Thomas J. Landsell
Pastor FBC Hillsborough, 1855 -Thomas J. Lansdell was called to be pastor of the Hillsboro Baptist church on October 3, 1855 to serve one year in “A.D. 1856.” On December 2, 1855, he and his wife “H.H.” were received by letter as members of the church. On the following Thursday, he was ordained by the church “to the full work of the ministry.”1 He delivered a sermon at the church on April 13, 1856, titled “The Christian race.”
According to a history of the Mississippi Baptist Association written in 1908:2
Lansdell was born on January, 8, 1830 in Northumberland County, Virginia. Although his formal education was limited to only two years, he began at an early age clerking in a store and taught himself to read and learn on his own. Being inquisitive, he acquired a good education and was well informed. At age twenty-two, he left his Methodist upbringing to unite with the Fairfield Baptist church organized in 1831. In 1854 he left Virginia and moved to Terrell located in Catawba County, NC. Here he taught school and was licensed to preach. In 1855 he accepted an appointment from the Board of the North Carolina Baptist Convention to preach at Tarboro, NC. While there he married Harriet Lawrence. She was a faithful companion, sharing his joys and sorrows - seven of their ten children preceded them in death. She was active in Sunday school and church work. After serving in Hillsboro, he returned to Virginia in 1856 to pastor churches at High Hills and Hebron, remaining there for three and a half years. He then moved to Louisiana to pastor churches in Cheneyville (13 years), Williamsport (1 year) and Clinton (3 years). In addition to the Clinton church, he also preached at the Jackson and Hepzibah churches from 1875 to 1878. Other churches in his charge were the Ebenezer church, Amite, Mississippi, where he served two terms as pastor for a total of seventeen years; New Providence church (16 years); Norwood, Woodland, Bethel, Union and Amite River.
In 1885 the death of his daughter's husband made it necessary for him to move to her home near Ebenezer church, where he spent the remainder of his life. It was there, on the 24th of February, 1909, after a long decline, he passed away at the age of seventy-nine years. His last audible prayer was: "May I soon be with the angels." Mr. Lansdell was modest and painstaking, and, withal, an excellent and useful preacher. He rests from his labors and his works follow him.
Lansdell and his wife are buried in the Ebenezer Baptist Church cemetery in Amite, Mississippi. His wife’s tombstone notes that her maiden name was Harriet J. Lawrence, born in Tarboro, NC on February 19, 1830 and that she died on January 17, 1911 – two years after her husband.3
- Minutes of First Baptist Church Hillsborough, NC from November 19, 1853 to December 2, 1953.
- T.C. Schilling. Abstract History of the Mississippi Baptist Association for One Hundred Years: From Its Preliminary Organization in 1806 to the Centennial Session in 1906. New Orleans: Press of J.G. Hauser, . Accessed on February 23, 20011 at: http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/miss.association.hist6.html
- Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, Amite, MS: Submitted by Mary Pallon for tombstone notation. Accessed on February 23, 2011 at: http://files.usgwarchives.net/ms/amite/cemeteries/ebenezer.txt
Compiled by Reginald Carter, Historian, FBC Hillsborough
Last Updated: February 23, 2011