Joshua Ramsey Lowrance

1818 - 1915

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

We Need a Photograph!



We copy the following brief sketch of this good brother mainly in his own language:

"Jacob Lowrance was my grand-father. His ancestors were Dissenters, and fled from Persecution from England to Scotland, thence to Holland, from there to the United States, and settled in the Carolinas. Samuel Lowrance was my father. He was born in South Carolina April 10th, 1792, immigrated to Georgia in early life with his parents, and then to Tennessee, and with his father settled on Bear Creek, Maury county. There he spent his youthful days. Grand-father and father were elders for years in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. My father was a convert of the great revival of 1800. He sleeps in Jerseyville cemetery, Jersey county, Illinois.

"Rachel Ramsey, my mother, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, 1781, when it was a small French village, and it was said she was the first white child born there. She was a niece of Col. Rev. Joseph Brown and Joseph Porter, who was a brother of James B. Porter. My mother was also a subject of the revival of 1800, and a member of Rev. Craighead's congregation, but went with the revival party and united with the first Cumberland Presbyterians. She sleeps near Manchester, Morgan county, Illinois.

"I was born in Maury county, Tennessee, April 14, 1818; was baptized by Rev. Robert Donnell (author of 'Donnell's Thought's'). My first serious impressions were received under my father's prayers when he led his four boys with him to secret devotion, I being only seven years of age. They were renewed at old Bear Creek camp-ground, under the shouting and exhortation of my grand-father on Tuesday morning as the meeting was closing when I was ten years old. In the Fall of 1830 I with my parents immigrated to Calaway county, Mo., and there, in old Providence congregation, I was again awakened in Sabbath-school under James Nevins, an elder in said church and my Sabbath-school teacher. On September 2, 1833, at night, I was born into the kingdom of Christ during a camp-meeting held at said church by Eli Guthrie and David Kirkpatrick. O, the bliss and glory of that hour! There my eternal life began, and for over forty years my Savior has led me and kept me, and he will keep me to the end.

"I was then fifteen years, four months and seventeen days old. In the Spring of 1835 I with my parents immigrated to Illinois, and settled near Manchester in Morgan county. Here on a farm I labored for my father. I was received as a candidate for the ministry by Sangamon Presbytery at Sugar Creek, Sangamon county, April 5, 1837, and wrote three discourses: first from Isaiah 1v. 6, then from Romans v. I, and lastly from Hebrews iv. 9. The Presbytery was composed of J. M. Berry, Thomas Campbell, Gilbert Dodds, Benjamin Canby and A. W. Lansden--five of the noblest men that ever lived. I was licensed at old Concord near Petersburg on September 23, 1838, at a camp-meeting. Benjamin Canby was Moderator. Then for four years and six months I traveled on a circuit extending from Petersburg on the north to Jerseyville on the south. In this time Rev. J. G. White was licensed and came to me, and for years we labored together. I was ordained in company with Bro. J. G. White on the first day of April, 1843, at Sugar Creek, Sangamon county, Illinois. Father Berry delivered the sermon from I. Timothy, iv. 16. From the Fall of 1843 to 1844 I traveled as a Synodical missionary and held revival meetings. In the Fall of 1845 I took charge of Stouts Grove and Shiloh congregations, in Mackinaw Presbytery, as supply until the Fall of 1846, on a salary of $160. Then, on the second day of January, 1847, I was, by order of Mackinaw Presbytery, installed pastor of Stouts Grove congregation. Bros. Neill and Archibald Johnson officiated. My salary being $200 and board, many happy days I spent in this congregation. At the General Assembly in 1849 I received the appointment as agent to collect funds for the Home and Foreign Missionary Board. In this work I traveled in Missouri and Illinois. In the Summer of 1850 I preached for Stouts Grove (now Danvers) congregation, and was married November 3d, 1850, to Miss Eliza J. McClure, a member of my charge and daughter of Samuel and Malinda McClure. She was a convert of my first meeting there, and was received into the congregation and baptized by myself. In 1851 I lived and labored in Bloomington, Ill., and but for the want of support there might be to-day a Cumberland Presbyterian church there. In 1853 I removed to Hardin county, Iowa, then on the frontier. In 1857, under the order of Iowa Synod, I located in Oskaloosa. Here I toiled until the Fall of 1866, when I left for Illinois. I stopped a short time at Virginia; then, in April 1867, I located in Lincoln and took charge of Union congregation all my time on a salary of $600. By a request of ministers I left Union congregation and took charge of Danvers congregation Dec. 1, 1867. Here I labored until the Fall of 1870, when I resigned and took charge of Albion congregation, in Edwards county, Illinois. Each of these last congregations gave me $1,000 salary. In Albion I labored until August, 1874, when I returned to Lincoln to school my sons, and took charge of Union and Hopedale (old Shiloh) congregations, where I am now serving the Church as best I can, being sixty years of age in April 14, 1878. Here I am on my way home. Soon my work will be over here below. Rest is near before me."

We will add, that we have known Bro. Lowrance since the Spring of 1849; visited his family not long since and enjoyed their hospitalities. He is still in good health, and bids fair for many years' good service for the Master yet. He is a good preacher, sound in the faith, well received, and never was doing more good than at present.
[Source: Logan, J. B. History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Illinois, Containing Sketches of the First Ministers, Churches, Presbyteries and Synods; also a History of Missions, Publication and Education. Alton, Ill.: Perrin & Smith, 1878, pages 194-197]

Jacob Lowrance
born: 17 Aug 1799 - Rowan County, North Carolina
died: 24 May 1855
buried: Bear Creek Cemetery- Mooresville, Tennessee
married: 17 Nov 1783 - Rowan County, North Carolina
wife: Rebecca Beard
[daughter of John Beard]

Children of Jacob Lowrance and Rebecca Beard:

1. Samuel Lowrance
born: 10 April 1792 - South Carolina or Georgia?
buried: Jerseyville Cemetery, Jersey County, Illinois
married: 10 Apr 1813 - Maury County, Tennessee
wife: Rachel Ramsey
born: 1781 - near Nashville, Tennessee
buried: near Manchester, Morgan County, Illinois

Children of Samuel Lowrance and Rachel Ramsey:

1.1. Joshua R. Lowrance
Cumberland Presbyterian Minister
born: 14 April 1818 - Maury County, Tennessee
received as a candidate by Sangamon Presbytery - 5 April 1837
licensed - 23 September 1838
ordained - 1 April 1843
died: 11 January 1915 - Topeka, Kansas
married: 3 November 1850
wife: Eliza J. McClure
[daughter of Samuel and Malinda McClure]


[Source: Logan, J.B. History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Illinois, Containing Sketches of the First Ministers, Churches, Presbyteries and Synods; Also a History of Missions, Publication and Education. Alton, Ill.: Perrin & Smith, 1878. [pages 194-197]

Updated February 22, 2016

Please Send Additions/Corrections to the Archives