February 21, 1879 — Ionia, Michigan, USA
"Rev. Wm. F. Jenkins, a superannuated Minister of the Michigan Conference, of the M.E. Church, died at his residence, in Pewamo, on Sabbath morning, the 16th inst., at one o'clock, aged 73 years.
He was converted when quite young and joined the M.E. Church, and quite early in his religious life gave evidence to his brethren that God had called him to the work of the ministry, and he was licensed to officiate as a local preacher, which office he magnified for a number of years and at the earnest solicitation of some of his brethren, he was finally induced to engage in the regular work of the itineracy; and while in the active work filled with great acceptability the following circuits in the order in which they here appear: St. Joseph, Otsego, Ganges, Middleville, Greenville, Saranac, Lowell, Palo, Dewitt, Easton, Pewamo.
The last two named were filled after he had been granted a superannuated relation by the Conference, but he had such a desire to work that he worked on under circumstances when most men would have said, it is impossible for me to work. For the last nine years he has been unable to preach, except an occasional sermon, and much of that time he has been a great sufferer, but has shown by his patient endurance what grace can do in the matter of helping poor suffering human nature to endure without complaint whatever of physical pain may fall to the lot of one who feels himself only a sojourner in this vale of sorrow. His death was peaceful and triumphant: being assured that his work was done and his reward was sure.
He leaves a wife*, and five children by a former wife** who preceded him to the world of light several years since; having lived with her who now mourns his loss for about seven years very happily. He leaves a large circle of friends and but few, if any, enemies. We laid his body to rest on the 18th inst., after a very solemn and impressive service at the church, led by his pastor, Rev. G.W. Moag, and participated in by several of his ministerial brethren from other charges. A large concourse of people were in attendance and manifested their interest in the services by remaining patiently and listening attentively, and often with tearful eyes, to every word said from the first to the final close; and all seemed to feel, as they looked on his face for the last time, "We are taking our leave of one whose presence and influence will be missed as much or more than any other one ever taken from our midst;"
and all seemed to say--
Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee,
Since God was thy ransom, thy guardian and guide;
He gave thee, He took thee, and He will restore thee,
Where death has no sting, since the Savior has died.
* Lucy A. Houghton
** Lydia Triphagen.