REV. ALLEN FOUST.--On Wednesday, March 16th, too late for announcement in last week's issue, we received a telegram from Rev. P. F. Johnson, announcing that Rev. Allen Foust, president "Board of Education," died Tuesday night.
We telegraphed Brother
Johnson to send us his picture, and his obituary, but
have not been able to procure either in time for this week's issue.
Brother Foust will long be remembered, as one of the truest, firmest,
most consecrated, most useful members of his day, in the Cumberland
Presbyterian Church. "The one hundred and six," at Decatur
Assembly will remember the valiant service, he rendered there
in exposing error, and exalting the truth concerning "The
Steele resolution." Brother Foust loved truth, and frankness.
He battled bravely for the right, but now he has been called from
labor to reward.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, March 24, 1910, page 351]
It is easy to write about a man, but to tell his true history is quite a different task. The life and character of Rev. Allen Foust is written more plainly and more fully on the minds and hearts of those whom he served than it will ever be upon paper. The orderly and quiet city of McKenzie, Tenn., which was for many years the home of Allen Foust, was rendered more impressively orderly and quite on the morning of the 16th of March, 1910, when it was announced that Brother Foust passed away on the night before at 11:50 o'clock. Business men stopped to speak of his good traits of character as a business man and a citizen, those whom he had counseled in adversity and consoled in the hour of sorrow and bereavement, in a husky voice, were calling to each other, "Did you know Brother Foust is dead?" His departure did not come as a shock to the people for his long illness and its serious and stubborn nature had apprised them that the end was near.
Allen Foust was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee, March 10, 1854, and departed this life March 15, 1910. His parents, Jesse and Martha Foust, came to Weakley County in West Tennessee in 1856 and lived near Ward's Chapel for three or four years and then settled near where the town of Greenfield is now located. He was reared on the farm under the influence of his father's home, which was Christian in its character and firm in its government. He had four brothers and three sisters who shared the pleasure of the home with him, all of whom are living except two sisters.
His opportunities for an education were not the best. The civil war left the community in which he was reared almost without schools. He made the best possible use of such as were at his command. He was a close student all his life and became a good scholar, but never a graduate of any institution of learning.
He was married to Miss Mary C. Broach on October 3, 1878. To this union were born four children: Henry E. Foust, Laura (Mrs. Evens), Clara L. (Mrs. Gallimore) and Lillie Gertrude Foust. These with his four grandchildren constitute his immediate family.
The parents of Allen Foust believed that a child should first go to Sunday school and church and the earlier it started the better, and then if the time ever came when it was proper and right for a boy to go to the show and the theater he should be allowed to attend occasionally. With them the very idea that a child could not go to Sunday school and church, could not stand the fatigue, was disgusting. Hence their children started to church and Sunday school when they were babes in their mother's arms and from that early training the children have never departed. Two of the sons became ministers, The Rev. W. J. Foust, of Arkansas, and Allen Foust, the subject of this article.
He professed religion in 1866 and united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Ebenezer, now Greenfield, Tennessee. On February 24, 1907, he transferred his membership to the McKenzie church. Early in life he felt that God had called him to the ministry. Like many others who have been called of God he was unwilling at first to answer the call. He felt that he was unworthy. "How," he would ask "Can God use such a worm as I am?" After a hard battle he surrendered to God and placed himself under the care of Hopewell Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry, about the year 1874. A few years later he was licensed to preach the gospel and at the fall meeting of Hopewell Presbytery, 1881, at Greenfield, in the church where he was reared, he preached his trial sermon before the presbytery, and was ordained to the full work of the ministry. His sermon before the presbytery was evidence of his coming power in the pulpit and great usefulness to the church.
Soon after his ordination he was called to the pastorate of the church at Rutherford, Tenn., and other churches seeing his eminent fitness for the work called him as their shepherd. An active pastor at once he became. In this office he was not the man that looked for the emoluments, but for that which would glorify God, advance his kingdom and save souls. He was preeminently a soul-winner. As pastor he served many of the churches in Hopewell Presbytery and was known by almost every family within the bounds of the presbytery. He was twice called to the pastorate of the church at McKenzie. His first pastorate here began January 6, 1897, and ended May 29, 1899. The second began September 24, 1906, and in the affection of his church has not ended yet. The relation was not desolved by resignation on his part or any action of the session., God desolved it. As it was with the McKenzie church so it was with Lavinia and Shiloh, the other two churches of his pastorate.
