Samuel Porter McConnell

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1844 - 1921

Photograph Courtesy of Samuel Jones, Great Grandson of Rev. Samuel Porter McConnell


By Rev. Geo. A. Lyle.

Rev. Samuel P. McConnell was born in Limestone County, Alabama, February 4, 1844, which was the thirty-fourth anniversary of our Church.

Brother McConnell professed religion on the 7th day of August, 1856, joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church October 15, 1857, and in 1861 was ordained a Ruling Elder.

He was received under the care of Richland Presbytery April 26, 1869, was licensed to preach September 23, 1872, and was ordained to the full work of the ministry April 6, 1878.

He was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on the 4th day of December, 1880.

In August 20, 1872, he and Othella C. Daily were married. Brother McConnell has lived the Christian life for fifty-nine years and is still holding up a living Christ to a dying people. He has preached and held revivals all over the country round about him, and has been instrumental in turning many souls to Christ. He is now seventy-one years of age, and is serving four congregations.

As a preacher, Brother McConnell feels that four honors have been confered upon him. First his Presbytery (McGready) elected him Moderator for four successive times during the merger struggle. Second, at the close of this struggle he was elected commissioner to the General Assembly which met at Decatur, Ill., in 1906. Third and fourth, were calls from Hurricane Grove and Union Hill Congregations to be their pastor until his death. These two congregations are among the first Brother McConnell preached to, and the latter has always been his home church. His whole pastoral work is where he has been all of his life.

[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 77-78]

On December 5, 1921, at 9 p.m., the death angel visited the home of Rev. S. P. McConnell and took for its victim our beloved father and pastor.

Brother McConnell was born February 4, 1844; professed religion July 7, 1856; joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, October 15, 1857; was ordained a ruling elder in said church in 1861; joined Richland Presbytery, April 26, 1869; licensed to preach September 23, 1872, and ordained April 6, 1878. He moved to McGready Presbytery about 1869, of which he remained a faithful member. There is not a church in the McGready Presbytery that he has not visited and preached. He has sat in Presbytery at every church in the McGready bounds. He was always anxious to go and do his best. For fifty years he has been going up and down here and there preaching a whosoever will gospel. His Presbytery has sent him to the General Assembly at different times, of which he always felt proud.

Years ago his home church (Union Hill) and Hurricane Grove called him as pastor for life, of which he served to the best of his ability. He was loved and reverenced by everybody. He has buried more dead and married more people than any one in our bounds.

His motto was: A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and he surely did have that. He lived and died as he preached. His picture hangs today in Union Hill and Hurricane Grove churches.

Brother McConnell was the father of six children, five boys and one girl, five of whom are still living. He leaves a wife and these five children and a host of friends to mourn his death. Brother McConnell was a dear lover of Masonry. He was initiated, passed and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in the fall of 1880, of which he always loved. he was faithful to his lodge, always having something good to say.

While on his death bed he did not forget to pray. He could easily be heard praying and saying more good things. These are some of the last words that he used: "The basis of all true religion is love. The Lord said it is more blessed to give than to receive." We will all miss him, but we know where he is.

This was his last request: "At my death I want a Master Mason of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to preach my funeral from 2 Tim. 4:5, 6, 7, 8, and a procession to the grave." He was laid to rest in the Mitchell graveyard the 6th of December, where about 2,000 people had gathered to see the last of this man of God.              N. C. J.
   Anderson, Ala.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, January 26, 1922, pages 15-16]

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Updated April 6, 2009