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July 17, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Rev. John J. Spencer, Part I


Rev. John James Spencer’s biography was included in the collection Virginia Baptist Ministers.  It begins:

JOHN JAMES SPENCER (1840–1919) Buckingham County, Virginia, was his birthplace, his field of labor, where all his life was spent, and under its sod his body sleeps its last sleep.  Here he was converted, baptized, licensed, ordained, married twice.  From here he went forth to the Civil Was (Company B, 25th Virginia Battalion) and to his home he returned after the surrender at Appomattox Court House.

     Buckingham is a large county and in his day was without good roads and (save a short spur) without a railroad.  Back and forth, he went in his work as a preacher, for some forty-nine years, traveling according to his calculation 7,500 miles; think of the saddlebags, the buggy, the mud and the creeks, the heat of summer and the snow and rain in winter, the long silent stretches of pine and oak forest that were friendly to deer and foxes.

     For years he was an “institution” at Buckingham Court House where everyone knew him and he knew everybody.  Not long before his death he wrote:  “Under my ministry a large number have been converted, 3,000; I have baptized over that number, married as many, and I have no idea how many I have buried.”  As far as he knew not one of the couples he married was ever divorced.

To be continued . . .


Leave a Comment
  1. Eric Grundset / Jul 17 2014 9:10 am

    If only he had left more about his forebears! I’m not directly descended from him, but he was a sibling of someone in my line. Sorting Spencers is tricky!

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 17 2014 12:03 pm

      Sorting out Spencers is indeed tricky!


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  3. Buckingham County News, 1904, Part II | slate river ramblings . . . .

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