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Biography of Thomas M. D. Ward

Thomas M. D. Ward, the 10th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was born "just over the line," in the State of Pennsylvania. His parents were Marylanders, and had crossed over only a few months before the infant Thomas was born. His birth was in 1823.

At a very early age he removed to the city of Philadelphia, where he connected himself with the A. M. E. Church. Being ordained to the ministry, he was sent out as a Missionary on the Pacific Coast, where he labored with good success.

In 1868, he was made a Bishop, and took up his work in the same section of the country where he had so successfully labored as pastor. He was generally, and favorably, known as one of the greatest orators of his day. Not only was he truly eloquent, but was richly endowed with a poetic nature. The poem given below was written by him, sometime in the fifties, long before he became a Bishop.

The Heroic Christian Warrior

My soul, the conflict grows severe,
The troops of hell are drawing near
But the strong guard that for the fight I
Will guide thee ta 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,
Bidding 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
Thrilling each heart with hope and fear;
The warrior wears the victor's palm
High in the bright and better land.

There is 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 ravish'd sight.

 Maryland Biographies | Maryland AHGP

Source: Gazetteer of Maryland, by Henry Gannett, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1904.


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