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Guide to the John Luke Bray Methodist Sermons, 1907-1938 and undated

Abstract

Methodist minister, active in southern Virginia in the early twentieth century.

Collection of 74 unpublished typewritten sermons and texts for prayer meetings assembled by a Methodist minister active in Virginia in the early twentieth century. Although no author's name is given, from church appointment records it is almost certain that the minister is John Luke Bray (1871-1938). The sermons were given from 1907 to 1938 in localities in southern Virginia (almost all in Danville, Crewe, South Boston, Richmond, and Norfolk); the earliest sermon was given in Shawnee, Oklahoma. At times the minister may have been using churches that offered space to other denominations. The sermon notes, typed in red and black and typically two to four pages, document the typical style of Methodist preaching in the South and sometimes refer to social or economic issues. Each envelope enclosing the sermon text is marked with the title and when and where preached; most have multiple dates and locations. There are also a few miscellaneous items, including newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, and one leaf with an undated hymn with words by A. W. Davis, entitled "Over the Top With Jesus," dedicated to a "Rev. D. H. Kenney." Some fragile items have been photocopied. Arranged in two series: Prayer Meetings and Sermons.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Bray, John Luke
Title
John Luke Bray Methodist Sermons, 1907-1938 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.4 Linear Feet, 78 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection of 74 unpublished typewritten sermons and texts for prayer meetings (also called sermons) assembled by a Methodist minister active in Virginia in the early twentieth century. Although no author's name is given, from church appointment records it is almost certain that the minister is John Luke Bray (1871-1938). The sermons were given from 1907 to 1938 in localities in southern Virginia (almost all in Danville, Crewe, South Boston, Richmond, and Norfolk); the earliest sermon (1907) was given in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The minister served for several years in each church, the last sermons of 1936-1938 being given in the Methodist Church in the railroad town of Crewe, Va., which possibly also served a Baptist congregation, an arrangement not unusual in rural areas. The sermon notes, typed in red and black and typically two to four pages in length, offer evidence of the typical style of preaching in Methodist churches in the South and sometimes refer to social or economic issues. Each envelope enclosing the sermon text is marked with the title, taken from a Biblical text, and when and where preached; most have multiple dates and locations. Most envelopes are marked in a corner as "Sermon Notes," but some are labeled "Prayer Meetings," with the text inside still labeled by the minister as a sermon. There are also a few miscellaneous items, including newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, and one leaf with an undated hymn with words by A. W. Davis, entitled "Over the Top With Jesus," dedicated to a "Rev. D. H. Kenney." Some fragile items have been photocopied. Arranged in two series: Prayer Meetings and Sermons, with the bulk of the sermons housed in the latter group. Within each series, arranged in Biblical order.

Administrative Information

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warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

