Doty, William E.



William E. Doty was born in Maury County, Tennessee, in the spring of 1809 or 1810. He was early trained by Christian parents, and his early impressions were never lost. In 1826, at a camp meeting at Knob Creek, he was converted and united with the Methodist Church. He was soon impressed that it was his duty to preach the gospel, and for two years he divided his time between labor and school, seeking to prepare himself for the work before him. In 1828 he was licensed to exhort and preach by the Rev. Robert Paine, then presiding elder of the Nashville District. In November 1828, he was admitted on trial in the Tennessee Conference, which convened that year at Murfreesboro, and was appointed to the Dickson Circuit as junior preacher. Here he witnessed a great revival of religion. In 1829 he was sent to the Franklin Circuit in North Alabama, embracing Tuscumbia, Russellville, and the adjacent neighborhood. He next traveled the Wayne and Cypress Circuits, and was ordained elder in the fall of 1832. Then, for a season, he retired from active itinerant work and devoted himself to secular pursuits, in the meantime exercising his gifts as local preacher. He lived in the Courtland Valley, where he was highly respected and was very useful. In the course of a few years he removed to Caddo Parish, Louisiana, where he settled and devoted a portion of his time to planting interests. But not satisfied with a local sphere, he was readmitted into the traveling connection in the Louisiana Conference in January, 1848, where he labored as circuit preacher, missionary, and presiding elder with acceptance and usefulness. For the last several years of his life his health was feeble, and from time to time he suffered great pain of body. His latter years were spent mainly in his new home, where he died, September 23, 1884, after a lingering and painful sickness. He endured his sufferings with great fortitude and much Christian patience. He longed to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. His faith was unwavering and his trust in God was full; he had no fear, but rather rejoiced in the prospect of a change. His testimony in his last sickness, and just before his death, was triumphant and vindicated the wisdom of having devoted himself to the cause of God in early life and spent many years in the service of his Master and in the ministry of the gospel. Brother Doty, when young, was a man of fine personal appearance and attractive manners, and in the meridian of life was a strong and eloquent preacher. In his latter years he was greatly hindered because of ill health, but he maintained his confidence steadfastly to the end. Brother Doty loved the Church and rejoiced in its success; and he was always happy to see his brethren in the ministry useful and in favor with the people. He was a noble Christian man, a faithful preacher, and died giving glory to God.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1884

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