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Jehu Wilborn "J W" Chism, Sr
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Birth: Apr. 1, 1865
Comanche County
Texas, USA
Death: Feb. 16, 1935
Ardmore
Carter County
Oklahoma, USA

Getting Acquainted With Our Preaching Brethren: J.W. Chism
by J. H. Childress

The parents of J.W. Chism came from Mississippi to Texas in an early day, and settled in Comanche Co., then Mercer's colony, which at that time was the extreme frontier of Texas. They were both Christians, as were their families before them. His father, Jehu M. Chism, served nine years in Texas frontier service. His mother was the daughter of Dr. Mac Hackworth, one of the pioneers of the reformation in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Like Timothy, he has two generations of faithful servant of God behind him. J.W. (Jehu Willborn) Chism was born the last year of their stay in Comanche Co., on April 1, 1865. He was baptized under the preaching of Ed Stirman, at Crystal Falls, Texas, when in his fifteenth year. He had read the New Testament through when a boy of thirteen, and began a careful study of the New Testament. He read the Revised Version the year it came out, and has since continued to search the scriptures. On May 4, 1890, he was married to Miss Fanny Campbell, daughter of G.M. Campbell of Joshua, Texas. To this union were born six children, three girls and three boys (Four of whom are still living, three girls and one boy, on boy having died when nine, and the oldest, Matt Hugh being killed on the battlefields of France, Nov. 1, 1918. J.W. Chism began preaching the fourth Sunday in April, 1891, at the urgent demand of the elders at Joshua, of whom G.M. Campbell was one. Fanny proved to be a companion indeed, and a helper in his work as a minister. She was always willing to make the necessary sacrifices that he might devote his whole time to preaching. During the first year of his ministry, he preached twenty-seven times, and in the beginning of his second year he conducted his first religious debate. This was followed by a second in November of the same year, and a third in February of the next year. June, the third Sunday, 1892, he began his first protracted meeting. He preached eleven sermons, all he could then preach, and baptized ten, all of whom were grown people. From that time his work as a preacher began to call him for other work, and by 1893 he was kept busy all the time. For years following, he could fill scarcely a tenth part of the calls he has for meetings. Fanny died in 1906, leaving him with six children, the oldest, a girl not quite fifteen, and a baby boy of three. This was the hardest blow of his life. The next year he was married to Miss Burts Kemper, of Lufkin, Texas; who prove to be all that he could hope for as a mother to his children and as a helper in his work as a minister. She, too, was willing to make all sacrifices needful, working with her own hands, to care for and direct the children In his absence so that he might continue to preach. To this union two children were born, a girl and a boy. All of his children obeyed the gospel when young. Soon after he began preaching, he took up the study of Greek, and a few years later, the study of Hebrew. Both of these studies he has always kept up. This has been a great aid to him in his critical Bible study. He has devoted many years not only to a study of these two languages, but to history as well, both profane and ecclesiastical. He at one time had accumulated a wonderful library, more than a hundred volumes of history, with many other rare books. But fire, in 1917, starting next door to him, swept them all away. This was a heavy loss, as most of the histories had been carefully read and indexed. Two o'clock in the morning often found him still at his studies. But he has accumulated another good library. He evangelized summer and winter until 1916, when he began local work at Hillsboro, Texas. During the years spent on the field, and also since, he had many more calls for work that he could reach, so that he has always turned much work to other preachers, supplying several preachers each year with almost full-time work. He has been called by the churches to represent them in more than two hundred debates. (Fire having destroyed his recorded, he only numbered those that he could call to memory). These lasted for four days to fourteen days, the great majority of them being six days or longer. The time put in debating, counting four hours, two services the day, would run a bit over seven years and six months straight time, counting Sundays as well as weekdays. Twice he has baptized his opponent, and has often baptized many others as well at close of debates. Since 1916 he has done local work most of the time, beginning at Hillsboro, where he resigned the local work, he remained one of the bishops until he moved away. Sometime ago, he resigned the work at Ardmore, and has since been giving his time to protracted meetings. He has no definite record of the number baptized under his ministry, but they run into the thousands (possibly ten thousand or more). Though his health broke tow years ago, with a long siege of influenza, which life his throat in bad condition, at present he is home recuperating. His doctor says that he should yet be able to do many years of good work in the Master's vineyard. For the past twenty-five years he has helped more solve the hard problems of the Bible, and he has always delighted in helping the young preachers who have appealed to him for assistance. During his whole ministry, he has steadfastly opposed innovations, and has never swerved from the New Testament position. He has received calls from every state in the union, save one. However, he has refused some of the distant calls, for he has felt that he could do just as effective work without going too far from his home base. His principal work has been in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, but he has occasionally labored in Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas. Brother Chism was an associate editor for the Firm Foundation for many years. He has had published one serried of lectures on Daniel. (This work has been revised and greatly enlarged, and is now ready for the printer..) He has written several other books: "The Church and Its Membership," "Debated with Jon W. Ring, Spiritualist," and sever al tracts. Al these publications are now out of print (The debate with Mr. Ring was published by Dr. Tolison and Mr. Ernst.) Brother Chism has also prepared the manuscript for a book against infidelity in its modern form, and is contemplating other writings. An active preacher and a diligent student. Brother Chism is universally recognized as one of the best thinkers in the brotherhood. óJ.H. Childress, Firm Foundation, Vol. 51, No. 46; Tuesday, November 13, 1934 page 2.

