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Elder Lee Hanks

Elder Lee Hanks was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on June 13, 1861. His parents were not members of the Primitive Baptist Church, but were honest and morally upright people. The effects of the war between the states devastated the Hanks' family and left them in poverty.

After a prolonged illness, Elder Hanks father died in 1869 leaving the young Lee Hanks to an afflicted mother without means of support. Elder Hanks was cast out as an orphan and was forced to rely upon charity and hard work to sustain him.

(for a more detailed account of Elder Hanks early life, please read his Conflicts of an Orphan)

Elder Hanks was baptized into fellowship with the Primitive Baptists at the early age of 16, and was ordained in 1881. His ministry prospered for 69 years during which time Elder Hanks traveled extensively, and was blessed with one of the most influential ministries among our people. He baptized in excess of 1000 individuals, and assisted in the constitution of many churches. He was a father in the ministry to such noted pastors as Elder J.A. Monsees, and was a friend and confidant of men such as Elder Sylvester Hassell, Elder J. H. Oliphant, Elder R.H. Pittman, and numerous others.

In 1936, Elder Pittman said of Elder Hanks:

"Eld. Hanks has been greatly blessed of God as an humble and faithful minister. Joined the church when a poor lad and baptized in another man's clothes. An orphan living in another man's house and working for his daily bread. No friend to send him to school, but blessed with a sound mind he accumulated a great store of knowledge and has for many years been one of our most useful ministers and fluent writers. He has been a laborer for peace and good-will and has earned the peacemaker's reward. He is not perfect,--has made mistakes along the way, but his blunders have been upon the side of a constructive ministry rather than a destructive one. He has not been a church divider, a destructive critic, nor a man of malice. In malice he is a child, but in understanding he is a man. And he has been a church-builder and has baptized a great number of persons,--some of them ministers and people from other denominations. God bless and uphold him and when he is called up higher may our dear Lord send more such laborers into His harvest."

Elder Hanks was indeed blessed in the last years of his ministry as much as in the first. He was an active writer until the time of his death, and we are blessed today with a vast store of his thoughts, studies, and meditations from which to learn.

Elder Hanks lived and labored in a time of great trouble among our people. He was instrumental in standing against those who departed under the leadership of the Kirklands and Todd at the turn of the 20th century. He also helped to define and establish the line of division between our people and the "so called" Absoluter churches.

In spite of the contention that existed among our people, Elder Hanks was always recognized and respected for his peaceful demeanor and willingness to find common ground with his fellow servants. It was his love for Christ and the people of God that characterized his ministry, and has caused his name to be remembered even to this day.

The hours that I have spent researching Elder Hanks' writings, and preparing the pages of this site have been among the most enjoyable of my life. This truly was a man of God, whose heart was filled with the love of Jesus Christ. I pray that the love manifest in these pages will fill the hearts of all who read them, that we might rejoice with Elder Hanks in the love of a sovereign and saving God.

In Christian Love,

Joseph Weyel

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Item Title
The Conflicts of an Orphan
A Biographical Sketch
Is The Sinner Saved Contrary To His Will
Remember From Whence Thou Art Fallen
Whiter Than Snow
Where Are We Drifting
To God's Servants
The Ministry, the Church, and Fellowship
Romans 14:19
The Church Should Require Fruits
He Knows our Inability
In Texas
Great Things
From A Sick Bed
Exhortation to Ministers
Bible Doctrine with Exhortation
Bethel Association
Baptists Should Be More Charitable and Kind
Advice to Young Folks
In Loving Memory
The Proclamation of the Gospel
Nearing Home
A Misunderstanding
Obituary of Lee Hanks
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.