History of the Restoration Movement

James M. Wade


Gathering Home

Why do we linger at the side of old graves and read, often with great difficulty, the words inscribed on their lichen covered stones? Why do we read the obituaries of folks we never knew and who have long ago left the earthly scene? We know not what draws others to old cemeteries or musty pages of old papers, but for us it is simply the stories they tell. Well written obituaries can encapsulate in a short space a life that spanned as much as a century. Even gravestones tell stories that we can learn to read. Our interest in stories of the past rests in their morals for the present and, in the case of graves and death notices, hope for the future. Death has no real meaning for the Christian if there is no resurrection.

In the obituaries below we find it interesting that the Brother Moody was so familiar with Sister Tillery that he found that epithet sufficient identity. He refers to her husband who was one of those pioneer preachers whose work today is largely known but to God. The headstone of J. M. Wade and his wife bears twin epitaphs. Hers reads: An honest woman's the noblest work of God; while his echoes: An honest man's the noblest work of God, Walker Ellis's wife was a descendant of one of Alabama's earliest gospel preachers: Elisha Randolph. His example in reading his Bible daily is worthy for any Christian.

Sister Tillery. On December 27, 1932, Sister Tillery, the widow of Elder John Tillery, of Cullman County, Ala., passed to her reward, at the age of ninety-six. Sister Tillery was one of the most remarkable women I ever knew. She rarely missed a Lord's-day service, did most of her housework, and looked after her business affairs with the agility of a much younger person, right up to her passing. Her faithfulness to the church and her family were the crowning principles of her life. On November 19,1859, she was married to John T. Tillery, a pioneer gospel preacher. To this union were born eleven children, seven of whom are yet living. Several times during her sickness she called them to her bed and exhorted them to be faithful to the Lord and meet her in heaven. She leaves a most faithful family of Christian children to mourn her loss. May the Lord bless them all. -B. F. Moody, Joppa, Ala. (Gospel Advocate, April 27, 1933.)

J. M. Wade. James Wade, a faithful gospel preacher of Fayette County, Ala., recently passed into the great beyond. Brother Wade lived above reproach and was loved by all who knew him. He had no children, but was a great lover of children. He supported himself and his faithful wife and did much preaching among the poor. He loved the church and did much to develop the members, where he labored in purity of life. Brother Wade was eighty-four years old. The writer spoke at the funeral a few words of comfort. Gus Nichols. (Gospel Advocate, Jan. 2, 1930.) Jim Wade (1845-1929) was a companion of Alabama pioneer preacher Parson John Taylor. F. B. Srygley became acquainted with him on a missionary tour with Taylor through Marion and Fayette Counties in 1882. Wade is buried at the New River church cemetery in Fayette County. On the joint tombstones of Wade and his wife are the words: They Died as They Lived, a Christian.

Walker Ellis. Walker Ellis was born March 20, 1875, and went to rest December 17, 1938, on his wedding anniversary. He was married forty-one years before to Miss Ella Randolph, a daughter of Virgil Randolph, a gospel preacher of Fayette County. For thirty years of Brother Ellis' life he was a daily Bible reader. He was not only a faithful Christian, but was an elder of the church at old Cleveland, near Bankston, Ala., where he served his community and generation well. Brother Ellis was a close Bible student and continued to study his Bible even after he was confined to bed. He was ill for two or three years; was in bed more than a year, yet was always patient. I went to see him once and he had me read and pray with him. He was buried on the Lord's day. Houston Haney and the writer spoke words of commendation and comfort. I hope to meet Brother Ellis some sweet day.

-Gus Nichols, Gospel Advocate, March 30, 1939, As appearing in Alabama Restoration Journal, Vol. III, No. I, p.

Location of Grave

J.M. Wade is buried in Fayette County, Alabama in the New River Church of Christ Cemetery. It is about 10 miles southeast of Winfield, and about 10 miles due east of Fayette. The closest township is the little community of Hubbertville about 3 mile northwest.
From Birmingham: travel northwest on Hwy. 78 through Jasper. The new Corridor X is being completed that links Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama. So, part of the way can be traveled on Corridor X and part of the way is on Hwy. 78. When you get to the little community of Elderidge turn left on Hwy. 13 and head south ten miles to Hwy. 102. (It will be the next stop sign). Turn right on Hwy 102 and head toward Fayette about 6.7 miles. You will come to County Road 53 that goes to your left at the top of a hill. DO NOT turn there. Go on to the bottom of the hill and County Road 53 will turn to the right. Turn right on County Rd. 53 and go about 4 miles. You will come to County Road 49 that goes Left and Right. On the left corner is the New River Church of Christ. The cemetery is just the other side of it. Standing in the parking lot of the church building looking at the cemetery, all of the graves of the preachers listed on this page will be toward the front and on your left within 25 feet of each other.

33°48'26.2"N 87°43'43.8"W
or D.d. 33.807269,-87.728834

Church Of Christ New River

(Transcribed above WADE: They died as they lived, a Christian)

An honest man / the
noblest work of God

Also Buried At New River Are The Following Gospel Preachers

Jeremiah Randolph
Virgil E. Randolph
John T. McCaleb O.C. Dobbs

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