James Hudson Zwingle

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1860 - 1928

Moderator of the 89th General Assembly
May 15-21, 1919
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Election of Moderator. The Assembly went into the election of a Moderator, which resulted in the selection of the Rev. J. H. Zwingle, of the McMinnville Presbytery.
[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, May 15-21, 1919, page 15]

Ex-Moderator Fallen Asleep


Rev. J. H. Zwingle, the subject of this sketch, died Friday, July 13, at a hospital in Nashville, Tenn., after having undergone a major operation on the previous day. Brother Zwingle was well known in the denomination, having prominently served his Church for many years. He was moderator of the General Assembly at Fayetteville, Ark., in 1919, and was moderator of his Synod, and also his Presbytery at the time he was moderator of the General Assembly. At the time of his death he was moderator of East Tennessee Synod, having been moderator of his Synod for three consecutive years. Loudon, Tenn., was his pastorate at the time of his death.

Brother Zwingle was a staunch friend of the publishing interests of the Church, and was for many years a member of the Board of Publication. His obituary will appear in the paper soon.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, July 19, 1928, page 1]

A Layman's Tribute to Rev. J. H. Zwingle.

I loved him because he was free from pride and arrogance. I loved him because he was always sympathetic and kind. I loved him because he was always friendly. In short, he possessed the Christian character. The Son of God was glorified, the word of peace was preached with power to world, by the life of this man.

The memory of a beautiful life is a benediction, softened, made richer and impressive by the sorrow which its departure caused. The influence of such sacred memories is in a certain sense tenderer than that of life itself. Death transfers our loved one, sweeps away the faults and blemishes of the mortal life, and leaves us an abiding vision, in which all that was beautiful, pure, gentle, and true in him remains to us. I am deeply grieved over the loss of this true friend.

          "So much we miss
If love is weak, so much we gain
If love is strong; God thinks no pain
Too sharp or lasting to ordain
          To teach us this."

                    G. P. Scott.
     1144 Laurel Avenue,
     Bowling Green, Ky.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, July 26, 1928, page 16]

Rev. J. H. Zwingle.

At the time of his death, Brother Zwingle was pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Loudon, Tenn., and Moderator of the East Tennessee Synod.

For many years Brother Zwingle has been one of the out-standing men in the affairs of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Entering the ministry while a young man, he grew in grace and service, until he stood second to none in this great work.

Through his years of service he has been, at different times, Moderator of the General Assembly, Assistant manager of the Publishing House maintained by the church, and served two consecutive terms as Moderator of the East Tennessee Synod. He is the father of one of the South's best known ministers, Rev. C. M. Zwingle, who is pastor of the Arrington Street Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Nashville; and grandfather of Rev. J. L. Zwingle, who was ordained when the Knoxville Presbytery met at Lawnville, March 28, 1928. Both the father and grandfather taking parts in the ordination service.

His pastorate at Loudon was the termination of a long service in the pulpits over the South, including Nashville and Greeneville, Tenn., and Austin, Texas.

The world is bound to pay homage to such a man. Having shown that he was capable in life, he leaves an influence behind him that survives, and so in passing, bequeaths to the world influences for good that will never exhaust themselves, but like an echo, evermore repeated, will resound in ever-multiplying and never ceasing reverberations.

It was only one short year ago that Brother Zwingle came into our midst upon "His Father's Business;" he and his beloved wife endearing themselves, not alone to the members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church but to the people of the town of Loudon as a whole.

Truly, the dedication of his life to the service of God was his chief characteristic, and none who came in contact with him could remain unaware of its existence, nor help but feel enriched by its presence that "None of us liveth to himself;" and Brother Zwingle gave of his time and talents unstintedly to the upbuilding of God's Kingdom and for the betterment of his fellow men.

During the past year, he had been somewhat handicapped physically by illness, but in the spiritual aspect, let us liken him to the sun, which, having lighted the world all day, blazes the more magnificently just beyond the western hills in setting. How blessed it must be in heaven for those who have left a trail of light behind them by which others may see the way to rest, which remaineth for the people of God.

The friend with whom we took counsel is removed visibly from the outward eye, but the lessons he taught and the wonderful example he set before us in life, survive, written upon the tablets of our hearts and memory, in words of fire, "Have Hope, Have Faith, Have Love."

I would that a pen portrait might be drawn of this wonderful man, in the dignity of ripened years, and confidence of one who knows that the Son of God walks with them to shield them from harm. Carrying this knowledge is his heart, is it any wonder that he radiated hope and faith and love, and left behind beneficient influences?

On behalf of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Sunday school, we offer this tribute to the memory of our beloved pastor, Brother Zwingle, and extend our deepest and most heart-felt sympathy to Mrs. Zwingle, children and grand-children, in this, their great loss.
       Elizabeth J. Toliaferro.
       J. H. Kollock, clerk of session.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 2, 1928, page 15]


We, the officers and members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green, Ky., assembled in memorial service to the memory of our former pastor, Rev. J. H. Zwingle, who was called to his heavenly reward on Friday, July 13, 1928, desire to place on record the following resolutions:

First, we bow in submission to the will of our Heavenly Father who doeth all things well, and we commend his devoted wife, who in her sad bereavement has our heartfelt sympathy, to Him who rules the universe and also rules the lives of men and women and who can speak peace to the troubled soul and uphold and comfort those in sorrow and distress.

Rev. Zwingle was pastor of our local church from January, 1921, to July, 1923, and during these years he served God most faithfully, preaching the gospel of our risen Lord in a most earnest way and most effective manner, and ministering to the spiritual needs of the members of this congregation in the hours of sickness, death, and sorrow, as should a faithful minister of the gospel.

Brother Zwingle was recognized as one of the outstanding, ablest, and leading ministers of our entire denomination, and besides being an able preacher of the whosoever will gospel for which the Cumberland Presbyterian Church stands, he was a most able exponent of all the doctrines contained in the Confession of Faith of our beloved denomination. Brother Zwingle was not only beloved by the members of the other churches of our city who admired his sterling Christian character. After serving the local church in a most capable manner for two and one half years, he resigned the pastorate of his own accord and went to Greeneville, Tenn., to assume the pastorate of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in that city, leaving here a large number of friends and admirers to whom the news of his death came as a great shock. Brother Zwingle served as a minister of the gospel in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for forty years and was honored by the denomination he loved by being elected Moderator of the General Assembly at Fayetteville, Ark., in 1919. He was also connected with the Board of Publication for some time and in all these positions he displayed a most able and consecrated heart.

We would commend his forty years of service as a consecrated and faithful minister of the gospel of our blessed Lord as most worthy of emulation by the younger ministers of our denomination as well as by all the young people all over our church. We believe that the influence of the life lived by this faithful Christian minister will tell, not only in the years to come in this life, but will go on throughout eternity.

We recommend that a copy of these resolutions be spread upon a page set aside in the record book of our church session, a copy be sent to the bereaved family, a copy to The Cumberland Presbyterian, and a copy sent to each of the local papers.

     Respectfully submitted,
          J. W. Goodwin.
          M. E. Porter.
          J. G. Denhardt.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 2, 1928, pages 15-16]

Report of Committee on Mortuary.

Knoxville Presbytery.--Rev. J. H. Zwingle, active, died in Nashville, Tenn., July 13, 1928.

[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1929, page 114]

Zwingle Family Information

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Updated January 28, 2015