Reed, Lewis A.


September 1812 - January 20, 1899
On the 20th of January last, in the 87th year of his age, Reverend Lewis A. Reed, one of the purest, truest, and most laborious in our itinerant ranks, passed from labor to rest.
The name of Lewis A Reed was a synonym for guileless sincerity, integrity and self-sacrificing devotion to duty.
He was born in Henderson, Kentucky on September1812. Nothing is known to us of his early life, except that he came to New Orleans when he was a very young man, He had resided there about twelve years, and was about thirty two years old when he entered the ministry, and had been married to Miss Martha Phillips, whose parents (we think) resided in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Brother Reed was converted and joined the Poydras Street Methodist Episcopal Church in 1842 (the same year that the sainted pastor of that church, Reverend Elijah Steel, fell a victim to yellow fever). The impression with Brother Reed that it was his duty to preach was simultaneous with the assumption of vows to give up the world for Christ, and he began at once to make preparation to that end.
He was a skillful accountant, working at his profession at the time he determined to enter the ministry, and notwithstanding that his competency had been attested by the fact of his having been several times employed as an expert in the settlement of estates, both by commercial firms and courts, with liberal remuneration, he gave it up. He was also a partner in the line of om-nibuses running through the city, but his interest in this he had disposed of after his conversion, because he would not be a party to Sabbath-breaking. Surrendering these sources of lucrative income was characteristic of the man and the Christian who never stopped to consult with flesh and blood when the path of duty was plain.
During his ministry he filled the following appointments, viz: in the Mississippi Conference, 1845-46, Carrollton and Greenville (N. 0). After the organization of the Louisiana Conference he filled the following ap-pointments: 1847, Greenville and Carrollton; 1848 to 1850, Lafayette and Winans Chapel; 1851 to 1853, Napoleonville and Lafourche; 1854 to 1856, Lafourche and Bayou Black Circuit; 1857 to 1860, Lake Providence District; 1861 to 1863, Sicily Island Circuit; 1864 and 1865, Jefferson Circuit; 1866, Deer Creek and Sicily Island; 1867, Oakly Cir-cuit. He located at the end of this year on account of financial embarrassment, and while sustaining this relation, he was employed as a supply for Algiers, Thibodaux and Vidalia, and Troy. He was readmitted December 1875, and was appointed 1876 to 1878 to Lafourche Circuit; 1879, to Moreau Street, New Orleans; 1880 and 1881, to Algiers; 1882, Opelousas District; 1883 and 1884, Vida!ia and Troy; 1885 to 1888, Grosse Tete and False River; 1889 to 1891, South Bossier; 1892, Wesley Circuit; 1893 and 1894, Grand Cane; 1895 and 1896, Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans; 1897, Craps Street, Slidell and Pearl River; 1898, Craps Street, at the end of which year he was superannuated.
A number of the above appointments were missions to the negroes, in which he was eminently successful. So great was the improvement in the morals, domestic relations, and contentment of the slaves, that what was considered by many planters at first as an experiment came to be regarded as a necessity; prejudice itself was forced to admit the manifest fruits of the Christian religion among the sons of Ham, and Christianity, through the luminous character of its meek representative, became a “light shining in a dark place.” Few men were ever respected and reverenced by the whites or beloved by the negroes as was Brother Reed. He was, in his intercourse with the world, “sober, grave, temperate, and at the same time, full of faith, charity and patience.” He was a great favorite with the young, who, in all instances coming under the observation of the writer, after knowing him, regretted his removal from their midst. As a doctrinal preacher, he was much above the average; “hay, wood, stubble,” were not the materials with which he built. No light, superficial views found any toleration with him. He was wonderful in the forceful and appropriate use of Scripture to demonstrate his propositions. He studied and was fresh to the end. The Psalmist had such examples in his mind when he said: “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age.”
His end was peace and triumph. “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.”
Source: Journal of the Louisiana Annual Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1899, Pages 37-38, by Robert J. Harp

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