Capers, William Dd
Capers, William D.D., A bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, was born in St. Thomas's Parish, S. C., Jan. 26, 1790. In 1805 he entered the sophomore class at the South-Carolina College, but left college before the time of graduation, and began the study of law. He 'entered the itinerant ministry in the South-Carolina Conference in 1809, and located in 1815. He was readmitted to the Conference in 1818, and was first elected to General Conference in 1820, and was sent as delegate from the American Methodist Church to the British Wesleyan Conference in 1828. His subsequent posts of duty were, professor of Evidences of Christianity in Columbia College, 1835; editor of the Southern Christian Advocate, 1836- 40; missionary secretary of the southern division of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1840-44; superintendent of colored missions in the Southern States in 1844. In May, 1844, Dr. Capers attended the General Conference held at New York as one of the delegates of the South- Carolina Conference. This was the year in which the great and-slavery agitation in the Methodist Episcopal Church came to its crisis in the division of that body. Dr. Capers took the Southern view of the question, and from that time till the close of his life he was identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church South. At the General Conference of that Church held in 1844 he was elected bishop. The remainder of his life was spent in the discharge of the bishop's office, which he filled with pre- eminent dignity, diligence, and success. Dr. Capers came of a Huguenot family, and his father did gallant service in the Revolution. His house was one of the homes of Asbury and the early Methodist preachers. In the ministry his rise was rapid, and his usefulness and popularity constantly increased. His eloquence in the pulpit was sanctified by the unction of the Holy Ghost, and, though generally smooth and graceful, was at times powerful, and even overwhelming. He was always refined and elevated in thought and life, and labored with earnest fidelity for his Master's cause. His activity of mind and perseverance, together with the weight of his moral power, gave him great influence in his Conference and in the Church. He died in Anderson, S. C., Jan, 29, 1855. He left no literary remains except an autobiography (prefixed to Dr. Wightman's Life of Capers); Catechisms for the Negro Missions; Short Sermons and True Tales for Children (edited by Dr. Summers, Nashville, 18mo). — Summers, Sketches of Eminent Itinerants, p. 75; Wightman, Life of W. Capers, D.D. (Nashville, 1859, 12mo); Sprague, Annals, 7:460.