Brother Foust was a fine revivalist. In his revival work he used the methods of the fathers and founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Many of the modern evangelists would have done well to have studied under him. With him the gospel, God's own word and truth, was the power of God unto salvation to every one that believed. He believed it and so he preached it. He emphasized the new birth, without which no man could see or enter the kingdom of heaven. He believed that the new birth regeneration, is the work of the Holy Spirit, and that the Spirit would reveal and testify to the soul the fact of its regeneration. No other class of converts were counted with him. It is a noted fact that very few of the converts of his meetings ever went back to the world. He was never happier than when helping some pastor in a revival in a country church, where sinners were called to the altar, and he could sing and pray with them after the fashion of the Fathers of our Church, until the heavenly light flashed in their souls and they arose shouting "hallelujah." Then with his eyes uplifted, his face all aglow with heavenly light, he would clap his hands and shout, "Bless God!" Who shall take his place? Lord, let his mantle fall on our boys.
In the preparation and delivery of sermons the Rev. Allen Foust was a master. He was a close student of the Bible and current events and well versed in theology. He was a fine exegete and could make clear the real meaning of the scriptures. In the arrangement of the sermon he gave a simple, clear, logical analysis of the subject. His proof texts were to the point and his illustrations apt.
Before entering the pulpit he often showed a want of self-confidence. When great questions were pending he doubted his ability to fight the battle. But when he once entered the pulpit or joined issue with a combatant all timidity vanished and he was master of the situation. With an eye that sparkled, a voice strong but melodious, an articulation that brought out every syllable, an easy style and a will power that was commanding he took high rank as a preacher and public speaker.
He was a fine presbyter and was often placed on the most important committees in his presbytery. He was often elected moderator of his presbytery and once of the Synod of West Tennessee. He was frequently sent as commissioner to the General Assembly. He was a member of the Assembly that met in Dallas, Texas, in 1904, and was appointed by the commissioners from the Synod of Tennessee to assist the moderator in making out the committees. He was one of 106 that stood the storm at the Decatur Assembly in 1906. His voice was heard when the Steele resolutions were brought before that body. He was a Cumberland Presbyterian from principle and loved the doctrines of his church and preached them with power.
He was a great friend to the cause of education. For many years he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Bethel College. He was elected President of the Board February 19, 1904, to succeed the Rev. T. F. Crafford, deceased. He came to the presidency at a time the institution needed a strong man. In the face of many difficulties incident to the union disturbance in the church, Bethel College was kept open for the reception of students. On several occasions he came to the rescue of the college with his means. At the darkest hour in the history of the institution, without any security whatever, he loaned the board a good sum of money. His place will be hard to fill and the members of the board will miss him in their councils.
The General Assembly that met at Decatur, Ill., made Brother Foust a member of the Board of Education. On June 15, 1906, at the first meeting of the board after he became a member he was elected president. He took great interest in his new field of work and as long as he was able to attend the meetings of the board he was present to preside and give directions to the work. In this position he showed his interest in the young men who are to fill the pulpits of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His ideal standard for the qualification of the minister was high. He believed that he should be, (1) A regenerated man; (2) A man called of God; (3) A consecrated, spiritfilled man and full of faith; and (4) A man well educated and equipped for the work. The voice of the president of our Board of Education will be heard no more in defense of his ideal standard, but the voice of thousands in our church should rise in defense and support of it. Let no Cumberland Presbyterian rest satisfied until the pulpits of the church are filled with men who measure up to the standard. We owe it to God. We owe it to the church. We owe it to the memory of the man who did so much for the cause of education in our denomination.
The Rev. J. A. Keaton, the oldest minister in the Hopewell Presbytery, conducted the funeral services in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, on Thursday, March 17, 1910, at 11:00 a.m. in the presence of a large audience after which his remains were laid away in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
He suffered long and intensely, but it is all over now. Shortly before his death I was in his home. I had read some verses from the Bible and prayed with him. He assured me that his sufferings would soon be over and that he was in the hands of God. I said, Brother Foust how we will miss you in the work, we have been so long together in the battle." He answered, "But I must go." Then in a sweet, clear voice sang,
We're floating down the stream of time,
We have not long to stay,
The stormy clouds of darkness
Will turn to brightest day;
Then let us all take courage now,
We are not left alone,
The Life-Boat soon is coming,
To gather the jewels home.
