History of the Restoration Movement

Dr. Ausbun Cicero Henry


Dr. A.C. Henry, Watson
A Memorable Meeting At Belgreen, Kimbrough
Dr. A.C. Henry, Obituary, Alabama Courier
Dr. Ausbun Cicero Henry - Birmingham Ledger
Amanda Payne Henry, Kimbrough

Amanda Payne, Alabama Courier
Minnie Henry, Alabama Courier
A.C. Henry, Jr. - Ga Obituary
Mandus Henry - Obituary, Alabama Courier
Florence Belle Thompson Henry
Wedding Invitation - A.C.Henry, Jr. & Florence Thompson
Grave of Florence Belle Thompson Henry
Grave of A.C. Henry, Jr.
Directions To The Grave Of Dr. A.C. Henry
Henry Grave Photos
Special Thanks

Dr. A.C. Henry

In 1858 Ausbun Cicero Henry, of Wilcox County, graduated in medicine and selected Butler County as his field, making his home with the family of Thomas J. Payne. Nursing the Payne daughter Amanda, just out of the J.M. Barnes School at Strata, through a long spell of typhoid fever, he won her as his wife.

In 1865, after he returned from the war where he had served as a Confederate surgeon, he found his hopes and fortunes shattered. Through his wife's influence, he began to study the scriptures and to hear preaching as opportunity afforded. In the winter of 1865, they were visited by her former teacher, J. M. Barnes, who taught them the way of the Lord. From his baptism in 1866 until he was buried thirty-seven years later, Mr. Henry was active as a minister, baptizing as nearly as he could calculate, about six thousand souls.

To do this, he made unknown sacrifices. When he was offered a professorship and city practice after the war, his wife said, "No, preach the gospel and we will live somehow." What medical practice he did was to add to his meager income to care for his family. His labors took him over Alabama and several Southern states. He made one extended trip into Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, raising funds to build the brick church in Huntsville. He was thoroughly missionary, uncompromisingly scriptural and strongly in favor of the united action of the brotherhood in the evangelization of Alabama and the world.

The Henrys moved from Athens to Birmingham in 1899, in which year Mrs. Henry died. He died in that city in 1905.*

- History of the Christian Churches In The Alabama Area, by George H. and Mildred B. Watson, page 259

A Memorable Meeting At Belgreen

During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Dr. A.C. Henry held gospel meetings and filled monthly appointments in Northwest Alabama. In 1883, after he brandished Zion’s sword at Mt. Hope in Lawrence County and put to flight an aggressive “Campbellite killer” of John Wesley’s brand, he followed the sun westward about twenty miles to preach in a gospel meeting, Monday through Friday, at Belgreen, which was then the county seat of Franklin County. This proved to be a memorable occasion. After the services of Wednesday, Dr. Henry performed the wedding ceremony of John T. Underwood and Ira Emma Grissom. In reporting the meeting, he wrote: “Bro. Underwood, student of T.B. Larimore at Mars’ Hill College, is a young preacher of much promise.” Underwood indeed became one of the ablest proclaimers of the gospel in Northwest Alabama during the remaining years of his life. Among those who attended this meeting was John Taylor who lived on Lost Creek a few miles west of Belgreen. This old warrior of Northwest Alabama was then nearing the end of his long ministry, even as John T. Underwood was beginning his.

Dr. Henry wrote: “We also met the venerable John Taylor, a pioneer of the cause, worthy of double honor ‘for his works’ sake.’ He told me that he had baptized with his own hands over forty-five hundred. He is quite old and feeble (about seventy-six), but oh how he loves the cause of the Master.”

In that same meeting at Belgreen, Dr. Henry said he also met Lee Jackson, another of Larimore’s “boys” who was then preaching in Franklin Country and later did great work in Mississippi. Among others who attended that meeting were the parents and sisters, with their husbands, of F.D. and F.B. Srygley. This was a short time before most of the Srygley clan in and around Rock Creek migrated en masse to Coal Hill, Arkansas, to which F.B. Srygley made annual trips for the next fifty years. Regarding F.D. and F.B. Srygley, Dr. Henry wrote: “It is no wonder they are preachers and love the work, with such a mother as they have.” (Gospel Advocate, Nov. 21, 1883.) Imagine a meeting in a small country village with ties to so many monuments in Restoration history. What a meeting that must have been.

-Earl Kimbrough, Alabama Restoration Journal, 2009, Vol. 4 #1, page 17

Dr. A.C. Henry
Obituary, Alabama Courier

Dr. A.C. Henry, one of the best known ministers in the Christian church in this section of the south, was found dead in his bed at Woodlawn, last Thursday morning by members of his family who went to arouse him from his night slumbers.  His remains were brought to Athens for burial his wife and a son and a daughter being buried here. 