Gospel preacher and debater listed in The Encyclopedia of Religious Debates by Tommy Thrasher. Debates:

More than 100 debates by 1911. Baptized two of his debate opponents.
J. G. Webb (Primitive Baptist Church); ?April 1892; Chism's 1st debate
_ (?); November 1892; Chism's 2nd debate
_ (?); February 1893; Chism's 3rd debate
Stanley J. Clark (Atheist)
J. G. Webb (Primitive Baptist Church); February 1894
_ Pirtle (?); 1901; baptism
S. A. Paine (Primitive Baptist Church); before 1911
John Willis Ring (Spiritualist); Headrick, OK; August 20-_, 1907. Proposition: "Resolved, That the fundamental principles of Modern Spiritualism are identical with the spiritual basis of the religion of Jesus Christ." (Ring affirmed, Chism denied). Book publication: The Great Debate. Headrick, OK: Ernst & Tolleson, 1908.
_ Cathburn (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints); Riverview school (near Waurika), OK;; January 23-26, 1909; church. [Firm Foundation, Vol. 25, No. 9 (March 2, 1909), 4]
Ben M. Bogard (Missionary Baptist Church); Tenaha, TX; February 9-12, 1909; 8 sessions. Proposition 1: "Man is so depraved, or disposed to sin, that he cannot come to God, and in his conversion God sometimes uses His word with additional power and sometimes without the word." (Bogard affirmed, Chism denied). Proposition 2: "The kingdom or church of Christ was established on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus." (Chism affirmed, Bogard denied). [Firm Foundation, Vol. 25, No. 9 (March 2, 1909), 5]
Henry Stetson (Baptist Church); _, ?OK
Henry Stetson (Baptist Church); _, ?OK; Stetson baptized during this debate
Ben M. Bogard (Missionary Baptist Church); Morse, OK; October 6-12, 1914; 7 days
Ben M. Bogard (Missionary Baptist Church); Locust Bayou, AR; December 1-6, 1914; 6 days
J. N. Cowan (Church of Christ);
J. F. Crosswell (Second Adventist Church); Sulphur, OK; 1929
C. A. Smith (Baptist Church); Cold Springs, _; 1931
_ (Methodist Church); 1932
R. B. Key (?); Jester, TX; 1933
L. S. Ballard (Baptist Church); Dallas, TX; 1933

To view Thomas N. Thrasher, Sr.'s Web site of debaters, click here - The Encyclopedia of Religious Debates.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Jehu McPherson Chism (1824 - 1903)
  Sarah Ann Hackworth Chism (1833 - 1884)
 
 Spouses:
  Fanny Laura Campbell Chism (1866 - 1908)
  Burts Kemper Chism (1884 - 1974)
 
 Children:
  Matt Hugh Chism (1893 - 1918)*
  Jehu Wilborn Chism (1910 - 1983)*
 
 Siblings:
  James Marshall Chism (1851 - 1936)*
  Matt Hackworth Chism (1854 - 1952)*
  Elizabeth Frances Chism Williams (1857 - 1877)*
  George William Chism (1860 - 1891)*
  Oscar Johnson Chism (1862 - 1940)*
  Jehu Wilborn Chism (1865 - 1935)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Rose Hill Cemetery
Ardmore
Carter County
Oklahoma, USA
Plot: Section 169 - E Of H-13,14
GPS (lat/lon): 34.14388, -97.13663
 
Maintained by: Tom Childers
Originally Created by: Valita
Record added: Mar 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13531930
Jehu Wilborn J W Chism, Sr
Added by: George Seitz
 
Jehu Wilborn J W Chism, Sr
Added by: Stone Seeker
 
Jehu Wilborn J W Chism, Sr
Added by: Tom Childers
 
 
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After the many years testifying for the Lord, may you find peace and serenity in Heaven.
- AlertClerk
 Added: Jan. 14, 2015
Photographer in Young and Stephens County with his brother, Matt Hackworth Chism
- Searchers of our Past
 Added: Jul. 17, 2012
b.Comanche, Texas. D. Ardmore, OK. of 416 Wheeler St, Ardmore.Texas Preacher; wrote for the Firm Foundation
- George Seitz
 Added: Aug. 6, 2006
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