January 1848 - July 1892
|Reverend J. W. Medlock was born in Putnam County, Georgia, in January, 1848. He came to Louisiana while quite a youth and settled with his grandparents near Minden, where he was educated. He was licensed to preach by the Quarterly Conference of Minden Circuit in 1869. He was first appointed to Castor Circuit, after which be served. Lisbon, Linn Grove, Ringgold, Alexandria, South Bossier, Vienna, Homer, New Iberia and Minden. He died in July last while serving Minden Charge for the fourth year in succession.
Brother Medlock was married to the eldest daughter of T. J.Upton, with whom he lived in happy wedlock and by whom he had several children, whose united loss in his death, as an affectionate and kind husband and model father, will be irreparable by any earthly providence. But the God who doeth all things well, will care for the widow and orphans of his servant, causing waters of consolation to flow ever from the desert rock, and making all riches to abound towards them. But only less than the bereavement of the afflicted ones is the loss to the Church, who mourns in the death of our brother one of her most trusted and efficient laborers.
Our brother was a man to be trusted in an emergency, to be depended on anywhere, and whom the performance of his duty secured approbation wherever he labored. His quiet, industrious ministry told upon the people everywhere, and though his pastorate was never attended or even followed by overwhelming results in soul-gathering, yet in due time the golden harvest followed, and not unoften others reaped even pentacostal results where be had served in faith and in hope.
A man of strong convictions and deep piety he wore well, and his longest pastorates were his strongest, and usually his quadrennial year was his harvest year. Always he left. hosts of friends behind him when be departed to a new field and usually implanted in the minds of his flock that in his removal they suffered an irreparable loss.
As a scholar he was exact rather than profound for he bad read much and had stores of information of which by virtue of his modest manner and habit of self-repression the public knew nothing. As a preacher, he was much given to exegesis and profound treatment, never exhibiting the least carelessness in method or in detail, and always producing an effect of both awe and conviction upon the mind of his hearers. He was a strong believer in preaching as the divinely appointed medium of salvation for the race, and in consequence both stressed his gifts and magnified his office. To bear him at any time, by even scholarly persons, was to secure both pleasure and profit to the bearer, and usually to discover new and before unsuspected beauties and grandeurs in both subject and preacher. He was esteemed more excellent in his pulpit than elsewhere, not because he was deficient anywhere, but because he had remarkable preaching gifts which by constant exercise he-had improved to the utmost point. He was a fine writer, combining excellent judgment and keen analysis with a singularly pure and forcible style for one who exercised this gift so rarely. His latest contribution to the press and public was a paper read before the Arcadia District Conference on Christian Education, and published in the N. 0. Christian Advocate by the unanimous request of that body. This was but a short time before his death and was a fitting peroration to his own career in the ranks of the itinerancy.
Returning home from the session of this Conference, he was detained by the way in an effort to make peace between the discordant elements of a religious community which be had once served as pastor, and there perhaps secured that accession of cold or malaria to his bodily complaint which resulted in his death. This will recall the incident of Bunyan’s death as well as the most beautiful text and promise if not prophecy, “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called-the children of God.”
The writer was associated with Brother Medlock for eight or ten years in the officiary and executive control of our Conference Board of Church Extension, and had an opportunity of studying his character as both Christian minister and man of affairs. His panegyrist even in death we would not he, but his friend and sincere admirer we shall always be, and here record it as our solemn conviction that be succeeded in many or in all the departments of his profession as minister of the gospel as only the few and rarely gifted do in any. He was a true man, a pious Christian and an able minister of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we do well at this solemn period to pause and express our deep sense of those profound qualities of both service and leadership which found rare blending-in his life and official character, as well as of the loss which our Church and Conference has sustained in his death. But long after we have ceased to pronounce eulogies over his grave his voice will still be heard in sermon and song throughout the forests and prairies of his State and Conference, and a gospel. resurrection be declared for him In the new multitudes brought to Christ, which his loving voice could never have reached.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1893, Pages 29-30, By James M. Beard|