Death has entered the ranks of the members of Sangamon Presbytery and claimed one of her ministers and long-time members. Rev. J. E. Roach, son of Rev. Needham and Fanny Hamilton Roach, was born in Wilson county, Tennessee, April 13, 1828, and died at the home of his son in Mason City, Ill., June 18, 1905, being 77 years, 2 months and 5 days old. His parents moved to Illinois when he was six months old, and he resided in this state until his death. He became a Christian at the early age of 11 years and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was united in marriage with Miss Louisa J. Roach, April 1, 1849, with whom he lived in happy wedded life for fifty-six years. To them were born five children--Mrs. Mary M. Cavett, who departed this life February 10, 1882; two sons, who died in infancy; Mrs. Louise R. Elder, wife of Rev. J. W. Elder, of Petersburg, Ill.; and S. B. Roach, of Mason City, Ill. Being impressed with the duty of entering the ministry, he spent two years in old Union College, Virginia, Ill., and two years in Cherry Grove Seminary, Abingdon, Ill., in preparation for the work. He was ordained a minister of the gospel in 1860 by Sangamon Presbytery at the Lebanon church, Rev. Abner Lansden preaching the ordination sermon. He was in the active pastorate for more than forty years, having to give up the work a few years ago on account of failing health. He was active in all lines of church work, especially in evangelistic, missionary and educational interests. He took an active part in the founding of Lincoln University, Lincoln, Ill., was liberal in its support, and was for a long time a member of the board of trustees. He was thoroughly evangelistic in spirit, being very successful in revival meetings, and hundreds of souls will rise up and call him blessed for having led them to Christ. He established a mission at Atlanta, Ill., organized a congregation and built a church, and was the pastor for nearly eleven years. He was pastor at Virginia for a number of years, repaired the church there, and built a manse. He served the church at Macomb for a few years. He organized the church at Table Grove, Ill., and built the handsome house in which they now worship. He was pastor at different times of a number of prominent country congregations. He had a faculty for raising money seldom excelled, and was called upon a number of times to dedicate churches. He was a man of strong characteristics, yet possessed of that happy faculty of being able always to maintain his convictions without giving offense. Socially and as a preacher he was popular and forceful, always loyal to his church; faithful and strong as a presbyter. He was an ardent advocate of union with the Presbyterian Church, believing it to be the will of him who prayed that we all might be one, and often expressed a wish to live to see it accomplished. His aged wife, a son and daughter, six grandchildren, with a host of other relatives and a wide circle of friends, are left to mourn a devoted husband, a loving, tender father, and a friend ever staunch and true. He passed peacefully away at the dawning of the Sabbath day and awoke in heaven, "satisfied in his likeness." Standing by that hallowed bedside as his glorified spirit ascended unto the Father, my own soul cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof!" Though we shall see him here no more, we pray that a double portion of his spirit may rest upon his family and his presbytery. On account of their failing health it has been our blessed privilege to have Father and Mother Roach in our home most of the time for the past four years, they having gone but a short time before his death to visit his son in Mason City, where he passed away. Brief funeral services were conducted Monday afternoon at his son's residence under the auspices of Sangamon Presbytery, assisted by the pastors of the local churches. Rev. J. C. Momyer, a warm friend for more than thirty years, had charge of the services. The funeral sermon was preached By Rev. T. B. McAmis, assisted by Dr. J. L. Goodnight, and Rev. Mr. Kaye, of the Presbyterian Church, Mason City, on Tuesday morning, in the Cumberland Presbyterian church at Lincoln, Ill, his home for many years, after which our father was laid to rest in the family lot in beautiful Lincoln cemetery where kindred and friends are sleeping until the trump shall sound, and the sleeping dust shall put on incorruption. J. W. ELDER.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, July 6, 1905, page 28]
Ordained Ministers Deceased
NAME: Jas. E. Roach
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Petersburg, Ill.
DATE: June 18, 1905
[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1906, page 133a]