Biography of Rev. Reubin Steele
Scott County, VA Biographies

ALTHOUGH the gospel ministry of the Rev. Reubin Steele ceased more than fifty years ago, yet he is affectionately and reverently remembered by those who knew him unto this day. He was a tower of strength to the church of his choice in this section, and left the savor of a good name wherever he went.

He was born September 29, 1802, in Wythe County, Virginia. When he was three or four years of age his father moved to Whitley County, Kentucky, where Reubin grew to manhood. On reaching manhood's estate, he returned to Virginia and spent most of his life in the counties of Russell, Lee, and Scott. His cenversion grew out of a promise made to his dying father, that he would try to meet his father in heaven. He was first given license to exhort, in which capacity he served for five or six years.

On June 7, 1827, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Newberry, daughter of Samuel and Jerusha Newberry.

He was licensed to preach in 1836 by the quarterly conference of Clinch River Mission or Jonesville Circuit, over which Samuel Patton presided.

His first wife died in 1837, leaving him with five small children.

His second marriage was to Miss Elizabeth Forkner, daughter of Rev. Isaac and Sarah Forkner, September 9, 1841. The fruit of this marriage was ten children.

His first ministerial work was done In the mountains of Southwest Virginia, close along the Kentucky border, in 1837. He was truly a pioneer In this field where he formed a number of societies which he later organized into a mission that was served by him in 1838, under the 'direction of Thomas K. Catlett, his presiding elder. In 1839, he traveled the Clinch River Mission, and in 1840 he was junior preacher upon the Greeneville Circuit under G. F. Page. He was admitted into the Hoiston Conference in 1841. After traveling circuits for a period of three years, he located, the condition of his family being such that he could not go far away. He was ordained deacon in Knoxville, Tennessee, October 9, 1842, by Bishop Waugh. During this time he was directly instrumental under God in the conversion of seven thousand souls and eight thousand accessions to the church. He was chaplain of the Sixtyfourth Virginia Regiment during the Civil War.

He was familiarly and affectionately called "Reubin Steele," "Brother Steele," and "Father Steele" by the people to whom he had ministered so long.

He died August 20, 1876, and his funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. John Boring to a large concourse of people at Pattonaville In October of that year.

History of Scott County, Virginia
By: Robert M. Addington
Privately Printed 1932

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