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P is for the Prominent Minister of Newnan Who Passed Away: J. H. Hall

100_5599Rev. James Hamilton Hall, a Doctor of Divinity, was born 16 April 1836 in Greenville, Meriwether County, Georgia to Alexander and Elizabeth "Betsy" Brown Hall.  James's grandfather was the Irish born Hugh Hall.

Alexander was in a position of "financial ease," and thus provided his son James with the "best educational advantages." Yet in a biography of the good reverend, published 1912 in Men of Mark in Georgia, it was written that James led "an aimless and dissipated life."

The young man arrived at manhood and became, through a certain philosophic trend of mind, imbedded in the meshes of unbelief.  He even went so far as for a time to lead an aimless and dissipated life.  He had one strong anchor in the shape of the young lady to whom he was engaged, Miss Sarah E. Hall, of Greene county.  She was a woman of strong Christian character, and while she positively refused to marry him during this period of his life, she yet did not let him entirely go, and her influence, combined with that of other friends finally induced in him a season of serious thought.

Eventually, young James "threw off the shackles of unbelief and took up the cross of Christian duty." He got the girl, too.  Sarah became Mrs. J. H. Hall about November 1859.  The biographer continues:

In May, 1860, he was baptized into the Bethlehem Church, of Coweta county.  In August, 1861, he was ordained to the Baptist ministry at the meeting of the Western Association.  His first work was as pastor of the church at Franklin, Heard county.  Later he served the Providence, Mt. Lebanon, and Greenville churches in Meriwether county.  From these he came back to his home county and ministered to Bethlehem, Mt. Labanon and White Oak Grove churches in Coweta county and Bethel church in Heard county.  From the pastorate of these he was called in 1869 to the Newnan church, where he concluded his life service in a pastorate of over thirty years.

Rev. Hall and Sarah had eight children.  Only four survived him.  One of them, a son named Hewlett, was also well known in Newnan and throughout Georgia.

James Hamilton Hall died in Newnan 18 July 1903, "after more than forty years of untiring labor in the cause of the Master." From the 19 July 1903 edition of the Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia), via GenealogyBank:


Prominent Minister of Newnan Passes Away.
Newnan, Ga, July 18. – Rev. James H. Hall, D. D., pastor of the Central Baptist church of this city, and one of the most profound pulpit orators of the State, died this morning at 2 o'clock after a very short illness.

Only last week he was active in revival at his church, during which he was taken with dysentery, the attack of which physicians could not stay.  He was born in 1837 [sic], and began active ministry in 1860, and in 1870 was called to the church at this place, which he actively and incessantly served.  Possibly no man in the country was more universally loved and whose death will be more deplored.

He leaves and wife and several children, among whom is Hon. Hewitt [sic] A. Hall.

The funeral will be conducted by Rev. Vaughn, of LaGrange, and Rev. V. A. Ham, of this city, tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock, from the Central Baptist church.

The remains of Rev. James Hamilton Hall rest in the family burial lot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan.

"I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness."

Are you wondering what's up with all the "letter" posts? I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (links to official page). This challenge lasts through the month of April, with Sundays off.  Each day follows a different letter prompt, in order, from A to Z.  Click here to see all my letter posts on one page (in reverse order). This blog as a whole is one of my themes – telling the tales of tombstones, primarily from those found in the Southern United States and usually the State of Georgia.  You may follow along with me by email and other social media platforms listed at the top of the sidebar.  I and other bloggers in the challenge on Twitter will also be using #atozchallenge.

Though this is my second year in the challenge, it's my first with two blogs.  I am also participating with Lincecum Lineage.  Though it is a one name study blog, my theme there is "kinfolk direct." These genealogy and family history posts all involve a direct relative.

Are you participating in the challenge, too? Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, I'd love to pay you a visit.  Good luck to all involved!


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The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)