I hope you may permit me to say a word of appreciation, of my friend, Dr. W. P. Harvey. He came into my life when I was a lad only eighteen years old. I began work with the Baptist Book Concern and Western Recorder at about eighteen and remained with them for fifteen years.
During these years I was closely and intimately associated with three of our great personalities: Dr. T. T. Eaton, Dr. W. P. Harvey and Mrs. J. E. Peck. They were all my close personal friends from those boyhood days as long as they lived.
For quite a while during these years of intimate comradeship, it was my pleasure and good fortune to live in the home of Dr. Harvey, so I knew him socially, in business, in church life and in every relationship of life.
He made a profound impression upon my life and I am thankful for him and his friendship. We corresponded almost until the last of his life. He always seemed as solicitous about me and mine as about his own sons. No one ever had a truer, nobler friend. He was both stern and tender, he was a good business man and a preacher of power. He was a hard worker and a contender for the right as he saw it. He was a friend to the lowly and greatly admired by the Negro Baptists.
I recall one Negro Baptist Convention In Vicksburg, Miss., which he and I attended years ago, and he received a regular ovation. He loved to preach to Negroes and they loved to hear him.
He was a generous giver to all our causes and was as tender as a child in his affections. Dr. Harvey and I attended many Southern Baptist Conventions and State Conventions together. He waa unusually fine in extending the circulation of the Western Recorder and always fraternally boosted his great editor T. T. Eaton.
We worked together, we ate together, we walked together, we rode together, we slept together and talked together during fifteen eventful years and then I had every opportunity to know him. He liked to make money, only to use in doing good. He had many flattering offers to devote his fine business ability to secular affairs, but turned them all down. He loved the Lord and loved to preach.
No doubt these fifteen years were the outstanding ones of his useful career. He and Dr. Eaton worked in great fellowship and put the Western Recorder high in our denominational life. I count it one of the great privileges of my life to have had such a friend.
He was as devoted to Rev. W. E. Mitchell, pastor at Cadiz, Ky., (who is his nephew) as he was to his own sons - Robert Emmett Harvey and Allen Harvey. No doubt the five persons who mourn his home-going most and who loved him most and knew him best are his beloved and charming companion, Mrs. Harvey, his two sons, Will Mitchell and myself.
The Lord's grace worked mightily in his heart and life and by so doing transformed a poor Irish immigrant lad into an effective and consecrated soldier of the Cross. I knew Dr. Harvey intimately and loved him devotedly.
[From J. Henry Burnett, Western Recorder, October 31, 1929, p. 28. Document provided by Ben Stratton. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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