Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Rev. John Thomas Finlayson

[Document No 7.]
Memoir of Rev. J. T. Finlayson
John Thomas Finlayson was born on the 20th day of October, A.D., 1855, and was received into the M.E. Church, South, at Princeton, N.C. on profession of faith in the year 1873.  He was admitted on trial into the traveling connection of the north Carolina Annual Conference at its session held in Wilson in December, 1879, and served the following charges:

1880, Junior preacher on Smithfield Circuit
1881, Hanner’s Creek Mission
1882-’83, Youngsville Circuit
1884, Junior preacher on Tar River Circuit
1885-’88, Lumberton Circuit
1889-’91, Shelby Station
1892-’93, Roper City Station, where, during the latter part of his second, which is the present year, his health became so much impaired that he was compelled to desist from labor and suffer the unpleasant experience of several weeks confinement to his bed.  While the hand of affliction was thus being heavily pressed upon him, he was called upon to undergo a sorrow of quite a different character in the loss of his beloved wife, daughter of Rev. J. Sanford, D.D., with whom he had happily lived for several years.  And although it seemed impossible from any human standpoint for him to endure the exposure and fatigue of a trip extending from Roper City to Lumberton, yet, excited by an ardent irrepressible love for his departed loved one, he accompanied her remains to the latter place for internment; ignorant of (and perhaps little caring if such should prove)the fact that he too would soon follow to the land where love reigns and sickness is unknown.  Such, however, was the case, for about nine days after her burial his redeemed spirit entered upon its eternal ministry of praise in the City of God.  He died at the residence of his father-in-law on the 17th day of October, 1893.

Brother Finlayson was the descendant of Methodist ancestors, and was an humble sweet-spirited Christian gentleman.  He possessed by nature an intellectual power above the average.  This, with close application to study, soon brought him into prominence among his brethren in the Conference.  During the present year, on his charge, Roper City Station, his ministry was crowned with a gracious revival resulting in the conversion of about thirty souls.  For some hours previous to his death he was in a state of unconsciousness, but just before entering into that condition he was heard distinctly to exclaim, “Ho! Every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.”

During a comparatively short life he was a great sufferer.  For several years at least he writhed within the embrace of that dreadful disease, dyspepsia.  But, believing as we do that “he looked not at the things which are seen but at the things which are unseen,” his afflictions have worked out for him a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

In the quiet cemetery in the town of Lumberton, N.C., his mortal remains were laid to rest beside those of his wife and their only babe.  Sleep on, young father, mother, babe!  He who is “the resurrection and the life” will awaken they dust at his coming.
~F.B. McCall

Journal of the North Carolina Annual Conference,Volumes 52-57 By Methodist Episcopal Church, South. North Carolina Conference

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