Obituary for Thomas A. Abbott (d. 1914)
Uncited clippings from the "Mattie Davis Martin Collection" of Doris Martin Jablonski, 1998.
When the sad news was conveyed to us that our brother, T. A. ABBOTT had died a gloom of
sadness was cast over Hawk Point, for it was here that his ministerial life began. When a
mere lad he had come up from St. Louis to operate a farm just south of Hawk Point which
his father owned. In the fall of 1878, during a series of meetings preached by that great
good servant of the meek and lowly Jesus, Timothy FORD in old Hawk Point Christian church,
Bro. ABBOTT made the confession of his faith in Jesus Christ and was buried with him in
baptism and took up His cross to follow Him the balance of his life.
Old Bro. FORD soon discovered that there was a great spiritual force in this lad and saw in him the making of a great servant for the master and he began to encourage the boy to give his time and talent to the service of the Master.
Bro FORD placed his library of books at his disposal and between working hours on the farm the lad spent his time drinking of the knowledge stored therein until some time in the summer of 1897, he was ordained to the ministry and pledged to give his future life to the service of God, the creator of all things.
The writer well remembers hearing the first effort of the lad to preach a sermon. It was over in the old school house in the Kelly school district; and as I look back over the years since then and sum up the work done by this man I know his reception was "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into that haven of rest prepared for the faithful servants of God." In the fall of 1880 he and Bro. R. L. McHATTON, then the pastor of the church at Troy, Mo.
held a meeting with the brethren at Hawk Point, Bro McHATTON doing the preaching and the lad the singing. He was assisted by Aunt Bessie HOLMES, Aunt Susan HAMMONDS, Sister Sallie DAVIS and daughter, Annie, all having passed to their reward long ago.
The results of this meeting was 40 additions by confession and 5 by letter.
This was the beginning of the lads work and almost every church worker in the State of Missouri knows the mighty growth of the mans work.
He served as pastor of a number of churches in Lincoln county, and no roads got too bad, nor weather too cold, nor nights too dark for him to fail to make his appoints. At one time he was serving churches as pastor he organized the churches into the county cooperation and served as its secretary until he left the county. The county work made a great growth while he was at the helm guiding the work, and will be a living monument to his memory. He was always ready to fight for a good cause and when Lincoln county made her first fight of local option he put all the force he had in him to the work and won the victory of the drys and as the county has been dry almost all the time since, is another living monument of his work.
Soon after this the state work had need for him as State Corresponding Secretary, which office duties he faithfully discharged for seventeen [sic].
In October 1912, he was called back to the old home church at Hawk Point to hold a series of meetings. He so often expressed himself during this meeting that while he was happy in being at home in the old church, it made him so sad when he look about for the old familiar faces of Bro Wm. J. HOLMES, A.
L.KENNEDY, T. K. NICKOLS and A. S. HARPER, then absent and all having answered the roll call except J. R. WITT and A. S. HARPER. During this meeting he gave the writer the following statements of the work of his life:
He served as pastor of Hawk Point Christian Church three years, In 1895 he was chosen corresponding secretary of our state work in which place he served faithfully 16 years. Now after 32 years of service in the Masters work has come back to the mother church to preach to us Jesus, Does he come back empty handed? Let us see. He has baptized 1500, has preaches 10,000 sermons, built 25 churches, dedicated 200 churches. In the 16 years of service as secretary of Missouri Christian Missionary Society, he raised and distributed $200,000.00 without borrowing a cent; raised $20,000.00 as a permanent fund for the State Missionary work. Now as a church we are proud of our boy.
In his death I realize Missouri has lost a great man and a great worker in the church. Besides friends all over the state who loved and admired Bro. ABBOTT he leaves a wife and children, brother and sisters, to mourn his death. This is not written as an obituary for I havent sufficient data, but as a tribute to his memory and life by one who loved him as a brother and can join with the family weeping tears of sorrow over the sod that covers the casket that hold the mortal remains of our Brother ABBOTT.
C. A. HARPER
Note regarding clippings from the "Mattie Davis Martin Collection": Mattie Davis Martin (1875-1943) lived all of her life in Lincoln County, MO. She collected a large file of clippings of Lincoln County residents. The majority of the clippings were without citation, and kept stored in an old purse. Doris Martin Jablonski, beneficiary of the collection, has transcribed them for inclusion on our Lincoln County Heritage/Records Page.
File submitted to HERITAGE PAGES of LINCOLN COUNTY, MISSOURI by Doris Martin Jablonski, 23 October 1998.
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