Have You Heard of Micajah McPherson?

I ran across the name of Micajah McPherson in an article about the 12th quadrennial General Conference of North American Wesleyans which recently met in Lexington, Kentucky. The article stated that the meeting was called to order by the Board of General Superintendents Chair, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon. Lyon “called the meeting to order using a gavel made from wood of the dogwood tree from which Wesleyan pioneer Micajah McPherson was hung exactly 150 years ago for preaching against the evils of slavery. (McPherson miraculously survived the hanging to continue ministry for another 30 years.)” I googled the name but didn’t find much more than what the article said. I did find this site which gives a short history and features a few pictures. The picture below is of Micajah and his wife Phebe. The article says,

“McPherson survived the hanging, however, saying later that a noise startled the Hunters, who fled. He heard one of them say, “I do not believe the old SOB is dead yet.” Years later at a church service, according to tradition, McPherson approached a stranger to the church and told him, “You are one of those that hanged me.” The stranger left and never returned.”

The world is full of those whom God uses and whose names slips into relative obscurity. Here is one I’m glad I encountered. Even after a close call with death McPherson continued to serve the Lord and work against slavery. When we gather in heaven how many “McPhersons” will we meet whose work was unknown here below but will be proclaimed up above?


About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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