Dr. Henry was a man of splendid and recognized ability and had long been a prominent minister in his denomination.  He was for many years a leading physician and did a fine practice at Hartselle, but finally gave up the practice to engage in the more pleasing calling of the ministry.  He spent a few years in Athens as pastor of the Christian church and later he was engaged in the evangelical work.  His wife died very suddenly somewhat like her husband while they resided here and later youngest daughter died of consumption. 

Many friends in this place were grieved to hear of his death.

-Obituary –  The Alabama Courier   Wednesday -  September 30, 1903, Contributed by David A. Cox

Dr. Ausbun Cicero Henry
Obituary-Birmingham Ledger

Yesterday the body of Dr. A. C. Henry was found dead in his bed.  Dr. Henry, who resided at 5508 3rd Avenue, was a well known minister of the gospel.  He was formerly a physician, but of late had given up medicine for theology.  He was over 60 years of age, the cause of death being presumably heart failure.

Dr. Henry was considered an able evangelist.  He had labored in the evangelical field both in Alabama and Texas.  Three sons and three daughters survive him.  His wife died about four years ago and another daughter last spring. 

The minister had been in bad health for a long time, but had appeared on the streets in the night before and was not thought to be in any worse condition than heretofore.

Funeral services were conducted from the residence at 9:30 o’clock this morning, after which the remains were shipped to Athens.

-Obituary –  Birmingham Ledger   Sat. -  September 26, 1903 - Contributed by David A. Cox

Amanda Payne Henry

Typhoid fever is described as an acute infectious disease caused by Salmonella typhi. It is a greatly debilitating affliction that usually lasts two to four weeks with treatment, but it can also result in death. One medical dictionary lists nineteen symptoms ranging from severe headaches to disruptions of bodily functions and hallucinations. The disease was common in pioneer times and was much more dangerous then. This disease had a particular effect on the life of Dr. Ausbun Cicero Henry, a medical doctor who became one of the most successful gospel preachers of nineteenth century Alabama. Dr. Henry finished medical school in 1858, at the age of twenty-two, and chose Butler County, Alabama, southwest of Montgomery, as his field of service. This was near Wilcox County where he was born. He made his home with the family of Thomas J. Payne, a prosperous planter living nine miles northeast of Greenville.

The Payne’s oldest daughter, Amanda, a beautiful teenage girl just out of Justus M. Barnes’ school at Strata Alabama developed typhoid fever after her return from school. She was, quite naturally, attended by the young physician living in her parents’ home. Dr. Henry nursed the young girl through a long spell of typhoid fever. But he was amply repaid for his skill and tender care in guiding Amanda through her severe illness by their falling in love. He had been twenty-four but one month, and she was seventeen on the day of their marriage, October 17, 1860. She became a gentle companion to her young husband and through the future years of their lives together. Her son, J. Waller Henry, described her as “one of the best wives and most self-sacrificing Christian mothers this world has ever known.” (Alabama Christian, July 1906.)

The Civil War began the year after their marriage and Henry entered the Confederate army as a surgeon. The year the war ended, 1865, found him with his worldly hopes shattered and his fortunes blasted. Through his wife’s gentle influence, he began to study the Scriptures and to hear the pioneer gospel preachers of South Alabama as often as opportunity afforded. They were now living in Wilcox County where, in 1865 and 1866, they were visited by her former teacher, J. M. Barnes, who taught them the way of the Lord more perfectly. “At the next appointment of Dr. [David] Adams in that section of Wilcox … she was buried in baptism with her Savior, he following some months later in the summer of 1866.” (Ibid.) David Adams was a medical doctor at Pine Apple, Alabama, who also preached the gospel throughout that region of South Alabama. He became a lifelong friend of Dr. Henry and they often worked together in the Lord’s vineyard.

Not long after his baptism, Dr. Henry began preaching. At the time, a medical college that was reorganizing after the war, knowing his high standing at graduation, offered him a professorship and a profitable city practice that accompanied it. But his wife said: “No, preach the gospel, we will live somehow!” He followed her counsel and gave up the practice of medicine to preach the gospel. But he occasionally returned to the practice of medicine to support his family. His son writes: “Other opportunities were neglected by him because they would so occupy his time that he could not preach. Even what practice he did was merely as an aid to his life work, to splice out his meager income so that his rapidly growing family could continue to live while he continued to preach the gospel.” (Ibid.).

