John Maurice Hamilton
1918 – 2007
John Maurice Hamilton was born on September 23, 1918, at Belmont County, St. Joe (near Bellaire), Ohio. He was the son of David “Dee” and Bessie (Hendershot) Hamilton. John was added to the Lord’s church in 1939 during a Gospel Meeting at the St. Joe Rd. Church of Christ. His future wife, whom he had met at church where they both attended, Delores McCoy, was also baptized at the same meeting, by Tom W. Butterfield, Sr. Brother Butterfield always said that they were the only couple that he baptized who ended up a preacher and a preacher’s wife.
John Hamilton graduated from Bellaire High School in 1936 and worked in the brickyards and area coalmines. His father was an elder at the St. Joe Church of Christ, but his mother had the greatest influence on him regarding the scriptures. Due to her influence, he soon entered the U. S. Army as a conscientious objector and experienced much persecution for his decision. He served in the Army Medical Corp from May, 1941, until he was discharged in October, 1945, during World War II. For three and one-half years, he served in the China-Burma-India Theater of war and was involved, at that time, in a Japanese bombing. Due to his being wounded, he was to receive a purple heart, but he refused it, not feeling he was worthy of it.
John was married on May 31, 1946, to Delores McCoy, who now lives with her only daughter, Nancy, in Massillon, Ohio. A. H. Maner married them at the Wheeling Island Church of Christ. This union lasted 61 years, and they were blessed with one daughter, Nancy Joella Hamilton, now of Massillon, Ohio, who was born on December 6, 1952, in McLean County, Bloomington, Illinois.
His father urged the family to get an education. After he returned from the service, he entered school in the fall of 1946. He received an Associate of Arts (Liberal Arts) at Freed Hardeman College in Henderson, Tennessee, in 1948; a Bachelor of Science (Business Administration) at Abilene Christian College in Abilene, Texas, in 1950; and a Master of Arts (Education) at the Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, in 1952. His Masters Thesis was “Martin Luther’s Theory of Education.”
Because of the encouragement of two elders, Joe Terry and Noble Sikes, of the Pine Street Church of Christ, Portales, New Mexico, he began preaching at little congregations in the area. During the years 1951-1952, he taught school in New Castle, Colorado, and preached full time at the Rifle, Colorado, congregation. He preached full time at Bloomington, Illinois, from 1952-1955; Martinsville, Indiana, 1955-1957; Woodsfield, Ohio, from 1957-1968; Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1968-1971; Massillon, Ohio, 1971-1975; Chelsea, Michigan, from 1975-1980; and Shadyside, Ohio, from 1980-1991.
Brother Hamilton preached Gospel Meetings in 10 different states: New Mexico, Wisconsin, Alaska, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Georgia, Ohio, and Michigan. After 1991, he stayed in the Shadyside area and preached by weekend appointment at various area congregations until 2004 when Alzheimer’s disease destroyed his ability to preach. He preached a total of 53 years in the service of our dear Lord. Just a few months after John and Delores moved to Massillon, Ohio, to live with Nancy, he passed away on August 8, 2007. He is buried at Holly Memorial Cemetery in Belmont County, Colerain, Ohio.
Tom D. Butterfield, said, “He held meetings where I was the located preacher. I still treasure those days when I was able to sit at the feet of John Hamilton, both in and out of the pulpit. My dad and I both considered John as one of our greatest friends.” Tom encouraged me to keep up the good work and to take the time to be patient and kind like John Hamilton. –9564 Wolf Rd., Windham, OH 44288. 330 326-3215.
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