Samuel Calhoun

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1793 - 1879


REV. SAMUEL CALHOON, the oldest member of Ohio Presbytery, and one of the oldest in the church, died yesterday (January 22) after a short illness. He was the founder of the church here in Owensboro more than forty years ago, also of Pleasant Ridge church three miles from Owensboro. The last sermon he ever preached was on the occasion of the dedication of their new house of worship and the funeral of sister Weaver, wife of Rev. Mr. Weaver. He was buried at his family burying ground on his farm at 2 o'clock to-day, at which time our bell was tolled one-half hour in honor of him who organized the church. O. C. HAWKINS.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, February 6, 1879, page 5]


BROTHER CALHOUN was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, September 15, 1793. When three years of age his brother George Calhoun, removed with him to Henry county, Kentucky. Thence, at the age of seventeen years, he removed to Davies county, Kentucky, where he lived and labored until his death. He professed faith in Christ on the second Sabbath in April, 1821, while riding alone upon the public highway. He joined Logan Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and began in the work of the gospel ministry about the year 1826.

He departed this life on the twenty-second day of January, 1879, at the ripe age of eighty-five years, four months, and seven days.

His history was a peculiar one, his trials and hardships were great, but his triumphs no less great. He begun his warfare for God in the early settlement of this country. When we think of the condition of society, and the unimproved conditions of the country in general at that time, we might form a faint idea of his great struggles, yet his brave spirit knew not the word failure. His history, especially during his last long illness, was a continuous scene of wonder. His spiritual vision must doubtless have been far beyond the ordinary scenes of even the Christian life.

He often spoke in ecstasy of the brightness of this glory and of so soon meeting that blessed Redeemer who had done so much for him, and whom he had tried to preach with all the earnestness of his soul, for the space of fifty years. His last words upon the subject were spoken with a countenance radiant with glory, as he exclaimed, "O, He is going to take me home!" Thus he died, and doubtless his happy spirit was borne away by waiting angels to that haven of rest, and crowned with that crown which is promised to those who serve God as did our much-loved father and pastor.

The last sermon that he preached was attended with the most remarkable circumstances. The minds of many of his congregation appeared to be impressed with the idea that something of an unusual character would occur on that occasion, it being the dedication of the new church edifice of which he was pastor. Many felt that it would be the last time they would ever hear him preach. The day came with its sad scenes. The anxious, though sad congregation, began to assemble, and behold the church was draped in mourning! As they entered their eyes first fell upon the last remains of our much loved sister and mother. Letsy Weaver, who had suddenly, though sweetly, fallen asleep in Jesus a few hours previous. She was the companion of Rev. Joseph Weaver, who was a co-worker with father Calhoun in many of his hard conflicts in this country, but who had also previously fallen asleep.

The hour for service arrived; the house and yard were thronged with the multitude who were saddened by the scenes before them, and the thought of listening for the last time to him whom some of them had heard preach for fifty years. And thus it was he arose for the last time with his whitened locks and aged trembling frame, to engage in the dedicatory services of the church, and to pay the last public tribute of respect to the much loved sister and mother who slept before him.

As he proceeded with his discourse, he seemed to receive strength from on high; he spoke of the great and sublime mysteries of God as exhibited in the dispensations of his providence to the human family, especially in that great and spiritual kingdom which he had established in the world for the security of his children. He pointed to the great principles of Christianity as exhibited in the life walk of the then sleeping mother, lying before us, admonishing us to profit by her pious example. He then spread forth his trembling hands and poured forth his anxious heart before God in the dedicatory prayer, humbly asking God to accept the house and his congregation, which he so much loved, as a freewill offering, and to set them apart to his devoted service. It was a solemn scene indeed. When he closed his remarks, his congregation looked with a sad gaze upon him, impressed with the idea that they had heard the gospel fall from his trembling lips for the last time, and thus it was he returned to his home, and after a long illness he fell "asleep in Jesus."

WHEREAS, Providence has, in his wisdom, called from our midst Rev. Samuel Calhoun who has been an efficient and devoted minister of the gospel, member of the Ohio Presbytery, and pastor of Pleasant Ridge congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, since its organization, and who was honored, loved, and reverenced, and by whose example others of his brethren were admonished to live humbly and to earnestly advocate the cause of the Master, whose cause they professed to be called to proclaim to a fallen and lost humanity. Therefore,
Resolved, That in his death we have lost a devoted, zealous Christian; the ministry a watchman from the towers of Zion, who was faithful to the last, ever ready to confront the great enemy of souls and warn sinners of the danger of approaching before an angry God without preparation.

2. That a copy of this paper be spread upon our church record in memory of his efficient work for his Master.


[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, December 4, 1979, page 2]

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