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warning Use Restrictions

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Contents of the Collection

Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Aug. 19
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Dec. 6
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 July 8
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 June 17
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1938 Jan. 5
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 July 22
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 July 8
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Aug. 5
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Dec. 12
Box 1
Proverbs 4:23, The Duty of Keeping the Heart (no location given)
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Apr. 30
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Oct. 3
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Aug. 8
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Aug. 26
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Sept. 5
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Jan. 24
Box 1
Crewe, Va., 1937 Jan. 27
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Mar. 30
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Dec. 13
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Apr. 1
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Mar. 15
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Aug. 27
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 16
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924 Sept. 21
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1922 July 9
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 Sept. 23
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1927 June 26
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Dec. 2
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 Sept. 13
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1921 Feb. 20
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1922 Nov. 19
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Nov. 28
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Jan. 8
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Jan. 29
Box 1
Union Service, Baptist Church, 1934 July 1
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 April 11
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1912 Sept. 15
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 June 27
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1918 June 9
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 May 23
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 June 9
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1920 Feb. 22
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 Mar. 25
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Apr. 4
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 May 12 21
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Apr. 8
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1938 Jan. 23
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Apr. 6
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Sept. 20
Box 1
Clay St., Norfolk Va., 1914 Oct. 12
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1921 Oct. 2
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 Mar. 4
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Mar. 30
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 July 15
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 May 27
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 2
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 May 17
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Oct. 15
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 16
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 Dec. 5
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1918 June 30
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1927 Feb. 13
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 July 5
Box 1
Omega, Halifax County, Va., 1935 July 8
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924 Oct. 5
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Sept. 23
Box 1
Psalm 24:7-10, The Gates are Open (no location given)
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Mar. 8
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Sept. 30
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 June 24
Box 1
South Boston, Va., 1934 July 14
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 Apr. 19
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1936 Nov. 22
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Jan. 25
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Jan. 29
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1936 Dec. 6
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Feb. 28
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1913 Oct. 19
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 May 9
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1918 May 12
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1920 May 9
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1925 May 12
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 May 12
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 May 14
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Aug. 1
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 June 12
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 May 9
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 May 13
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 May 14
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1935 May 12
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 9
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 May 10
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 May 10
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1927 Sept. 18
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Jan. 25
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1913 Sept. 21
Box 1
Clay St., Norfolk, Va., 1915 Oct. 3
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1917 Aug. 19
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1919 Apr. 6
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924, Aug. 10
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Oct. 2
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1911 July 30
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1916 Sept. 3
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1917 Jan. 27
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1919 Feb. 23
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1922 Oct. 29
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1927 Dec. 18
Box 1
Moffett Memorial, Danville, Va., 1930 July 27
Box 1
Episcopal Church, South Boston, Va., 1933 July 9
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1935 June 9
Box 1
Methodist St., Crewe, Va., 1937 Mar. 22
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Sept. 21
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Oct. 22
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1918 Aug. 25
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1919 Dec. 28
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 July 29
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Feb. 19
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Nov. 26
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 Aug. 23
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 Apr. 4
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1913 May 25
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1914 Mar. 15
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1917 Aug. 19
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1920 Oct. 10
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 Dec. 9
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 Apr. 14
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Sept. 21
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Aug. 21
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1935 Jan. 13
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 23
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1920 Oct. 10
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1925 Feb. 22
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 Sept. 15
Box 1
First Baptist Church, South Boston, Va., 1933 May 21
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 9
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1913 Oct. 5
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 Mar. 28
Box 1
Emporia, Va., 1915 May 16
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1919 Apr. 17
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Nov. 9
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924 Oct. 25
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 June 9
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1917 Dec. 23
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1920 Jan. 4
Box 1
Grace, Richmond, Va., 1920 May. 16
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1922 Nov. 19
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1925 Mar. 29
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1927 Dec. 18
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Apr. 8
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1936 Dec. 13
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1921 Oct. 9
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Apr. 13
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Feb. 28
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 May 31
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Mar. 11
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 June 13
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924 Mar. 23
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1927 Oct. 16
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Mar. 11
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Oct. 11
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Apr. 16
Box 1
Episcopal Church, South Boston, Va., 1935 July 21
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 23
Box 1
Emporia, Va., 1911 Apr. 23
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Va., 1913 May 18
Box 1
Cumberland St., Va., 1917 Nov. 4
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Apr. 2
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Feb. 8
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1921 Nov. 27
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 June 10
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1925 Nov. 22
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Sept. 2
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 June 26
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1938 Jan. 30
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 Oct. 28
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Nov. 11
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Oct. 28
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Jan. 24
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Jan. 21
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Apr. 24
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Dec. 10
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 30
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1931 Dec. 13
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Oct. 9
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1932 Nov. 13
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1935 Feb. 10
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1936 Nov. 29
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1935 Apr. 28
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1919 Aug. 31
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 Sept. 16
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1927 Feb. 6
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 May 13
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 June 12
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 June 10
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 July 4
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1916 Mar. 19
Box 1
Romans 5:1-21, What Happened at Aldersgate (no location given)
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Sept. 17
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Aug. 10
Box 1
South Boston, Va., 1933 Apr. 26
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Feb. 21
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1936 Apr. 12
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 30
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1918 May 5
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1922 Apr. 9
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 Nov. 24
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Oct. 6
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 Aug. 29
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1917 May 20
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond Va., 1919 June 29
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924 Jan. 13
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Oct. 21
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Jan. 29
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1935 Feb. 17
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1936 Nov. 29
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 June 14
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 May 30
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 Dec. 5
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1918 Nov. 24
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1921 Mar. 6
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 May 11
Box 1
Shawnee, Oklahoma, 1907 May
Box 1
Emporia, Va., 1911 May 21
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 Feb. 14
Box 1
Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va., 1917 Feb. 18
Box 1
Crew, Va., 1918 June 2
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Sept. 9
Box 1
Cluster Springs, Va., 1935 May 26
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1922 Oct. 8
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Mar. 30
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1925 Sept. 13
Box 1
Central, Richmond, Va., 1927 Feb. 20
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1927 Feb. 27
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Apr. 15
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1935 Aug. 25
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va. 1936 Dec. 13
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1930 Dec. 31
Box 1
South Boston, Va., 1936 Feb. 29
Box 1
Hebrews 10:35, Clinging to the Faith, clipped with Psalm 47:9, Romans 8:28 and II Timothy 2:14
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1929 July 28
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Dec. 17
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 June 17
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1923 June 3
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1926 Sept. 12
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Aug. 5
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Apr. 17
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 Aug. 27
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1932 Apr. 10
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1933 June 11
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 June 27
Box 1
Lambert's Point, Norfolk, Va., 1913 Jan. 12
Box 1
Clay St., Richmond, Va., 1915 Mar. 23
Box 1
Emporia, Va., 1915 May 13
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1917 Feb. 25
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1922 July 8
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Apr. 29
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Aug. 26
Box 1
Shady Grove, Va., 1935 July 19
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond, Va., 1920 Nov. 13
Box 1
Ginter Park, Richmond, Va., 1924 Sept. 21
Box 1
Decatur St., Richmond Va., 1925 Dec. 6
Box 1
Calvary, Danville, Va., 1928 Dec. 9
Box 1
Main St., South Boston, Va., 1934 Apr. 1
Box 1
Methodist Church, Crewe, Va., 1937 Dec. 26
Box 1
Additional documents, 1936 and undated
Box 1

