William Thomas Dale

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1845 - 1924


I was born February 20, 1845, near Elk River, Alabama, 8 miles West of Fayetteville, Tenn., and was dedicated to God in infancy in the holy ordinance of baptism. Dr. Bryson, of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church performing the rite. My father was a firm believer in infant baptism, and had all his children dedicated to God in this ordinance. My fathers family consisted of five sons and two daughters; and though two sons and one daughter have died, we "still are seven."

Dr. Bryson was a great and good man. He educated a number of ministers, some of them being Cumberland Presbyterians, for example, Rev. W. B. Gillham and Rev. James Kirkland. Among my poems may be found one written on February 23, 1877, on his dying words; "All is Peace."

I owe much to the influence of early religious training in my father's home. "My father held family prayers morning and night. And although he labored on the farm, I never knew him to be too tired at night, or in too great a hurry in the morning to hold family prayers. Nor did he seek to cut the service short by reading the shortest chapter, or by singing the shortest Psalm. My mother was accustomed to have have her children come to her at night before retiring and repeat our evening prayer:

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep:
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

About the age of ten years I quit kneeling at my mothers knee in prayer, but retired to some secret place,--to the woods, the corn field, or elsewhere; finally sought out one particular retreat. It was beneath the branches of a beautiful beech tree. Here it was that the "burden of my heart rolled away", and I felt the peace of God which "passeth understanding" at twelve years old. I did not mention it to my father or mother, but continued to resort to this favorite "bower of prayer."

"I love to steal awhile away
From every cumbering care;
And spend the hours of setting day
In humble, grateful prayer."

In the spring of 1861 I made up my mind to unite with the church. I had heard our pastor announce that on Saturday afternoon preceding the Communion the Session would meet to confer with those who wished to join the church. I told my mother of my intention. She looked at me with an earnestness I can never forget, when she said: "William do you think you are fit to join the church?" So mother-like. She didn't want her boy to be deceived about a matter of so great importance. On the way to church her question kept coming up: "Do you think you are fit?" I knew but one way to settle it, and so I went out into the woods where I knelt in prayer and asked the Lord to give me unquestionable evidence of my conversion, or them to open my heart and show me the worst of my condition. It was but a few moments until I felt the same sweet peace and joy I had at first." I said: "Lord, this will do." So I arose and went on my way to church with a glad and joyous heart. And when my pastor asked me, among other questions, if I realized that God, for Christ's sake, had pardoned my sins, I answered out of a full heart: "I know that He has."

I was admitted to full communion in the church, and the next day found me seated with other communicants at the Lord's table,--a long table was set in the aisle and seats on each side for the communicants. I can never forget the joy and peace I felt on that first communion occasion.

It was about this time that the Civil War began. When the drum beat and the fife played for volunteers, I longed to go with the boys who were older than I. But my mother's tears and entreaties held me back, and thus I escaped the dangers and hardships incident to army life; and was spared to engage in a nobler warfare under the leadership of the Prince of Peace, for which I thank God.

When about eighteen years of age I began to have serious impressions with regard to entering the ministry. But the war had left the schools and colleges all broken up; and having nothing more than a common school education, I gave up the thought of preaching and married. But as time passed on my impressions returned with increasing power until it became as a "fire shut up in my bones."

When about twenty years old I began to develop a taste and love for poetry, and began to versify the Psalms. But the rigid rules of my church would not have allowed me to sing even my own version of the Psalms.

Meanwhile I began to compare the Westminster Confession of Faith with its doctrines of unconditional election, and reprobation with the plain, unequivocal "Whosoever Will" doctrine of the Bible. So when I found myself out of harmony with the doctrines of my church, I sought to connect myself with a church whose doctrines I could endorse and preach. I had often heard the Methodists preach; but I could not accept their doctrine of apostasy, so I began to study the Bible with a view to discovering a middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism.

Up to this time I had known but little of the doctrines and usages of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, so I went to hear the Rev. R. D. Hardin at old Pisgah Church. I was favorably impressed with the preacher and his preaching. It just suited my new way of thinking, and so I asked him if he had his Confession of Faith with him. He said he did not, but would get one for me. I took it home with me and examined it with care, and when through I had made up my mind to unite with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. But meanwhile, Brother Hardin died without knowing the results of letting me have that Confession of Faith.

