Methodist Leaders of Northeast Missouri

The sketches of twenty-five Methodists, ministers and laymen, representing the church in Northeast Missouri had been selected for publication in this chapter. The limitations of space compel the omission of sketches of:

Rev. Dr. Joseph Henry Pritchett
Prof. Richard Thompson Bond
David Kyle Pitman
Rev. Moses Upshard Payne
Thomas Shackleford
Rev, Dr. William F. McMurry
Prof. T. Berry Smith
Rev. William B. Wheeler
Rev. Jesse Andrew Wailes
Rev. Solomon Harman Milam
William Omar Gray
Arthur Ferdinand Davis
Rev. Charles Bernand Duncan
Rev. Howard Lorenzo Davis
Rev. Wesley W. McMurry
Judge Lloyd H. Herring
Rev. Dr. J. P. Nolan
Rev. Dr. O. E. Brown
Thomas E. Thompson
William McMurray
John J. Hewitt
Prince Dimmitt

Sketches are appended, however, of the two great bishops of the Methodist church, Enoch M. Marvin and Eugene R. Hendrix, whom Northeast Missouri has given to the world.

Bishop Enoch M. Mather Marvin

Enoch Mather Marvin was born in Warren County, Missouri, June 12, 1823. Catherine Mather was the mother of his grandfather, Enoch Marvin. Both families were of English descent, Reinold Marvin, who came to America about 1637 from Essex County, was baptized in St. Mary's church, Great Bently Parish, England, June 7, 1593. This old church was built in 1089 by Alberic de Vere, a favorite of William the Conqueror, and founder of the family long enjoying the title of Earl of Oxford. At first a private chapel, it came at last by successive assignments under the patronage of the Bishops of St. Albans. Here many of our ancestors worshiped and their bones rest about its consecrated walls.

Amid the rude surroundings of a Missouri farm near a century ago Enoch Mather Marvin was reared. His parents were lovers of learning and he early evinced a longing for books. Awake to nature, too, every voice of earth or sky struck a responsive chord in his sensitive soul. In person tall and angular, long of neck and limb, leaning forward as he walked; large feet, slender white hands, pale face, rather high cheek bones, eye between hazel and gray, slightly drooping eyelids, black hair, high forehead, voice full and deep, yet mellow

His mental grasp was quick, strong, and comprehensive; the organizing and executive faculties were not wanting. Both the analytic and synthetic seemed to be the natural mode of his mind's working and his contemplative disposition carried him into the highest regions of human thought.

At times his preaching became rapturous and was laden with a strange, magnetic influence that cannot be described and a pathos whose power was irresistible; yet all the while one felt that his thoughts had been guided by a sober judgment and his emotions had not borne him beyond the limits of self-control. His imaginative powers he kept under strict surveillance and in his most enthusiastic moods was economical with language. Betrayed into no wild flights of fluent fancy, he packed his thoughts into the fewest words and every sentence became a glowing picture.

In the social circle his rich humor often gave forth ''flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar." Too sincere to be adroit, he yet, in his dealing with men, avoided many difficulties by a tact that was born of love.

For family and friends he would have given his life; to an enemy generous, yet prompt to condemn what he thought unjust and, while sensitive to a wrong, he was above retaliation.

Unselfishly and humbly, yet faithfully and fearlessly he sought to do his life work. His love for God and men was the heart-throb of his being and the flame of his zeal consumed his life. Stricken with pneumonia at his home in St. Louis, he sank gently into his last sleep about 4 o'clock on Monday morning, November 26, 1877.

Perhaps the greatest work of his useful life was what he did for Central College, Fayette, Missouri.

Bishop Eugene Russell Hendrix

Bishop Eugene Russell Hendrix was born in Fayette, Missouri, May 17, 1847. He was born and reared in a Methodist home, both parents, Adam Hendrix and Isabel J. Hendrix, being members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He was converted during a great revival held in Fayette, Missouri, March 14, 1859, and joined the church the same date under the ministry of the Rev. S. W. Cope. He was the first penitent in the great revival held at Fayette that spring; he had been under conviction since the previous spring, but supposed he was too young to ask for the prayers of the church; his mother knelt by him as he gave his heart to God. His religious life was deeply quickened when he felt called to preach the Gospel and his life as a student for forty-five years has led him ever nearer to God. He was licensed to preach in Middletown, Connecticut, when a student at the Wesleyan University from 1864 to 1867 the Rev. J. J. Pegg being the preacher in charge. He was recommended for admission on trial by the Quarterly conference at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was serving as a supply in the summer of 1869, and was received into the Missouri conference in 1869, the Rev. W. M. Rush, D. D., presiding elder, and Bishop Geo. F. Pierce, presiding. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Pierce in his room at Chillicothe, Missouri, in 1869, the Bishop being unable to preach or attend the public services on that day; was ordained elder by Bishop H. N. McTyeire in September, 1870, at Leavenworth, Kansas. The appointments filled are: Leavenworth, Kansas, 1869-1870; Macon, Missouri, 1870-1872; Francis Street, St. Joseph, Missouri, 1872-1876, Missionary tour around the world, 1876-1877; Glasgow, Missouri, 1877-1878. President of Central College from 1878 to 1886. Elected and ordained Bishop in 1886. Several hundred persons were received into the church under his ministry while pastor from 1869 to 1878 and he has ordained more than one thousand deacons and elders. He attended Central College until it was suspended during the Civil war, then the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut, where he was graduated in 1867; he attended also the Union Theological Seminary, New York, graduating from there in 1869. He was married to Miss Anne E. Scarritt, June 20, 1872, and his children are: Mrs. Evangeline I. Waring, Mrs. Mary M. Simpson, Nathan Scarritt Hendrix and Helen C. Hendrix. He considers the founding of the Korean Mission as being possibly the most important event in his life.


© Missouri American History and Genealogy Project
Created August 16, 2017 by Judy White

Source: History of Northeast Missouri, edited by Walter Williams, Volume I, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913