Biography - John Record

The following brief memoir is based upon information received from the surviving wife of the deceased, and other friends; and from personal knowledge of the writer; and written by special request of one of Elder Record's traveling companions in the ministry. - PETER LONG.
John Record was born in some of the first years of the present century, (exact date not known by the writer,) in Chatham Co., North Carolina. His father, as we have been informed by some who knew him, removed from Carolina to Tennessee, and became himself a distinguished Baptist preacher. Here his family grew up, and his son John removing to Illinois, married Miss Lucy McManus. The writer is not informed whether the union took place in Tennessee or Illinois.
The subject of this sketch became seriously concerned for the welfare of his soul in 1832, and obtaining a satsifactory hope of forgiveness of sins was baptized by Elder Stephen Coonrod in November of the same year, and was licensed by Shiloh Church to preach the gospel, September 14, 1833, and set apart by ordination, December 13, 1834. The ministers composing the presbytery at the time of his ordination were, William Rogers, Thornton Sheppard, John Howerton, and Stephen Coonrod.
His wife, in a late letter to the writer, says, "he has labored chiefly the counties of Macoupin, Greene, Scott, Morgan, and Sangamon. He has spent nearly the last ten years of his life in riding and preaching the gospel in different parts of the country. He has baptized a great many - as to the number, I cannot say."
Brother Record was a most attractive speaker. I have heard him several times in my life at Associations, and he was sure to arrest the attention in a short time of such as, under less impressive preachers, would be nodding, whispering, or forming groups in the outskirts of the congregation, or walking round. But more than this - his labors seemed to be abundantly blessed to many souls and, as his surviving wife writes, he spent nearly entirely all his time for many of the latter years of his life in traveling and preaching, and will be much missed hereafter in those parts where he labored so abundantly; yet we trust that He who holds the "stars (ministers) in his right hand" has or will supply the deficiency, by raising up others in his stead.
He has left a wife, several children, and a host of brethren and friends, who mourn his departure while almost in the prime of life and in the midst of his usefulness. The following lines may be somewhat descriptive of Record preaching to a congregation assembled in a grove.
Behold him rise - a noble form indeed,
His visage manly, and his gestures bland:
The wide spread audience gives the better heed,
For, lo! 'tis Record now that fills the stand.
He speaks, and guilty sinners trembling cry,
And stand condemn'd by God's most righteous law;
He points to Jesus, and with lifted eye
They look to Christ, and peace and comfort draw.
Fill'd with fresh zeal, his language louder grows,
While many a heaving bosom round him swell,
His own transported with emotion glows,
To paint the joys of heaven and pains of hell.
The sermon done - the preacher takes his seat,
While smothered sobs, and shouts still murmur round;
O may the impressions made be deeply set,
And useful after many days be found.
This distinguished servant of God departed this life February 13, 1858.

Source: Zion's Advocate, 1858, Vol. 5, No. 20, pp. 315-316.

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