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John P. Hicks

John P. Hicks, 

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John P. Hicks, was born in Cornwall England. March 4, 1838, and died at Big Run. Pa., Feb. 3. 1912. He came with his parents, Charles and Elizabeth Hicks, to America when he was but four years old, and settled near Cleveland, Ohio. They belonged to the New Connexion branch of Methodism. Brother Hicks was licensed to preach in 1866, admitted on trial in 1867, into full connection and ordained deacon by Bishop Ames in 1869, and elder in 1871, by Bishop Simpson. He married Miss Priscilla Syphrit, Sept. 4, 1873.

One child was born to them, Mrs. Eva Hicks Jeffers, deceased. He leaves his wife, three grandchildren, one brother and two sisters.

He labored as a faithful minister of the Gospel of Christ forty three years; and even after his superannuation in 1910, he was in constant activity and labors in the church he loved so well. He was called by the District Superintendent at various times to supply work in different places on the District. Last fall [1911] he was asked to go to Clarington, one of his former charges, and he had one of the blessed times of his life. They brought to him their children—nineteen in all—that he might lay his hand upon them in holy baptism and bless them.

He was a “fisher of men,” and  God gave to him some souls of large helpfulness. T. D. Collins, of Nebraska, Pa., the liberal giver to our Missions, was among his converts. This instance, referred to by Mr. Collins, himself, on the Conference platform about twenty years ago, gave the writer his first sight and knowledge of him whose memoir is here written. He began his work in the itinerancy at Venango City and closed it at Valier having served twenty-three charges. Last summer he and his faithful wife settled at Big Run, to remain the latter part of their life. Both he and Mrs. Hicks labored with the church here in all its services. He taught a class of boys in the Sunday School, was always with the pastor in the pulpit, and assisted in the services, attended the special meetings, and on Friday night before his death, which occurred on Saturday evening, his prayer at the altar will not be forgotten for its exultation and pleadings. He was at the parsonage nearly every day, to inquire after the health of the pastor and his family, as he was the day of his death, to inquire after the health of the pastor’s wife, and to leave his parting advice and blessing We loved him, and miss him as a friend and father, as a man of God who had but one work, for he said: “When I entered the ministry, I did so for life, only to preach Jesus Christ unto the world to save sinners.” He was faithful to this “calling” unto the last. He “walked with God,” and died the “death of the righteous.” He took his leave in haste, without a farewell spoken. He went at the summons of his God. 

By W. P. Lowthian, Journal and Yearbook, Erie Conference, 1912, pages 110-111


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