John H. Ballard was born Oct. 23, 1844, died July 8, 1934. He was converted and united with the Free Will Baptist Church, Oct., 1862. The war being on, he made his way North, and joined the Union army, to help put down the rebellion. Soon after the war closed he married Mattie Honeycutt of Yancey County, N.C. To this union was born ten children, nine of whom are still living. Soon after his marriage, the brethren of the ministers conference presented his name for license to preach the gospel. He objected because he thought he was not sufficiently educated. The moderator put the question and it carried unanimously, thereby saying, “The mind of the Lord is with his people.”
He took lessons in English from his wife, and spent one year in school under Rev. A. M. Penland, and eventually submitted to ordination. He took pastoral care of churches of his own denomination, and did evangelical work with Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists, apparently to the satisfaction of all, making no enemies in the churches, nor the outside world except as he had occasion to speak against alcoholism of which he was an everlasting foe, some times canvassing his county in defense of prohibition.
The time came when the wife of his youth died. Having a large family, he surrendered the pastorate of churches most distant from home. After two years he secured the acquaintance of Mary Reeves, of Jefferson county, Tennessee, who had many of the qualities of his first wife. They were married December 22, 1892. To this union were born six children, who were all living at the date of his death. He continued to travel, notwithstanding his large family, ‘til he rounded out fifty years of pastoral and evangelistic work. And while he looked on it as a weak work, he was ready to submit it to God’s judgment. About two weeks before he died he dictated this obituary and asked it to be printed in the minutes of the Association.
This obituary comes from the Minutes of the French Broad Association 1934-1949.
(FWB BX 6364.1 N8 F8 1934-49)