Collins, John A
Collins, John A.
a distinguished Methodist Episcopal minister, was born near Seaford, Del., 1801. His parents removed to Ohio in 1805, and to Georgetown, D. C., in 1812, and his academical education was obtained at the latter place. Giving early promise of talent, he was placed as a law student in the office of William Wirt; but the plan of his life was changed by his conversion at a camp-meeting in Loudoun Co.,Va., in 1820. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1826 was licensed as a local preacher. In 1830 he entered the itinerant ministry in the Baltimore Conference, and his great talent as a preacher soon gained him a commanding reputation. He filled all the prominent appointments in his Conference as pastor, and served several terms as presiding elder. In 1836 he was elected assistant editor of the Christian Advocate at New York. This office he soon resigned, partly on account of the effect of the climate upon the health of his family, but mainly because he believed he could better serve the Church in the more regular duties of the ministry. Few men in any period of the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church have more successfully preached her doctrines, or more faithfully defended her discipline. He was elected to the General Conference as soon as he was eligible, and to every subsequent one down to the last, when he led the delegation. He had pre-eminent pulpit power. His sermons were marked with great clearness of thought, apt and scriptural Illustrations, and were delivered with elegance of speech, and often with an eloquence, earnestness, and power that were overwhelming. As a debater on the floor of the General or Annual Conference he had few equals, certainly no superior. He died of pneumonia, after a short illness, May 7,1857. — Minutes of Conferences, 1858, p. 16.