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(Transcribed from The Leighton News, Leighton, Alabama, Feb. 9, 1894)
Mrs. Annie Christian Hawkins –
A Worthy Tribute to a Noble Woman
Mrs. Annie Christian Hawkins, daughter of James A. and Bettie L. Madding, and wife of Rev. John S. Hawkins, was born in Lawrence Co., Alabama, March 2, 1874, and died October 30, 1893, at Leighton, Ala.
She was nurtured in the lap of culture, refinement, reverence for God, the Sabbath and the church. Those gracious influences directed her youthful mind to habits of thought, which under the blessings of God, developed her into a noble woman. Endowed with quick perception, vigorous analysis, and close application, she accomplished her course of study with marked thoroughness. Nature bestowed upon her a strong intellect, warm heart, a bright and beautiful face; amiable and social, and artless manners, all of which made her a general favorite, among a large circle of friends.
In early life she consecrated herself to God and His service. Her conversion was accompanied by such spiritual manifestation and power, that she never doubted the genuineness of the work of grace in her soul. She joined the M. E. Church South, at thirteen years of age, and received the vows with gratitude, reverence, faith, and the fervor of spiritual energy. She attended the prayer meeting regularly, was in her place in the Sunday School, an active worker as pupil or teacher.
The loveliness of her Christian character appeared in all the relations of life. As a daughter, she was loving and tender, as a sister, thoughtful, unselfish and sympathetic. Under the warm sunshine of the purest and best love of a manly husband, her heart bloomed into all that is sweetest and tenderest in woman.
She was richly gifted in music, which she cultivated laboriously and successfully. Her pastor appointed her as organist for the service of the sanctuary, in her girlhood, which she rendered so artlessly and impressively until her last illness.
In Little Rock, Ark., Jan. 25, 1893, she was married to Rev. John S. Hawkins, the principal of Leighton M. and F. Academy, and pastor of the M. E. Church South, Leighton, Ala. How bright and joyous that hour! With the bow of promise arched over them, they returned home, went into the halls of education, commencing their life work together.
Several months of unalloyed happiness passed away, when her health gave down. In the very bloom of young womanhood, she was stricken, and her suffering was intense for weeks in succession. Most tenderly was she nursed. Loving hands ministered to her, and her spirit became brighter constantly as her strength declined. So sweet and patient through it all! Despite the skill of physicians, the fatal hour was fast approaching. The calm that precedes death afforded her a respite from suffering.
A friend who had known and loved her from her childhood, said, “Annie, are you aware of your condition? Have you faith in Christ?” She replied, “Yes.” “Have you any doubt or fear as regards your eternal future?” She replied with emphasis, “No!” She communicated very freely with her husband as she was passing through the shadow of death, and all her utterances evinced a blissful triumph over death and the grave.
As her finishing work on earth, she entreated loved ones to meet her in heaven, and kissed each one good-bye. She sent a message to the worldly young men and young ladies of Leighton to become Christians. Many of them, since that period, have been converted, joined the church, and are active workers for God and humanity.
The light of her sweet young life faded away into the glow of heaven as a summer cloud in the beams of the setting sun. Memorial services were held in the M. E. Church South at Leighton. A large and sympathizing congregation paid the mournful tribute to the memory of her, whom all loved and delighted to honor.
How we miss her! is a short sentence but its stirring echoes awaken all hearts that visit the Academy, the Sunday School, the church or the hospitable home, where reside her bereaved mother and sisters who idolized her. She sleeps sweetly in the cemetery at La Grange, Ala., under a large chestnut tree, which place she selected while in health, but her memory is as precious ointment poured forth and acts today as a spiritual incentive to all, to prepare in youth for life, death, and eternal rest,
J. S. DAVIS
Jan. 10, 1894
The exhilarating action & subplots keep the reader in constant anticipation. It is almost impossible to put the book down until completion,
Dr. Don P. Brandon, Retired Professor, Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana
This is the first book I have read that puts a personal touch to some seemingly real people in factual events.