The Rev. Jonathan J. Powers then took charge of the Pisgah Church. I went to hear him and was most deeply impressed with his sermon. At the close of the service I told him that I wished to join the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. And began to tell him of my impressions in reference to a call to preach; and as I proceeded the tears began to flow down his cheeks, and said, "Brother Dale, you need not go any further; I have been all along that road you are now traveling." The Tennessee Presbytery will meet at Athens, Ala., in a few weeks. There will be a committee appointed to confer with young men and you can make a statement of your feelings to that committee, and if they think you are called to preach they will tell you what to do.

I decided to go to that presbytery and leave my case in the hands of the Lord and the brethren. Then it was that I received a great blessing from the Lord. Meanwhile, I had secured a letter of dismission from my former church for myself and wife, and we were received into the Pisgah congregation. of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

When the time came to start to presbytery I was on hand and ready to accompany my pastor. The opening sermon was preached by Rev. J. B. Tigert from the text, "These Men are the Servants of the Most High God which Show unto Us the Way of Salvation." (Acts 16: 17).

I listened with rapt attention to this man of God as he declared the fullness and freeness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt that I had made no mistake in the step I had taken, and longed to tell the sweet story of salvation to others.

This was on Friday night, April 22, 1870. On Saturday a committee having been appointed to confer with young men who felt called of God to preach the gospel met, when Brother Jas. H. Warren, a son of the Rev. John B. Warren of Petersburg, Tenn., and I came before the committee. The chairman was the Rev. J. W. L. Smith. We were closely examined respecting our conversion and internal call to the ministry. It should be stated here that Brother Warren was a young man with no encumbrance, and when asked by the committee what he proposed to do, he said he proposed to go to Lebanon and take the collegiate course. This he could well afford to do, as his father was a man of means and could send his boy to school as long as required. The committee then asked me what I could do, stating at the same time that they understood that I was married and settled in business. I replied: "I don't know what I can do; but I propose to go as far as I can," to which the committee responded, "That is all right; you go as far as you can, and we will stand at your back and follow you with our prayers and helpful influence." And I wish to bear this testimony here, that whatever I have been able to accomplish for the upbuilding of the church and the salvation of souls is largely attributable to the encouragement given me by that committee; and I also want to thank God for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and for what it has done for me.

The text assigned me on which to write a discourse to be read at the next meeting of presbytery was Ephesians 2: 8, "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."

On the Sabbath following my return from Presbytery I went to hear our pastor, Brother Powers, Preach. After services Augustus Yeager, an elder of the church, asked me to make an appointment at Pisgah for the third Sabbath of May, at three o'clock, and to announce that Brother Powers would hold a sacramental meeting there on the fourth Sabbath. At this I began to object, saying that I was not a preacher. "But," said Brother Yeager, "I have been hearing from you, now don't go to backing down." At this moment the pastor stepped up and said: "What did Presbytery tell you to do?" "Oh! it said something about "exercising my gifts in public exhortation;" but that doesn't mean that I shall preach. But as they insisted, I half way consented for them to make the appointment.

But as the time drew near I concluded that I would better select a text and prepare for the occasion, so I selected John 12: 21, "Sir, we would see Jesus," and wrote a discourse on it which I memorized. I began by saying: "If you would see a magnificent edifice in all of its beauty and grandeur, you must view it from many standpoints. So if we would see Jesus as He really is, we must view Him from many standpoints also. Observe the following points of view: 1. Jesus in all His glory which He had with the Father from the beginning. 2. Jesus laying aside His glory to become the Savior of mankind. 3. The incarnation and birth of Jesus. 4. His life of sorrow and self-denial. 5. His ignominious death. 6. His burial. 7. His resurrection. 8. His ascension.

On coming in sight of the church, lo! what should I behold? The church surrounded with people and the hillside covered with horses. On walking up to the church, Brother P. L. Twitty, on of the elders of the church (God bless his memory), took me to one side and said: "Now don't you go to getting excited. Just do like you had been at it all your life." I said: "What do you mean?" "Why haven't you an appointment here this afternoon? These people have all come out to hear you." I said: "This is some of Brother Yeager's and Brother Powers' doing." "Well, it is all right; now you just go ahead."

On entering the church I found a packed house. some who, no doubt, came out of curiosity, while others doubtless came out of the purest motives and with a desire to see me succeed. But to cap the climax I saw one of my uncles sitting back in the congregation. But nothing daunted, I arose in front of the pulpit and announced the 89th Psalm:

  "Blest are the souls who hear and know,
    The gospel's joyful sound;
  Peace shall attend the path they go,
    And light their steps surround."

