Pitman, Charles, Dd
Pitman, Charles, D.D.
a pioneer preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born near Cookstown, N. J., January, 1796. He early embraced religion, became a local preacher in 1817, and the next year joined the Philadelphia Conference. At once he obtained popularity with all hearers, occupying, from time to time, the most important stations and districts in the Philadelphia Conference. In the year 1841 he was elected corresponding secretary of the Missionary Society. His health failing in 1850, he resigned this office and retired to Trenton, passing serenely and faithfully from life, Jan. 14, 1854, and leaving a name for Christian purity, consistency, ministerial ability, and usefulness which thousands delight to remember. He possessed a strong memory, a quick perception, with discriminating judgment, and a holy evangelical fervor stamped his pulpit labors. Dr. Pitman had not many equals as a public speaker, His oratory was emphatically not scholastic, but, like the great Patrick Henry's, the true eloquence of nature. Although Dr. Pitman was an extemporaneous preacher, he carefully used his pen in preparations for the pulpit. Many sermons he wrote in full, not to read or memorize them, but for the purpose of properly disciplining his thoughts and language, and for useful reference. Emphatically a preacher of Christ, the precious atonement became his favorite theme, and immense multitudes hung delighted upon his lips while he held up a crucified Savior. All who heard believed him to be a man of God, preaching with divine unction, and they received in faith the words of truth which he uttered. Dr. Pitman had a fine, large head, moderately high forehead, and slightly sunken eyes, his likeness strongly resembling that of the celebrated Robert Hall of England. See New Jersey Memorials of Methodism; Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. 7.