Sketch On The Life Of G.H.P. Showalter
George Henry Pryor Showalter was born in Snowville, Virginia, October 15, 1870, to J. T. and Sarah Catherine Showalter. He was baptized by his father on the second Sunday in March, 1883.
He received his education at the Greendale Institute in Virginia, Milligan College in Tennessee and the University of Texas. He taught school and did evangelistic work in Virginia and West Virginia from 1892 to 1897.
Showalter came to Texas in 1897 and was President of Sabinal Christian College where he served for one year.
He began preaching at Greendale, Virginia, in 1891, and was an active preacher of the gospel for nearly 63 years.
Showalter married Lena Estelle Honea, August 1, 1900. To this union were born three sons and three daughters, of whom survived at the time of his death. His first wife died June 25, 1943.
In 1908, Showalter became the editor and owner of the Firm Foundation and he continued in this work until the time of his death.
He baptized all six of his children and all of his grandchildren that were old enough to obey the gospel during his life. He conducted the marriage ceremony for all of his children. This is one of the highest compliments that children and grandchildren can pay to their father and grandfather. The mother of the six children died June 5, 1943. She was a devout Christian mother with a very humble and untiring nature.
On September 6, 1945, Showalter married Winifred Mason Moore of Wichita, Kansas. She was a devoted and faithful wife all the way to the time of his departure. Two days before his death, all the children and 13 grandchildren were present to celebrate his 84th birthday. Due to the pressures of business, Showalter spent the day at the office. On the following morning, it was Saturday, he became ill and was taken to the hospital late in the day. Sunday morning, the Lord's Supper was brought to him in the hospital, which he and his wife, who was attending him, observed together. At 1:40 P.M. his spirit left his body. He remained conscious almost to the moment of his passing. Death was attributed to a coronary occlusion. Winifred Mason Moore Showalter passed about in the spring of 1956, and was buried next to her first husband, M.S. Mason in Springfield, Missouri.
It is doubtful if any single man west of the Mississippi River wielded more influence for great work in the church during the first half of the 20th century than did G. H. P. Showalter. His kind are not too often found.
He was survived by his wife, Winifred; three daughters, Mrs. R. O. Kenley, Jr., of Longview, Texas, Mrs. E. E. Hawkins of Austin, Texas, Mrs. E. T. Flewellen of Longview, Texas; three sons, Preston, Wallace, and George, Jr., all of Austin; two sisters, Mrs. Everett Randolph of Abilene, Texas, Mrs. Julia Massey of Roanoke, Virginia; three brothers, M. V. Showalter of Abilene, Dr. A. M. Showalter of Christiansburg, Virginia, and E. T. Showalter of Snowville, Virginia; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. (At the time of this writing, 1986, a number of his family have passed to their reward.)
The funeral was conducted Tuesday, October 19, at 3:00 P.M. in the University Church of Christ where Showalter served as an elder for over 45 years. Cecil E. Hill, minister of this congregation, directed the service. H. I. Taylor, preacher of the Northside congregation in Austin, made a brief eulogy of Showalter and led the prayer. Basil Shillings, preacher for the Southside congregation in Austin, gave a few words of praise to Showalter's work and influence, and read the Scripture. W. M. Davis of Dallas, first page writer for the Firm Foundation for over 25 years, delivered the funeral sermon. This was an appointment that had been made some 30 years before.
Davis delivered a vigorous sermon and one that was appreciated by all who were present. A song composed by Showalter, "I'm Walking The Heavenly Way," was used at the funeral by the small chorus directed by Ray McGlothlin. There were many preachers and others present from many points in Texas and some from outside the state. On November 23, 1954, the entire edition of the Firm Foundation was dedicated to Showalter, with many writers from different places commending his great work and spoke words of praise in his honor.-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert - pages 256-258
Directions To The Grave Of G.H.P. Showalter
G.H.P. Showalter is buried in the Austin Memorial Park Cemetery in Austin, Texas. The address of the cemetery is 2800 Hancock Drive, Austin, Texas 78731. On I-35, north of downtown Austin, take Exit 239 and head west on Hwy. 2222 (E. Koenig Lane) and travel about three miles. The road will become Northland Dr. Turn left on Shoal Creek Blvd. The cemetery will be to your right. Go until you can turn left on Hancock Dr. Enter the cemetery and the section will be very soon after entering on your left. The grave is a good bit back and close to the fence. See pictures below to get an idea. The Luther Norman plot is very near Showalter's plot.