Biographical Sketch of
The Life Of Rhoden Presnell
Rhoden Presnell was
born August 3, 1925, at Quincy, Florida. He was the son of Walter Lee and
Mary Angeline (Bryant) Presnell. His formal education was in the grade
schools of Florida and after this he attended Mt. Pleasant High School at
On April 13, 1945,
Rhoden Presnell married Miss Margaret Jeanette Miller. To this union two
boys and two girls were born. The boys were Carey Allen and Rhoden Hal.
The girls were Beverly Gail and Judy Carol.
Rhoden began preaching
in July, 1945, at Port St. Joe, Florida. He established the church there
Places where he did
full time local work were: Blakely, Georgia, Americus Georgia
Jacksonville, Florida; Anderson, South Carolina; Charleston, South
Carolina; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Valdosta, Georgia; and Greenville, South
States in which he held
meetings were: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina,
Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Kansas, Texas,
Virginia, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Rhoden was a member of
the board for Palmetto Bible Camp and for Carolina Bible Camp. He spoke at
the lectureship for Freed-Hardeman College, Henderson, Tennessee, and at
Harding College, Searcy, Arkansas.
strength was in the area of personal evangelism. In North Charleston,
South Carolina, in three years, he and several people in his personal
evangelism program baptized 1,000 people. Rhoden conducted personal
evangelism workshops in many states. Through his own Bible studies and
those he set up according to his program approximately 5,000 people were
converted. The wonderful blessing of this was that these people studied a
minimum of 15 lessons and after their conversion, the new converts were
appropriately nurtured to remain faithful.
Rhoden also diligently
worked with the Bible school and the local congregation where he preached.
He knew how to organize the Bible school and how to motivate and train the
teachers. The Bible school became an active part of the local work and was
not only beneficial in inspiring children and parents, but in helping new
converts to mature. He also conducted Bible school clinics. Rhoden worked
well with the people everywhere he preached, and he was able to help them
develop their talents and abilities and increase their commitment to
Christ. Everywhere he preached, he helped the elders to raise their sights
in spiritual growth. Rhoden was never satisfied with his local work at any
stage and through his encouragement and his ability to depend on the Lord,
the work would continue to grow.
Rhoden used posters,
flannelgraph, filmstrips and other visuals in his sermons. He had over
1,000 posters that he used in preaching. More than that, he had something
to say when he preached. There is no way to estimate how many scriptures
he had memorized, but he used so many in his sermons that one would wonder
if he had memorized the entire New Testament.
Rhoden taught classes
at Harding College and FreedHardeman College lectureships. He was a
promoter and backer of the Carolina Lectures at their inception. He taught
at Georgia Christian a year while he preached at Valdosta to help in that
work. He was a member of the board at Palmetto Bible Camp and other camps.
Rhoden was of great influence throughout the mission fields of the
In 1973 Presnell
suffered a severe stroke which left him confined to a wheelchair with
serious impaired vision, no sense of balance, a weakened voice, and a
constant severe pain. This never discouraged him. On occasions when asked,
he preached. He conducted two personal evangelism workshops. Upon moving
to Henderson, Tennessee, he conducted many devotions at the dormitories
and many students from Freed-Hardeman College came to his house regularly
to learn the how-to of local work and of conducting home Bible studies.
Rhoden Presnell died
September 20, 1981, at the Jackson Madison Hospital at Jackson, Tennessee.
He was survived by his wife, Margaret Jeanette; two sons, Carey Allen (now
deceased) and Rhoden Hal; two daughters, Mrs. Judy Carol Haguewood and
Mrs. Beverly Gail Magee; three brothers, Clarence Odell Presnell, Walter
Myron Presnell and Bobby Aaron Presnell; two sisters, Mrs. Lorene
McPherson and Mrs. Hazel Laverne Pabaro.
Funeral service was
held at the Casey Funeral Home with Brad Brumley of Henderson, Tennessee,
and Walter Edwards of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, officiating. Burial was in
Henderson with interment in Estes Cemetery.
Directions To Grave
Rhoden Presnell was
buried in the small graveyard that sits behind the Estes Church of Christ,
just south of Henderson, Tennessee. Head south of Henderson on Hwy. 45
about 5 miles and the Estes Church is on the eastern side of the Highway.
You can't see the cemetery from the road. The grave is on the last row
toward the southern end of the cemetery.