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Elder Asa D. Shortt, son of Joseph N. and Mary Thomas Shortt, was born in Floyd County, Virginia, April 17th, 1842, and departed this life in the house wherein he was horn, May 31st, 1917, at the ripe age of 75 years. Tile environments which directly affected the life and career of Elder Shortt were such as are common to most mountain rural districts, making him in his boyhood and manhood as sinewy and rugged as were the hill tops and mountain round about him. Domestic circumstances of life readily adapted him to meet the divine injunction to eat his bread in the sweat of his face all the days of his life, in which he built up and maintained bountiful provisions for himself and family, and the entertainment of his brethren and friends, in which he had great pleasure.


His opportunities for a school education were meager, but being favored with a good degree “Mother wit" he was a good observer and a clear thinker and was regarded as a man of a fair degree of common sense.


At about the time of his majority he entered the army in the Civil War and proved to be a brave and faithful soldier. He was made a  prisoners at the battle of Missionary Ridge, Nov. 1803, and was held in prison at Rock Island, Ill., until March 13th, 1865.


January 9th, 18666 he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah C. Graham, to which union were born ten children, six of whom survive him with their mother.


He received a hope in Christ, Jan. 8th, 1868, and joined the church at Pine Creek and was baptized by Elder Thomas L. Robertson, Saturday before the 1st Sunday in April, 1868; and at the next meeting, in May, he made his first effort to speak in public. With permission to speak in the bounds of the church he continued to exercise until February 4th, 1871, when he was given liberty to make appointments and to take up and speak from a specific text or portion of scripture, and in September 1873, he was ordained to exercise in tile full function of the gospel ministry, by Elders Daniel Conner, G. L Tuggle and W. H. Dodd. In the constitution of the church at County Line, near his home, He became a member there and so remained. He was soon called to the pastorate of the churches at Long Branch, County Line, Paynes Creek, and jointly with Elder H. V. Cole at Salem. As a pastor, he was vigiant and faithful and the churches he served maintained a sound and orderly condition.


Elder Shortt was regarded as sound and clear in principles of gospel discipline, both as to the membership composing the Sister churches and of those composing the Association. He was invariably selected to serve in the counsels of the brethren, and also served a term as moderator of the Association.


Elder Shortt was a man of excellent character as a citizen and a minister of the gospel. His life was a constant reflection of exemplary traits off faithfulness, zeal and holy boldness. He was a man of marked integrity, of sound speech, of pure, plain, simple gospel fashion. He was not self standardized in doctrine, but was ready to grant that some principles of doctrine as held by Borne of his brethren, whom he esteemed as gospel preachers, might not. be prominently embraced in his pecular line of thought.


While there are opposing principles of doctrine, advocated somewhat by some brethren in this section, the one being extreme to the other, neither of which were held by Elder Shortt., he was so sufficiently extended in his belief and advocacy of the general principals of the doctrine as to constitute his ministry, in my judgment, a conservative exposition of the doctrine as believed and advocated by the Primitive Baptists throughout this mountain region and its correspondence.


Some time after (his state of health well suggested the propriety of so doing) he gave up the care of the churches he was serving, and calmly and patiently submitted to whatever time he must abide, even all his appointed time did he wait till his change came.


Several years ago he personally requested Elder H. V. Cole and myself to preach in his memory, should we survive him, and we were favored of the Lord to do so to a large and interested gathering of his brethren and friends.


P. G. Lester

Floyd, Virginia