Born: September 28, 1823, Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Died: June 10, 1894, Jacksonville, Florida.
Buried: Washington, DC.
Ward was converted in 1838 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and joined the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.
He was licensed to preach in 1843 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania by Rev. Lewis Lee, and, in 1846, was admitted to the New England Conference.
He was ordained a deacon in 1847, and elder in 1849.
After ordination, he was appointed missionary for the Pacific Coast, where he remained several years, organizing churches in that region, then but sparsely settled.
In 1868 Ward was elected the tenth bishop of the AME Church, ordained in Lexington, Virginia, and returned as bishop to the Pacific Coast, where he stayed four years.
He was afterward assigned to Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, and other districts in the American south, where he did much to build up the church and distinguish himself as pulpit orator.
Wilberforce University in Ohio awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree.
My soul, the conflict grows severe,
The troops of hell are drawing near;
But thy Protector in the fight
Will guide thee to the worlds of light.
Gird on thy arms, march to the field,
With glittering blade and burnished shield;
High floats the spotless flag of truth,
Upborne by hands that never droop.
The battle trump sounds long and loud,
It bids each warrior grasp his sword;
Jehovah’s great eternal Son
Will lead the fearless army on.
Methinks I hear the glorious shout:
The victory’s won, the battle’s fought.
Emmanuel’s troops have won the day
His foes have fled in wild dismay.
No more the clarion sound we hear
That thrills each heart with hope and fear;
The warrior wears the victor’s palm
High in the bright and better land.
There are the realms of endless day
Where stirring zephyrs softly play;
We’ll stand amid the spotless throng
And chant redemption’s gladsome song.
Cease not the strife, my blood-bought soul;
Press onward to the blissful goal—
Broad streams of everlasting light
Will burst upon thy ravished sight.
Based on Thomas M. D. Ward (1823–1894)
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