Joseph Luke Blitch, D.D., was born March 3, 1839, in Duval Co., Florida; is the son of Rev. Benj. Blitch, an eminent Baptist preacher. He was converted at fifteen, but "boy conversions" being then unpopular, he was baptized two years later. He began talking for Jesus as soon as converted, and the Sunday after his baptism he went fifty miles to hear a great preacher. Crowds had gathered at Ready Creek; the preacher failed, and young Brother Blitch took charge of the meeting, and almost unconsciously began preaching from the words, "Behold the Lamb of God!" From that day till now he has preached every Sunday save one from one to four sermons.
He graduated at Mercer University in 1863, the only graduate that year, preaching to three churches while in college, having been ordained by the Macedonia church in 1860. He was pastor at Aberlare, near Augusta, several years. At one time he immersed 99 converts before leaving the water. He next served Shiloh, Macedonia, and Lafayette churches; thence to Macon, Ga., where he established the Second church, and at the close of a two years' pastorate left it with a good house and over one hundred members. He was pastor one year at Little Rock, Ark.; two years at Marshall, Texas; Boenville, one year; Lee Summit, Mo., three years. In 1873 he went to California; was pastor at Dixon six years, taking an active part, officially, in education and mission interests. In 1879 he located at Walla Walla, Washington Territory, and has already organized a vigorous church. About 2000 have been converted under his ministry, of whom he has baptized 1636. La Grange University, Mo., conferred upon him the degree of D.D. Several of his sermons have been published, one of which, "Thy kingdom come," so delighted Spurgeon, of London, that he said of it, " Every sentence carries the sound of a glorious victory. I love it."
[From Find a Grave Memorial: He died at his residence on July 25, 1882, at Cambria, San Luis Obispo County, California.]
[The Baptist Encyclopaedia, 1881, p. 107, reprint, 1988. H/T to Terry Holever, Springfield, MO. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
From Find a Grave Memorial:
We regret to have to mention the death of one of our most worthy citizens, Mrs. Martha V. Beazley Blitch, who died at her father's house at Gordon Springs, GA, the latter part of last week. Mrs. Blitch was a good woman and suffered very much during a long spell of sickness at this place. She was removed to Gordon Springs a few weeks before she died. Her relatives and many dear friends have the sympathy of the entire community.
She married Joseph Luke Blitch on October 5, 1863 at Penfield, Greene County, GA. They had six children: John Benjamin, Joseph Dudley, William Daniel, Susan Francis Blitch Sybilla, George Alla and Harry Elihu. -- Birth: November 10, 1843; Death: May 1, 1890.
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