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George Waller
The Christian Repository
By Samuel H. Ford

     Eighty-one winters have whitened the thin locks of the venerable man whose likeness is before us. Look at it. What power in that commanding brow, what clearness in that eye whose fire eighty years have not quenched. Mighty men have been those Wallers. Without early training, and with few advantages -- deficient in worldly wisdom, and extemporaneous and impulsive in modes of thinking and acting -- they have exerted an influence in favor of the cause of God felt this day throughout the South and West -- an influence whose extent can be measured only in eternity. They are nearly all gone now -- gone to their reward on high.

     George Waller is the son of William Waller, much of whose history is found in the records of the Bryan Station Church, and a part of which has been given in a former number [of this Journal]. He was the brother of John Waller, who was so frequently persecuted in Virginia. George was the brother of Edmund, and, consequently, the uncle of J. L. Waller. He was born in Spotsylvania county, Va., in 1777, and was baptized by his father in Shelby county, in 1801. He has been fifty-seven years a Baptist, and fifty-five years a minister. He was for forty-five years pastor of the Buck Creek Church, forty-three of Burk's Branch, ten of Shelbyville, and was, at one time, pastor of the First Baptist in Louisville for three consecutive years. He has lived at the residence now owned by one of his sons for about sixty years, and he and his father have been the only pastors which the Old Buck Creek Church has ever had. For nearly forty years he was the moderator of the Long Run Association, and is the only survivor of those who entered into the constitution of that body.

     As a preacher, George Waller was argumentative, Calvinistic, and really eloquent. He was, in his day, amongst the most laborious and influential ministers in the West.

     The writer has often, and quite recently, spent a night beneath the old patriarch's roof, and transferred to paper, as the words fell from his lips, the clear description of scenes in which he was an actor. Those, with the materials for a biography of his life which he prepared many years ago, and has given me, are reserved for a future period.

     The following incident is one of such rare occurrence, that, though given to my readers in the biography of Edmund Waller, it is here introduced again: --


     George Waller, the brother of Edmund, was then in the full glow of his youthful fervor. It was a yearly meeting at Old Long Run Church. The crowd was large, and some had come many miles to hear preaching. Edmund preached and George followed him. The old father had listened with deep emotion while his sons were preaching those truths he loved. The whole audience was interested and moved. When George had closed with a powerful appeal to the unconverted, the old man rose. It was the first time he had heard Edmund Preach. The old man for some time could not speak. Tears ran down his cheeks. The audience felt with him. After a pause, in melting tenderness he exhorted sinners to fly to the Redeemer. "I witnessed the scene" said the venerable John Penny, "and never do I expect to witness such another; the old man's aspect, and the melting tones of his voice while he wept and preached, made it seem like heaven and earth were coming together."

     A revival followed, in which Edmund, George, and the father labored together, and about one hundred were added to the church.

     Edmund has long since entered into rest. George has retired from the field of his labors. The evening of life finds him clam and full of faith, "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savious Jesus Christ." The morning will soon break upon him, and the voice of the beloved will say to the aged way-worn pilgrim, "lo, the winter is passed, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle [dove] is heard in our land; the fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines, with their tender grape[s], give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. And so shall he be for ever with the Lord." -S.H.F. -


[From Samuel H. Ford, editor, The Christian Repository, April, 1858, pp. 245-247. - jrd]

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