Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 20, 1961

J. O. Hill As I Knew Him

Farris J. Smith, Birmingham, Alabama

James Oliver Hill, 58, of Birmingham, Alabama, departed this life February 10, 1961 in Tupelo, Mississippi after a short illness. Funeral services were conducted Monday, Feb. 13 at the Berney Points building in Birmingham by the writer assisted by Dennis L. Reed and John T. Lewis. Burial was in Memorial Gardens cemetery in Florence.

Brother Hill served as an elder in the congregation at Berney Points from the time of its establishment in 1946 until his death. Before that he served as an elder at Park View. Having worked with him for thirteen years and being his very close personal friend all of these years, I can say without reservation that I have known few men who qualified as an elder as did this one. His meek and humble spirit, his knowledge of the Bible and love for it, his zeal for the Lord's work, his firm stand for truth and against error, and his ability to get along with people made him one of the most useful men in the Lord's work in Birmingham. One of the characteristics that made him great was that in his humility he did not seem to realize that he was great. He was a natural leader of men and took the lead in most situations unless someone was present whom he considered better qualified. He was a master at handling difficult situations that arose in the Lord's work. His kind disposition, his genuine love for people, and his wisdom gained from years of experience caused him to accomplish much that others could not accomplish. His tremendous influence will be felt for a long time.

As a gospel preacher he was used much by the Berney Points congregation and other congregations near by. He spoke rapidly and quoted verse after verse of scripture to sustain his points. He depended almost entirely on the Bible for his sermon material. His favorite text seemed to be; "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:2) He stood against every questionable practice in the work and worship of the church. He spoke out boldly against worldliness.

He held a responsible position in the business world. At the time of his death he was a regional accountant for Standard Brands, Inc., and had been with the company thirty-one years. People who worked under him and others who had business dealings with him had deep respect for his convictions. He proved that one can deal with people of the world and live for the Lord. There was no compromise about him.

Two verses of scripture used at the funeral seem very appropriate in describing him. "And the king said unto his servants, know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?" (2 Samuel 3:38) "He hath showed thee, 0 man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8) J. O. Hill was a prince among men and he was great in every sense of the word. He knew what the Lord required of him and he walked humbly with his God.

We know not why he was taken at this time but it is our conviction based on what the Bible teaches and a thorough knowledge of his life that when he became absent from the body he was at home with the Lord.