Newman, John P.


- July 5, 1899
In the early sixties John P. Newman, D. D., a gentleman of impressive and admirable physic appeared in La. His cultured bearing and great courage made him at once one of the most conspicuous figures in the city. He was as a man of affairs; was so regarded even by those who, on account of the social and political conditions which then existed in the South, widely differed from him.
Outside of the officers of high ranks in the Union Army and a few Union men here, he was almost without associates among the white people who denounced him as a “Yankee preacher”, a Black Republican,” and a Negro lover,” to all of which he plead guilty, and proclaimed himself for a “Union free.” With his mighty pen and matchless eloquence he denounced slave holding as a crime before God and man. Here upon the altar of his church and country he pledged his stalwart intellect and great energy—even his pure life—for the final overthrow of slavery, for a country, and a free church.
Together he with a few white men, also from the North, he met with Peter, James and John, Anthony Ross, Scott Chinn, Henry Green. These, with him, visited the barred doors of the three historic churches of the colored people in the city, Wesley chapel, Soule’s Chapel and Winan Chapel, the building which preceded this splendid edifice upon this very spot. By him the three black pioneers, Ross Chinn and Green were sent on a missionary tour through the states, which on the 25th of Dec., 1865, were constituted the Mississippi Conference of Methodism. It was at this time that he founded and edited the New Orleans Christian Advocate, planned the erection of Ames Church on St. Charles Ave. and Caliope Sts. And the establishment of the Thomson Biblical Institute, Corner of Camp and Race Streets where the foundation for a trained colored ministry for the conference was laid. He was Secretary of the first and second session of the Mississippi Mission Conference and also of the first La. Conference, held Jan. 15-18,1869.
Upon the assassination of the immortal Lincoln, the Emancipator of more than 4,000,000 slaves, he said to me, “Our Moses is gone but our Joshua is here”; this vexed problem will not be settled until Gen. Grant is made president of the U.S.
He was the first Presiding Elder in the La. Conf. And the first ministerial delegate from this Conference to the General Conference. Next we heard of him as pastor of the Metropolitan Church, Washington, D. C. and Chaplain to the U. S. Senate 1869-1874. Again we heard of him serving officially in Europe and Asia as Inspector of American consulates. We knew him as author of “From Dan to Bersheba,” “a Thousand Miles on horseback,” etc. We saw him at the dying bed-side of his friend Gen. Grant as spiritual advisor.
We follow him to the General Conference, held in New York in 1888, and together with the friends of Gen. Grant assisted in electing him a Bishop.
He expressed great satisfaction in the fact that his home, the seat of the Gen. Conf. At Omaha 1892 was able to entertain his brethren on terms of perfect equality.
He was last seen retiring from the seat of the Wyoming Conference supported on the arm of Rev. Manly S Har____ ___ble heath but full of hope, ready to appear before the Conf. He loved and served to render an account of his stewardship and there to join Bishops Thomson, Simpson and three of his distinguished colleagues in that rest which remaineth unto the people of God, in the land where the spirit of just men are made perfect. At Saratpoga Springs on the fourth of July 1899, his great soul took its flight. Peace be with his ashes.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1899, by Landry.

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