Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 21, 1955

A Veteran Of The Cross Goes Home

L. L. Dukes, Louisville, Kentucky

It became my sad duty a few weeks ago to act as pall-bearer for one of the dearest friends of my life. Brother F. H. Woodward, veteran preacher of the gospel of Christ, was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Glasgow, Kentucky, to await the glorious hour of the final resurrection. It was his request that he be buried in this spot, near to his loved ones and to so many of the friends whom he had known and loved through a life that spanned nearly a century of time.

Born in Hart County, Kentucky, on October 5, 1862, Brother Woodward was baptized at Green's Chapel shortly after reaching manhood. Withdrawing from a promising political life which had interested him, he began preaching the gospel in his community, and gradually reached out in his influence until he was known throughout the state as a true and faithful preacher of Christ. He lived on a farm, and would work all week, then go on Saturday or Sunday morning to rural churches within driving distance, sometimes receiving nothing at all for his work, at other times receiving the contribution of the day (which was the customary way of paying the preacher in those days). This would usually amount to not more than 10.00 a Sunday, and often only one or two dollars.

Most of Brother Woodward's preaching was in central and southern Kentucky. From 1935 to 1939 he preached for the Park Street Church in Bowling Green, but other than that he preached only by appointment at various congregations — usually those who were not able to support a man full time. It is quite interesting that he preached his first sermon at Thurlow Church near Greensburg, Kentucky in 1898, and preached his last sermon for the same congregation (now in Greensburg) on May 8, 1955, only twelve days before his death. In all his long career as a gospel preacher, he missed only three appointments because of sickness, one of them in May, 1933, and the other two in March and May, 1955. His son, Dr. Paul Woodward of Louisville, began his preaching by filling his father's place for that first appointment, and also filled in for each of the other two appointments his father missed.

Brother Woodward married Nellie Saunders on August 5, 1914. Their two children Dr. R. P. Woodward, a deacon at Taylor Boulevard Church in Louisville and his sister, Dr. Marianna Woodward, are both faithful Christians. A foster daughter, Janice McLemore, was reared by Brother and Sister Woodward, who provided for her all the loving care and advantages they gave their own children. She has completed two years of college work, and like the other children is also a faithful member of the body of Christ. Sister Woodward and the three children can know that their grief is shared by untold numbers of men and women whose lives have been blessed and helped by this great and godly man who has left us.

In his long preaching career Brother Woodward preached a great number of funerals, married hundreds of couples, baptized many hundreds into Christ, and helped in establishing a number of new congregations. At the time of his death he was a faithful member of the Taylor Boulevard Church in Louisville. His funeral was preached by Brother Harold Hazelip who labors with this church. While his earthly pilgrimage is finished, we know that his influence will live on and on in the lives of those who knew him. And in the morning of the resurrection, we look forward with supreme confidence to finding him among those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Like the patriarch of God of old he "died the death of the righteous," and has left all of us a worthy example of service and faithfulness to follow.