Historical Note

The minister who authored these sermons was undoubtedly a member of the Methodist Church South, and from church appointment records he is almost certainly John Luke Bray. According to Bray's obituary in the Virginia Conference Annual (1938), he was born in 1871 in Gloucester County, Virginia to John and Sarah Luke Bray, and entered the Methodist ministry in the Virginia Conference at the age of 18. He was at Randolph-Macon College for an unspecified period but did not graduate. At some point he was reportedly Superintendent of the Masonic Orphanage in Richmond. He married Pauline Clements of Gloucester, Virginia early in his career. In 1901 he left for the West, and seems to have been minister of the Methodist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma (then Indian territory) in 1906. He returned to Virginia in 1907; a year later Taylor University in Indiana had conferred on him the Divinity Degree. Going by the sermons that survive in this collection, by 1911 he was preaching in Virginia. His first appointment may have been in Lambert's Point, Virginia (near Norfolk). He then was appointed to various large congregations in Richmond and the Norfolk area, then migrated to smaller churches in Southern Virginia. He died in 1938, perhaps in Crewe, Virginia, a small community where he held his last appointment, and is buried in Richmond.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • United Methodist Church Records, 1784-1984 bulk 1800-1940 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Luke Bray Methodist Sermons, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The John Luke Bray Methodist Sermons were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in April 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, Michael Shumate, and Ted Holt, April 2008

Encoded by Ted Holt, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, and Michael Shumate, April 2008

Accession 2007-0114 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.