Dr. James Samuel Ward
Dr. James Samuel Ward was born in Christiana, Tennessee, Rutherford County, September 29, 1867. He was the first child of James Robert and Jennie Nichol Ward. His boyhood days were spent at Porterville, Alabama, where his father was depot clerk for the railroad. There were three more sons: Porter, Robbie Dearing, and Harding. Robbie died at age 18.
J. S. Ward graduated from high school in Gadsden, Alabama in 1884, and entered Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky in 1885.He graduated with honors as valedictorian at age twenty-one, receiving an M.D. in medicine, and continuing at Transylvania for a year taking post-graduate work in chemistry and physics. While in Lexington, he had the opportunity to study Bible at the feet of J. W. McGarvey in the College of the Bible, Kentucky University.
The family records show that J. S. Ward was baptized at Columbia, Tennessee, April 12, 1891.Columbia was the home of his close friend and mentor, William Anderson, who also had been a student in Lexington during the time that Ward was there. It is probable that he was baptized by Anderson. In the years to come, he would often preach in Columbia, riding the train as far as Carter's Station, where he would be met by William Anderson in a horse and buggy, and taken to his preaching engagement. Ward's first gospel meeting was held at Maple Hill, Lebanon, Tennessee, and he continued to preach the gospel for sixty years.
J.R. Ward, Father Of Dr. J. S. Ward
After leaving Lexington, J. S. Ward joined his parents who had moved to Nashville, and he entered the medical school of the University of Nashville where he received his DDS degree at age twenty-six, graduating summa cum laude, being the first in the state to receive both a degree in medicine and also in dentistry.
He did his internship at the hospital in Columbia, and after a short while was a resident physician in Red Boiling Springs. Coming back to Nashville, he opened an office in the Jackson Building on Church Street.He married Miss Fannie Lee Turk in Rutherford County on September 21, 1894.To their union was born three children: Robbie Dearing (Mrs. Charles R. Brewer); Christine (Mrs. H. Clyde Hale); and Truman Ward who married Mary Muncie.
David Lipscomb and James A. Harding had a desire to start a school in Nashville where Christian parents could send their children, a place where "the Bible was taught as a textbook every day." The first year, 1891, class work was conducted in a large home on Fillmore Street (Hermitage Avenue) which had been rented by Lipscomb, J. R. Ward, (the father of J. S. Ward) and W. H. Dodd, and served as a home for James A. Harding. In 1893, Lipscomb, Ward, and Dodd bought facilities on South Spruce Street (Eighth Avenue South) and became the trustees of the school. According to J. W. Shepherd in "History of Nashville Bible School" these three men, purchased the property for $9,000, each of them contributing part of the price and all three of them signing a note for the balance of $4,900. The deed stated that the property was "to be for maintaining a school in which in addition to other branches of learning, the Bible as the recorded will of God, and the only standard of faith and practice in religion, shall be taught as a regular daily study to all who shall attend said school, and for no other purpose inconsistent with this object this condition being herein inserted at the request of the founders of the proposed Bible School." (Deed Book of Davidson County, Tennessee, Book N., 181, p. 381) All trustees and all teachers were to be members of the church of Christ in good standing.
Dr. Ward joined the faculty in 1893. He would see his patients at his medical office in the morning, catch a street car and ride to the campus and teach science in the afternoon, donating his services to the school. Dr. Ward's contribution was of great value to the school as he had the scholastic degrees that were lacking in the other teachers, and this greatly contributed to the strength and scholastic standing of the science department. "Emphasis on the sciences, particularly through the influence of Dr. J. S. Ward, has turned many of the students toward pre-med study." (Nashville, The Faces of Two Centuries, p. 330, David Lipscomb College)
After practicing medicine for a few years, he accepted the chair of chemistry at the University of Nashville, a position which he held for twenty-one years, while continuing to donate his teaching services to the Nashville Bible School, twice serving as its president. During this time he had to purchase supplies and science equipment for his teaching and lab work out of his own pocket, as there were no funds available from the school.
