Rev. Benjamin F. Wade

 


biography

 

 

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Rev. Benjamin F. Wade was born in June, 1835, at Bristolville, Ohio, where he resided till he entered the Erie Conference in 1863. He passed away at the home of his son Frank, in Cleveland, Oct. 14, 1910. He was one of a class of twenty-three, the largest ever admitted to the Conference, seventeen of whom have passed over the river two are still in the active service. In 1858 he married Harriet A. Clark of Southington, Ohio, a lovely character, and most efficient co-laborer in all his active ministry. To this union was born one son, active in the church in Cleveland. Mrs. Wade died at Chautauqua Sept. 2, 1899, and was buried at Portland. In July. 1906, Brother Wade married Mrs. Prudence Haughton, a most estimable woman of Southington, whom he had known from boyhood. She ministered to him faithfully, and was his noble companion the remainder of his days. Brother Wade’s charges were Claridon, O.; Hendersonville. Pa.; Hudson, Charlestown, Tailmadge, Edinburg, Bedford, 0.; Edinboro, Waterford, Pa.; Randolph. Little Valley, Mayville, Portland, N. Y.; Millerstown. Evansburg, Millvillage, Girard, Pa., and Portland, N. Y. He came in the days when fierce discussions were raging. In his youth he was familiar with the men who were persecuted for liberty. His uncle “Ben,” familiarly called, was one of the strong personalities in Northern Ohio, rough he was, but mighty in halls of legislation. Growing up amid such clashing of intellectual and moral forces, his very soul was permeated with the spirit of a new age. Not that he was a battler, but the elements of strength and nobility were strongly marked. There are placid faces, sweet faces, beautiful faces, may be winsome, vet express nothing, have no outlines, no virility, no passion for humanity. Tall, erect, slender, he stood like a pillar supporting great things; wiry, graceful, he seemed meet for the struggles, battles, toils of a long life; a scholar of no mean attainments, he was equipped for the questions of church and state, thoroughly furnished for every good word and work.  He had not so much the skill of growing roses in his sermons as he possessed the art of handling great thoughts and truths; stronger, than winsome. There were no empty gold plates on his table. His people never lacked the substantials of the gospel. Shams did not grow in his dooryard. When a certain doctor was growing rich in his publications and mysterious “heal everything,” he pricked the bubble of his greatness, and publications and mystery and doctor disappeared from view. The truths of redemption were grasped and forcefully presented. Not a prophet heralding “maybes;” not a dweller in the good old past, just a plodder, just a digger, just minting the coin of the kingdom, just living in the heart of God day by day: just a plain, everyday honest, strong, noble-minded son of God; just a true, loving father; just such a husband as a wife loves and honors and trusts; just such a friend as holds through thick and thin; just such a pastor as people long remember for his Godlikeness. He was a sturdy financier for the church. He was scrupulously exacting to the church property. A country church down at the heels is a plague-spot, an eyesore; but a neat, well-kept house of God is a perpetual inspiration to cheer and hope. The gospel can be in the house as well as in the pulpit. “Mine” and “thine” in the preacher make bold outlines in the laity. When a man’s word is slipshod, all the roses that smile and breathe perfume will not hide the defect. When a man grows loose-jointed in his make-up, his church will be wabbly. From within his sanctuaries went many a strong character to enrich the centers of life in the cities. There is more depending on the country parson than on the city, because city churches are absorbing the country life. His life centered in a gem, shines out to all of us. ‘‘Toil on, brother, there are golden harvests. Look up, brother, God is overhead. All the bright things are in the sky. Darkness, doubt are underneath.

When the day is done thou wilt find no night, but home, and God’s eternal day.” Brother Wade was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Portland, N. Y., where he twice served as pastor. It was golden autumn day. Many friends and old parishioners were present. The Rev. H. H. Clare, pastor at Portland, had charge of the funeral service; the Rev. R. C. Smith and the Rev. R. N. Stubbs, classmates, assisted. After a few appropriate remarks by the writer, an impressive burial service, we turned again to the building of the kingdom. 

Written by R. N. Stubbs. Memoirs of Deceased Preachers, Erie Conference Journal and Yearbook, 1911, pages 119-121.

 

                                                         

                      

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