A Tribute to Elder Henry Smith, 1795-1875

DIED--At his residence, near Warren, Jo Daviess Co., Illinois, on the evening of July 20th, 1875, Elder Henry Smith, (colored). In consequence of his being born in slavery, his age is not known, but he was nearly eighty years of age.

The subject of this notice was indeed a mystery to himself, and also to others, not having any education, yet with that wisdom which cometh from above he was able to confound the wise of this world.

I have not the particulars of the early life of Brother Smith. He was born in Kentucky. was made to see his lost condition by nature, and received an evidence that his sins were pardoned by his blessed Redeemer. He was called to the work of the gospel ministry, and was ordained by a presbytery of Elders (white) at or near Lexington, Kentucky. His master set him at liberty, and then by industry he bought the freedom of his wife. They went to St. Louis, Mo., and from thence to Jo Daviess County, Ill., where he remained a worthy member until his death. He was a firm believer in the Old School Baptist doctrine, and preached it with simplicity and power. He was a great peacemaker in the churches, and in settling difficulties he had few equals. We feel that our loss in the churches is great.

His last days on earth were his happiest days, wanting to see his brethren, and he died in the triumphs of faith.

May the Lord sustain his companion who survives him, and is a worthy member of the church, and his children, some of whom have also made a profession, and keep us all, is our prayer.

Polo, Ill.

A Letter Published in the Western Predestinarian Baptist, 1844, written by Moses W. Darnall, of Blue River, Grant Co., Wisconsin

A letter dated Nov. 4, 1844, published in one of our church papers (published at Charleston, Illinois), by Moses W. Darnall, of Blue River, Grant Co., Wisconsin Territory, says, "Our association, which was held on the 14, 15, and 16, of September last, was a meeting of great delight to the brethren and sisters who were present. The Lord by his spirit seemed to be with us cheering our hearts and strengthening the ministering brethren. The ministers present were Elders Peter Saltzman, James Craig, Alexander Conlee, Moses Jones, William Forman, James Miles, and a colored brother whose name is Henry Smith, besides brother Asel Ferguson, and your brother in Christ, the writer of these lines, licentiates. We had preaching of the right kind, according to my judgment. None of our preachers appeared to have a super-abundance of human learning, while all seemed to have the assistance of the divine spirit; and you know, Brother Newport, that old stamp Baptists always look to that source for ministerial ability. We had a beautiful illustration of that truth in the person of Brother Henry Smith, a man of color. This brother informed us that he had never spent one month's time in obtaining education in his life, yet he exhibited abilities for the ministry of rare quality; he preached on Sunday evening to a large and attentive audience who gave demonstrations of being edified. His text was Romans 10 & 4, and the way he showed the power of the Lord Jesus Christ in freeing us from the demands of the divine law, is rarely surpassed by ministers of any condition or color. I learn that there is a church of colored brethren and sisters at Galena, who have this brother for their preacher; this church, as I am informed is a thorough going Old School church.

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