William Bell Allen
Longview, Texas.--Rev. Wm. B. Allen upon assuming the pastoral care of this church for the third time, preached his introductory sermon February 5, using this unique and appropriate text: 2 Cor. xii. 14, "Behold the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not yours but you." In explanation he said: In 1883, when this church was a feeble infant of but thirteen members, I formally assumed this work as pastor. In November, 1885, I resigned and accepted editorial charge of the "Texas Observer," the organ of our church in this State, which was then published in Dallas, but soon moved to Mexia. An unexpected prostration drove me out of that work, I resigning about March 1, 1886. I was at once recalled to this pastorate, accepted the same and preached another opening sermon about the 1st of April. Ten years soon roll by-years of much happiness, years of church prosperity. In 1895 I was again severely prostrated. I stood to my post hoping improved health for one year. My health still declining I again resigned in November, 1896. One year was spent as superintendent of Sunday school work in Texas; another spent in purely secular pursuits, until now I am before you with the language of Paul springing up within my heart, "Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you." You could have paid me no higher compliment. . . . I come with you to stay if such be the Divine will. I want to finish my life in this work and at last to go to heaven fresh from Longview.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, February 16, 1899, page 208]
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