After prayer I announced the hymn beginning:

  "He dies, the Friend of sinners, dies;
    Lo! Salem's daughters weep around;
  A solemn darkness veils the skies,
    A sudden trembling shakes the ground."

From this time on I kept up appointments at various places, occupying school-houses as well as churches until the next meeting of the Presbytery, which was at New Market, Ala., September 23, 1870, where I read my first discourse before the Presbytery. As the Presbytery had given me a text, which seemed to cover the whole field of theology, I undertook to discuss the whole question of the plan of salvation. I contrasted the viewpoints held by the Calvinists with those held by the Arminians; and then contrasted those with the doctrines held by Cumberland Presbyterians, giving my views fully as to the atonement of Christ. It took three quarters of an hour to read my discourse, the longest, perhaps, ever read before any Presbytery. It fell into the hands of the Rev. J. R. Morris to review it and to criticise it. After making some minor corrections he wrote on the margin, "Your discourse possesses great merit, its chief fault being its great length. But you could hardly have discussed the various points in your text in much less compass."

It was about this time that I wrote my first article for a church paper. I had written an article on "Temperance" for the Youth Evangelist, of Philadelphia. But all I ever saw of it was: "The article on Temperance, by W. T. D., is too long and lacks points; try again." Suffice to say, I didn't try that again. But having learned the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," nerved me up to write on another subject. Seeing the efforts of our Board of Publication to build up publicational work, I wrote an article headed "The Board of Publication," and sent it to the Banner of Peace, published by Dr. S. P. Chesnut. In due time it made its appearance. Brother W. E. Dunnaway, then publishing agent, wrote me that Dr. W. E. Ward, president of the board, had read my article before the Middle Tennessee Synod, and returned the thanks of the board to the writer; and that he himself was using it in circular form and mailing it to the presbyteries and churches. I wrote two or three more articles in the interest of the Board of Publication. I had strongly urged the churches to help build up our publicational work by patronizing our own publications. And I practiced what I preached. For I not only bought the books I needed myself, but sold many books to others. I have from the beginning of my ministry regarded the printing press as a potent means of spreading the gospel and of evangelizing the world.

The next meeting of Presbytery was at Winchester, Tenn., April 21, 1871. Here I read my second discourse on repentance, text Luke 13: 5. At this Presbytery I asked for the received the appointment of a committee to review a collection of psalms and hymns, which I had undertaken to prepare. The Presbytery readily complied with my request, and appointed Rev. M. B. DeWitt, Rev. C. B. Sanders and Dr. R. T. Searcy.

Chapel, Madison County, Alabama, September 22, 1871. One item that deserves special mention and emphasis is the fact that the Committee on Examination always met the probationers on Thursday at ten o'clock preceding the meeting of Presbytery on Friday at eleven o'clock, and put in full time in examining the candidates and licentiates on geography, English grammar, philosophy, astronomy, natural and revealed theology, church history, church government and the Confession of Faith. It was a veritable theological seminary while it lasted.

The next meeting of the Presbytery was at Union teachers were such men as Rev. M. H. Bone, D.D., Rev. M. B. DeWitt, Prof. J. R. Morris, Rev. W. B. Waterson, and Rev. C. B. Sanders, the "Sleeping preacher of North Alabama."

At this Presbytery I read my third discourse founded on Romans 1: 16, which was received as further part of trial. Meanwhile, I was busy compiling my hymn book, and the following March submitted the manuscript to Rev. M. B. DeWitt, chairman of the committee.

The next meeting of the Presbytery was at Madison, Madison County, Alabama, April 26, 1872. Rev. J. B. Tigert was elected moderator. I read my fourth discourse founded on Col. 3: 3. This discourse was received "as popular" preparatory to licensure, Brother Tigert, as moderator, performing the licensure. Rev. Matthew H. Bone moved that I be required to travel in the bounds of the Presbytery as a missionary until the next meeting.

As hymnals with music were now coming into use I laid my manuscript away until a future time.

