ROBERT FALKLAND HARRELL
June 18, 1875 – December 24, 1948
Robert Falkland Harrell was born June 18, 1875, and passed to his eternal reward December 24, 1948, being 73 years, 6 months and 6 days old.
He joined Felicity Methodist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, at an early age and came up in an atmosphere of great Methodist traditions, great Methodist associations, and great Methodist preaching which left a lasting impression upon his gentle spirit and helped to place his feet upon the road that leads to light and salvation.
Brother Harrell was educated in the public schools of New Orleans and had considerable instruction in the Extension Courses then featured in Vanderbilt University. He had several years in the Y.M.C.A. work in New Orleans and served a part of this time as lay preacher in what is now the Canal Street Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. With this as his background, his splendid training in Christian living, in Y.M.C.A. secretaryship and in partoral relations, Brother Harrell joined the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Church at Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in 1912 and was sent to Centerville, where he served five years. At the Mississippi Conference session in 1917 he was transferred to the Louisiana Conference where he remained a member all the balance of his life.
His appointments in the Louisiana Conference included the following: Waterproof, Tallulah, Gilbert, Many, Columbia, LeCompte, Pineville, Ponchatoula, and Covington. For a number of years Brother Harrell was troubled with an intestinal disorder and finally at Covington surrendered to the inevitable and retired to spend his remaining time in the beautiful home he had acquired at Mississippi City, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast.
Retirement did not by any means mean rest and quiet for R. F. Harrell. His energy was boundless. He felt that for him to live meant an insistent demand that he preach. He served at several missions within his reach along the Coast and was for one year Executive Secretary of the Seashore Camp ground.
In a few words I would like to express my appreciation of this Godly man. He represented that great host of ordinary preachers of the Methodist Church. He never attained the heights of a big pastorate nor was he ever given a place of great leadership in the conference. He walked with God over the hills and valleys of his quiet ministry and served to the extent of his ability the people with whom he came in contact. The Methodist Church does not have too many such men as R. F. Harrell. He was a great pastor; a splendid Christian gentleman; a faithful husband and father; and a loyal preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall miss him, but we know where to find him. His ministry will linger long in the lives of the members of his family and of his friends.
Servant of God, well done, Rest in thy love employ,
The battle fought, the victory won, Enter thy Master’s joy.
Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 1949; p. 111 Elmer C. Gunn
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