Dr. Henry’s evangelism extended over much of Alabama, centering in South Alabama in the early years, but in North Alabama during the last two decades of his life, except for a two-year ministry in Texas, which proved to be highly unsatisfactory to him. It was not only the nature of his evangelism in the Lone Star State that troubled him, but in 1891, he wrote: “Since Oct. 22, 1890, I lost four grandchildren (all small), a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and now my last sister.” (Gospel Advocate, Dec. 10, 1891.) The deceased sister was the last of his twelve brothers and sisters, leaving him alone of that large family. Dr. Henry kept no record of the baptisms he performed in the time of his service, but as nearly as he could calculate, the number would reach six thousand souls. His son said: “To this work he made sacrifices of which the outside world knew little and never can know all.”

Sarah Kirkpatrick Payne, the wife of Thomas J. Payne and the mother of Amanda Payne Henry, was the sister of Col. M. C. Kirkpatrick, one of the pioneer gospel preachers of South Alabama. Kirkpatrick and Samuel Jordan were long associated with J. M. Barnes in connection with his schools at Strata and Highland Home, south of Montgomery. They were also Barnes’ brothers-in-law, having married Barnes only sisters. Sarah Kirkpatrick was converted under the preaching of Alexander Campbell.

After Dr. Henry’s short stay in Texas, he returned to Alabama and settled in Athens, in Limestone County, where he lived until near the end of his life. In 1899, his wife Amanda died. The report carried in the language of a small town paper read: “Athens, Ala., Oct. 27. Mrs. A. C. Henry, wife of Dr. A. C. Henry, one of the most distinguished ministers of the Christian denomination, died at the home of her husband in this place of heart failure. She had been ill for some time with typhoid fever and was thought to be improved when death came. She was a most excellent woman with many friends, and her loss will prove a great one to her church to which she was thoroughly devoted.” (Franklin Times, Nov. 3, 1899.) It is a strange coincidence that Amanda Payne Henry who was being treated for typhoid fever by Dr. Henry when their lives began to blend together and the same disease was afflicting her body when their lives were separated for a time by her death.

-Earl Kimbrough, Alabama Restoration Journal, 2009, Vol. 4 #1, page 16,17

Amanda Henry
Obituary - Alabama Courier

When death comes to claim our loved ones who have been ill long and suffered much, those who are nearest by the ties of blood and affection, are sometimes prepared to bear  the loss, but when to comes suddenly without warning, then those who love the victim of the ruthless destroyer most are over whelmed with sorrow and a degree of sadness that is undefinable.  Thus it was last Wednesday when the dreaded much shunned messenger entered the quiet and peaceful home of our popular townsman, Dr. A. C. Henry, and robbed him of the partner of his joys and sorrow, who for many years has been his comfort and joy and deprived the loving children of their mother who was all that a mother could be, the blow was hard to bear.

Mrs. Henry had been ill for sometime with slow fever, but no uneasiness was felt for her final recovery, and so much improved was she that her children were all off at their various places of business, and the youngest at school, when without a moments warning the messenger sent from the giver of all gifts, entered the home which only a short while before had been the scene of gladness and happiness and claimed for its own the precious wife and mother.  So sudden was the summons that some the children failed to reach her bedside from town before the loving eyes were closed and the beautiful spirit that made her such a compassionate woman had fled.

Mrs. Henry had not long been a resident of Athens, but there was not a woman more beloved by those who knew her than she, and every friend and chance acquaintance in referring to her spoke of her beautiful character and of her deep Christian piety.

She was surrounded by a band of loving children, nourished and comforted by a cultured and loving husband and though fifty-six years had passed since she first entered this life, she was yet a young woman, and only a short time since bid fair to live a very ripe old age for she was a remarkably well preserved woman, with a strong constitution.  It is presumed that her death was caused by heart failure, superinduced by the fever. 

Her remains were laid to rest in this place last Thursday, and many friends attended the last rites.  She leaves behind her faithful husband, four sons and four daughters to mourn the sudden loss of wife and mother.

-Obituary – Alabama Courier   November 2, 1899 - Contributed by David A. Cox

Minnie Henry
Obituary – The Alabama Courier

Miss Minnie, youngest daughter of Dr. A. C. Henry, for a number of years a resident of this place and a very popular minister in the Christian Church, died at the home of her father at Woodlawn near Birmingham last Friday and was brought to this place for burial, her mother having been buried here.  She was very bright and attractive young girl and was favorite with all who knew her.  She was just entering the state of young womanhood when she was seized by that most dreaded of diseases consumption and she soon withered under its blighting touch and her once round and beautiful form was wasted away until she could no longer withstand the ravages of the disease and the spirit gave up the fight and she sank into perpetual slumber. 