The meeting of the Columbia Synod came on which convened in Fayetteville, Tenn., in October, 1872. The opening sermon was preached by the Rev. Baxter C. Chapman of Columbia, from the text, Isaiah 52: 7: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of them that bring good tidings, etc. He dwelt upon the call to the ministry, the work and its rewards. It was under the preaching of that eminent servant of God that I was enabled to lay my home and business on the altar of God, then my wife and child, and then myself with every fiber of my being, whether with one or five talents, all upon the altar, and then it was that the "fire fell from heaven consuming the sacrifice." I received it as the assurance that the Lord had accepted the dedication which I had that day made of myself and all I had to Him and His service.

I left that Synod fully resolved to sell my home and close out my business as soon as possible and enter Cumberland University and spend every dollar i possessed in an effort to qualify myself to the fullest extent I could for the work whereunto I felt that God had called me. In the Christmas week I made a trip to Lebanon, spending my first night there with Dr. Beard, who became my fast friend and counsellor. After securing a cottage I returned home for my wife and child. The last night was spent under the parental roof; and the next morning when the time came to take our departure, on coming to my father I said: "Father, farewell." He gave me one hand and laid the other on my head and said: "Go, my son William, and God be with thee." I can as it were feel the pressure of that father's hand on my head yet, and I feel the influence of a father's benediction on my heart and life till this good day, although that was many years ago.

I might as well state here that my father and mother united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church several years before their death, and died in the faith.

The following September I became superintendent of "Camp Blake," the young preachers' home, which was maintained by the church. This required a good deal of my time; but as I never indulged in any games, such as croquett, as the other boys did, I found time to attend to my duties as superintendent, and keep up my studies, too. And besides, I found time to write poems and articles for the church periodicals.

After preparing myself to enter the theological department I took up the theological course, and graduated on June 8, 1876, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Divinity.

To young preachers who have made the mistake of marrying before completing their education, as I did, I would say: "Don't despair. You can get through all right, if you have the 'root of the matter in you.'"

After graduation I immediately entered upon pastoral work, in which I have continued all these years except one year spent in evangelistic work. And I have spent all my time in Tennessee except two and one-half years spent as pastor of the church in Dalton, Ga.

Unlike many young men I desired my ordination to follow my graduation. I wanted this to be the "Cap Stone" in the way of my preparation for my work. It was on Monday night, April 16, 1877, that I was ordained by the Nashville Presbytery, at Franklin, Tenn., Rev. J. H. Warren, who joined Presbytery when I did, being pastor of the church there at the time. Dr. A. J. Baird, who was chairman of the Committee on examination and recommended my, ordination, preached the ordination sermon from the text, "Preach the Word." 2 Tim. 4: 2. While Dr. T. C. Blake "presided and gave the charge," and Dr. M. B. DeWitt offered the ordination prayer. Brother B. J. Wall was also ordained at the same time.

In addition to my ministerial duties, I have devoted much of my leisure time to writing and publishing song books and other books, tracts, etc., by which I hope to testify for the Lord when I have been called to my rest in heaven.

Song books are as follows:

"Last Words; or, Spirit Whispers," 1878; "Children's Hosannas," 1880; "The Gospel Shower," 1885; "The Bugle Blast" (Prohibition Campaign Song Book), 1887; "Gospel Melodies," 1890; "Times of Refreshing," 1893; "Children's Hosannas, No. 2," 1895; "Times of Refreshing, 20th century edition, 1901; "Hymns of Calvary," 1904; "Cumberland Songs," 1907; "Cumberland Hymns," 1908; "Sound the Battle Cry," 1909; "Cumberland Hymns, Centenary edition, 1910; "The Harp of Glory,: 1911; "Supplement to the Harp of Glory," 1912; "The Songs of Zion," our new church hymnal, 1914. Other books: "The Anxious Seat; or, A Plea for Altar Exercises," 1884; "The Baptism of Christ," 1886; "Mrs. Nannie Preston; or, The Truth Sought and Found," 1894; "Life's Railway to Heaven," 1894; "The Difference in Creedal Statement," 1904; "Bible Readings on Baptism," 1910, etc.

When the "merger wave" struck the church in 1903, I began to study the situation earnestly with a view to determining my course in the matter. I was sitting in some eight feet of Dr. R. M. Tinnon, who had left the moderator's chair to read a resolution calling for the appointment of the "Committee on Fraternity and Union" in the General Assembly at Nashville in 1903, and I said to myself: "That means the disruption of our church; that means trouble for us." Had I not been thoroughly converted from "Calvinism" to "Cumberlandism," I might have welcomed the opportunity to return to the Calvinistic fold for the "larger things" held by the mergerists. But like Moses of old, when he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, so I chose to abide in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church with those who, for "conscience sake," could not forsake her.

