Adams, Joseph D.


Dec. 26, 1820 - July 26, 1873
JOSEPH D. ADAMS was born, in Williamsburg District, S. C., Dec. 26, 1820. He joined the Church July 19, 1831; professed religion at a camp-mooting Sept. 24, 1837. His father having died, he removed with his mother to Randolph county, Ga., in 1835; was appointed class-leader at Salem Society, June 27, 1838, and in the same Society was licensed to exhort May 12, 1841, and was there licensed to preach, and by the same Quarterly Conference was recommended for admission on trial into the traveling connection Nov. 14, 1846. He was admitted on trial into the traveling connection by the Georgia Conference Dec., 1846, and appointed as junior preacher to the Dahlonega Circuit, Marietta District. His second year he was on the Jacksonville Circuit, at the close of which he was received into full connection, and ordained deacon by Bishop Capers at Augusta, Jan. 14, 1849, and appointed to the Irvington Circuit. This year he was married to Miss Sophia Sinclair, daughter of the Rev. Jesse and Sophia D. Sinclair, of Twiggs county, Ga. In 1850 he was appointed to the Watkinsville Circuit; in 1851 he was ordained elder, and appointed to the La Fayette Circuit; in 1852, to Fort Gaines; in 1853, to Chattahoochee Mission; in 1854, to Stewart Circuit; and in 1855, to Hamilton Circuit. At the close of this year he located, and engaged in farming. In 1858 he removed to Louisiana, and was re-admitted into the traveling connection by the Louisiana Annual Conference, at Mansfield, Feb., 1858, and was appointed to Waterproof, Tensas Parish. In 1859 he was appointed to St. Joseph and Wesley Chapel, in 1860 to Wesley Chapel, in 1861 to Waterproof, in 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865 to New Iberia, in 1866 to Washington and Bayou Boeuff, in 1867-68 to Plaquemine Brulie, in 1869, 1870, and 1871 to Opelousas District, in 1872-7a to the Moreau Street Station, New Orleans. Brother Adams was twice married. The time and place of his first wife's death we have not ascertained. Two sons and a daughter still survive her. His second marriage was with the widow of the Rev. A. T. M. Fly, in 1862. She and two daughters of tender years are left to the sympathy and care of the Church. Brother Adams died at Biloxi, Miss., on the morning of July 26, 1873. He had been in failing health for several months, and for nearly two months before his death, unable to preach regularly, though about, and usually present, at the regular services. Ten days before his death he was persuaded to visit the Gulf shore, but he grew rapidly worse after leaving the city, and his death was unexpected even to those who were acquainted with his failing health. But a week previous to the final summons, he sent his report to the Quarterly Conference. The same envelope contained also a communication to his stewards, in which, amongst other things, he mentioned that, feeling that he might die at any time, he had carefully examined himself, and believed that his acceptance with God was entirely clear-that for himself, he was perfectly resigned to live or die, but that he found it difficult to avoid anxiety about his wife and children. A paper found in his pocket-book after his death contains the following rules: "1. Keep your mind fixed on the object of your preaching the salvation of man. 2. Remember it is the word of Christ, and not yours; therefore claim strength of Christ. 3. Be more earnest than eloquent; the subject will attract attention, and not you. 4. Feed the fleck of God over which the Holy Ghost bath made you an overseer; not by constraint, but willingly." Another paper found with the above has this passage: "Look unto Jesus continually. I will pray for sanctification till I obtain it. I will be happy and satisfied with nothing less than perfection." It will be seen that his ministry extended through a period of twenty-seven years, fifteen of which were spent in the Louisiana Conference. From our personal knowledge and estimate, we can say that he was one of the purest and best of men--a man of true refinement and spirituality of soul; an Israelite in whom there was no guile; a man who habitually walked with God, and lived and enjoyed the religion which he preached. He was an excellent preacher: his sermons were richly instructive, abounding in solid thought and apt illustrations, and always attended with much unction. In exhortation and prayer he had few equals. In the pastoral work he was diligent, and most careful and solicitous in looking after the afflicted. For more than average qualifications, general effectiveness, and amiability in the itinerant work, he belonged to that type of Methodist preachers of which no Conference ever has enough. He deservedly held a high place in the love and esteem of his brethren, and his death creates a void in their ranks which may not soon be filled, and entails a loss upon the Conference that it will be difficult to repair. His last hours were peaceful and assured. His dust sleeps on the sea-shore in full view of the water, and where the winds and the waves lift up their voices. The grave has been tastefully cared for, and we know of no spot where one would choose rather to be laid to rest.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, 1873

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