The subject of this sketch was the eldest son of A. B. and Nancy Summar, and was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, seven miles east of Murfreesboro, May 15, 1819. He was of German, English and French extraction. When he was a small boy his father moved near Auburn, in what is now Cannon County. He grew up on a farm, with but little education, until he was nearly grown, when he attended McNight Academy. He professed religion in 1839 and united with the Separate Baptist wing of Sander's Fork (now Auburn) Church, and was baptized by Elder John Whitlock, a leading minister in that movement. He was ordained by this same branch of the church, May 10, 1840. (See sketch of Auburn Church.) The Presbytery which ordained him consisted of Elder John Harris and Deacons Anthony Summar and B. F. Odum. Two years after his ordination the wounds in this church were healed and the two branches came together and gave him access to the entire brotherhood. Having assumed the ministry as his life work, he felt the need of a broader education. He attended some academic schools, later going to Wirt College (which afterward became Enon College), and finally to Union University at Murfreesboro. He became well educated, and this, coupled with his strong native intellect, made him one of the deepest thinkers and best reasoners of his day. He married Miss Malvina N. Wood, a young teacher and noble Christian woman, who still remains on the confines of this life, waiting till the shadows are a little longer grown. They never had any children, and she often accompanied her husband on his tours of preaching, and was a great stay to him in his work. He was very active in the ministry and traveled and preached a great deal. He perhaps rendered a greater service to the denomination in meeting the advocates of error than any other way. He met in debate some of the leading polemics of the Methodists, Presbyterians, Campbellites and Universalists. He never indulged in flings and epithets, but, with the Bible and his convincing logic, he simply overwhelmed his adversary. I have often heard those who were present speak of a debate he had at Sparta, Tenn., with a leading Campbellite, in which he carried everything before him.
He was strong of build, and retained his full vigor up to his last sickness. He died of pneumonia. He lived to the ripe old age of seventy-six years. He passed under the wave October 13, 1896, at his country residence, in Sumner County, Tennessee. His ashes sleep in the cemetery at Siloam Church, Macon County, Tennessee. He was buried with appropriate services, and a marble monument marks the place where he sleeps. The devotion between him and his wife was touchingly beautiful.