Bristow, James H

Bristow, James H.

a Methodist Episcopal minister, was born in Clark County, Kentucky, July 26, 1813. He received a liberal education, and on reaching manhood made choice of the law as a profession; but being converted in 1832 he joined the Presbyterians, and soon after was licensed to preach in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He thus continued to labor, first in Kentucky, and afterwards in Ohio. Eventually he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1844 was admitted into the Kentucky Conference. At the unfortunate division of the Church, Mr. Bristow, for peace' sake, though an avowed enemy to slavery, took work in the Church South, in which he filled many of its best appointments, and gained merited distinction in his able defence of some Methodist doctrines which are in direct opposition to popular belief in the region where he was born and reared. In 1852 he was sent as a missionary to California; two years later he returned and united with the Louisville Conference of the Church South. At the beginning of the war Mr. Bristow was intensely southern in feeling and education, as well as association; but he was equally patriotic, and declared, "I am determined to stand by the old flag," which assertion made the Confederates his deadly enemies, and obliged him to flee for refuge to the Louisville Legion, of which he was immediately chosen chaplain, and with it thus remained till near the end of the war. On closing his military career he found no affiliation in his heart for the sentiments of the Church South, and returned to the bosom of his mother Church, procured an upper room in Louisville, Kentucky, and soon formed a religious society, to whom he preached, and with which he labored until it became a strong Church. His last charge was in the city of Paducah, as presiding elder of that district. That was, indeed, pioneer work. He had no supporters, few friends, and many opposers; but he rose superior to every discouragement and obstacle, secured a room in which to hold meetings, organized a Sabbath-school, travelled thousands of miles soliciting money for the erection of a house of worship, was eminently successful, and at his death left there a fine brick edifice worth three thousand dollars, a Church of one hundred and four members and probationers, and a fine. Sunday-school, equipped with a library of one hundred volumes. Mr. Bristow was struck with paralysis April 10, 1869, and on the first of the following March he died. See Minutes of Annual Conferences, 1870, page 24.

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