Rev. D. C. DeWitt.
Rev. D. C. DeWitt, one of the best known of our ministers in Texas, and one of the oldest both in years and in point of service, was called to his reward on the first day of the new year. The news brings sorrow to many hearts, for Mr. DeWitt was one of those men who made friends everywhere and kept those he made. He was nearly sixty-three years of age and still in active service, having but recently accepted the work at West, Texas. He served in the Confederate army, being a private in the same regiment of which his brother, the late Dr. M. B. DeWitt, was chaplain, and moved to Texas shortly after the close of the war. From that time until his death, he was a faithful and successful pastor in the Lone State and was identified with the movements which gave the Cumberland Presbyterian Church its strength and prestige in that state. He was one of those good and true men whose influence can never be properly estimated. "The Cumberland Presbyterian" sympathizes with those who are bereaved, for it, too, has lost a faithful friend.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 10, 1907, page 37]
The special order for 10 o'clock was taken up and a memorial service, in honor of Rev. D. C. DeWitt and Sister Loula J. Davis was conducted by the Moderator.
At the conclusion of the service, the following notice of the life and work of Rev. D. C. DeWitt was ordered spread upon the minutes:
D. C. DeWitt was the youngest of a family of ten children, the son of J. B. and Mary DeWitt. Born in Henry County, Tenn., February 20, 1844, his boyhood and youth were spent in his native state. Thought but a mere boy when the war between the States began, he enlisted and continued in service to the end of the struggle, serving under General Robert E. Lee, and in the Eighty Tennessee Division, Cheatham's Brigade. He came to Texas in 1865, and for twelve years thereafter engaged in secular work. He was licensed to preach by the Little River Presbytery in the summer of 1877. From this time forward till his death, he was constantly engaged in preaching the Gospel. The whole of his ministry was spent in Texas. Among his pastorates are Round Rock, Abeline, Davilla, Denton, Hillsboro, Mesquite, Ferris, Stephensville, West and Abbott. He filled the office of Synodic Superintendent of Sunday School Work in the State in 1901-02.
Brother DeWitt was a man of God, faithful in service, honest in purpose, and blameless in life. He was a true friend, a noble citizen, a splendid pastor, and withal an excellent preacher.
His preaching was plain, pointed and practical; his sermons instructive, quickening and comforting, having enough of the spice of wit to prevent their becoming tiresome to his audience. He was gifted with more than an ordinary degree of evangelistic power. He was peculiarly endowed for pastoral work, and his happy social disposition made him a welcome visitor in the homes of the people. For twenty-nine years he was a faithful Presbyter, having never missed a meeting of the Presbytery to which he chanced to belong. He was frequently in attendance at Synod, even when not a delegate, and in 1898 was made Moderator of that body, while in session at Mexia, Texas.
He was six times a commissioner to the General Assembly, and each time represented his Presbytery well. He was a devoted friend to the young preacher and to the probationer for the ministry. Through his encouragement and counsel many were made more hopeful in their high calling.
He was not given much to controversy, but always had the courage to stand by his convictions of right. When brethren strove together in heated discussion, his attitude was conciliatory. Many a time has his intervention served as the oil upon the troubled waters.
Brother DeWitt was twice married; in 1870 to Miss Anna Brown, who died soon after; in 1872 to Mrs. Fannie L. Dickinson, who still survives. Of the five children born of this union, three sons and one daughter survive him.
Early in December, 1906, Brother DeWitt was called from Stephensville, Texas, to accept the pastorate at West and Abbott. He had scarcely entered upon his work, when on January 1, 1907, after a brief illness he was called from his labor on earth to his reward in heaven. His funeral was conducted by Rev. E. L. Moore in the church at Hillsboro, assisted by Rev. R. T. Phillips of Corsicana, and Rev. J. D. Odom, pastor of the M. E. Church, South, at West.
The text for the service was taken from I Tim. 4-6: "A
good minister of Jesus Christ." A good man has gone from
us. A man loved by the people, trusted by his brethren in the
ministry, and honored by his church. "Well done, thou good
and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
[Source: Minutes of the Corsicana Presbytery, January 1907, pages 13-14]