Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
(pages 486 - 488)
The subject of the present sketch was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, January 1, 1769. He was the son of a farmer, and had few advantages of an education in early life. His father moved to Tennessee while young Snider was still in his teens. In the fall of 1790 he was married to a Miss Mary Walker and settled near Little River, in Blount County. This happy couple, like "Isaac and Rebecca," lived and toiled together for nearly fifty-six years.
In 1797 he professed a hope in Christ and united with the Presbyterians, in which connection he continued about fifteen years, leading a pious and consistent life. He had never studied the question of baptism, however, and upon a careful examination of that question he joined the Baptist Church at Miller's Cove, and was baptized, June 27, 1812, by Elijah Rogers. August 21 of the same year he was "ordained deacon." He was licensed to preach, March 27, 1813, and March 25, 1814, was ordained to the full work of the ministry by a council composed of Richard Wood, Thomas Hudiburg, Dr. Thomas Hill and Elijah Rogers.
In 1817 he was called to be pastor of Miller's Cove, and, a little later, of the Six-Mile Church. In the fall of 1821 he moved to Monroe County, and settled on a beautiful farm in the "Hiwassee Purchase." Here he spent the remainder of his life, serving as pastor, for many years, Hopewell, Big Creek, Chestua, and Tellico churches, the last named becoming the Madisonville Church, March, fourth Saturday, 1828, having to recognition of the "presbytery, Elders George Snider and James Myers." From July of the same year this church, for four years, had the services of George Snider and Daniel Buckner as co-pastors.
Brother Snider "had revivals in all his churches," it is said, and he was instrumental in finding and bringing into the Lord's service several useful ministers.
The first introductory sermon before the Hiwassee Association (1824, one year after its organization) was preached Elder George Snider. The same year he was chosen Moderator of that body, and served in that capacity as long as the body had an existence, some five or six years. He was Moderator of the Convention (1830) which created the "Sweetwater United Baptist Association," and served as Moderator of the new body from fourteen to sixteen years - up to within a year of his death. When the Association divided (1837) on the question of missions, Brother Snider stood firm for the "cause of missions," and rejoiced to "suffer persecution" for being loyal to the truth. Up to this time he had never been "evil spoken of," and two of his deacons had said to him, "Brother Snider, we have come to the conclusion that the Lord's woe has been pronounced upon you - all men speak well of you." A little puzzled, he replied, "Well, I don't know that I do have an enemy in the world." But a few days later, meeting one of the same deacons, he said to him, with an air of relief, "Well, I have got rid of the 'woe' you spoke of."
In the cemetery of Hopewell Church is a monument erected, by the Sweetwater Association, bearing the inscription: "in memory of Rev. George Snider; died August 31, 1846, in the 78th year of his age," with the added words, "I have fought a good fight," etc.
In a "biography of Elder George Snider," published by his Association (Minutes for 1846), are these fine words of recognition and worthy tribute: "His appearance in the pulpit was manly, serious and affectionate. His preaching was generally plain, engaging and impressive, reaching, the hearts and consciences of his hearers. He was pious and zealous, an excellent and eminent minister of Christ. The topic on which he delighted most to dwell was salvation through the blood of Christ. His affectionate exhortation to his brethren, in his later years, was: `Dear brethren, I must soon go the way of all living. Be faithful and follow on. I hope to meet you in heaven.' August 31, 1846, in the 77th year of his age; and the thirty-fourth of his ministerial life, he fell on sleep. He had no fear of death, and his sun went down without a cloud."
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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