September 3, 1827 - January 6, 1904
|Reverend Benjamin Franklin White was born in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee on September 3, 1827, and passed to his reward in Alexandria, Louisiana, January 6, 1904.
He was converted at the tender age of seven years, and then spent three score and ten years in the service of his Lord. He served in the 1st regiment of Tennessee Volunteers in the war with Mexico. He was captain of a battery of heavy artillery in the Civil War, and fired the first gun in defense of Vicksburg.
Reverend White was licensed to preach in 1852 and was received on trial in the Tennessee Conference where he labored ‘till 1856. That year he was transferred to the Louisiana Conference, where the remainder of his long, useful life was spent.
Reverend White was ordained deacon and elder by Bishop Soule. He filled appointments in nearly all sections of the state, and, as circuit rider, city pastor or presiding elder, he was always an earnest, tireless and successful worker, and led many souls to God.
Late in life he said he thought “about 8,ooo had been converted under his ministry.” Bishop Morrison was converted under his preaching at a camp meeting in Montgomery County, Tennessee in 1856. His widow writes: “It is a coincidence that the boy convert, now a bishop, should preside at the Conference where the memoir of his spiritual father will be read.”
He had an indomitable will and untiring energy. This, with his deep piety and strong intellect, and forceful, earnest presentation of truth, combined with his fearless condemnation of evil, made him a champion of the right and a terror to evil doers, a friend of the right, to be trusted, a foe of the wrong, to be dreaded.
He had firm executive ability that fitted him for leadership in church enterprises, and under his direction quite a number of parsonages and churches were erected, the last being the church at Alexandria, from the altar of which he was laid to rest.
He was thrice married. His first wife was a sister of our brother, John F. Wynn, and who left him two children. His daughter, Miss Julia, became the wife of Professor Holloman, of Mississippi, and preceded her father to the glory land. The other child is Hon. H. H. White, of Alexandria.
His second wife was Miss Allen, of Franklin, Louisiana, whose children are Miss Sallie and Professor Willie White of Anniston, Alabama.
His last marriage was to Mrs. Emma Glenn, of Floyd, Louisiana, with whom he lived happily for more than twenty years, and who survives him, cherishing most tenderly his memory.
Owing to failing health he had been superannuate for the last three years of his life. He had borne the heat and burden of the day, and now, as day-by-day, his strength waned, and the “sun sank low in the Western sky,” he realized that the time of his departure was at hand; yet calmly, peacefully he awaited the end. His bereaved companion writes: “He loved his Bible, his brethren, his church, his God and His service. His favorite Scripture lesson was the 23rd Psalm, a quotation from which we are going to have inscribed on a marble slab that marks his grave. And she adds: “The very sheet anchor of his soul was, ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:3.
Reverend Benjamin White was one of four brothers, who were itinerant preachers. One, Joseph, died when a member of the Arkansas Conference. Another, Thomas B., died at Ruston, Louisiana, and the third, Henry 0., is an honored and useful member of the Louisiana Conference.
Reverend White was a most courteous, tender and de-voted husband, a careful, watchful and loving father, training and ruling his children well, and they “rise up and call him blessed.”
We cannot better close this tribute to his memory than in the words of the sacred writer, who said of Barnabas, “He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith, and much people was added to the Lord,” and of the voice which the seer of Patmos was heard saying “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; 1904, Pages 64-65, by J. D. Harper|