To those who sorrow for the loss of this fair young flower, we tender a heartfelt sympathy.  She was withered on earth to take on a more beautiful bloom in that bright beyond.

-Obituary – The Alabama Courier   April 29, 1903, Contributed by David A. Cox

A.C. Henry, Jr. - G.A. Obituary

Brother A. C. Henry, Jr., son of Dr. A. C. Henry, of Athens, Ala., was born on February 10, 1868; obeyed the gospel on August 19, 1885; and died on May 2, 1900, at the home of his father.  Brother Henry was an invalid for eight years, but being in possession of that love that suffers long and is kind, he bore it all with Christian resignation.  To the bereaved ones let me say: Weep not as those that have no hope.  God has implanted emotions in the human heart; and instead of being a weakness, they are noble attributes, being one of the great sources of all virtue.  From this source springs the sorrow caused by the death of the ones we love.  As we stand by the forms of our dead, faithful memory recalls many incidents of the past in those days of peace and happiness which we spent in their society.  This should be a source of much comfort to the bereaved ones, that he by a life of devotion was prepared to enter into a more sacred association than earth can afford.  The body was laid to rest in the Athens Cemetery.

-Thomas C. King., Cullman, Ala., Gospel Advocate, June 14, 1900, page 378.

Mandus Henry
Obituary, Alabama Courier

It is an old but apparently true saying, that death loves a  shining mark,  and this was never more aptly illustrated than in the death last week of Mr. Mandus Henry, son of Dr. A. C. Henry, of this place. 

Weary months of suffering and wasting away did not seem to disturb the serenity of this excellent and refined Christian character.  He seemed to appreciate the fact it was only a matter of days and possibly weeks with him, but this did not disturb his calm composed nature, but rather seemed to make him more agreeable to his family and friends.  He was not afraid of the untried beyond the comprehension of man and when the final moment came he met the without flinching and left off his earthly raiment to don that of a more spotless character and instead of his loved ones about home he went to join she who preceded him to that land beyond this vale, a young wife and a beautiful companion.  There was  a mother, too, waiting over there, who but recently gone before, and she stood, no doubt, with the loving young wife and angelic hands outstretched to receive home their loved one, whose life and character in this earthly vestibule was such that it had well fitted him for the companionship of angels.

We have scarcely known a finer spirit than that of Mandus Henry.  Being of our profession, we knew him very well, and in him we found all the attributes of a glorious character.  Unostatous, noble and pure minded, faithful in all the watches, he was a man that wore well the name.

His Christianity was such as make the cause respected of all men whether they are of that class or not.  He wore it in the open, and his life was an open book, read of all men.  Purity was stamped on his face and his character was that mold.

In his work-days he was a devoted follower of newspaperdom and when his hands were not longer able to handle the stick or wield the pen, the profession had lost a most valued member, and it has just cause to regret his death.

In his family, where he daily came in contact with father, sisters, and brothers, was found his grandest type.  He was ever uncomplaining and watchful of the feelings and thoughts of those with whom he lived.  They were always first above himself with his own hopes and ambitions.   But he has gone.  Earth is poorer, heaven richer, and the family circle has lost another of its charms, but the circle and chain that binds and draws them nearer to that better land has increased.  They will find him, like he found those gone before, waiting for their coming.  May they meet him.

-Obituary – The Alabama Courier   May 10, 1900, Contributed by David A. Cox

A.C. Henry's Family

Special Thanks To Charlie Wayne Kilpatrick For This Photo of the A.C. Henry Family

Florence Belle Thompson Henry

Florence Belle Thompson was born at Mars’ Hill, Ala., December 5, 1870. She was one of the brightest and best of the Mars’ Hill pupils. While yet but a little child, she consecrated her life to the service of the Lord. She was faithful and true, from that blessed day to the day of her departure, in the discharge of all the duties implied in her solemn vow of sacred consecration to him who died that we might live. June 10, 1890, she was married to our beloved Bro. A. C. Henry, Jr., at the place of her birth. March 22, 1891, she breathed her “final farewell” to the sorrows of time, at her home in Florence. Twenty-four hours after her sufferings ceased, her body was buried in the Mars’ Hill family burial ground, the beautiful bridal dress worn by the happy child only a few brief months ago being the burial robe worn by the body of the departed saint. My dear, blessed, beloved children: How rapidly “we are passing away!” “Flitting—flitting—flitting, like shadows away!” How brief the time since Florence was the bright, blessed, happy, little baby girl of our sacred school. “A little ray of Sunshine.” Now she is gone. “A few more days—or years, at most”—and we shall all be gone. “Are you ready?” Are we ready? Though you are no longer together at Mars’s Hill, but are scatted throughout the length and breadth of the land, your anxious teacher ceases not to care for you, to pray for you, to love you. Let us all be pure and true and good, and—“some sweet day”—“we shall meet, to part no more.”

