and preached more funerals, I expect, than any other one man in Wilson co. during his life. He became very large and fleshy in the latter part of his life, but kept up his monthly appointments, the fourth Sunday at Old Zion Church in Wilson Co., until his death. His picture is now hanging in front of the old pulpit at Zion Church. A highly educated gentleman once. by chance, heard him preach, and, after the sermon, said "Introduce me to that man; he is the best educated gentleman I have heard in many a day." Imagine his astonishment when, in reply to his inquiry, "Where were you educated?" Cousin Wilson said. "I never went to school but six weeks in my life." He spoke the purest biblical language, and it was music to hear him.
James Hearne, son of Purnell, a farmer, six miles east of Lebanon, Tenn., died some thirty years ago -- He raised a large family, to wit: Purnell, Milbry, James, Hardy, Thomas, and Mary Ann. Hardy died in the army in Viginia. Milbry married Miss Johnson, and he and all of his children are dead without issue, except Hardy, who lives in Lebanon and has three children, Miss Estelle Hearne, and the other two I do not know.
Thomas and James are still living in Wilson Co. Purnell is dead long since. His children all farmers and Methodists. Old Uncle James was powerful in prayer.
Rev. Jacob Hearne was a very odd and peculiar man. Early in life he left home and spent five years as a missionary among the Indians where he went I cannot say, but he often said he went where no white man had gone be fore. He came home and went to his room without waking any member of his family. As he came down-stairs next morning, while the family were at breakfast, his mother heard his step and said: "If those are not Jacob's steps, its Jacob's spirit." and sure enough, in walked her long-absent son. I knew him and have heard him preach many times. He could out pray any man I ever listened to. He knew the Bible and the Methodist hymn-book almost by heart. He lived to be very old, and wore a black silk cap, as he had no hair on his head. In his declining years, when he got up to preach, he gave out his hymns and read his lessons of Scripture without a book -- repeated them from memory.
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Copyright (c) 1999, 2007 Brian Cragun.