Edwin Elisha Bird

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1859 - 1883



IT is a melancholy duty of the writer to communicate to the readers of the CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN the sad intelligence that our dearly beloved brother, Rev. Edwin E. Bird, departed this life on the 10th day of June, 1883. It was on a beautiful Sabbath morning while the congregation was assembling at Bethlehem, that our dear brother Bird, at the home of his mother near the church, breathed his last.

He was the son of Rev. Milton Bird, D.D., and Elizabeth A. Bird. He was born in St. Louis, Mo., July 24, 1859, being near twenty-four years of age at the time of his death.

From a brief sketch written by himself, the writer learns that he was deeply impressed as to religion in his sixteenth year, and found peace with God and united with the Bethlehem church in April, 1875. He was very soon impressed that it was his duty to preach, and while attending school at Auburn, Logan county, Ky., he presented himself before the Logan Presbytery in session at Bowling Green, on the 31st of March, 1876. The writer was present and heard him relate his experience as a Christian, and his impressions to preach the gospel, and never did he heard a more touching and interesting talk from a young man in his life. Almost every eye was moistened with tears as he stood and told with burning words what God had wrought in him, and what he had impressed him to do. He was received as a candidate under the care of the Presbytery. He returned to his home in this (Caldwell) county, and united with Princeton Presbytery at Bethlehem, March 31st, 1877. He was licensed during the session of Presbytery at Sugar Grove, in Crittenden county, Oct. 4th, 1879. He was ordained at Bethlehem, during session of Princeton Presbytery, Oct. 3d, 1880, Rev. L. McWhirter preaching his ordination sermon and the writer delivering the charge. He preached six months at Sugar Grove, and then took charge of the church at Guthrie, Mo., where he remained about a year. He gave entire satisfaction to this church, but at the urgent solicitation of some of his friends he gave up this church and took charge of the church at Cumberland, Ohio, the scene of his father's early labors, and where a wider field opened to him. The church here was much attached to him.

Here, according to the opinion of his physician, under excessive study and close confinement, his health failed. Wasted and dispirited, he returned to his mother's last July. Since that time he gradually declined under a complication of diseases until his death. His sufferings were very great. Some of his friends, having no hope of his recovery, felt a relief when death terminated his sufferings. Consumption seemed to be the immediate cause of his death. He had not realized fully that he was near the point of death until the writer informed him ten minutes before his last breath. Almost with his last breath he said he was willing to trust the same Saviour he had preached to others.

His funeral was preached at Bethlehem church to a very large congregation of friends, who came to pay a tribute to his memory. He was buried in the cemetery a few yards from the church, and a few feet from the spot where a monument stands over the grave of his sainted father. Here on this hallowed ground sleep side by side the honored father, a veteran in the army of God, who fell at his post after a long and sore contest, and the son who had just enlisted and given his young manhood tot he service of God! It is sad to see our dear young brother, so full of promise to his friends, cut down in the prime of life; but God knows what is best. Though one by one we may fall, yet God's glorious work will go on. To mother, sisters, and brothers there is no need of sorrowing as those that have no hope. With father and son you may live in that happy home where there is no sickness or separation or death. Of our departed brother and friend we may say:

"Rest, spirit free!
In the green pastures of the heavenly shore,
Where sin and sorrow can approach no more;
With all the flock by Christ the Shepherd fed,
Beside the streams of life eternal led,
Forever with thy God and Saviour blest,
Rest, sweetly rest!"

[Source: Cumberland Presbyterian, July 19, 1883, page 2]


Princeton Presbytery - E. E. Bird - May 1883
[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1884, page 28]

Bird Family Information