William L. Riley

 

Licensed to preach, 1872; admitted to Erie Conference on trial, 1872: admitted into full connection and ordained deacon, by Bishop Peck, 1874: ordained elder, by Bishop Peck, 1876: located, 1887.

Appointments, 1872. Clymer: 1873-4. Leon: 1875-7. Youngsville; 1878. Troy; 1879-81, East Brady: 1882, Edenburg; 1883-6, supernumery 1895. Knox, supply.

The writer knew Brother Riley intimately only after his retirement from active service, as a minister and special agent of the Anti-Saloon League, and the establishment of his home in Kane., Pa., but these years reveal a man so charged with the power of the truth as he saw it, and so fearless in the denunciation of evil, that he still took his place as a leader in the ranks of religious and temperance reform. Few men have excelled him in the power to stir the hearts of men, either in the proclamation of the blessings of Divine salvation, or in the scathing arraignment and unqualified indictment of the atrocious liquor traffic. Both as a pastor for years and as a leader in the temperance movement, he was a very useful man, and won admiring adherents and friends. His vigor of action enabled him to reach and bring to punishment the violators of law, and for several years he was known as a terror to evil-doers, especially to the corrupt liquor dealers of Pennsylvania. But beyond all other qualities and achievements was the magic of high ideals he wove in hundreds of human lives, the impression he left everywhere of a very strong and wholesome life. He was not faultless, as, indeed, who is? but even his faults leaned to virtue. They were the outgrowth of a nature of warm and burning feelings, impatient of indifference, and intent for the time being on one noble object. He is survived by his wife and a family of children who have proved themselves to be valuable citizens and Christian helpers in the communities where they live.

By R. F. Randolph, Memoirs of Deceased Pastors, Journal and Yearbook, Erie Conference, 1912, page 120.

 

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