Poe, Adam, Dd

Poe, Adam, D.D.

a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, noted for his devotion to its interests, literary, social, and religious, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, July 21, 1804. Such limited advantages as the times and the means of his parents afforded him for acquiring an education were eagerly embraced, and in the schools and by private tuition he secured the elements of a good English education and some knowledge of the classics, and formed a taste for reading and study which he continued through life. He received his early Christian training in the Presbyterian Church, and ever cherished for it a profound respect; but its distinctive doctrines did not find a response in his heart, and after careful examination and many severe spiritual conflicts he preferred the doctrines of religion as taught by the Methodist Episcopal Church. Having decided to give himself to the work of the ministry, to which he felt called of God, he was licensed to preach, and in 1826 became a traveling preacher in the Ohio Annual Conference. He was effective from that date to the time of the illness which resulted in his death; and as a pastor, and in the other capacities in which he served the Church and her cause, he was a most efficient laborer of the Master. Dr. Poe entered the traveling ministry when the work involved sacrifices and demanded labors of no ordinary character. The circuits were of vast extent. An absence from home of twenty-eight days, with a sermon and a class or prayer meeting for each and every day, and a horseback ride of six hundred miles through the forests and the rough roads of the border settlements to complete a single round, was common. Unchecked by heat or cold, through drenching rains or chilling sleet or snow, along miry ways, and for unmeasured reaches of distance, the Christ-loving and Christ-serving itinerant pressed forward in his tireless rounds, hunting up the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and gathering them into the fold of the great Shepherd. No man ever entered the cause with firmer faith, with greater singleness of purpose, or with more unreserved devotion than did Adam Poe. As he began, so he continued to the end. His whole being was rooted and grounded in God. His pastoral appointments were as follows: 1827, on Brunswick Circuit; 1828, on Huron Circuit; 1829, in charge of Wayne Circuit; 1830, on Columbus Circuit; 1831, on Deer Creek Circuit; 1832-3, on Miami Circuit; 1834, Marietta. In 1835 Dr. Poe succeeded the celebrated William B. Christie as presiding elder of Wooster District, and continued on that and the Tiffin District some five years, when his impaired health demanded relief from such exhausting labors. In 1839 he was stationed in Mansfield; in 1840-41, in Delaware; in 1842, presiding elder on Norwalk District; in 1843 in Delaware a second time; in 1844, agent for the Ohio Wesleyan University; 1846, again in Mansfield; 1847-9, on Norwalk or Elyria District. From 1850 to the spring of 1852, he was presiding elder of Mansfield District. At the General Conference of 1852 he was, in a manner highly creditable to himself, elected assistant agent of the Western Book Concern. To this office he was re-elected in 1856. Upon the failure of the health of the Rev. L. Swormstedt in 1860, he was elected principal agent. To this office he was re-elected in 1864. The General Conference of 1868 would have gladly continued him in this relation had it not found him hovering between life and death. He died June 26, 1868. Dr. Poe was a sound thinker, safe rather than brilliant in his theological views, colloquial rather than oratorical in his style of speech, ever interesting and instructive in the pulpit and on the platform. His life was genial and Christian. A man of sterling integrity of character and honesty of purpose, of sound and godly judgment, he enjoyed the confidence of the Church to a degree rarely awarded to living men. Traversing the circuit, laboring in the station, charged with the arduous administration of the expansive district, or managing the vast interests of the Western Book Concern, he was the same sincere-hearted man, with one single purpose, to do well the work committed to him by the Church. This was the grand secret of his success. Dr. Poe had a commanding presence. The spirit of benevolence ruled in his heart, and its winning sunshine beamed in his countenance. He was frank almost to bluntness, yet no one could -mistake the generous impulses of his heart. He was fearless, but his courage was tempered with wisdom. He was social in a high degree; his winning smile, his genial spirit, and the facility and effectiveness with which he drew upon the rich storehouse of anecdote will not soon be forgotten by his intimate friends. Dr. Poe was greatly interested in the educational advantages of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but particularly the Ohio Wesleyan University, of which he may almost be said to have been the founder. His faith in the enterprise, and his devotion to it, were truly heroic. From its inception down to the hour of his death no personal or family interest was dearer to his heart than this grand, central educational institution of the Church in the state of Ohio. I e was a member of the board of trustees from the time of its foundation. See bishop Clark, in the Western Christian Advocate, July 8, 1868; Minutes of the North Ohio Conference, p. 34 sq.; N.Y. Christian Advocate, July 4, 1868. (J. H. W.)

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