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A Forgotten Hero of the Cross, Rev. James Mellard

A Forgotten Hero of the Cross


By A Native

Catharine Elizabeth (Hixon) Rumphi

(This transcribed excerpt was written before 1958)

There are several people I will write about in connection with this history. I cannot mention all.

Rev. James Mellard was never a resident of Perote but was an uncle of Dr. James D. Rumph and to me a very interesting character. He preached to the Indians near Perote and on one occasion Dr. Rumph accompanied him. Rev. Mellard told him they would have to eat with them. They were having fish, not dressed, -wrapped in corn shucks and roasted in hot coals. Dr. Rumph said he could not eat any but his uncle said he would have to or make the Indians mad. He ate some and said they were the best he had ever eaten.

Buried in a rundown graveyard

In a very rundown condition in a country graveyard no longer used by the whites, near Three Notch, in Bullock County, Alabama, is a stone saying: Sacred to the Memory of Rev. James H, Mellard, who departed this life Nov. 17, 1855, aged 77 years, 3 months and 7 days; having been a preacher of the gospel in connection with the Methodist Church for fifty-six years.” Few visit the grave and fewer still know that he was one of the founders of our church in Alabama. He first joined the South Carolina Conference in 1801 and served in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, being one of the first two missionaries (1808) to the negroes ever sent out by the Methodist. He located in 1810 and in 1812 we find him in Autauga County as a local preacher.

He joined the Mississippi Conference in 1827 and was appointed to the Alabama Circuit, up and down the Alabama River. In 1828 he became Presiding Elder of the Alabama District and served four years. He preached August 26, 1821, in Montgomery Court House and is said to have organized the First Methodist Church in Montgomery September 25, 1829. He was one of the trustees of the LaGrange (Methodist) College in the state.

He was one of the four original Presiding Elders in 1832 when the Alabama Conference was organized and was on the Chattahoochee District. In 1833 he located at the advanced age of fifty-five but continued to labor as a local preacher for twenty-two years. He settled near Aberfoil and preached at Three Notch. Mr. J. M. Glenn says at his request he was buried in Three Notch as near his church as he could be.

iCatherine Elizabeth (Hixon) Rumph was born in Bullock County and has lived during her entire life time there. She is the daughter of a Confederate Veteran who was some time a prisoner at Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi and grew up in the environment of the small country village about which she writes and among interesting Confederate associates, Mrs. Rumph has collected Americana, folk lore and historical data and contributed in no small way to the life of this rural community



The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 03, Fall Issue 1958

Discordance: The Cottinghams Inspired by true events and the Cottingham family that resided in 17th century Somerset, Maryland, and Delaware, colonial America comes alive with pirate attacks, religious discord, and governmental disagreements in the pre-Revolutionary War days of America.


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Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) (Paperback)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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One comment

  1. My 3rd Great Grandmother was Sophia Moles “George” Addison; She was the Widow of Joseph Addison of Charleston; Sophia became Rev. James Harry Mellard 2nd wife 5 Nov 1822 married in Charleston SC.
    By his first wife, Ann Rumph, he had 5 children, Mrs. Sophie Addison, they had 5 children. And by Ms. Rachel M Rumph his 3rd wife, whom he married May 2 1837, he had one child.
    He was also appointed one of the first trustees of La Grange College, chartered in 1830 as the first college in Alabama.
    Per The Rumph and Frederick families, genealogical and biographical : James H Mellard, was a Little man,thin and pale, but very wiry and full of pluck and energy.

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