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Elder R.H. Pittman

Written by Elder A. L. Harrison: It has been said, "The true value of life consists in the opportunity that it gives us to live well and die well." Such was the life of our dear beloved Elder R. H. Pittman, of Luray, Va., distinguished author, publisher, and prominent minister of the Primitive Baptist Church, who died on March 14, 1941.

Reden Herbert Pittman was born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, August 20, 1870, the son of R. E. Pittman, and Sarah (Pitt) Pittman, and was of English descent. When he was a child he had the greatest respect for Christian people, and often had seasons of seriousness about religion. His mother and father taught him the sacredness of religious service, and he loved the songs the Baptist sang. While yet a child he was stricken with fever, and thought much about death and was afraid, it seemed that some horrible monster had him in possession holding him over a pit. He felt he was falling; crying for help, when at once he realized deliverance, but could not tell how it came. After awhile, he again felt a terrible fear of death, and where he would go. He began to pray to God with hopes that He would hear his prayers, and save him, as he felt like he was a poor sinner and knew God was a great Saviour. He was made to trust in Him and to believe His promises to help the helpless; that He knew all about him and had some purpose in his life: that he would not die, until that purpose was fulfilled. The burden of sin and fear of dying gradually left him. He felt happy with a hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, so went before the Primitive Baptist Church, called Hopeland, in Whitakers N. C., and asked for a home among them. He was received and baptized by Elder A. J. Moore the next day, January 1, 1893. He was licensed to preach in August 1893, and ordained in 1900.

Brother Pittman was married November 11, 1896, to Miss Eunice Elizabeth Barnes, who survives him, and who was an inspiration and helpmeet for him. To this union five children were born.

Brother Pittman was the editor of the Advocate and Messenger from 1920 until his demise, having bought the Zion’s Advocate from Sister J. G. Wiltshire in 1919, and a short time later the Gospel Messenger from Elder Sylvester Hassell, and the Messenger of Truth from Elder F. P. Branscome, which he combined, and through its pages proclaimed the doctrine of Salvation by Grace.

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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.