This obituary for James Thomas Fortson (1818-1886)
was published in
The Tennessee Baptist on May 1, 1886.



James T. Fortson was born in Elbert county, Ga., March the nineth [sic], 1818, moved to Claiborne parish, La., in 1851, where he lived until the fourth of March, 1886, when his career upon earth ended, and he was called to that undiscovered land.

J. T. Fortson was married, at the early age of nineteen, to Martha A. Almant [Almond], who lived with him for more than a quarter of a century, after whose death he was married to Georgia E. Seals his surviving widow. He was a member of the, Missionary Baptist church for forty-five years; and during the greater part of this time he served the church in the capacity of deacon.

There was no living man who believed more strongly in the doctrines taught by the Baptist church than Deacon Fortson. He had been a subscriber to and close reader of The Tennessee Baptist almost from its first publication. The writer renewed his subscription for him a few days before his death, at which time he told him that he was a lifetime subscriber to The Baptist.

But now this good man of Israel has fallen, he has fought the Christian warfare as a brave and gallant soldier, and has now gone on to the spirit world to receive that pension and bounty which awaits him who has fought the good fight.

He died in the spring time, when all nature was beginning to clothe herself in new garments, and on the Sabbath day. Oh what a fitting and beautiful time to depart from this perishing world to take up an abiding place in the eternal city! He only lacked two years of completing his three score and ten, a long life of toilsome service, spent in the cause of the Master. It may be well now for him to rest from his labors.

This good man will be missed sadly in the church at Antioch, of which he was a member. He will be missed in the community where he lived and died. Above all he will be missed by his large family of children and his lone wife, who awaits to join him at the Master’s call. But as the church militant loses one member the church triumphant gains another, and so all is well.

Let the Christian fortitude with which this man of God bore his earthly afflictions teach us the virtues and beauties of the Christian religion, and let his death teach us that the good as well as bad must also die.

Chas. W. Seals.

Homer, La., April 13, 1886.



The Tennessee Baptist, Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, May 1, 1886, p. 5, col. 3, online at, copied on September 7, 2019.