Sunday, March 15, 2015

This Week in Texas Methodist History  March 15

Clayton C. Gillispie Eulogizes Bishop Soule, March 18, 1867

Clayton C. Gillispie—preacher, journalist, Confederate officer, prisoner of war---a man of many experiences, was editor of the Texas Christian Advocate from 1854 to 1858, an itinerate pastor from 1858 until Civil War service.  In 1862 he became colonel of the 25th Texas Cavalry Regiment.  His unit was captured at Arkansas Post in 1863.  He was a prisoner of war in Illinois until April 1863 when he was paroled and returned to military life.  

After the war he became editor of the Tri-weekly Telegram, a secular newspaper in Houston.  When word of the death of Bishop Joshua Soule (1781-1867) reached him, he put the following tribute on page 1

Rev. Joshua Soule, D.D., L,.L.D, senior bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and also senior bishop of American  Methodism,  died in the city of Nashville, on the 6th inst at three o’clock in the morning.   We never saw him until he was over 60 years of age, but we were then deeply impressed with the fact that we had never seen so grand a man, taken altogether.  His form was cast in nature’s largest and finest mould.  His mind was magnificent in its power. His character was grandly simple and lofty, and his bearing was majesty itself realized.  We have never seen such another man. Nor have we ever seen the picture, in art or in history, of his superior.  He was to the Methodist Church what Washington was to the United States.  He was a prince among men, and his simple presences among strangers always commanded instinctive respect and homage.  If we mistake not, he was the oldest Methodist preacher in the world with one exception.  .  . .He was for sixty-eight a preacher and forty-three a bishop.  . . .

When the Texas Conference was organized in 1840, Joshua Soule was already 59 years old and widely revered.  He made only one episcopal tour to Texas, holding annual conferences in Houston and Marshall in the winter of 1845-46, but his fame was so great that the university at Chappell Hill was named in his honor. 

Clayton C. Gillispie did not enjoy long life as did Bishop Soule.  He died in Austin on Christmas day, 1876 at the age of 54.  He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. 


Post a Comment

<< Home