I wrote a series of articles on "The Difference in Creedal Statement between the Confessions of Faith of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church," which I offered for publication in The Cumberland Presbyterian soon after the appointment of the Committee on Fraternity and Union. But the editor himself having been placed on that committee managed to hold those articles back, no doubt, that I might be convinced of my error and yield.

At the close of the year he resigned and another succeeded him. I re-wrote these articles in the light of the report of the joint committee, and offered them to the new editor for publication. The first article, after much coaxing, was published in two installments, March 24 and 30, 1904, and about half of the second article followed, and then I was informed that if I wished to have the remainder of my articles published, I would have to resort to pamphlet. This I did, bringing out a booklet of ninety-six pages. This was scattered throughout the church, the Rev. A. N. Eshman assisting very materially in circulating the book, which was vigorously attacked by the "mergerists." However, some of them bought it and gave it a respectful reading.

I have no regrets for the position I assumed in this the darkest period in the history of the church. And now that I have lived to see the end of the struggle, and to see the church preserved and perpetuated, I rejoice all the more. I bear no ill will toward those who left the church and joined the other church. This was their privilege. But I do blame them for wanting to force the rest of us to go with them whether we wanted to do so or not. And for wanting to take all our church property from us.

As I survey the future I can yet see an "open door before us." And all we have to do is to enter and occupy the field. We have a great mission to perform in the world yet. Let us hold aloft the "Whosoever Will Banner" and invite the whole family of Adam to come to Jesus Christ and be saved.

My latest work in behalf of my church was the editing of "The Songs of Zion," the church's new hymnal, adopted by the General Assembly at Bowling Green, Ky., May, 1913. This I did as chairman of the Assembly's Committee on a New Hymnal. And when I came to take it up I fell back on the manuscripts referred to in a previous part of this sketch. Here I found a large array of the very best of the old standard hymns as found in former collections of psalms and hymns in use by the church. This book was not only adopted by the 1913 Assembly, but has been re-recommended by the 1914 and 1915 Assemblies. I thank God that I have been spared to complete this work which has been published and given to the church.

Having passed the 70th mile-stone on my pathway through this vale of light and shadow, I look back with mingled feelings of regret and thankfulness; thankfulness, because of what little good I trust I have been enabled to accomplish for the Lord; regrets, because I have not done more for Him who has done so much for me. Here I am reminded of the great and good Dr. Beard who, on recovering from a severe spell of sickness in his eightieth year, wrote me that during his sickness he felt that he had not done anything for the Lord as yet; but that if He would spare his life he would try to do something before he died. This served to show the deep humility of the man who was noted for his piety and modesty.

As a "Senior Soldier," I want to fall in the last ditch with my armor on, my face to the enemy, and my eyes fixed upon the Captain of my Salvation. I want to be able to say with Paul: "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand; I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith." And then be able to shout with him: "O Death; where is thy sting? O Grave! where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

My fellow Senior Soldiers, let us be "faithful unto death, that we may receive a crown of life." We are rapidly hastening on the goal of life and soon we shall hear the cheering plaudit: "Well done good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

"Brethren, while we sojourn here,
Fight we must, but should not fear;
Foes we have, but we've a Friend,
One that loves us to the end.
Forward then with courage go,
Long we shall not dwell below.
Soon the joyful news will come,
'Child, your Father calls, Come home.'

"In the way a thousand snares,
Lie to take us unawares,
Satan with malicious art,
Watches each unguarded part.
But from Satan's malice free
Saints shall soon victorious be;
Soon the joyful news will come
'Child, your Father calls, Come home.'

"But of all the foes we meet,
None so oft mislead our feet.
None betray us into sin,
Like the foes that dwell within;
Yet let nothing spoil your peace,
Christ shall also conquer these;
Soon the joyful news will come,
'Child, your Father calls, 'Come home.'"
                        --Rev. Joseph Swain, 1783.

[Source: Our Senior Soldiers: The Biographies and Autobiographies of Eighty Cumberland Presbyterian Preachers. Compiled by The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication. The Assistance of Revs. J. L. Price and W. P. Kloster is Greatfully Acknowledged. Nashville, Tenn.: The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1915, pages 230-250.]


