James Cunningham Lackey

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1812 - 1886

Lackey.--The Rev. James C. Lackey was born in Tennessee on the 6th day of January, 1812. At the age of nineteen years he professed religion at the old Beech Grove meeting-house. He at once became an active Christian. Came to the State of Illinois in the year 1833, and was one of the founders of the Church at Kinmundy, though living at quite a distance. When the Rev. Wm. Finley came to Salem and vicinity Brother Lackey moved his membership and became one of the founders of the Church at Salem, and remained a member until his death. He was a candidate in McLin Presbytery from 1854 to 1861. Then was licensed to preach. Was ordained to the whole work of the ministry in 1865. For about four years he has been much of the time laid aside from any work, and patiently he waited for the summons to call him home. There seemed to be no doubt in his mind. One day an old friend called to see him, and said: "O Uncle Jim, you may live for some time." He replied with strong emphasis: "Yes, but when I want to go, I want to go." A noble Odd Fellow, a true Mason, but far above all, a noble Christian. Firm as a rock for the right, uncompromising with sin, kind to all, modest and unassuming, free from jealousy. To me, a young minister, "Uncle Jim" showed a warmness and generosity seldom found among the aged ministry. Let me say in conclusion, all the country knew him, and to know him was to love him. Men who never go to Church came to do him honor. So, on the sixteenth day of September, 1886, about the time the sun went down he fell asleep as sweetly as he ever did in his mother's arms. Not a gasp, not a struggle. A few short breaths, and the redeemed soul took its flight to that "home of the soul" in "that beautiful city of gold."

"Servant of God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy."

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 21, 1886, page 2]

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Updated May 16, 2017