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Elder William Moore Lea

Elder William Moore Lea

Caswell County, North Carolina, USA
Death 14 Jun 1887 (aged 69)
Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas, USA
Burial Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas, USA
Memorial ID 97000687 · View Source
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(A Bio of William M Lea by the famous Baptist preacher P. G. S. Watson, written 1n 1881)

Brother Lea came to the state a single man though over the 21 annual line. For 9 years he traveled & preached more extensively than any man in the state. Sometimes pastor of churches; sometimes performing missionary labor; with his headquarters at someplace; but his home at no place, and yet he seemed to be really at home wherever duty called him. During these 9 years, I knew Bro. Lea better than any man in the state. He was always busy as a bee, If not preaching, he was buying selling or swapping. Though he brought less than $1,000 to the state, at the end of 9 years, he was worth $60,000. And I am satisfied he obtained it honestly. His judgment was good & he appeared to know just when to buy & sell. He made much by buying & selling town property. And yet his trading never injured his ministry as far as I have ever heard. When a member of the missionary board of the Mount Vernon association, at a meeting in Helena, I proposed the appointment of Bro Lea as a missionary without pay, but with the privilege of swapping horses. As he was well known by the board, the proposition was understood.
In Aug of 1855 Elder Lea & Rev R G Britton of Augusta, debated for 2 days at the Taylor's Bay Baptist Church, 10 miles above Augusta. Elder Lea was once the pastor of this church, then the seeds were sown now he was living at Pine Bluff.
Before the war he was moderator of the associations, president of the Baptist State Convention, agent for the theological college, and Chaplin of the State Senate. In 1861 in Little Rock I married him and a Mrs. Barritt, who lived near Jackson Miss. After the war he returned to Ark and obtained a divorce.
Before the war he had a drug store in pine bluff and since the war he has sold personally and through agents a large amount of choice medical preparations. As an agent, bro Lea has always been successful and has the business qualifications. Now lives at Conway Ark.(1881)

In my research William M Lea before coming to Ark in 1852 was a Missionary of the Big Hatchie Association of Tenn. In the central part of Eastern Arkansas, he was very active. July 1852;oficiating ordination at Helena. Aug 29 1853;instrimental in founding the Center Hill Baptist Church. Oct 1853;preacher at Sterling Church revival in Phillips county. Between 1855-1856 one yr. term pastor Shilo Baptist Church (later became Searcy Baptist Church). Between 1856-1861 he was President of the Arkansas Baptist Conventions held annually in a different town each year. He was pastor of the Pine Bluff Baptist church during these years and also had a drug store there. On June 5th 1861 William Married Sally Barrett at Little Rock Ark. On June 9, 1861 at Little Rock, he enrolled in the confederate army, he was promoted to Brigade Chaplin during the Civil War, paroled April 28, 1865 near Greensboro N. C.. Returned to Little Rock obtained divorce from Sally Barret. By 1868 living Little Rock & manufacture of medical preparations. He was instrumental in reviving Baptist interests & organization after the war at Little Rock and was again President of the annual Arkansas Baptist conventions each year from 1868-1872 & very active in the church, he was elected to do missionary work in the state at which he was very successful. W M Lea was a land owner & had accumulated hundreds of acres in Arkansas & Tennessee and in 1873 listed as having property in the newly formed Faulkner County. From about 1876 to 1886 he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Conway. On September 26, 1881 on hand to consecrate the new Oak Grove Cemetery at Conway. 1882-86 active in local Baptist leadership & elected President of the Cadron Baptist association. During this time he was the owner of the Lea Hotel in Conway at 101 & 103 Rail Road Ave. & operated by Louis C Lincoln. (now NW corner of Parkway & Main) which later became The Francisco then the De Hines, it burned January 1924.
(research by Rick L Kirkland)

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Moved to Tennessee at age of 20 years. Joined the Baptist Church in 1852. Sent by MB (Missionary Baptists) to Arkansas. Spent his life in the cause of Christ
Died near Conway.

  • Maintained by: Rick L Kirkland
  • Originally Created by: Doyce Brimmage
  • Added: 13 Sep 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 97000687
  • Rick L Kirkland
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Elder William Moore Lea (26 Jul 1817–14 Jun 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 97000687, citing Oak Grove Cemetery, Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Rick L Kirkland (contributor 47625202) .