the storm, and sympathy from suffering. Softness and self-indulgence he despised, and the things that lured others, in hi only evoked a smile. He died at the Parsonage in Florence, on Sicily Island, the scene of many year s of his active ministry, May 16, A. D. 1907. The last hours of his life bore heroic and triumphant testimony of one whose life was hidden I Christ. Unfalteringly he walked into the shadow of death as a tried traveler seeking a long sought home. His dying testimony was clear and indubitable, until the earthly vision was lost and merged into the heavenly. He died as he had lived, a faithful minister of Jesus Christ and a son of God.
Thomas H. McClendon, the son of Samuel and Mary McClendon, was born in Heard County, Ga., August 20, 1833. He moved with his parents to Alabama in 1837, where he lived till the fall of 1848, when he came to Claiborne Parish, La. His mother was the daughter of Rev. Thomas Cook of Georgia. He joined the M. E. Church, South, at Dudleyville Camp Grounds, at which his father tented for years. He was licensed to preach in 1855 on Homer Circuits, admitted on trial into the Louisiana Conference, December of the same ear, and appointed junior preacher to the Natchitoches Circuit with the Rev. C. W. Coursey. The year of 1857 was given to the Dugdemona Circuit. In 1858-59 he served the Winnsboro Circuit. On November 17, 1858, he married Miss H. A. Green, daughter of Rev. Thos. and Mrs. Tabitha R. Green, of Sicily Island, La. He then served the following charges: 1869, Farmerville; 1861, Homer; 1862 Trinity; 1863, Macon; 1864-65,Winnsboro; 1866 Sicily Island and Boeuf Prairie; 1867 Beoup River; 1868-1869, Winnsboro; 1870 Boeuf Prairie; 1871-72, Sicily Island and Boeuf Prairie; 1873-74, Lind Grove; 1875-76, Floyd; 1877-78, Rayville; 1879-80, Floyd. In 1881-82 he was Presiding Elder of the Shreveport District. In 1883-84-85-86 he served the Harrisonburg and Sicily Island Circuit; 1887, West Monroe; 1888, Lake Providence, 1889, Harrisonburg; 1890, Arcadia; 1891, Tulip; 1892, Vienna; 1893 Vienna and Gannsville; 1894, Linn Grove; 1895 Florence and Oakley; 1897, Vidalia; 1897-98-99, Harrisonburg and Pine Hill; 1900 Gueydon—thus rounding out the closing year of the last century with forty-five years of faithful and efficient itinerant work. He built the Sicily Island and Boeup Prarie churches, also a parsonage, in 1873. Floyd and Girad each credit him with a parsonage for the years 1877 and 1879.
He died in the midst of his friends and those whom he had lead to life eternal. Just as the sun was setting we laid his body away on the slope of the Pine Hill Church Cemetery, to await the last call of his Lord. His kindly, benign smile no longer gleams upon us, his tall form sleeps in the silent city of the dead, his wise counsel is unheard in the congregation of his brethren of the ministry, yet the memory of good wrought and the Christ likeness shown, lingers among us still.
The angelic voice from the Celestial City says again—and yet again—“Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they rest”—aye, they rest, angel of God—“from their labors.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Annual Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1907, Page 62, by S. J. Davies.|