Moss, Philip H.



Rev. Philip H. Moss was born Sept. 17, 1849, in Lexington, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. He received a good education from his father, Prof. Thos. B. Moss of Meson Academy, a prominent educator in that state. In 1867 he came to Lowndes County, Alabama and engaged in mercantile pursuits. He was converted under the ministry of Rev. E. Phillips at Letohatchee Church, in Lowndes County, in the summer of 1870. Soon after his conversion he became impressed that he was called to preach the Gospel, but for a long time he resisted the call. At last he yielded to the Divine will and was licensed to preach by the Fort Deposit Quarterly Conference in the fall of 1872. In December of the same year he was received on trial in the Alabama Conference at Eufaula. For three successive years he labored on the Greenville Circuit. In 1876 he was sent to Troy and Brundidge. When, at the close of the year he was transferred to the Louisiana Conference, the Alabama Conference by resolution expressed their confidence in him, approval of his work, and regret for his departure. He was sent to the Monroe and Delhi Circuit, which he served for nearly two years—until God called him. No preacher ever accomplished more there, although he had many obstacles at the very outset. The churches became alive. Under his pungent, plain and spiritual preaching, sinners were awakened and converted. Scarcely a Sunday passed without additions to the Church. In fact, his whole pastorate was a continued revival. In May 1877, at Delhi, there was a most gracious revival. It was the time appointed for Quarterly Conference but neither Presiding Elder nor any other preacher could get there because of the overflow. God stood by His servant. Eighty were added to the Methodist Church and nearly twenty to the Presbyterian. Having been returned to the Circuit, in May 1878, he married Mrs. Mollie D. Fontaine. She was a true, good wife and proved a worthy helpmate in his life work. He attended the District Conference at Waterproof the first of last August. Here God seemed to give him a special anointing. Socially, in the Conference Room, and in the pulpit, he was a power of good. He certainly had the tongue of fire. Upon his return, he found the dread Yellow Fever had made its appearance at Delhi and his wife had gone to a place of safety. He joined her and for some days remained there hoping that the Fever would disappear as there was only one case. This hope proved illusive. Several of his members were taken down. He came in and with his faithful wife worked for the Master. His labors were unceasing. He exhausted his physical powers in his work of love and mercy. By the bedside of the sick and dying, at the grave—everywhere—he was ever the true soldier of the Cross. Finally, his wife was prostrated by the scourge, and while ministering to her, he also became a victim. When consciousness returned to Sister Moss, her husband and son were buried. Almost immediately after he was attacked he became delirious. Even then, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth spoke. His ravings were of the Church, of the sick and dying. Repeatedly he endeavored to get up and go out among the suffering. A few hours before he died, consciousness seemed to return. He knelt by his bedside and prayed; then saying to the negro nurse that he was ready to go, with the glory of Heaven already in his countenance, he fell asleep and awoke in Heaven. He was a man of prayer. His most intimate friend asserts that Bro. Moss was never by himself an hour without kneeling in prayer. He was a devoted student of God’s word. He not only read a portion each day but he studied it. Besides this, he systematically read religious books. He was well versed in our standards. With all of his studying he found time to visit all his people. He was a pastor by natural gifts and still more so by grace. He had the happy art of religious conversation. His preaching was of the Spirit and in the Spirit. His sermons were exceedingly plain, but so pointed and clinched by illustrations drawn from everyday life. In his presence you instinctively felt that God was near. Meek, humble, with an eye single to the Master’s glory, Jesus led him on, step by step. He loved the Church. The last message received from him by Rev. J. Lane Borden, assistant preacher, was: “Take care of my charge. I am busy in the Lord’s work.”
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1879

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