WARD, SETH (1858–1909). Seth Ward, Methodist bishop, son of Samuel Goode and Sarah Ann Ward, was born in a log cabin near Bryan, Texas, on November 15, 1858. His parents tutored him at home. On January 5, 1886, he married Margaret E. South at Bryan, and they had three children. Ward was ordained to the Methodist ministry in 1881. After serving as a junior minister on the Corsicana circuit, he was appointed successively to Centerville, Kosse, Calvert, St. James Church of Galveston, Huntsville, the Houston circuit, and Shearn Church of Houston. As head of the field work of the Twentieth Century Commission on Education, he succeeded in securing an average of a dollar a member for Methodist educational work. He was secretary of the Texas Conference from 1898 to 1900, when he was appointed conference secretary of education. After the Galveston hurricane of 1900 he united St. John's and St. James's churches into the First Methodist Church of Galveston. For four years he was assistant missionary secretary at the General Conference; while holding that position, in 1906, he was elected bishop at the General Methodist Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, the first native Texan to become a bishop in the Methodist Church. Seth Ward College at Plainview and Ward Memorial Church at Austin were named for him. Ward was twice elected to preside at missionary conferences on Methodism in Japan, China, and Korea. On his second visit to the Orient, he died at Kobe, Japan, on September 20, 1909. He was buried in Houston.
Frontier Times, March 1942. O. T. Hotchkiss, "Memoir of Bishop Seth Ward," Journal of the Seventieth Annual Session, Texas Conference of the Methodist Epsicopal Church, South, 1909. Houston Post, September 21, 1909. Olin W. Nail, ed., History of Texas Methodism, 1900–1960 (Austin, 1961). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.
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