Keener, Mary Anna Spencer (Mrs. John C.)


December 15, 1821 - September 26, 1903
After several years of great feebleness, Mrs. Mary Anna Spencer Keener, beloved wife of our venerable Senior Bishop John Christian Keener, went from earth to heaven on the afternoon of Saturday, September 26, 1903.
Mrs. Keener was born in Easton, Maryland, December 15, 1821, the daughter of Richard and Anna Spencer. Colonel Spencer removed from Maryland to Georgia, and thence to Alabama, where the marriage of his daughter took place on May 19, 1842.
With rare fitness and ability, Mrs. Keener filled the delicate and responsible position, the wife of a Methodist itinerant preacher, to which her marriage brought her. During epidemics of yellow fever in New Orleans, to which city her gifted husband was soon sent, she bravely and tenderly cared for the sick. At the cost of great sacrifice she bore the burdens of her station during the days of small salaries and great discomfort and labor. She was an acknowledged leader in every good work in which she took part, interesting herself and others especially in the missionary enterprises of her church. She was one of the first presidents of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society in New Orleans, and today there is a mission school in Mexico City which bears her name in grateful acknowledgment of the devotion of herself and Bishop Keener to its interests. Not only was she universally respected and loved, but also because of her unusually good judgment she was looked to for advice by family and friends. Her piety was deep, her consecration full, her experience of the things of God rich and constant.
Mrs. Keener was the mother of eight children, two of who died in infancy. The others lived to manhood and womanhood. Of these only one, Reverend Dr. S. S. Keener, is now living, one of three sons who filled important places in the ministry of her church. Two grand-daughters survive, Miss Mary Wilkinson and Miss Ella Keener.
Highly gifted, educated for any position in life, a helpmeet for her distinguished husband, a capable and devoted mother, a consistent and useful Christian woman, this mother in Israel fell on sleep sweetly, having done her life-work well, and her works do follow her.
Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South 1903, Page 77, by Wm. H. LaPrade

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