Rev Abner P Sage
Submitted by Robert Sage
Rev. Abner P. Sage, son of Travis and Rachel Sage, was born in Middle Tennessee, Nov. 19, 1827. While he was yet young, the family moved to Marshall County, Miss. Here Abner grew to manhood on a farm, engaged in farm labors, received such education as his own diligence and the common schools could afford. At the age of sixteen he was converted at Salem Camp-ground, in Tippah County, Miss. At a Quarterly Conference of the Holly Springs Circuit, in 1853, he was licensed to preach, and in October of that year, being then about twenty-six years old, he was admitted on trial in the Memphis Conference at Grenada, Miss. Two years later he was received into full connection and ordained deacon by Bishop Kavanaugh at Memphis, Tenn.; and two years thereafter in 1857, was ordained elder by Bishop Paine at Holly Springs, Miss.
In those early years of his ministry, before the war, he served the Chulahoma Circuit, Commerce Mission, Concordia, Island and Randolph Circuits. In 1862 he joined the Confederate army and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Twenty-first Tennessee Regiment. Health having failed, he was discharged from the army, and in 63-64 served the Chulahoma Circuit. The next year he was supernumerary. This year of ill-health he lived with his brother and sisters in Cockrum, Miss. About this time he was married to Mrs. Cotton, a cultured, saintly woman. With the exception of feeble health, she was an ideal wife for a Methodist preacher, a constant source of help, a living inspiration, to her husband.
In 1866 Brother Sage was for the third time pastor of Concordia Circuit, 1867-68 served Ebenezer and Coldwater, 1869-70 Sentobia and Luxahoma.
At the end of this year, by change of Conference boundaries, he became a member of the North Mississippi Conference. In this conference he served the following stations: Sardis, Koscinsko. Corinth, Durant, Winona and Carrolton, Vaiden, Senatobia, Batesville, and Wesley, Verona and Tupelo, Wesley Chapel (Watervalley) and Clarksdale. About the year 1887 occurred his marriage to Mrs. Lizzie Cook. This union was felicitous, but lasted on a few years, when the wife died.
From 1888 to 1905 Brother Sage was appointed successively to the following circuits: Lewisburg, Tibby, Starksville and Columbus. In 1896 he was in charge of the Boonville Station. The two years following, 1897-98, he finished his itinerant labors on the Starkville Circuit. Since then he has been superannuated. Forty-two years of effective work.
Some five or six years ago our brother was happily married to Mrs. Shell, of Houston, by whom he is survived. This excellent lady has been the mainstay and comfort of his declining years. Most of the time he has been confirmed invalid, and most faithfully, and conscientiously did she perform her duty in nursing and caring for him. The end came peacefully on the 21st of May, 1908, in Houston, Miss. The span of life was eighty years, six months and three days. From all the information we have, and this is largely from personal acquaintance, we must say that from his youth to the end he was truly honest, sincere, conscientious. He was deeply pious, a man of faith and prayer. Abner P. Sage was a true man.
Above medium size, built for endurance, mind clear and comprehensive, he was a vigorous thinker, of decided convictions, and fearless in the defense of what he conceived to be right. He was a strong preacher, a faithful pastor. Too bluntly honest to be always popular as a preacher, his sincerity was never questioned. The nobility of his nature commanded respect everywhere. In the cemetery at Starkville he awaits the resurrection of the just.
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