Mrs. J. S. "Fannie" Ward
In 1902, David Lipscomb offered his farm of 59 acres on Granny White Pike to the Nashville Bible School, and the land was deeded to the school with the same restrictions which had been placed on the Spruce Street property. The gift of the farm was made with the provisions that the school would assume a mortgage on the property, and pay Lipscomb and his wife an annuity of two hundred and fifty dollars in semi-annual payments as long as either should live. (Board of Trustees of Nashville Bible School "Minutes," Aug. 26, 1902).
When the school moved to the Lipscomb farm, J. S. Ward and family moved with it, living on campus, while Mrs. Ward was in charge of the girl's dormitory as well as the rearing of her three small children. In l904, J. S. Ward built a large home for his family on Caldwell Lane near the campus. This home was a haven to many: J. R. Ward lived there until his death, a Japanese student lived with the Wards while attending school, Christine and Clyde Hale lived there when they first married while Hale continued his studies at the school, and when Charles Brewer returned from teaching at Abilene Christian College, along with his wife Robbie and their children, they lived with the Wards for a number of years.
About 1912, the University of Nashville moved to Memphis to become known as the University of Tennessee. J. S. Ward was invited to go to Memphis to continue his chairmanship of the science department and teaching, but he declined because of his devotion to teaching at the Nashville Bible School, and his desire that his children continue their education there.
Ward resigned from the school in l918, soon after Lipscomb died. He accepted an offer from his friend, A. M. Burton, to set up the Medical Department of Life and Casualty Insurance Company in Nashville, and he became its first medical director. He continued with this position for twenty-three years.
The Wards helped to establish the Central Church of Christ in downtown Nashville, becoming charter members in 1925. They both worked in Bible teaching, and he served as an elder until his death.
Dr. Ward was a genuine Christian gentleman, a man of culture and refinement. He was a man of peace; at peace with his Lord, with himself, and he strove to be at peace with all men. He had a pleasant manner, gentle but firm.He had a serene spirit about him, but he also had a rare and completely developed sense of humor that enabled him to enjoy a good joke. He had the respect and love of those who knew him best.He had the ability to express himself well, and those who worshipped with him would comment on his beautifully well-worded prayers.He lived his life "with eternity in his heart" and was loved and revered by his family.
He loved nature, would often walk outside in the evening, just to stand and marvel at the glorious sunset and the evening stars.He had a thirst for knowledge and was an avid reader.He would sit in his chair and in his mind's eye aided with his books, travel the world.
He was contemporary with many great men whom he loved and considered his friends: William Lipscomb, David Lipscomb, James A. Harding, William Anderson, J. W. Shepherd, J. N. Armstrong, E. G. Sewell, E. A. Elam, Hall Calhoun, E. H. Ijams, and S. P. Pittman and others. He was loyal to his friends.
When he died in 1959, the then editor of the Nashville Banner wrote the following editorial:
"In vocation and avocation, Dr. James Samuel Ward chose and capably filled the callings closest to his heart. Physician, and educator in medicine; active in religious ministry, head of the science department in the old Nashville Bible School, latterly David Lipscomb College, which he served for two years as president, his career touched beneficially a multitude of lives in and outside that institution.
The community that was his home for so many years shared the blessings of his useful life. They were long and fruitful years, in friendship and enduring service. His passing brings area-wide regret."
Sources: Search for the Ancient Order, Vol.2 by Earl West; History of Christian Colleges by Norvel Young; Your Neighbor Program, WLAC; Nashville - The Faces of Two Centuries by John Egerton; Family Records.
Webmaster's Note: Special thanks are extended to Rosalyn Boyd for the contribution of this overview of the life of Dr. J. S. Ward. This is truly a family steeped in the work of the Restoration Movement. Rosalyn Boyd's husband Jim has been a long-time and respected gospel preacher. Her father, H. Clyde Hale, and uncle Charles R. Brewer were great men men of God in their own right. Only eternity will reveal the good this family has done for the cause of Jesus Christ.
A Tribute To Dr. J. S.
By Dr. Charles R. Brewer
Note: The following article appeared in the Vol. CI, No. 5, January 29, 1959 edition of the Gospel Advocate, Nashville Tennessee.
