Billingsly John Ashcum
Billingsly John Ashcum a Baptist minister, was born in St. Mary's County, Md., April 24, 1770. When about fourteen years of age he removed to Virginia. He was a very witty and agreeable young man, and uncommonly active; having a fine ear for music, and being an excellent performer on the violin. When about twenty years of age, he was awakened from his vain life, made a public profession of his faith in October, 1794, and at once fully identified himself with the cause of Christ as an active and zealous member of the Church. He was ordained to the work of the ministry in October, 1810, and became pastor of the church at Zoar, Orange Co., Va. Subsequently he ministered to other churches in his native state. He died Aug. 1, 1837, on his plantation called Salem, in Spottsylvania, near Fredericksburg. He was a popular, successful, and indefatigable preacher. Although not educated in the schools, he was always a student and reader of good books. It is said that few men in modern times have been instrumental in the conversion of more sinners or baptized more believing subjects. See Taylor, Virginia Baptist Ministers; Haynes, Baptist Cyclopcedia, i, 96-99.