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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Georgia: Baker County

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Re: Rev. John Whitfield Wilson family 1850
Posted by: Lisa (ID *****3657) Date: January 09, 2012 at 17:24:25
In Reply to: Rev. John Whitfield Wilson family 1850 by Robert Thomas of 151

Not related, but found this in a gedcom.

History of the Georgia Baptists - Vol. 2 - (Google Books Result) by Boykin, Samuel - 2001 - Religion - 632 pages
History of the Baptist Demomination in Georgia

Pages 593-594

JOHN WHITFIELD WILSON.

Rev. John Whitfield Wilson, a direct descendant of Rev. George Whit-
field,* was born at Fort Charlotte, on the Savannah river, in the year 1794. Be-
reaved at a tender age of his father, he was left to the guardianship of Colonel
Richard Griffin, of Abbeville, South Carolina. This gentleman appears to have
had an enlightened regard for the mental development of his ward, and placed
him in the school of Dr. Moses Waddell, at Wellington. Here the beginning of
the war of 181 2 found him, and the martial instincts proved too strong for the
attractions of study. He ran away to join the army, and was in the trenches
at Savannah when peace was made. He then returned to Abbeville and entered
the office of Judge William Harris as a law student. On the completion of his
course, he removed to Alabama, and settled at Tuscaloosa, where he remained
but a short while, going thence to Linden, Marengo county, and engaging in the
practice of his profession at that point. He married there in 1822. His wife,
Clarinda, daughter of Captain Jacob Lindsay, United States Army, bore him ten
children.

His highest ambition at this stage of his life, as he frequently said in the un-
reserve of family intercourse, was to drive fast horses and outdress his associates.
The latter weakness provoked a public reproof, about the year 1826, during a
camp-meeting, from a Methodist minister, who asked him if he was going out in
the midst of the services to show his gold-headed cane. On the spur of the
moment, he answered that if his reprover would come down from the pulpit the
cane should be worn out across his shoulders. Instantly the impropriety and
enormity of his conduct smote him with a sense of guilt, and led him to seek
the salvation of his soul. Making a profession of faith, he joined the Methodists,
but became dissatisfied with what he had previously regarded as a valid baptism,
and desired to be immersed. But no minister of the denomination would com-
ply with his request, because he had been sprinkled in the Presbyterian Church
when an infant, and, in their view, to immerse him would be Anabaptism. He
felt himself constrained, therefore, to unite with the Baptists, which he did' in
1828, whatever sacrifice might attend the step, and was baptized by Rev Hosea
Holcombe. His piety soon showed itself to be of the aggressive, diffusive type;
himself a believer, he could not rest without attempting to bring others to the
faith. He became a preacher, and, to awaken the churches on the subject of
missions, he rode as an evangelist over the State from 1830 to 1835. Inuring
the winter of the latter year he removed to Georgia, first serving as pastor the
church at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett county, for a year, laboring the next year
with Goshen church, Lincoln county, going then to Crawfordville, whe
resumed the practice of the law and ministered in various churches as pastor or
supply, among them Bethesda church, Greene county; Powelton church, Han-
cock county, and Phillips' Mill church, Wilkes county. From 1845 to 1849 he
had charge of the Griffin church, removing thence to Pine Bluff, Dougherty
county, and subsequently, in succession, to Cuthbert and Americus. He died
February ist, 1856, away from home, on his route to the Florida Association, at
the house of Rev. D. G Daniell, then pastor at Thomasville.

He was a doctrinal preacher, insisting very strongly on human depravity,
regeneration through the Spirit, and vital, saving faith. If the belief were right
and the heart renewed, he held that good works would naturally follow ; and he
concerned himself less with the stream than with the fountain which supplied
it. He gave the last years of his life entirely to the ministry, with a good degree
of acceptance and fruit, and died in the full assurance of the faith which he had
preached.



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