Like a blazing meteor.

Another encomium for Rev. J.H. Mattocks, A.M.E. Zion minister, this time in W.H. Quick’s Negro Stars in all Ages of the World (1898):

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“… At the ensuing Conference he was appointed to the church at Wilson, N.C., where for one year he was kept on the go. Like a blazing meteor he flashed here and there in interest of his beloved Zion; but like a fixed star of the first magnitude his light was unfading. Wilson has never before nor since been so mightily stirred. …”

[The church was Saint John A.M.E. Zion, which yesterday celebrated its 150th anniversary.]


His usual success attended him.



J. H. Mattocks joined the church at New Berne, N. C., in 1868. He was licensed to preach in 1872, and in November the same year was sent to the Annual Conference at Wilmington, N. C., as a delegate, and was also recommended by his Quarterly Conference as a candidate for membership. He was admitted and ordained a deacon. His first appointment was the Onslow Mission. He succeeded in organizing three churches, as follows: Young’s Chapel, on New River, Burnett’s Chapel, and Topsail Sound Mission. His salary for the first year was $16.25 collected from the people and $2.50 from the Mission Fund. In 1874 he was sent to the Redding Springs Circuit, composed of three congregations worshiping under bush arbors, with sixty members in all. He bought lots and built at each place, and also organized the Jonesville, Hudson Grove, and Pineville Churches. At the close of three years’ labor he left the circuit with thirteen hundred members. He was ordained elder in 1877, and was appointed to the Mooresville Circuit, but was soon after sent to the Henderson Circuit, which Rev. R. D. Russel had to give up on account of sickness in his family. This was a strong Baptist section. The ministers who had preceded Brother Mattocks had thought it not best to attack the Baptist doctrine, and, though they had succeeded fairly well, yet when they had large revivals the Baptists would get more than half their converts. Brother Mattocks boldly defended the Methodist doctrine, and the result was that he held nearly all of his converts and baptized them by sprinkling, which was a very unusual thing in that section. The effect of his teaching remains till this day. In 1878 and 1879 he espoused the temperance cause with great success, and was elected chaplain of the Good Templars.

In 1879 he was appointed to Clinton Chapel, New Berne. In 1871 he was appointed to Washington, where his usual success attended him, and the church was greatly improved during his administration. In 1882 he was sent to Goldsboro. The church there at that time was in a languishing condition. Rev. Mattocks remained three years, during which time there were 185 persons converted and 217 added to the church. In 1885 Rev. Mattocks was made presiding elder, and labored in that capacity for three years. In 1888 he was relieved of the presiding eldership at his own request and was appointed pastor of the church at Wilson. In 1891, he was transferred to the Central North Carolina Conference and appointed to Fayetteville, N. C., where he served acceptably for one year, and was next appointed to Monroe. In 1892 he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Concord District. He is a successful presiding elder. He has common sense in a large degree, is earnest and honest. He has filled all positions in his Conference — secretary, statistical secretary, recording secretary, compiler and publisher of the Minutes, and Conference steward. He has been frequently elected as fraternal delegate to other Conferences, and has been a delegate to every General Conference since and including 1880. He read a strong paper on the subject of the presiding elder system at the General Conference in 1880. He is conservative, and can always be depended upon to support sensible measures and oppose foolish ones.

From J.W. Hood, One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; or, The Centennial of African Methodism (1895).