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.


The Heroic Christian Warrior

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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