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Alexander, B. F.
April 12, 1829 - September 29, 1891
|B. F. Alexander, the son of Amzi C. Alexander and Elizabeth Watkins Holliday, daughter of the Rev. Charles Holliday, was born near Scottsville, in Allen County, Ky. on April l2, 1829. His education was received in the seminary of his native town. He was converted at home in March 1849 and received into full church membership in December of the same year, but had served as superintendent of Sabbath school and class leader from previous June. He was licensed to exhort in 1850, and to preach on the Scottsville circuit, by the Rev. N. H. Lee, P E.
He was admitted on trial in the Louisville Conference in September1852 at Louisville, Ky., and sent as junior preacher to Hopkinsville circuit and South Christian mission; but in February 1853 he was placed in charge of the mission for the remainder of the year. In 1853 he was sent to Rumsey circuit, but returned home after the first quarter on account of failing health.
He was admitted into full connection in 1854; ordained deacon by Bishop Paine, and transferred to Louisiana Conference, and appointed by Rev. Dr. Keener to take charge of Thibodeaux station. In 1855 he served New Iberia circuit; in 1856 the Opelousas circuit; and at the close of the year was ordained elder by Bishop Kavanaugh, at Waterproof, La.
In 1857 he served the New Orleans circuit. and during the year the Algiers Church was built and paid for, and the Cadiz Street Church, of which St. Charles Avenue Church is the successor, was begun. From 1858 to 1860 he was agent for Pierce and Paine College, and in 1860 in charge of Pleasant Hill circuit. In 1861 he served the Lake Providence circuit, in 1862 the Gross Tete circuit, in 1863 the Washington circuit. In April he entered the Confederate States Army as chaplain of the Twenty-eighth Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers, where he remained in 1864 and 1865. In June 1855, he was appointed presiding elder of Shreveport district and continued there through 1869 — the last year increasing his labors by becoming agent for the S. W. Bible Society.
On November 10, 1867, he was married to Miss Frances L. Bowman, at Mansfield, La., by the Rev. John Pipes. In 1870 and li’71 he was presiding elder of Lake Providence district and agent of the S. W. Bible Society. He was in charge of Waterproof circuit in 1872 and 1873, of Tensas Chapel station in 1874, of Delhi and Madison circuit in 1875 and 1876, of Floyd circuit in 1877, of Winnsboro circuit in 1878, of Sicily Island in 1879; but in May he was made presiding elder of Delhi district by Bishop McTyeire, and continued there from year to year through 1882.
From January 1883 to 1886 he was sent to the Shreveport district. In 1882 his, wife departed this life. From 1887 to1890 he was presiding elder of the Alexandria district. In May 1889 he was married to Mrs. M. E. Landrum. In December 1890, he was appointed to the Morgan City and Pattersonville circuit where on September 29, ultimo, he closed a useful life.
We feel our utter incompetence to write about such a man as Bro. Alexander. He was the most complete itinerant we have ever known. He has labored in every part of Louisiana, either as preacher in charge or as presid-ing elder, and no man ever did more earnest or more faithful work. He has served the church in every capacity that usually falls to the lot of a preacher. He was a painstaking pastor, keeping every department of the work in good shape. He was a model presiding elder, and with a thorough knowledge of church law and usage he combined a most efficient administration. As college agent, he was successful as far as he went in that work. As an army chaplain, no one of that class had a stronger hold upon the affections of his soldiers. As a representative in the General Conference, he did good work in the committees and upon the Conference floor. As a preacher, he was earnest and forcible, and some of his sermons were really eloquent. He was the best Conference man we had, watching all the proceedings with sympathetic interest and oftentimes carrying the day over much opposition. No man among us could be so missed on the Conference floor as he will he. He loved the church with a sincere love and worked for her interests with an untiring devotion. Being well known all over the Conference, he will be missed everywhere and mourned by everyone. He suffered much during his last illness, but that suffering was the last process through which the Holy Spirit led his trusting spirit, and we do not doubt that when he awoke on the other side of death, he awoke to the consciousness of a perfect likeness to the Savior he loved so well and served so faithfully on earth.
We may add to this excellent, and comprehensive notice from our Advocate a few words more. Some one has said, the place where the good dies is favored beyond the common walks of life, because it is the place where the last battle of many campaigns is fought, where the last victory is won that ends the war, in endless peace, and crowns the victor with life eternal. We are satisfied from many affirmations of the dying, that Our Father sometimes lifts the veil that but thinly intervenes between us and the fair country we seek. One who was nearest and dearest told me our departed brother just before the moment of his loosing came said, like Stephen. “I see the Lord, the heavenly host. I hear the music of their songs.” Filled with more than mortal rapture by these visions and strains of heavenly song, it is not wonderful, but it would have been wonderful if he had not said: “I am saved, cut the cords and let me go” Gravitation shifting had turned the other way, and his liberated soul rose like an exhalation and ascended to be with his risen Lord. What better can we wish than to live and die like our glorified brother?
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1891, Pages 29-29; By J. B. Walker and Thos. H. McClendon|
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