This week we give editorial space to a tribute to Dr. J. S. Ward by Charles R. Brewer, his son-in-law. The editor was a student in Doctor Ward's classes at David Lipscomb College. Few teachers have been as well loved by their students as he was. Doctor Ward was a Christian gentleman. He lived more than four score and ten years. Like Abraham, he "died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people." (Gen. 25: 8.) As the bard of Avon would express it,
"His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that nature might
And say to all the world, This was a man!
Brother Brewer's article follows.
Death has a thousand doors by which life may make its exit. We think of it as poetic justice when one who lives by violence dies by violence. Our Lord said, "They that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Even so it seems fitting and proper that one who has lived in calm serenity should pass in like manner. Doctor Ward was eminently a man of quiet. Patient, gentle and kind, he loved peace and lived in peace. It was my privilege to be closely associated with him for fifty years and not once did I hear his voice raised in anger or a harsh word fall from his lips. Never in all the long months of illness did he murmur or complain or lose patience with those who attended him. In him could be seen a fulfillment of the divine admonition, "Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord." (Heb. 12: 14.) How appropriate it was, therefore, that the end should come as it did. Surrounded by those he loved best, in the midst of books that had been his life-long companions, with his face toward the eternal hills that were crowned with the warm glow of the sinking sun, on a calm Sunday afternoon he slipped peacefully through the darkened door into the presence of the Lord. No longer does he live here save in the hearts of those who knew and loved him, but over there, "in the land of fadeless day," he has gone to be one with saints of ages past, and those with whom he lived and labored. We can believe that he was welcomed by such men as Lipscomb, Harding, Sewell, Shepherd, McGarvey, Calhoun and many others with whom he studied, served and sacrificed during their earth years.
Doctor Ward was a man of culture and refined taste. He studied science, medicine, dentistry, Greek, Latin, and had some knowledge of and great appreciation of music and the great masters in painting. He read much of history, travels, explorations, and was a member of the National Geographic Society. Above all he loved the word of God and the work of the church. For many years his name was inseparably connected with Central Church in Nashville of which he was a charter member and an elder. Thousands knew his voice as he led prayer in the broadcast of the services, and hundreds of requests came from distant listeners for Doctor Ward to be called on to lead in prayer. They loved the kindness in his voice and the sincerity of his petitions.
In saying that he was a man of peace I do not mean that his life was negative or inactive. He had strong convictions and the courage to stand by them. In action his was a full life. Teaching in the University, the Bible school, preaching, serving as medical director of the Life and Casualty Insurance Company, and doing the work of an elder he spent his days in useful service. In these various relationships he touched and influenced the lives of thousands upon thousands. As he lay in state rich and poor, doctors, lawyers, presidents of institutions, and business organizations, colored people and men in overalls came to pay respect to a man whom they held in honor in life and death. With one voice they speak of him in terms of highest praise. One lady tells this story: Her husband told her of seeing a man on the street car who had the kindest, manliest face he had ever seen. Again and again he spoke of seeing this man. Later when she was with him he pointed out the man who had impressed him so much. "Why. that is Doctor Ward," she said. "You must meet him." He was not a member of the church at the time but it was not long before he obeyed the gospel.
Doctor Ward did not seek the limelight. His deeds were not spectacular. His influence was more like leaven, moving quietly yet permeating the whole environment. The moon is far removed from the turmoil and strife of this world, but if we believe the theories of scientists, the mighty ocean feels its power, and even human lives are subject in some subtle way to lunar influence. If this be true of a satellite floating far out in space it is not hard to believe that the life of a godly man can strongly affect the thoughtsof those about him . . . a man who derived his power through association with him who made the sun, the moon and the stars. One of our boys who grew from infancy to manhood in the home with Doctor Ward said of him, "I think Paw-Paw was more man than anyone I ever knew."
A few moments after his death I stood in the room in which he had lain an invalid for more than three years and looked at the books that lined the walls. The title of one that investigates life after death attracted my attention. Opening it at random my eyes fell on words that Doctor Ward had marked with a pencil:
"But we must not delay at Death. Death is a very small thing in comparison with what comes after it - that wonderful, wonderful, wonderful world into which Death ushers us. Turn away from the face of your dead. Turn away from the house of clay which held him an hour ago. The house is empty, the tenant is gone. He is away already, gasping in the inutterable wonder of the new experience.
