Born: 1841, Flem­ing Coun­ty, Ken­tuc­ky.

Died: Au­gust 15, 1921, Cof­fey­ville, Kan­sas.

Buried: Fair­view Ce­me­te­ry, Cof­fey­ville, Kan­sas.



James was the son of Sam­u­el Paint­er and Nan­cy Jane Van­Kirk. He mar­ried twice: to Ca­ther­ine Kate Brock (Ju­ly 8, 1864) and Nan­cy R. Wade (Oc­to­ber 10, 1897, Han­cock Coun­ty, Il­li­nois).

J. H. Paint­er was born in Flem­ing Coun­ty, Ken­tuc­ky, in the year 1841, and was brought up in War­ren and Mc­Do­nough Coun­ties, Il­li­nois, from 1844 un­til 1861, when he en­list­ed in the ar­my and served three years.

After this ser­vice he re­mained in Ten­nes­see, joined the Me­tho­dist Epis­co­pal Church, and was li­censed to ex­hort, then to preach. In 1866 he re­moved to Cass Coun­ty, Mis­sou­ri, where he be­came ident­i­fied with the Dis­ci­ples, un­der the min­is­try of M. D. Todd, and be­gan preach­ing for them in 1868.

Later he re­moved to Kan­sas, where he was quite ac­tive and suc­cess­ful in the min­is­try un­til 1875, when he re­turned to the lo­cal­i­ty in Il­li­nois where he was brought up, and es­tab­lished a church, bap­tiz­ing a num­ber of his kins­men and oth­ers, around whose knees he had played in youth. That church still ex­ists.

In 1876—Christ­mas Day—he land­ed in Io­wa, where his min­is­ter­i­al la­bors have been chief­ly wrought. How­be­it, he has held meet­ings since then in Kan­sas, Mis­sou­ri, Il­li­nois, the Da­ko­tas and Ne­bras­ka.

He was State ev­an­gel­ist in Io­wa for twelve years and or­gan­ized near­ly one hun­dred of her church­es, be­sides as­sist­ing, more or less, all the oth­ers. At one time he per­son­al­ly knew ev­ery preach­er, and the con­di­tion of ev­ery church, in the State, ev­en when the for­mer num­bered near­ly two hun­dred, and the lat­ter near­ly twice as ma­ny.

Most of this time he was on the ed­i­to­ri­al staff of the Chris­tian Or­a­cle, hard­ly ev­er miss­ing an is­sue in which his bu­sy pen did not en­rich its col­umns, to the de­light of its reade­rs. It was a com­mon re­mark of its read­ers: I read ev­ery word he writes, first.

Sometimes his cri­ti­cisms were quite se­vere, and al­most raised the cu­ti­cle on some­bo­dy. Once or twice a complaint was made to the ed­it­or that the comp­lain­er didn’t like Paint­er’s writ­ing. The ed­it­or told them to skip it then; that there were ma­ny others who did like it. Then the an­swer came back: We do not want to skip it; we ne­ver fail to read ev­ery word he writes, ev­en if we have to skip some­thing else. Of course the ed­it­or re­plied that his pa­per was print­ed for the pur­pose of be­ing read, and there­fore this wri­ter must be a suc­cess.

Bro. Paint­er has been a most un­tir­ing work­er dur­ing all the years of his min­is­try. He was ne­ver idle. Io­wa owes more to him for the pre­sent con­di­tion of the church with­in her bor­ders than to per­haps any oth­er man in the State. Pa­tient un­der dif­fi­cul­ties, wise in coun­sel, ear­nest and Scrip­tur­al in the pul­pit, and a most ge­ni­al fire­side com­pan­ion. No one was a more wel­come vi­sit­or at my home. Ev­ery­bo­dy loved him, ev­en those whom he se­vere­ly cri­ti­cised.

The sub­ject of this sketch has a re­mark­a­bly clear con­cep­tion of apos­to­lic Chris­ti­a­ni­ty, and can ex­press it in great plain­ness of speech. You may not agree with him, but you will not mis­un­der­stand him. He ne­ver uses two words when one will ex­press his mean­ing.

His con­verts—and they are ma­ny—gen­er­al­ly know what they be­lieve, and can give a rea­son for the hope that is in them. The lines be­tween Ju­da­ism and Chris­ti­a­ni­ty, and be­tween apo­sto­lic Chris­ti­a­ni­ty and mo­dern de­no­mi­na­tion­al­ism, yea, be­tween the go­spel of Christ and all oth­er sys­tems, ex­ist in his mind as clear as light, and hence he is no com­pro­mis­er with any ri­val con­cern of the gos­pel.

He has writ­ten se­ver­al tracts, and con­duct­ed two or three writ­ten and one or­al dis­cuss­ion.

After re­sign­ing as State ev­an­gel­ist, he ac­cept­ed the po­si­tion of field agent for the Stand­ard Pub­lish­ing Com­pa­ny, but at the end of two years re­signed, and preached two years for the Bon­dur­ant and Ris­ing Sun Church­es, near Des Moines, Io­wa, put­ting them on the high road to a fine suc­cess.

He is now liv­ing at Ed­dy­ville, Io­wa, some­what re­tired, preach­ing three-fourths of his time, and ex­er­cis­ing a lit­tle on a small home of eight acres. He has re­cent­ly brought out a small vol­ume of three hun­dred pag­es, Re­mi­nis­cenc­es and Notes; is mar­ried to his se­cond wife; has four child­ren, but none are with him, hav­ing fa­mi­lies of their own. He is five feet six inch­es in height; weighs 135 pounds; has brown hair and eyes, and looks young­er than he is.

Twentieth Cen­tu­ry Ser­mons and Ad­dress­es
Louis C. Wil­son, ed. (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: Stan­dard Pub­lish­ing, 1902), pp. 201–02