Fletcher Douglas Srygley
of F. D. SRYGLEY
A truly good man is also a great
man. The standards of the world do not make goodness and greatness
synonymous, but no one can be truly great without being good. The subject
of this sketch was a good man, and therefore a great man. There are other
traits of character which helped to make him great.
D. Srygley was born on December 22, 1856, in the hill country of North
Alabama. His parents were James H. and Sarah J. Srygley. They lived at
Rock Creek, in Colbert County, Ala., when F. D. Srygley was born. His
mother was the daughter of a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher. She was a
pious, good woman. Both his parents were honest toilers and lived a
simple, frugal life; so their children were nurtured in industry and
learned the valuable lessons of economy. F. D. grew up with small
advantages of an education; however, he was endowed with a strong
intellect and a yearning desire to acquire knowledge. He took advantage of
the few opportunities that he had and made rapid progress in his
education. He entered Mars' Hill Academy and studied under the late
Larimore. He became a Christian in August, 1874.
sprang up a genuine love for Brother Larimore early in his life. He loved
him as he loved no other man, save his father; and his love was
reciprocated by Brother Larimore. Their love for each other was like that
of Jonathan and David and Damon and Pythias. They were in each other's
company at every moment possible, and when separated they frequently wrote
long letters to each other. Their love for each other helped both. of them
to be good and useful men. Brother Srygley wrote for the public much about
Brother Larimore, and Brother Larimore publicly acknowledged his love and
gratitude for Brother Srygley.
Srygley was a close student of the Word of God. He never doubted it for a
moment. He began preaching the gospel soon after he became a Christian. He
was logical in presenting his subject, and, above all, he was Scriptural
in his teaching. He had no theories to preach; but he loved the truth of
God, and loved to preach it. His style was simple and direct. The common
people understood him and loved him. His labors were largely among the
country people. No church or community was denied his services because of
lack of funds. He said that the large and wealthy churches could get
almost any preacher they wanted, but that the weak churches could not; so
he preferred to labor with the weak ones.
Srygley was not only a preacher of great ability, but he was a ready
writer. Early in his career as a preacher he began wielding the pen, and
those who have read his writings know that he was mighty with the pen. He
was editor of the Old Path Guide for some time. He was associated with the
lamented F. G. Allen in publishing the Old Path Guide, and traveled
extensively in the interest of this paper and increased its circulation
very much. F. G. Allen established this paper in Louisville, Ky., in 1879.
Brother Srygley and Brother J. C. McQuiddy were schoolmates in Mars' Hill
Academy under T. B. Larimore. Through Brother Srygley's influence Brother
McQuiddy became associated with F. G. Allen in editing the Old Path
At that time the paper was giving its influence to organized mission work
as an expedient for preaching the gospel.
November, 1889, he became one of the editors of the Gospel Advocate
through the influence of Brother J. C. McQuiddy. When he began his work of
writing for the Advocate, he held to his views of organized mission work
as expressed in the Old Path Guide. He was asked to write in the Advocate
against the missionary societies. He would not agree to do this, but did
agree to be true to his convictions and follow where the Bible led him. He
also agreed to make a thorough study of this question from the light of
Scriptural teachings. He really entertained the hope that he would teach
those who were opposed to societies the error of their way, but he soon
found that there was no authority in the New Testament for such
organization. He studied the question earnestly and prayerfully, and
finally reached the conclusion that organized human societies, other than
the local congregation, for the preaching of the gospel, were sinful and
should be condemned. He had the courage of his conviction and began
writing with emphasis about the New Testament church, together with its
organization and mission. He studied the church from every angle as
revealed in the New Testament. He wrote much about it, and no one of his
day, and probably no one since his time, had a clearer conception of the
New Testament church and its mission than did F. D. Srygley.
writing of the New Testament church, he expressed frequently and clearly
the great truth that "one cannot be a Christian and not belong to the
church, for the reason that the same process that makes one a Christian
constitutes him a member of the church." He emphasized that the
church is the household of faith, or family of God, and, as such, includes
all Christians; that the church is the body of Christ, and every Christian
is a member of it. He continued teaching on this point until the readers
of the Advocate of that generation learned the lesson well. He bad no
apology to offer for repeating this fundamental truth. He said: "To
hammer constantly on one point is both tedious and monotonous, but no man
can drill a hole in a hard substance without hitting many licks in the
same place." He further said: " It has been urged in these
columns, in season and out of season, for several years, that the popular
denominational idea that folks can be Christians without belonging to the
church is contrary to the plain teaching of the New Testament."
Brother Srygley met every phase of error on this principle and refuted it.
All opposition to this central thought of the church and the process of
becoming a Christian was doomed to fall when attacked by F. D. Srygley.
Srygley's permanent work for the cause of Christ consists in the main in
the books which he wrote. All of his books are worthy a place in the
library of any home. They are as follows: " Larimore and His
Boys," " Seventy Years in Dixie," " Biographies and
Sermons," and " Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore."
Since his death his able and gifted brother, F. B.
Srygley, has compiled
many of the editorials published in the Advocate into book form, bearing
the title, " The New Testament Church." Brother Srygley was
first-page editor of the Advocate for a little more than ten years, and
occupied this position when he died.
Brother Srygley died on August 2, 1900, at his
home in Donelson, Tenn. His lifelong friend, the late T. B. Larimore,
preached his funeral. His body was laid to rest in beautiful Mount Olivet
Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn.
Biographical Sketches Of Gospel Preachers, H. Leo
Boles, Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, Tennessee, 1932, pages 426-429
Another Sketch On The Life Of F.D. Srygley
F.D. Srygley is buried in
the Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville Tennessee. The
cemetery is located on Lebanon Pike, Southeast of downtown. Click over to
Mt. Olivet for map and location of the grave in the cemetery.
His remains rest in Section 14 - Lot
#N1/2 of 211
N36º 08' 46.6" x WO 86º 44' 01"
or D.d +36.14637,-86.73361333
Accuracy To Within 17'
View Larger Map
F.D. Srygley - December 22, 1856 - August 1, 1900
Jennie S. Srygley - December 6, 1864 - September 10, 1924
James S. Srygley - September 1, 1891 - July 13, 1909
Jean Srygley - December 1, 1899 - December 11, 1924
Daughter, Mamie At Mars Hill's Gresham Cemetery, Florence, Alabama