Rev. Wm. Stevenson was born in the State of South Carolina, near a station called Ninety-six (at that time a frontier) on the 4th of October 1768. His parents were Presbyterians, and he was baptized in the Church in infancy. He was the subject of religious impressions at a very early age, before reaching his eighth year, which he attributed to the instructions and influence of his pious mother. At the age of 24 he emigrated to Tennessee, and on the first day of June, 1800, when in the 32nd year of his age, he was converted, at which time he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and immediately began to exhort, then to preach, and in this way labored much during the great revival in Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, which commenced about that time. In the year 1811 he joined the Travelling Connection in Missouri, and in 1813 came down to South Arkansas, and soon after into Louisiana, where he continued to labor until he wore himself out.
The last regular work he did was in Caddo Parish, A.D. 1839, at which time he sustained a supernumerary relation to the Conference. He was, at the end of that year, placed in a superannuated relation, which relation he sustained until his death, which took place on the 5th day of March, 1857, in the 89th year of his age, and the 44th year of his itinerancy.
Father Stevenson was a good man, and if abundant usefulness can constitute a man great, he was eminently a great man.
Methodism in Louisiana owes much to him. There were many souls to his ministry scattered throughout the country. He was a good preacher, man of fine social qualities, and in the true sense, “devoted to God.”
He in the fullest sense of the word, gave himself up to God and his work, making no provision for this life, but seeking his all in Heaven. He walked with God, held constant communion with Him, and rejoiced in the enjoyment of “Perfect Love.”
As was to be expected his end was triumphant. He had suffered the infirmities of age—had become deaf, suffered much bodily pain—but was happy to the last.”
He seemed to hear his Master saying: “It is enough—come up higher.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1857|