Biographies and Obituaries
We are compiling as many biographies and/or obituaries of the early ministers of Van Zandt County during the years 1848 to 1920 as we can find. Some lived in the county a short time but some lived out their lives here. We welcome submissions if you have an ancestor who was a pastor or minister at any time in this county. Email us, or write to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103.
John Henry Hamblen
According to his autobiography John Henry Hamblen began to preach when he was only 16 years old. He was born in a log cabin in Kaufman County on November 13, 1877. His father J.H. Hamblen was born and reared in west Tennessee in the pioneer days of that state. The family was poor and moved around a lot trying to better their lives. His mother was Matilda, born April 30, 1851, died September 12, 1901. His father was born 1837 and died in 1924. Both are buried at Oakland Cemetery in Van Zandt County.
The young J.H. made application to the quarterly conference for a license to preach on July 4, 1901, in Grand Saline. He married Earnest Williams on December 9, 1900 in Van Zandt County. After they were married he attended school in Myrtle Springs. He spent many years with the Methodist Church preaching at various locations where he was called until after 40 years he withdrew from the old Methodist Church and subsequently organized the First Evangelical Methodist Church in Abilene, Texas. In 1968 he wrote his autobiography while living in Abilene.
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