REV. CHARLES WESLEY INMAN: transcription of the memoirs for Charles Wesley
Inman that appeared in the Florida Annual Conference Newsletter (Methodist
Church) in 1920. A few comments, in brackets, have added to clarify the names of
1920 FLORIDA ANNUAL CONFERENCE Newsletter
CHARLES WESLEY INMAN
Rev. Charles Wesley Inman was born June 25th, 1859, at
Wadesboro, Ware County, Georgia. His name, Charles Wesley, reveals a Methodist
parentage. These parents prayed for a preacher, baptizing him with that hope and
a preacher was given.
The first years of his life, through early manhood, were spent in his native State. He was married to Miss Susan V. Knowles, of Homerville, Ga., April 2nd, 1878. To this most happy union was born eight children, one of whom, Charles Grady, died while young; Mrs. E. W. Steward [Keren Inman Stewart]; Kate B., now of the Women's College at Tallahassee; Mrs. C. L. Turner [Maude Inman Turner], of Montgomery, Ala.; Alfred H., now of Jacksonville; Willie and Charles, now in Albany, Ga., and Dorothy Louise with the mother, in Live Oak, survive him.
Brother Inman joined the Methodist church when a child; was converted in his own home in July, 1879. For more than forty years men knew where to find him. The year of his conversion he yielded to the call to the ministry, was licensed to exhort and was faithful in his duties and was active in that relation, being sought by his pastors and others for protracted meetings because of his evangelistic spirit and success. He came to Florida in 1881; in the fall of that year was licensed to preach. He preached his first sermon at White Springs. He served in the local ranks for several years.
Brother Inman came into the itinerant ministry in 1885. His educational 1idvantages were few and his education was limited; his appointments were places for hard work and great privation; at times he was compelled to walk to his appointment and swimming swollen rivers - but always gladly and smilingly going from place to place preaching the blessed gospel which was the joy of his own heart.
For thirty-five years, by hard study and application, his was a steady climb in efficiency and usefulness until he was filling some of our best appointments with acceptability. Monticello was his last. One who knew him intimately through his ministerial career, said of him: "All who knew him can say that Brother Inman was 'chosen of the Lord' for a faithful and uncompromising preacher of righteousness; and in this the Lord was not disappointed. At all times he seemed to be saying,
'His word is the burning fire shut up within my house; I am weary of forebearing.' The gospel he preached was not his own for first of all 'It pleased the Lord to reveal His Son in him,' and thus the precious message was lodged in his heart by divine power, while he mused the fire burned. When he entered the pulpit his face talked before he uttered a word. His heart was hot within him, and his face was that of one who had a vision. When he 'uttered his voice the earth melted,' the earth of man's fallen nature. Fear took hold of men when he pictured the fearful consequence of a sinful life and when his raptured soul leaped heavenward and his message carried his hearers up toward the 'third heaven,' there followed a spiritual exodus from the lowlands of this present evil world. In fact, wherever Rev. Charles Wesley Inman lived and labored the spiritual temperature of the community went upward.'
Brother Inman was a man "full of faith and the Holy Ghost." Jesus Christ was a living reality to him. He prayed through difficulties to victory. He trusted in God in times of financial straits; on one occasion, in moving from one charge to another, he boarded the train with his family without sufficient funds to complete the journey; while en route a friend who knew nothing of his circumstances, handed him more than enough to meet, his need. Many times God came to his relief in wonderful ways.
His sunny disposition and his open heartedness gave him access to both old and young. His love for men was the impelling force in his ministry. He drew men to him. This love was the Christian type. It caused him to be true to them, which at times brought opposition. His intense love for the truth gave him balance and enabled him to stand even while friends forsook him.
To the end his face was to the enemy of the King. The war drives and the great Centenary objective gave him a goal which actually consumed his physical force; yet his vision grew larger, his aspiration and desire more intense. Only a few days before his death his wife asked him, in course of conversation, if his health should grow better, would he be willing to take a supply's place until conference? He answered, "It would he the delight of my soul. I would gladly walk to the appointment, if necessary.
Well does Browning's words fittingly express his life principle: "Never turned back but marched breast forward, never doubted clouds would break; Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph. Here we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake."
Brother Inman, on account of failing health, was superannuated at the last session of our conference, and with his wife and daughter moved to Live Oak, occupying the superannuate home, where be passed away on February 6th of this year (1920). His body was taken to Jacksonville.
The funeral services were held in Wesley Memorial church, which was completed while he was its pastor several years ago.
Submitted by Brian and Melissa Stewart.