Elder John Hooten, Jr.
Elder John Hooten Is Gone
Editors Gospel Advocate; - I know you have often admonished your contributors to make obituaries brief, and I know, that, as a rule, they should be so, but I feel that the subject of this sketch deserves more than a mere "passing notice."
He was born October 6, 1800. Of him it may be truly said he remembered his Creator in the days of his youth, for he gave himself to God in obedience to the gospel when about 15 years old; nor did he come into the vineyard as an idler-a mere drone in the hive, for though a mere boy he went to work for the Master at once. He wold read the Scriptures and pray in the congregation when called on, and became and acceptable preacher of the gospel by the time he was grown.
He was one of ten children, seven boys and three girls, only three of whom (two boys and one girl) still linger on the shores of time. His father was also named John Hooten, and was a most zealous and earnest preacher before the son was born; and though so illiterate that he could not even read, was one of the most efficient men of his day, especially where his exhortations almost irresistible. My brother, do you say that there is nothing you can do because uneducated? Let me tell you that "old father Hooten" got his Christian wife to read the Bible to him until his head and heart were full of that which made him wise unto salvation, and no more useful man entered the pulpits of this country in his day; and if you have as good a stock of native ability as he had, and if fired by as much zeal of God as moved him to the work; and, last but not least, if you are hindered as little as he allowed himself to be by a love of the things of this world, eternity alone will unfold "the good that you may do while the days are going by." But I am wandering; it was of the son, not the father, I sat down to write.
I need not tell the reader that a man so devoted to God as was this father in Israel live hard and died poor, very poor, so far as the things of this world are concerned: hence, he was able to give his children nothing but good advice, and left them nothing but a godly example. But four of his sons became efficient preachers of the the gospel, two of whom (William and Joseph) still live, the former at Bellview, Tenn., and the later in Delta County, Texas.
John Hooten, Jr. was married to Susan T. McCord, on the 15th day of Dec., 1831. She was a daughter of Eld. Js McCord, who was also a preacher of the gospel. Where this wife lived she was truly a help meet to him. Her zeal and devotion to God and her husband were limited only by the measure of her ability to serve them. But she died October 20, 1862, leaving him nine living children, four boys and five girls, one other having died in infancy. These nine children he lived to see grown and married. One daughter and her husband both died, leaving him three small grandchildren to raise. These he also lived to see grown and married. He married a second wife, with whom he lived about twenty-four years, but by her had no children. She and seventy-five children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren survive him. He quietly passed away at his home, two and a half miles north of Lewisburg, Tenn., on Friday, May 28th, 1886, aged seventy-four years, seven months and twenty-two days. He was buried on Sunday morning, May 30th, in the Reed Cemetery, with appropriate religious services, relatives, and brethren and sister in the Lord.
He was a kind and obliging neighbor, husband and parent, alike beloved by all who knew him. Though true to his convictions as the needle to the pole, yet he was not a bold, aggressive preacher; hence made no enemies, but many friends, by his labors (if anything at all, certainly ver little) he was always liberal in contributing to the support of others, and to any and everything else necessary for the success of the church of which he was a member; and (shall I say it? It is true and in the fear of God I record it) his liberality was often made available in supplying deficiencies created by the sweat of his own brow, his preaching was mainly confined to the church at Lewisburg, and a few neighboring churches visited occasionally. He had much greater desire to do good than to be called great; hence, he seemed contented to labor among those who knew him best, rather than extend his fame abroad.
But it was as elder of the church at Lewisburg that he was perhaps most useful. Perhaps a little slow to act at times, yet he never shrank from duty when he deemed it necessary to notice anything demanding his attention. So much was he imbued with the spirit of the Master that he rarely failed to satisfactorily settle anything he undertook. No spirit of partiality, vindictiveness, retaliation or revenge, ever controlled an emotion of his pure heart, but his constant desire at all times was to do right. I have been with and talked to him under trying circumstances, and never did I hear him utter a word unworthy of the purest Christian temper. Oh, how he will be missed by the church at Lewisburg. It never rained too hard, or snowed too fast for him to go to church on Lord's day. Though weary and decrepit by a week of toil, when the assembling day came he made his way to the House of God that he might meet and join his brethren and sisters in celebrating the death and suffering of the Master. And he often requested that if he got so he could not come to church on the Lord's day, his brethren wold bring the emblems to is house, and it gives me pleasure to note that his brethren were not unmindful of his request. Though unable to come to church for more than a year, very few Sundays passed that he was not waited upon with the emblems from the church at Lewisburg. But he is gone! On whom will his mantle fall? Who will take his place? Nay, who can fill his place! Surely a purer spirit never dwelt in a tabernacle of flesh. He fought a good fight; he kept the faith, and has gone to wear the crown which the Lord, the righteous Judge will, in that day, give to him and all who love the Lord's appearing.
-T.W. Brents, Gospel Advocate, June 16, 1886.
Directions To The Grave of John Hooten
The Hooten Family monument is located in a cemetery in northeast Lewisburg, Tennessee. In southern Tennessee, take I-65 to Exit 32 and head east on Hwy. 373 (Mooresville Hwy.) Turn left on Hwy. 417 (W. Ellington Pkwy.) and go around the north of town. Stay on this road until you go around the north of the city. Turn left on Hwy. 11 (Nashville Hwy.) and then make a quick left on Verona Caney Road. The cemetery will just up on the right. There are a number of Hootens buried in the cemetery. John is buried in the middle and toward the rear of the cemetery.
Chalked Monument Photos
First Wife Of
November 24, 1814
October 20, 1862
Second Wife Of
March 8, 1892
Age about 78 yrs.
Oct. 6, 1811
May 28, 1886
I have fought a good
fight. I have finished my
course. I have kept the
Special thanks to C. Wayne Kilpatrick for chalking and taking the pictures of the monument above. I understand it was a very hot day, and he chalked three or four of the monuments in the cemetery. He later took me to visit the grave in May, 2010.