Monday, July 23, 2012

Update of My "Crowd of Witnesses"

I don't know why I've been so blessed with passionate and faithful preaching blood. Most of the 30 pastors on my family tree (yes, that's right, 30, and that doesn't count the ones that are still alive!) are Methodist though there are those of other faith traditions as well.

It's deep in my bones to love sharing the gospel. After a couple of years of continued research, I have updated my "Crowd of Witnesses" including those pastors that are on my family tree.

I keep this list handy in my Bible and look over it when I need encouragement or when my spirit is nourished by feeling grounded in their spirits.

Steve’s “Crowd” of Witnesses
Some of the communion of saints surrounding Stephen Pierce West.
They are pastors I am related to.

Rev. Isaac Taylor
Methodist Circuit Rider in Alabama, Mississippi, 3rd Great Grandfather on Hamby side, accused of murdering wife, name cleared when found she had left him and children for Texas

Rev. Harris Taylor
Methodist Circuit Rider, 3rd Great Grand Uncle on Hamby side, story of shaft of light appearing on grave at funeral

Rev. William Taylor
Methodist Circuit Rider, 3rd Great Grand Uncle on Hamby side, founder of Taylor Memorial UMC with prominent gravestone

Rev. Nathaniel Henderson Self
1st cousin 4x removed (descended from Isaac's sister Catherine), Methodist pastor

Rev. Gordon Ware
Cousin on Granny Hamby’s Taylor side, Methodist pastor, my Candidacy Mentor when I didn’t know we were related (had dinner several times)

Rev. William Blackburn
Husband of 1st cousin 4x removed, Methodist pastor, married Isaac Taylor’s niece after clearing his name

Rev. William Thomas HambyGreat Grand Uncle, brother of Grandpa Charles P. Hamby, Methodist pastor

Rev. Gene Malcolm “Mack” Hamby
1st cousin once removed on Mom’s side, Methodist pastor and evangelist who traveled world

Rev. Charlie P. Hamby, Sr.
Grandfather on mother’s side, Methodist pastor and “pistol packing” evangelist, husband of poet and painter Louie Ann Williams

Rev. Warren Hamby, Sr.
Uncle, Methodist pastor, brother of my mom, pastor of Trinity UMC in Huntsvilleand Gallaway Memorial in Jackson, after being a DS he raised local church capital funds with GBGM

Rev. J. Pierce West, Sr.
Grandfather on father’s side, Methodist pastor who died when I was 4, descended from Garrisons on his grandmother’s Hagood side

Rev. Thomas Maxwell
Early American Anglican-turned-Baptist pastor, ancestor of Dad’s mother, persecuted and jailed, defended by Patrick Henry, historical figure

Rev. Charles Higginbotham
7th great grandfather, first missionary to Barbados, ancestor of Jane Higginbotham Maxwell, Gene Maxwell's grandmother

Rev. Robert Hill Thompson
1st cousin 4x removed, grandson of ancestor Joseph Robert Thompson of the Thompsons and Wills buried at Midway UMC

Rev. Jedediah Garrison
5th Great Grandfather, helped found the Mt. Pleasant society in Georgia, revolutionary war soldier, ordained deacon with a number of pastor descendants

Rev. Levi Garrison
4th Great Grandfather, ancestor of Dad’s father, early American Methodist pastor in SC, son of the older Jedediah

Rev. David Garrison
4th Great Grand Uncle, brother of Levi and son of Jedediah, ordained by Frances Asbury, pastor in GA

Rev. Thomas Coke Prickett
Husband of 2nd cousin 4x removed, married Louisa E. Garrison, daughter of direct ancestors Levi and Nancy Garrison, twin of Rev. Asbury Pope Prickett

Rev. Asbury Pope Prickett
Brother of husband of 2nd cousin 5x removed, twin brother of Rev. Thomas Coke Prickett above

Rev. Jedediah Garrison
1st cousin 5x removed, grandson of Jedediah through Caleb Capias Garrison, buried Damascas Road near Mt. Pleasant

Rev. Michael Box Garrison
1st cousin 5x removed, grandson of Jedediah and son of Caleb Capias also,trustee Mt. Pleasant

Rev. Thomas Wesley Garrison
1st cousin 5x removed, also grandson of Jedediah but through James Caleb Garrison, founded Wesley Chapel in Cobb Co. and donated the 4.5 acres of land for it and the school, Civil War

Rev. Levi B. Garrison
1st Cousin 5x removed, son of David (nephew of my ancestor Levi), Methodist local pastor in GA

Rev. Levi Garrison
2nd Cousin 5x removed, cousin of my ancestor Levi Garrison and child of Jedediah’s brother or half-brother Ebenezer, Methodist pastor, opposed slavery, freed 12 slaves from wife’s dowry once they married

Rev. David Garrison
2nd Cousin 5x removed, cousin of my ancestor Levi Garrison, also son of Ebenezer, Methodist pastor, disagreed with brother Levi over slavery, started Corner Greek Church near Dothan, AL

Rev. Jedediah Asbury Meaders
1st Cousin 5x removed, nephew of my ancestor Levi, Methodist pastor in GA, farmer and wagon shop owner

Rev. Andrew Jackson “Bud” Latham
Married to 2nd Cousin 4x removed, private and ambulance driver in Civil War, Methodist pastor in GA

Rev. Jeremiah Winster
Father-in-law of 3rd great grand uncle Henry Garrison (painter, confederate private), London

Rev. Jim McKay
Uncle who was licensed as a local pastor and served for a short time, from Guin,AL

Rev. Howard Erwin
Uncle who was licensed as a local pastor and served the Philadelphia church inGuinAL

Living relatives that will join the crowd one day are Rev. C.P. Hamby (uncle), Rev. Ed Self (cousin on Taylor side), Rev. J.P. “Pete” West, Jr. (father), Jonathan Todd (husband of Williams cousin, Susan), and my beloved wife, Rev. Sandra O’Quinn West. My wife has ancestry in the clergy, too, including her 3rd great grandfather, John G. Jones, Mississippi church historian.