Thursday, October 18, 2018

Edmund Shackelford (or Shackleford)

White Plains Baptist Church at White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, was organized in 1806. On May 29, 1812, my great-great-great-great grandparents Richard and Sally Parker united with this church on experience of grace and were received (minutes, p. 17). They were possibly baptized by Pastor Edmund Shackelford,[i] though the minutes do not state this. Shackelford served White Plains’ second pastor from June 1810 to January 1818. I found the following death notice/obituary for Shackelford in the Milledgeville, Georgia, newspaper Federal Union, Saturday, October 2, 1830, page 3.

At his residence, in Hancock county, on the 1st inst. the Rev. Edmund Shackleford, aged 49 years, two months and 22 days. He died suddenly of a relapse, after the most pleasing hopes had been entertained of his recovery. A feeling community will sympathise with his pious and afflicted widow and his bereaved children. He was received into the Baptist Church at the early age of 18, soon after which, he began to call upon his fellow creatures “to repent and believe the Gospel,” and within a year or two, was ordained to the ministry. He was very successful in winning souls to Christ, and many most pleasing revivals have existed in the various Churches of which he was from time to time the Pastor. In his pulpit exercise, he was zealous, animated, and often eloquent. He entered with zeal into the benevolent schemes of the day; and by his death the Church has not only been shorn of one of her brightest beams but the cause of Temperance has keen bereft of an able and efficient advocate. The writer of this article well remembers that at the last meeting of the Georgia Temperance Society, many tears were shed under his touching appeals. How mysterious is the Providence of God, how “unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” A little before his death, he summoned his family to his bedside, and addressed them in the most feeling manner upon the important concerns of eternity. He held sweet communion with God throughout his illness, except a momentary darkness which overshadowed his mind a few hours before his death; it was however but for a moment, and again he was enabled to rejoice in God. Even after his speech failed, he manifested by his gestures that all was well with his soul, and that he was dying in the glorious hope of a blessed immortality. The infidel may boast of his vain philosophy, and scoff at the religion of Jesus, but there is nothing which can dispel the awful gloom that hangs around the grave—there is nothing which can sustain the soul when flesh and heart foil, and while the world “recedes and disappears,” but the animating hopes to be found in the gospel.—Southern Recorder.

[i] Biography in Ford’s Christian Repository, Volume 7, p. 288. The January 28, 1829 Augusta Chronicle notes his second marriage in Hancock County, “on Sunday evening the 11th instant, by the Rev. Joseph Roberts, the Rev. Edmund Shackelford, of Morgan county to Mrs. Mary Haygood.”

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