O change! stupendous change!
There lies the soulless clod.
The light eternal breaks,
The new immortal wakes,
Wakes with his God!."
- By Dr. Charles R. Brewer, son-in-law to Dr. J. S. Ward.
On August 25, 1963, Mrs. J. S. Ward departed to be with Christ. Having been born October 10, 1874, she lived well beyond "fourscore years." The Psalmist writes, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore years; yet is their pride but labor and sorrow; for it is soon gone, and we fly away." In this we feel that the Psalmist must have been speaking of the relative brevity of life, the folly of human pride, and the futility of human achievements. For no one who knew Mrs. Ward could say that her life was marred by "labor and sorrow." She knew what it was to toil, but hers was a "labor of love." She had her hours of sorrow, but out of them all she emerged with stedfast faith and radiant hope.
In 1894 she, Fannie Turk, became the wife of Dr. J. S. Ward and from the first years of their married life they were associated with David Lipscomb College, known then as the Nashville Bible School. Their three children were born and reared in this environment. Dr. Ward gave up a growing practice as a physician to devote full time to teaching science and Bible in the school. And Mrs. Ward became what would now be called Dean of Women. But in a more intimate way she was friend and mother to the girls. She looked after their health and general welfare, gave counsel to their personal problems, and trained them in all the true graces that girls were supposed to acquire at "finishing schools." Her own life was an inspiration to them. When the college moved to its present site the Wards built their own home nearby and Mrs. Ward left the campus to give her life to her own family. Those were years of "labor"-lean years. There was no assured income, the school paid no stipulated salary at all, and sometimes there was nothing left to divide among the teachers. Dr. and Mrs. Ward practiced strict economy and supported the family on very meager subsistence. And though they came to know better days, they never departed from the principles of frugality and simple living. There was no complaint from Mrs. Ward. Always she was sustained by an unquestioning faith in the goodness and providential care of the Lord. During her declining years she was the object of tender care and devotion of her children. Every need was filled and every wish was gratified. She was grateful for the loving ministrations of her daughters and the wise management of her son. But if you should have asked her about the secret of her contentment she would have given first praise to God: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
Dr. and Mrs. Ward were charter members of Central church in Nashville. He was an elder from the beginning to the time of his death. And Mrs. Ward devoted some of the "best years of her life" to the church. She taught classes, visited the sick, entered zealously into the welfare work, and attended noon-day services when often it would have been much more convenient to stay at home. She had no great outstanding talents, but such as she had she accepted as a sacred trust and dedicated them to the service of God. She loved to sing. She was frequently called upon to sing with others at funerals, and this was a service she was glad to render. She sang in the home. Often have I seen her at the piano teaching herself some new song. One day she "discovered" a song called "God's Tomorrow." She sang it through in her high sweet voice, then spoke quietly of the beauty of its sentiment.
"God's tomorrow, God's tomorrow,
Every cloud will pass away, at the dawning of the day;
God's tomorrow, No more sorrow,
For I know that God's tomorrow will be brighter than today."
Now with her it is God's Today. For on that calm Sunday morning, her soul, freed from "this tabernacle, " was attended by bright angels into the "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," there to see again loved ones gone before, and be forever in the presence of him whom she loved and served so well.
The three children are, in the order of birth, Mrs. Charles R. Brewer, Mrs. H. Clyde Hale, and J. Truman Ward. She is also survived by a half-sister, Mrs. S. I. Jones. In addition there are ten grandchildren and twenty-seven great-grandchildren. These all can of one accord "rise up and call her blessed," and with one voice can thank God for precious memories of "Paw-Paw and Dotty."
-Charles R. Brewer, Gospel Advocate, September 26, 1963, page 623
Directions To The Grave of J. S. Ward
Directions: Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee, is located behind the 100 Oaks Shopping Center that faces I-65 just south of the I-440 Interchange. From 100 Oaks travel east on Thompson Lane and turn right at the first entrance to Woodlawn's South Side Park (across from main part of cemetery). Take the first left and road bears around to the right. Look for the tree on the right had side. Between the drive and the tree is Goodpasture's grave. Just past Goodpasture, nearer the tree is the Ward plot.
or D.d. 36.111002,-86.760341