Paddock, Benjamin Green

Paddock, Benjamin Green a pioneer preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is noted for his valuable Christian labors in the territory now known as the Wyoming Conference, and covering those portions of the great states of Pennsylvania and New York situated near the much celebrated valley of the Woming. He was born in Bennington, Vt., Jan. 24, 1789. His mother is still remembered as a woman of deep piety. For eighty-five years she lived a holy life. An abiding moral influence was thus exerted upon the domestic circle, and Benjamin was one of the first of a numerous household to give his heart to God. At the age of sixteen he was converted under the Rev. Benjamin Bidlack, and joined the Methodist Church. He entered the itinerant ranks in 1810, when his name. first appears upon the Minutes of Conference. He had labored the preceding year on Westmoreland Circuit under the Rev. James Kelsev. Paddock's work was chiefly in the Wyoming valley and its adjacent mountain region. He had a voice of uncommon sweetness and power, and the effect with which he sang for Jesus is still remembered in that section. Later he was stationed at the important charges of Utica, Canandaigua, and Auburn, and also filled the office of presiding elder for many years. In 1843 he was superannuated, and he never after resumed the active work of the ministry. He took up his residence first at Clinton, where he educated his children at college, and later he lived at Rome, New York. His long life of usefulness closed at last at Metuchen, N.J., Oct. 7, 1872, whither he had gone to enjoy the attentions of his children residing there. His dying hour was most tranquil and joyous. His salutation to his brother, the Rev. Z. Paddock, who reached him the evening previous to his death, while it was characteristic, was most exultant. His last words were, "Farewell; Halleluia, all is well!" Like most of the pioneer preachers of Methodism, Mr. Paddock's early educational advantages had been meagre, and he was dependent upon his own industry for the culture he secured. He studied much and wrote some, but he never became pre-eminent among his fellows for commanding intellect, to judge from his productions as published in the Memoir cited below. "He was a man of magnificent heart. He judged things from the emotions, and to him the good was the test of the true" (Dr. Whedon, in Meth. Qu. Rev. April, 1875, p. 348). See the Rev. Z. Paddock, Memoir of the Rev. B. G. Paddock (New York, 1875, 12mo); Min. of Annual Conferences, 1874, p. 52.

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