Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mrs. Larkin Taylor, Holiness Evangelist

This notice appeared in the July 30, 1925 edition of the Itawamba County News, and I found it interesting that there was a female evangelist in Itawamba County in 1925. Note that the meeting was to be held at an arbor four miles north of Fulton. Does anyone know anything about this arbor and its location? Lela Pearce told me once that she and her husband, Burton, along with my grandparents, Luke and Pearl Robinson, once attended a brush arbor meeting somewhere north of Tremont, near Red Bay. This would have been much later than 1925 however.

There was a "holiness" movement that started in Itawamba County around World War I. Itawambian Luther Moxley and his wife, Alice Victoria Stanphill, as well as Luther's brother, James Richard Moxley, were prominent evangelists with the Church of God of Prophecy. Luther joined the holiness church in 1919 and rose to be one of its national leaders. Pate's Temple Church in northeastern Itawamba was the local center of this faith although other local churches existed also in Tishomingo County and across the state line in Franklin County, Alabama. The holiness religion not only allowed and promoted women as ministers, but also actively embraced blacks within their churches, something that brought the wrong kind of attention, just one of the causes of many holiness churches being burned down and members being harassed and ostracized. Luther and James Moxley were brothers to Alice Moxley Dulaney, my husband's great-great grandmother.

As to Mrs. Larkin Taylor, I've been unable to find any information on her. There is a cemetery listing for a Mrs. Larkin Taylor and her husband in Lubbock County, Texas but I couldn't say whether or not it is the same person.

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