Elder William Moore Lea

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Elder William Moore Lea

Birth
Caswell County, North Carolina, USA
Death
14 Jun 1887 (aged 69)
Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas, USA
Burial
Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas, USA GPS-Latitude: 35.0791977, Longitude: -92.4288279
Memorial ID
View Source
(An 1881 Bio of William M Lea by the famous Baptist preacher & Elder P. G. S. Watson, He & William M Lea were colleges & worked together many times in the work of administrative Baptist duties..)

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 (the 2nd Sunday in November) in a different town each year. Also during these years, he was pastor of the Pine Bluff Baptist church located on Baroac street. He 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 appointed to serve on the staff of the 1st Confederate Mounted Rifles as Chaplin. On July 28, 1861 while on leave, WM Lea was present at his fathers death bed near Linder Arkansas at the home of his Daughter, Mrs. McMurrey. He was promoted to Brigade Chaplin of the 9th Arkansas Infantry at Canton Mississippi on December 30, 1862 . After the hostilities ceased he was paroled on April 28, 1865 at Greensboro N. C. He then returned to Little Rock and not long after, obtained divorce from Sally Barret. By 1868 he was living Little Rock & a manufacture of medical preparations. He was instrumental in reviving & organizing Baptist interests 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 after that. 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. Between the years 1882-86 he was 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) That Hotel later became The Francisco then the De Hines, it burned January 1924. When he died in 1887 he was buried in the family plot (located in the oldest part of the cemetery) that he had help dedicate in 1881. I was fortunate to discover a book printed at Conway Arkansas in 1848 entitled "History of Arkansas Baptists Convention Centennial" by Reverend J. S. Rogers. In this book W M Lea is mentioned hundreds of times and his Arkansas work is well documented. It is amazing the extent of this man's dedication to the Baptist cause. The reader may access the book on line.
(research by Rick L Kirkland)
(An 1881 Bio of William M Lea by the famous Baptist preacher & Elder P. G. S. Watson, He & William M Lea were colleges & worked together many times in the work of administrative Baptist duties..)

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 (the 2nd Sunday in November) in a different town each year. Also during these years, he was pastor of the Pine Bluff Baptist church located on Baroac street. He 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 appointed to serve on the staff of the 1st Confederate Mounted Rifles as Chaplin. On July 28, 1861 while on leave, WM Lea was present at his fathers death bed near Linder Arkansas at the home of his Daughter, Mrs. McMurrey. He was promoted to Brigade Chaplin of the 9th Arkansas Infantry at Canton Mississippi on December 30, 1862 . After the hostilities ceased he was paroled on April 28, 1865 at Greensboro N. C. He then returned to Little Rock and not long after, obtained divorce from Sally Barret. By 1868 he was living Little Rock & a manufacture of medical preparations. He was instrumental in reviving & organizing Baptist interests 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 after that. 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. Between the years 1882-86 he was 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) That Hotel later became The Francisco then the De Hines, it burned January 1924. When he died in 1887 he was buried in the family plot (located in the oldest part of the cemetery) that he had help dedicate in 1881. I was fortunate to discover a book printed at Conway Arkansas in 1848 entitled "History of Arkansas Baptists Convention Centennial" by Reverend J. S. Rogers. In this book W M Lea is mentioned hundreds of times and his Arkansas work is well documented. It is amazing the extent of this man's dedication to the Baptist cause. The reader may access the book on line.
(research by Rick L Kirkland)

Inscription

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

Gravesite Details

The marker and inscription was commissioned by his brother, Abner W.C. Lea. The grave was leveled and marker installed one year after W.M. Lea's death.