Rev. James Perry Porter, son of Rev. B. S. and E. A. R. Porter, was born in Houston County, Texas, August 1854 and departed this life at Washington, La., July 30, 1887.
Bro. Porter was the subject of very early religious impressions, and when but a boy sought and obtained religion and united with the Methodist “Episcopal Church, South. Subsequent to his conversion he was strongly impressed with a call to the ministry, but, owing to his limited education, he hesitated to enter the sacred office. He carried in his own bosom convictions which he dare not disclose to his nearest friends, that often darkened his prospects and experience; nor were these convictions ever disclosed to any individual until the difficulties in his way of receiving an education were removed. Upon entering Centenary College he was licensed to preach, and during the two years he remained in that institution his ministerial labors were attended with a good degree of usefulness and gave promise of future success.
While at college he suffered a severe attack of measles, from which he never fully recovered, which circumstance interfered largely with his prosecution of his studies, and, doubtless, shortened his collegiate career.
He was admitted on trial in the Louisiana Conference in 1883, held at Mansfield. His appointment that year was to Algiers and Gretna as junior preacher; but during the year he was, by the Presiding Elder, removed to Calcasieu Mission. In 1884 the mission was formed into Sulphur Mine Circuit, and he was returned. Owing to unavoidable circumstances during that year, the Presiding Elder moved him, and placed him at Rayne and Kimball’s Chapel, then in connection with the Plaquemine Brulee Circuit. In 1885 and 1886 he was preacher in charge of Washington Circuit. He was returned in 1887, where he finished his course, and entered his Master’s joy on July 30.
During his last illness he was a great sufferer. He was conscious of his death several days before it took place; arranged his matters; gave directions concerning his funeral; and then fell on sleep and went home to God.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1887|