Mcferrin, James

Mcferrin, James, a distinguished minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Washington County, Va., March 25, 1784. His ancestors emigrated from Ireland to this country about the year 1740. His father was a Presbyterian, a farmer, a strict observer of the Lord's day, and esteemed for his sobriety, good judgment, and intelligence. Mr. McFerrin's educational advantages were very limited, the years of his minority being passed on his father's farm, where, however, he acquired habits of industry, sobriety, and enterprise. On his twentieth birthday he was married to Jane Campbell Berry; shortly after which event he removed from Virginia to Rutherford County, Tenn. The country was new, the settlements exposed to depredations by the Indians; hardships and dangers were consequently inseparable from such a condition of things. Mr. McFerrin gave great attention to military tactics, in which he became thoroughly skilled, and, on the breaking out of the war with Great Britain in 1812, he was called into service, and, as captain of a company of volunteers, was engaged in a campaign against the Creek Indians under that renowned man, general Jackson. On account of his brave conduct at the battle in which the Indians were defeated, Mr. McFerrin was elected colonel. In his thirty-sixth year his whole course of life was changed, the result of which was that he thenceforth devoted himself to the work of the ministry. In 1823 he became a member of the Tennessee Annual Conference, and was appointed to the Jackson Circuit, in the northern part of Alabama. He had charge of this circuit two years. The two subsequent years (1826 and 1827) he traveled the Limestone Circuit, and at the close of this period removed to the vicinity of Courtland, Ala., where he purchased a farm, and remained for several years. This was in the Franklin Circuit, which he traveled in the years 1828 and 1829. During this period he attended the General Conference held in Pittsburg in 1828. He was also a delegate to the General Conference of 1832, held in Philadelphia. At the close of his labors on the Franklin Circuit he was made presiding elder of the Richland District, which he traveled four years. In the year 1834, having determined to remove to Western Tennessee, he deemed it proper to locate for one year, till he should be settled in his new home. In 1835 he was re-admitted into Conference, and appointed to the Wesley Circuit, which he traveled two years. His next appointment was to Randolph and Harmony, for one year; and to the Wesley Circuit for one year (1839), which proved to be the last of his itinerant life. Among his papers is the following record, made in 1839: "Since I joined Conference, Nov. 25, 1823, I have preached 2088 times, baptized 573 adults and 813 infants, and have taken into society 3965 members." Mr. McFerrin died Sept. 4, 1840.

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