Thomas, Enoch

Thomas, Enoch a Presbyterian minister, was born Dec. 31, 1805, at St. George's, Newcastle Co., Del. He was prepared for college at the Phillips Academy at Andover, Mass., under John Adams, principal, and was graduated from Amherst College in 1833. About this time he united with the Second Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, Del. He then engaged for six months as assistant teacher in a seminary at Newark, Del., after which he entered Princeton Seminary, N. J., and remained there until near the close of 1835, when he left because of feeble health. He was licensed by the Wilmington Presbytery Oct. 14, 1835, after which he began to labor as a missionary in Rockingham Counnty, Va. He was ordained sine tutela by the Lexington, Presbytery at High Bridge Church, Va., June 17,1837.. For about a year he preached at Union, Port Republic, and Shilohi where his labors were blessed and large Congregations attended his ministry. Having accepted a call to Shemariah Church, Augusta Co., Va., he was installed as pastor Dec. 1, 1838. His health having improved, and the community having provided an academy, Mr. Thomas also commenced a classical school, which became in a short time quite flourishing. But the united duties of pastor and teacher were too onerous, and he was, at his own request, released from his former charge, Oct. 12,1843. This was his only pastoral charge. Thenceforth he resided about eighteen years at Beverly, Randolph Co., and labored as a missionary in that and several adjacent counties, ranging over a wide extent of wild and mountainous country, preaching in court-houses, jails, school-houses, barns, and private houses, wherever any would gather to hear the Word of God. There was no minister nearer on the west than Clarksburg, and on the south-west than Parkersburg. Much of the wide region he traversed was a mountain wilderness; often his only road was an obscure path; dangerous rivers were to be forded; and many of the best people were living in log-cabins, often in a single room. But he enjoyed the work, gladly breaking the bread of life to the hungry and the starving. The breaking-out of the Civil War, in 1861, stopped his work, and his mission field became a scene of strife. Having removed his family from Beverly to Craigsville, Augusta Co., he occasionally supplied, during the war, the churches of Windy Cove, Warm Springs, and Lebanon. After 1865 he preached as opportunity; offered. He generally taught school in the winter season. For several of his last years he suffered severely from chronic throat-disease. He died at Craigsville, Jan. 25, 1879. (W. P. S.)

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