Elder John C.R. Lockhart has devoted the greater party of his life to gospel work, uttering in his labors in the interests of Christianity, and has been instrumental in bringing many souls into the Master’s vineyard, and wherever he is known he has the love and respect of all in the highest degree, Such life is a benediction to those who come under its influence, and long after he shall have been called to the home beyond his memory will be cherished in the hearts of those to whom he brought the hope of immortality.
Elder Lockhart was born in Jones county, Georgia, on the 3rd of May, 1823, and is a son of William and Marthia (Finney) Lockhart, both natives of the same state and of English descent. They spent their entire lives in Georgia, but during the early childhood of our subject removed from Jones to Talbot county. There John acquired his literary education and made his home for ten years. Before leaving his native state, however, he entered the ministry and began the labors which have resulted in so much good to his fellow men. He was baptized and became a member of the Baptist church in 1839, and in 1841 was licensed to preach, serving one congregation for a year. In 1846 he was ordained by Elders R.H. Daniels, T.B. Cooper and D.J. Apperson, and at once entered upon the active work of the ministry. He was given charge of the congregation in Davidson, Georgia, where he remained for ten years, and was very successful in his ministerial work there. For fourteen years he carried on his labors in Alabama, severing his connection with the ministry of that state in 1871, when he came with his family to Texas. After a year in Navarro county he removed to Limestone county, whence he later removed to Dallas, Texas, where he had charge of the Big Spring Baptist church for one year, although he continued his residence there for three years, preaching all the time for different congregations. From Dallas he came to Erath county, locating at Bluff Dale, and through the succeeding five years supplied several pulpits. After removing to Hood county he preached for years and supplied several pulpits. After removing from Hood county he preached for three years in High Tower valley and then went to Parker county, making his home near Weatherford, where he continued his ministerial labors until coming to his present farm in Erath county, in 1883. Since then he has been supplying regular charges and at the same time has given his personal supervision to his farm, which comprises ninety acres of valuable land, all under a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Lockhart has been thrice married. In 1841 he wedded Miss Caroline Stearns, and to them were born three children,-
William H. H.
one who died in infancy.
The mother passed away in 1847, and for his second wife our subject chose Mrs.Sarah Martha (Bates) Esom. Of this marriage were born eight children, as follows:
Anna and Ella, twins
Carolina B. and
Mr. Lockhart was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Lucretia Driver, in 1864. The children of the third marriage were:
George E. and
Twelve of these children are living.
To give a summarized account of the labors of Elder Lockhart would require a measurement fork of the influence that never dies, but goes on through all time. His work has been largely in the evangelization field, and his labors have made the world better. At one time, in payment for an eight-days meeting, he was given money and goods to the value of eighty dollars,- a fact which shows that his services were most highly appreciated. During his ministry he baptized fifteen men who have become preachers of the gospel, eleven of whom were converted under his preaching. For fifty-two years he has given his labors to his holy calling, carrying the “glad tidings of grate joy” to all classes of people.
Through all these years he has been blessed with most excellent health, and to a remarkable degree retains the vigor of his youth. He speaks with wonderful power, has the closest attention of his auditors, and the word of truth his sunk deep into many hearts where in due time it has brought forth abundant harvests of good works. He has the respect of all the humble and great, the rich and the poor; and the needy, the distressed and the unfortunate receive his sympathy, his aid and assistance,- his helping hand being ever extended to such. In the field of politics he is often seen, advocating the principles of the Populist party, of which he is a staunch advocate.
History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.