-T. B. L., Florence, Ala., Gospel Advocate, April 8, 1891, page 211.

1873 Photo of John and Mary J. Gresham Thompson Family
Note: Baby on Mary's Lap Is Florence Belle, Later The Wife of A.C. Henry, Jr.

Wedding Invitation for A.C. Henry, Jr & Florence Belle Thompson

Mr. & Mrs. R.H. Thompson,
request the pleasure of your presenct at the
marriage of their sister,
Amandus C. Henry,
at their residence,
Tuesday Evening, June 10th, at 8:30 o'clock
Mars Hill, Alabama.
-contributed by C. Wayne Kilpatrick 11.2011

Grave of Florence Belle Thompson Henry

Florence Belle Thompson Henry was the wife of A.C. Henry, Jr. She was part of the Gresham family at Mars Hill near Florence, Alabama. She and A.C. were only married a few short months. It appears by her marker that she may have died in child birth. She was buried in the Thompson family plot in Gresham Cemetery at Mars Hill. About nine years later her husband died at the young age of thirty-two. He is buried by his mother and father in the Athens City Cemetery. It is a pleasure to add photos of her monument to this page; though their bodies rest in death miles apart, they are brought together in this venue. The Gresham/Mars Hill Cemetery is located off Cox Creek Parkway in Florence, Alabama, just below the Larimore Home. See grave photo below. Others at Mars Hill Cemetery

Florence Thompson
Wife Of
A.C. Henry, Jr.
December 5, 1870
March 22, 1891
Mother and daughter at rest

Amandus C. Henry
February 10, 1858
May 2, 1900
Age 32 yrs. 2 mos. & 22 dys.
He was a great sufferer!
But Jesus says: Come unto
me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest.
(Son of Dr. A.C. Henry, Sr.)
Buried in the Henry family plot in Athen, Alabama

Directions To The Grave of A.C. and Amanda Henry also A.C. Henry, Jr.

A.C. Henry is buried in the Athens City Cemetery, Athens, Limestone County, Alabama. On I-65 take Exit 351. Head west towards Athens. Take S. Clinton Street north. Go eight or ten blocks and turn right on Washington Street. Take the third left, Market Street. Stop the car just before the road takes a hard turn to the left. The A.C. Henry plot will be on your right, next to the street.

GPS Location
34°48'10.5"N 86°57'50.0"W
or D.d. 34.802907, -86.963900

Amanda M.
Wife of
Dr. A.C. Henry
October 17, 1843
October 25, 1899
Age 56 yrs. & 8 dys.
Blessed are the dead which
Died in the Lord
They rest from their labours
And their works do follow them.

*Adams C Henry
Surg 2 ALA Militia
Confederate States Army
1829 September 30, 1903

*Dr. A.C. Henry's name appeared in numerous locations, periodicals, etc as is written here. "A.C." stands for "Ausbun Cicero." The gravestone placed in the HENRY burial plot is incorrect in a number of ways. First of all "Adams C. Henry" is incorrect. Again it is "Ausbun C. Henry." The next mistake on the stone is that the stone inscribes that he was born in 1829. He was actually born in September, 1936. We are still looking for the actual day of his birth. Then the last mistake is the date of his death. On the marker, the date is said to be "Sep 30 1903." According to an obituary that appeared on the 25th of September, 1903 in the Birmingham Ledger, A.C. Henry died the previous day, Friday, September 24, 1903. So, Three mistakes appear on the maker at A.C. Henry's grave.

Special Thanks

In May, 2010, Tom L. Childers, Scott Harp, and C. Wayne Kilpatrick some of the graves of church leaders of yesteryear, whose remains now rest in the Athens City Cemetery. Thanks to them for contributions of photos in information to make this page possible. Also, thanks to David A. Cox of Athens, Alabama for the work he has done in collecting newspaper obituaries and information on the lives of the Henrys. He contributed the information in February, 2011. He also gave to photos of Dr. and Amanda Henry. It originally came from a history of the Christian Church in Athens, Alabama.

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