The Rev. William Thomas Dale, D.D., died September 21 at his home in Nashville, Tenn., being nearly 80 years old at the time of his death. He was born, Feb. 20, 1845, near Elk River, Alabama, eight miles west of Fayetteville, Tenn., and was dedicated to God in infancy in the holy ordinance of baptism.

Dr. Dale was a great and good man. The foundation of his greatness was laid in his childhood, back in his father's home, around the family altar. He often said. "I owe much to the influence of early religious training in my father's home. My father held family prayers morning and night." He learned that old, familiar prayer of childhood around his mother's knee:

"Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

In the spring of 1861 he professed faith in Christ, and united with the Associated Reformed Presbytery Church. This was about the time when the Civil War broke out, but in the providence of God, he escaped the dangers and hardships incident to army life, and was spared to engage in a nobler warfare under the leadership of the Prince of Peace.

At the age of about 20, he began to compare doctrinal standards, and after much serious and candid investigation, he and his wife united with the Pisgah congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Dale placed himself under the care of the Tennessee Presbytery at Athens, Ala., April 23, 1870, as a candidate for the gospel ministry, and two years later was licensed to preach at Madison, Madison County, Alabama.

In the same year, 1872, or perhaps the first of the year 1873, this eminent divine entered Cumberland University at a great sacrifice from a material point of view, having given up his secular business and sold his home to prepare himself for the work of the ministry. He was graduated from said school on June 8, 1876, and received the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. After graduation, he immediately entered upon pastoral work, and continued in active service for God and the Church until the last few years of his life. (All of his work has been done in Tennessee, with the exception of about two and a half years spent as pastor of the church in Dalton, Ga.)

He was ordained to the full work of the ministry by the Nashville Presbytery at Franklin, Tenn., on April 16, 1877, and was loyal to every enterprise of his Church, and supported them in every way possible. Much of his time was devoted in writing and publishing song books, and other books, gospel tracts, etc., and these remain to testify for his Lord, and he has gone to be with him in the haven of rest.

This hero of the cross has answered the call, "Come up higher," and we who knew him feel very keenly the great loss to our denomination, but are confident that our loss is his eternal gain. We bow in humble submission to him who "doeth all things well," and commend the dear sainted widow, who has helped him to bear the burdens in the heat of battle; his daughters, relatives and large circle of friends, to Him who understands our "grief and carries our sorrow."

In closing this sketch of our deceased brother, we wish to give you a quotation taken from his autobiography, which portrays the heart of this great man. "As a 'Senior Soldier,' I want to fall in the last ditch with my armor on, my face to the enemy, and my eyes fixed upon the Captain of my salvation. I want to be able to say with Paul, 'I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand; I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith,' and be able to shout with him, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.'"

He closed with a word of admonition to his brethren, in these words: "My fellow senior soldiers, let us be faithful unto death, that we may receive 'a crown of life.' We are rapidly hastening on the goal of life, and soon we shall hear the cheering plaudit, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

A short service was conducted by the Rev. W. R. Johnson, former pastor of the Grandview Cumberland Presbyterian Church, assisted by the Rev. Sadler, pastor. He was then taken from the Grandview Church to Franklin, Tenn., for burial, and placed before the altar of the church where he received his ordination, and the Rev. S. L. Noel, Associate Editor of The Cumberland Presbyterian, conducted the services, assisted by the Revs. Hardy Copeland, Nashville, Tenn., and S. T. Byars, of Fayetteville, Tenn.
                 B. F. Guinn,
                 S. L. Noel,
                 W. H. McLeskey,
                 C. M. Zwingle,
                 Hardy Copeland.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 2, 1924, page 1]

Dr. William Thomas Dale, of Nashville, Tenn., died September 21. He was one of our senior ministers, being nearly 80 years old at the time of his death. Brother Dale was well known in the Church. He was a writer and publisher. He has composed and published many hymn books, besides other books and tracts. He was a good writer, and the power of his pen has been felt throughout the denomination.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 2, 1924, page 1]


Lebanon Presbytery.--Rev. W. T. Dale, D.D., Nashville, Tenn., retired.

[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1925, page 109]


Dale, W. T., ed. Life's Two Railways. Great Salvation Railroad Great Damnation Railroad. Rev. W. T. Dale, 1893. [1 copy in archives]


Dale Family Information

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Updated 6 February 2023