Trials and Tribulations of the

Rev. John H. Corley

It would be good to say that Rev. John H. Corley was the average Corley. Then that would not be so. For he is very much above that equivalent. I think you will agree he has brought high honor to the Corley name and someone we Corleys can be most proud to claim. This page is in tribute to Rev. John H. Corley my G-G-Granduncle. Thanks to, Scott Sammons, ancestral grandson of Rev. Corley for his contribution to this information.

From Coweta Co., Georgia First Baptist Church Records

John H. Corley church pastor, Jan. 1851 - May, 1852 was born in the Edgefield District of South Carolina on October 2, 1824. At the age of eight he moved with his family to Augusta, then to Macon. He moved to Newnan in 1848 as headmaster of an academic school, also preaching in the area. He was ordained in 1848. When approached on the appointment to the pastorate of the Baptist Church, he informed the church that he would accept her call provided the church was unanimous in not requiring him to attend any but monthly meetings because of his duties as teacher. The church unanimously accepted Brother Corley upon his own proposition. He moved from Newnan to Forsyth in 1852.

Obit. Ft. Gaines, Ga.

Of Welch descent on his father’s side and of Irish on his mother’s, Rev. J. H. Corley was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina, October 2, 1824. When seven or eight years of age he moved with his father to Augusta, Georgia where he attended school for three or four years. His father then moved to Macon, Georgia, and it was during his residence there that he was converted. The great meteoric shower in 1833 spread general gloom over the inhabitants of the city and country, and seriously impressed him in reference to the salvation of his soul. He became converted. In 1835 or 1836 his father settled in the country near Jonesboro and there young Corley joined the church at Tanner’s by baptism, and began to preach. It was here he married Miss Julia A. Youngblood on the 28th of January 1844 and was licensed to preach two days afterwards. He was uneducated and was distressed about himself for that reason, but near the close of 1845, Elder L. Towers offered to educate him either at Mercer University or Cave Springs, or at his own private school, Eusebia Institute. He selected the last named place and spent three years there in school. In 1848 he moved his little family and took charge of the little school there, and at the same time preached to number of churches in the country. He was called to ordination by the Mariah Church in Coweta County, and was ordained on the 28th of May 1848, by Elders Joshua S. Calloway, George B. Davis, Trustin Phillips and Joel C. Tommy. His ministry was quite successful and he baptized many converts. From here he moved to a farm on Flint River in the winter of 1852-’53. The result was disastrous in the extreme, for within a year he lost his two children by sickness and also lost his home, besides being involved in debt between two and three thousand dollars. From there he moved to McDonough and entered in law partnership with Col. L. T. Doyal but remained in the law practice for only a short time. He accepted a call from Forsyth Church and two country churches and spent two years at that place. When the war came on he entered the army and remained for over a year. In 1863 he settled on a farm ten miles west of Beuna Vista and preached every Sunday to some of the various churches. He remained there until 1871 when he moved to Dawson and took charge of the church there and also the church at Ft. Gaines. During the five years he thus preached, many were added to the membership of both churches. He withdrew from their pastorate in 1877 that he might enter on mission work among the freedmen. He remained in the Bethel Association preaching for many and various churches until he became too feeble to attend his meetings. He died on April 2, 1900 at his home in Ft. Gaines. He left at his death a minister son, J. G. Corley and two daughters, who were provided for by the Bethel Association.

Another obit that I don’t have the beginning to follows:

The Baptist denomination has produced, in this generation at least, was Rev. J. H. Corley, who died in the full assurance of the faith, at his home in Ft. Gaines, Ga., on April 2, 1900. He was in usual health on Sunday, April 1st, and filled the pulpit of the Baptist church in the morning and lectured a bible class in the afternoon, and died at his home the next morning, surrounded by his children. Surely God sustained him that he might die in the harness which he so much loved to wear and which fitted him so nicely. Mr. Corley was born in Edgefield district, South Carolina, October 2, 1824: he was of Welch descent on his father’s side and of Irish on his mother’s. When quite a small boy he moved with his parents to Augusta, Ga., where he attended school for three or four years. His father then moved to Macon, Ga., where young Corley obtained hope in Christ as his Savior. He joined the church in 1835 and commenced preaching in 1844. His marriage to Miss Julia A. Youngblood, occurred on the 28th of June, 1844; after his marriage he went B. school about three years. He was called to ordination by Moriah church in C. Coweta county on the 28th of May, 1845. During his eventful life he was a farmer, lawyer, tanner, teacher and minister. In all of these he was a success, but his life-work was the ministry. He loved to preach the gospel of Christ, and the Master wonderfully verified His promise to His people in his case: “lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” He served several churches all over Georgia , but his greatest work was in Southwest Georgia, at Dawson, Fort Gaines, Blakely and the surrounding country. He was for long time pastor of the Blakely Baptist church, and we do not hesitate to say that the church never had a more consecrated minister in the pulpit. He was popular, eloquent, learned and consecrated to the work of his Master. The news of his death cast a gloom and sadness over the community. Truly it may be aid: “None knew him but to love, named him but to praise.” He was one of the most effective preachers of the age and many will “rise up to call him blessed” whom he has led to Christ and to whom he has pointed out the way of Eternal Life. But he is gone! His last prayer on earth has been uttered: his last sermon preached: his reward has been received: his Master has said: “son, come up higher:” the response has been given and his soul yielded up to God who gave it: but his work remains: the good he has done under God shall never die. The star sinks behind the western horizon and leaves the world darker. It is not extinguished, but sets to rise and give light to another sphere. While earth is made darker by the death of the great preacher, heaven has been made brighter.


CORLEY 1300 John H 27 m BClgym SC Julia A 29 f SC Nancy C 5 f GA Martha A 4 f GA John L 2 m GA Jepth G 7/12 m GA Willis B 63 m Farmer SC Nancy 62 f IR Betethalua 18 f SC

John H. Corley was in, Co. B, 2nd Georgia Infantry CSA

He was the brother of my g-g-grandfather, Elbert D. Corley, previously mentioned on this web site. Some of his nephews, one Wm. A. Corley my great grandfather are on my web site here.

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