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Rev Samuel Harris
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Birth: Jan. 12, 1723
Hanover County
Virginia, USA
Death: Oct., 1799
Pittsylvania County
Virginia, USA

Born 12 January 1723 in Hanover County, Virginia, perhaps the son of Benjamin Harris and -?-. Moved to Halifax County, 1746. Deputy Sheriff, Lunenburg County, 1748-1752. Moved to Pittsylvania County, 1752. Justice of the Peace, Halifax County, 1753-1758. Commander of Fort Mayo, Patrick County, during French and Indian War, 1755-1757. Reared in the Church of England. Reader in Fork Church, Halifax County, 1747-1751. Vestryman of Antrim Parish, Halifax County, 1754-1757. Became a Baptist through the preaching of William and Joseph Murphy. Baptized by Daniel Marshall, 1759; began meeting with a group of worshipers on Fall Creek which went into the constitution of Dan River Church, Pittsylvania County, 1760. Itinerant preacher in Pittsylvania County and in the adjacent counties of Virginia and North Carolina, 1759-1765. In 1765, he began to expand his activities; by 1787, he is said to have preached "in almost every part of Virginia and in many parts of North Carolina." Ordained, 1769. Planted Fall Creek Church, Pittsylvania County, 1770; minister of Fall Creek Church, 1770-1799 (the church met in his home from its earliest meetings in 1759 until it built its first meeting house in 1771.) Represented Fall Creek Church at first Virginia Separate Baptist Association meeting, 1771.

Minister of Grassy Creek Church, Granville County, North Carolina, 1770-1772. Moderator of the General Association of Separate Baptists, of the General Committee of district associations, of the Roanoke Association and of the Dan River Association. Elected apostle, 1774. Persecuted in Pittsylvania, Culpeper and Orange Counties, Virginia and in North Carolina; imprisoned in Loudoun County. Preached to the troops during the American Revolution; provided supplies for the Revolutionary army and for residents of Pittsylvania County. By 1781, he had accumulated almost 14,000 acres of land in Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties. Died during the spring of 1799 in Pittsylvania County and apparently was buried in the family cemetery on his homestead.

He married before 1760 Lucy Camp (died before 1799.) Survived by three sons and two daughters. Robert B. Semple said of Harris: "His manners were of the most winning sort... As a doctrinal preacher, his talents were rather below mediocrity... His excellency consisted chiefly in addressing the heart and perhaps even Whitefield did not surpass him in this respect..." James Ireland said that Harris "... was like another Paul among the churches." John Leland called Harris "... that great man of God."
(Source: "Virginia Baptist Ministers, 1760-1790, A Biographical Survey, Volume I", by William S. Simpson, Jr., Richmond, VA,1990.) 
Family links: 
  Lucy Camp Harris
Harris Homestead
Pittsylvania County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Family Finder
Record added: Mar 10, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106482771


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