A letter received from the Methodist Archives with a copy of the Obit and
other information regarding the Husband of Elizabeth Crawford Matthews? and the
Rev. William Charles Matthews.
The Obit was written by
Elizabeth's brother, the Rev W. H. Crawford (January 19, 1859).
Possible relation with:
Barbara Matthews GG-Granddaughter of W.C. & Elizabeth Crawford Matthews
References to Reverend William Charles Matthews and confirms his existence
in the Methodist Conference.
A record of his admittance into the Alabama Conference on December 15, 1841
(History of Methodism in Alabama and West Florida),
A record of his appointment to the Macon charge (Macon, Noxubee County,
of the General Conference), and his appointment to the Macon charge in 1842
(North Mississippi Methodism).
The Mississippi Methodist Conference recorded very little information
about local preachers. There were hundreds of local preachers licensed to
preach, marry and carry on pastoral duties in the Methodist church; although
they were licensed and ordained, they served at the discretion of a presiding
elder (district superintendent). These ministers were not full members of the
Annual Conference and were not included in the ministerial appointments,
therefore no records were kept on them. Many ministers chose to serve as local
preachers because they did not wish to travel, needed to support a family, did
not meet the educational requirements to join the Conference, or due to other
circumstances. Since Reverend Matthews was admitted to Conference before we will
assume that met all the requirements.
of Methodism in Alabama and West Florida [pages 194-195]
North Mississippi Methodism [1820-1900, pages 118-119]
This may mean that he did not wish to travel or, evident from the information
you provided and Mrs. Elizabeth Matthews obituary (attached), he may have wanted
to settle and care for his large family. But Reverend Matthews is not included
on the list of local preachers recorded from 1858 to 1950. This does not
necessarily mean that he was not a local preacher. There were many local
preachers who served before this record was made or, for some reason, were never
recognized. As I previously mentioned, we were able to find and copy Mrs.
Elizabeth Matthews obituary. From the information that you provided, as well as
Mrs. Matthews obituary, I searched church registers and records from the Choctaw
County and Montgomery County area. Unfortunately there were no Matthews listed
in the registries; but these church registers and records are among many that
have been donated by these churches to the Archives. So we may not have records
from all the churches in these areas. Also the records only date as early as
1870 to 1990's. I do wish that we were able to provide more information. I will
continue to search our records and the New Orleans Christian Advocate, which may
include a obituary for William Matthews. Please contact us if you have any other
questions or requests.
Thank you, Ashley L. Oliver Archivist Student Assistant