History of the Restoration Movement

John M. Billingsley


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What We Know of John M. Billingsley

John M. Billingsley was born November 19, 1805 in the state of Kentucky. He was the fourth of eight children born to Samuel A. Billingsley, who was the son of Samuel A. Billingsley, Sr. John's grandfather and his brother Cyrus Billingsley immigrated to America from Wales shortly before the Revolutionary war. Samuel settled in the part of Virginia which is now a part of Kentucky. He later settled in Georgia.

John was married three times over the course of his life. His first wife was Miss Melie Metcalf, and was born in White County, Tenn. To this union one child, Cyrus, was born. He grew to manhood, and was married, just before the breaking out of the Civil War, to Miss Bettie Plumbe. He then joined the Confederate Army, but was wounded at Perryville, Ky., and returned to his home and began teaching school. He died soon after, in the year 1865, from the effects of his wounds. His mother died when he was quite young, and the father was married on November 19, 1843, to Miss Hannah D. Myers. She was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, a daughter of John C. Myers. Her mother was a Snoddy by birth. Three children were born to this union. David and Mary, who died in infancy, and William Newton. The later was a well-known educator, gospel preacher and for over 20 years the president of Burritt College. Hannah passed from this life April 9, 1867. He subsequently married Miss Mariah Dickerson, a native of Virginia, and to this union was born one child, Virginia.

John and his family moved to Van Buren County, Tennessee in 1855. A gospel preacher, farmer, and educator by trade, he worked hard to provide for his family while also proclaiming the message of the cross to whoever would listen. He strengthened greatly, helping to develop the church of Christ in Spencer. When the church signed its intention to incorporate in 1859, he was one of its original trustees.

He passed from this life May 16, 1883, and was buried in the Spencer City Cemetery.

-Source: Van Buren County Biographies; Biographical Sketches of Gospel Preachers, by H. Leo Boles, c.1932

Directions To The Grave of John M. Billingsley

John M. Billingsley is buried in the old city cemetery at Spencer, Tennessee. Spencer is a beautiful old community on the top of a mountain in the hills of central Tennessee. To get there from Chattanooga, take I-24 travel west toward Nashville. After crossing Monteagle, take the Manchester exit, Hwy 55 and travel east toward McMinnville. Just east of McMinnville take Hwy.30 toward Spencer. In Spencer you come in behind the Van Buren County Courthouse on Hwy. 30. The road will wind around the front of the courthouse. Just as you pass it make the first left on Sparta St. Go to the third street on the right and turn right on Faye St. This street will come into the cemetery. Go into the cemetery and begin going up the hill. You will see the large stone to W.N. Billingsley, the son of John M. Billingsley. John M. Billingsley's grave is just to the left of his son. Note that W.D. Carnes grave is further to the left and up the hill from Billingsley's grave. Also, next to him is the grave of his son-in-law, also a gospel preacher, J.S. Acuff. The GPS location of the grave is: 35°44'57.9"N 85°27'44.6"W / or D.d. 35.749409, -85.462395

In Memory of
Elder John M.
Born November 19, 1805
May 16, 1883
Aged 77 yrs, 5 M's, 27 ds.
He died as he lived
a Christian

Photos Taken 05.13.2013
Site Produced on 08.15.2013
Courtesy of Scott Harp

Note: The photos on this site were taken during a Restoration Movement trip through the Tennessee Valley in May, 2013 with students from Southeast Institute Of Biblical Studies. Also with you webeditor was Tom L. Childers.

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