Then cheer, my brother, cheer,
The trials will soon be o'er,
Our loved ones we shall meet, shall meet
Upon the golden shore;
We'er pilgrims and we'er strangers here,
We'er seeking a city to come,
The Life-Boat soon is coming,
To gather the jewels home.
Soon he took passage on the Life-Boat and now is at home with
REV. P. F. JOHNSON
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 28, 1910, pages 471-472]
[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1910, page 37]
Allen Foust was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee, March 10, 1854, and died at his home in McKenzie, Tenn., March 15, 1910.
His parents removed to West Tennessee in 1856, where he was reared on a farm under the influences of a Christian home.
His opportunities for an education were limited, as the Civil War had left his community almost without schools, but, by close application, he became a proficient scholar. He attended Bethel College for a few months, but the failing health of his mother troubled him so much he would not remain away from her long enough to complete his course. At. home he continued his studies, and in his library remain well-worn volumes of Latin and Greek history, science and mathematics, adding another proof of the old adage, "Where there's a will there's a way."
He professed religion and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the age of twelve years at Ebenezer, now Greenfield, Tenn.
Early in life he felt that God had called him to the ministry. After a hard battle he surrendered himself to God and joined Hopewell Presbytery in 1874, a few years later he was licensed to preach. He was ordained at the fall meeting of his presbytery in 1881, at Greenfield. Soon after his ordination he was called to the pastorate of the church at Rutherford, Tenn.
He and Miss Mary Broach were married the third day of October, 1878.
He was a soul-winner, never counting his ministerial profits by dollars and cents, but by souls saved for his Master's Kingdom.
When the clouds of union arose, he prayed and studied to know God's will for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. When he felt that the union movement was wrong he came out boldly and was never afraid to face the foe nor sought to shield himself by false words or mincing manners, but with one hand holding on to God and the other extended to his people he told the truth as he saw it. He loved all the people to whom he ministered, and at his family altar asked God to bless them, and called by name those in trouble, sorrow or sickness.
He taught school for fifteen years and preached every Sabbath.
He moved to McKenzie in 1891 to educate his children in Bethel College. He was pastor of the McKenzie Church the last four years of his life.
In the preparation and delivery of his sermons he was a master. He was a close student of the Bible and current events and well versed in theology. He was an able presbyter and was often placed on the most important committees. He was frequently elected moderator of his presbytery and once was moderator of the Synod of West Tennessee. His presbytery took pleasure in honoring him as a commissioner to the General Assembly. He was a member of the Assembly that met in Dallas, Tex., in 1904, and was appointed by the commissioners of his synod to assist the moderator in making out the committees. He was one of the 106 that stood the storm at the Decatur Assembly in 1906. His voice was heard when the Steel resolutions were before that body.
He was a great friend to the cause of education. For many years he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Bethel College. He was elected president of the Board February 19, 1904. He came to the presidency at a time the institution needed a strong man. On several occasions he came to the rescue of the college with his own means. At the darkest hour in the history of the institution, without any security whatever, he loaned the Board a good sum of money.
The General Assembly that met at Decatur, Ill., made him a member of the Board of Education, and he was elected president of the Board June 15, 1906, at the first meeting of the Board after his appointment. He took great interest in this new field of work as long as he was able to attend the meetings of the Board.
In mind he was brilliant, in language so simple a little child could listen and understand, in delivery so eloquent that none could surpass him, in heart so sympathetic the sorrow, suffering and poverty of others brought tears to his eyes and such comfort and help as it was in his power to give, he gladly bestowed.
He suffered much in his last illness, but was free from pain the last two weeks, and smilingly told his family Jesus was with him. A few days after his birthday, and a few minutes before midnight his soul returned to God, who gave it, as peacefully as a babe falls asleep.
His body was laid to rest in Mount Olivet Cemetery after a beautiful service, conducted by two of his life-long friends, Rev. J. A. Keaton and Rev. P. F. Johnson.
[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 295-298]