Finley, James Bradley
Finley, James Bradley one of the most distinguished and useful pioneers of Methodism in Ohio, was the son of the Rev. R.W. Finley, and was born in North Carolina July 1, 1781. He received a good education from his father. In 1801 he married, and settled in what is. now Highland County, Ohio. In 1802, while returning from a camp-meeting in Kentucky, he was converted. He at once felt called to preach, but refused to obey, lost, all religion, and lived for seven years a- worse sinner than before. At the end of this time he was again converted, and immediately began to persuade his wicked neighbors to seek God, and soon formed a-large society. , In 1809 he entered the Western Conference, travelled with great success for six years, and was in 1816-21 presiding elder on Steubenville, Ohio, and Lebanon Districts. Through the labors of John Stewart, the colored preacher, and Between- the-Logs, a converted chief, a great revival had begun among the Wyandotte Indians at Upper Sandusky. Thither Finley was sent in 1821, and spent six years of labor, suffering, and glorious success among the Indians. After his removal he still had supervision of the mission, and-from 1829 to 1845 served the Church as preacher or presiding elder in the principal cities of Southern Ohio. He served as chaplain of the Ohio Penitentiary, at Columbus, from 1845 to 1849, when his health failed, and he was made superannuate. He was afterward appointed to Clinton Street, Cincinnati (from him named Finley Chapel). His last appointment was that of Conference missionary. He was thus forty-five times a delegate to the, General Conference. He died. Sept. 6, 1856, in Cincinnati. Both in character and labors he was an extraordinary man. His zeal, his indomitable courage, which the Indian chiefs both respected and feared, his sympathy and his integrity, gave him a dominant control over men of all professions and conditions. His eloquence in the pulpit, especially at camp-meetings, often brought down thousands almost at a stroke, and wherever he went conversions were multiplied. He published an Autobiography (Cincinnati, 1854, 12mo) :--Wyandotte Mission (12mo) :-Sketches of Western Methodism (Cincinnati, 1857, 12mo):Life among the Indians (Cincinnati, 1857, 12mo):- :Memorials of Prison Life (Cincinnati, 1860, 12mo).-. Minutes of Conferences, 6:441; Autobiography of J. B. Finley (Cincinnati, 1854); Stevens, History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, vol. iv.