Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.—Rom. 8.33


On the Death of

James Fisher Fulton,

Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church at North Union, PA.

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

The following memorial is extracted from the printed “Minutes of the General Meeting of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Held at North Union, Butler County, PA.” [etc.] 1904.  The sermon notes are transcribed from a small notebook with pencil and ink sermon outlines.

Memorial on the Death of James F. Fulton.

Another valiant man has fallen in Israel.

[Pastor] James F[isher] Fulton departed this life December 31, 1903.  Deceased was born near Utica, Licking Co., Ohio, Aug. 25, 1825.  His parents[1] soon removed to Northwood, Logan Co., Ohio.

His youth was spent on his father’s farm, where much of the labor consisted in removing the dense forest and fitting the virgin soil for the plow.  He was twice married.  In 1850 to Rhoda M. Glasgow, daughter Robert Glasgow, of Adams Co., Ohio.  Five children blessed this union, two of whom, Robert J. and David T., together with their mother, long preceded him to the land of deep forgetfulness.  His wife dying in Dec. 1868.  In 1892 he was wedded to Miss Ellen E. Edgar, of Kossouth, De Moines Co., Iowa, who is called to mourn the loss of a kind and true husband {11}  Three children, [Pastor] William H. of Bad Axe, Mich., Prof. Albertus S., of Union, Iowa, and Mrs. Nancy J. Ensminger, of Brookville, Ky., are bereaved of a loving and exemplary father; and, although none of them followed their father’s footsteps in the maintenance of a testimony for the whole of covenanted truth, his remarkable parental affection for them was unabated to the last.

His parents were Covenanters, and pioneer members of First Miami congregation.  His youthful attendance on the ordinances was under the pastorate of [Pastor] J.B. Johnston.

Many good men in Miami congregation, among whom was the subject of this notice, descried and mourned the Reformed Presbyterian Church’s declension from former attainments.  After vainly endeavoring to arrest her downward course—to avoid schism—they withdrew from her communion; and, recognizing the principles of the Reformed Presbytery as exemplifying the footsteps of the flock, they asked for fellowship.  At a meeting, Oct. 9, 1843, their petition was granted, and Miami congregation was taken under Presbytery’s pastoral care.

The subject of this notice early manifested a desire for study with a view to the gospel ministry.

He attended college at Northwood, and afterward pursued a course in theology, supposedly under a teacher, but really unaided, as he never received any instruction from his teacher.

He was licensed by the Reformed Presbytery in 1859, and at a meeting of Presbytery at Brush Creek, Ohio, in the spring of 1862, was ordained, and installed pastor of the Brush Creek congregation, where he continued in charge until 1866.  The migration of families beyond the bounds of the congregation rendered it unable to support a minister, and Presbytery released James F. Fulton from his charge, June 13, 1866.

Though ever ready to break the bread of life to thirsty souls, paucity of hearers compelled him to resort to teaching as a means of livelihood.  He taught mathematics at Liber College one year.  [He] was superintendent of Portland, Ind., public schools from 1873 to 1875, and held the same position at {12} Ft. Recovery, Ohio, the two following years.  From 1877 to 1885, he taught school and preached to Presbytery’s scattered adherents, as opportunity offered.

The defection of Chas. Clyde and a number of Presbytery’s adherents in June, 1885, and the subsequent unprovoked slandering of Presbytery’s two senior ministers, was a sore trial to Mr. Fulton, but he bore it with Christian fortitude and resignation.

In June, 1886, he received a call from North Union, Butler Co., Pa.  He accepted and was installed in August of the same year.  Here he remained until his decease.

The death of [Pastor] David Steele, in 1887, left him to bear, single-handed, a banner for truth.  He never faltered, but went forward, giving the trumpet no uncertain sound, until about a year before his death, when failing health compelled him to quit preaching.

A laborious and faithful pastor, he never spared himself, but in season and out of season diligently ministered to his flock.

He was an extensive reader, a fine Latin and Greek scholar, and above all, a diligent student of God’s word; he searched out the hidden mysteries of the gospel and declared them to his hearers.

He was not a pleasing speaker, and it required close attention to follow his discourse; but those whose minds were set on knowing the truth had little or no trouble understanding him.

Few exceeded him in the gift of prayer; he was an earnest and mighty wrestler at the throne of grace.

He died firmly believing that the principles he had long adhered to and expounded to others constituted the testimony of Christ’s witnesses, and that a covenant God would yet make them glorious in the earth.

He fought a good fight; he has finished his course.

“Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” [Psalm 12.1.]


An Example of a

Sermon Outline/Notes

By James F. Fulton.

Brownsdale, Butler Co. Pa.

1 Cor. 15:22.
I. Prove that all died both
  temporally and spiritually in
II. That those for whom Christ
  died are his spiritual seed
I. Prove that all died +c.
  1. From the Scriptures.
    Rom. 5:12. Gen. 2:17.
  () They expressly assert that
    we all died in Adam. 1 Cor. 15:
  2. That infants die proves
    that they are involved in
    Adam's sin. Rom. 6.23.
  3. They are cut off by the
    judgments God sends on
    men, 1 Kings 14.10.
  4. Circumcision. Gen 17:7,14; Eph. 2:3.
  5. The evil propensities they
    manifest as soon as they [are]
    capable of any actions.
        Ps. 38:3-6; Rom. 3:10-18.

  6. The Scripture strongly
    asserts their natural defilement.
    Job 14:4, 15:14 & 25. Ps. 51:5.
    Jno. 3:6. Gen. 5:3.
II. That those for whom
  Christ died are his spiritual
  seed.  Isa. 53:11. Gen. 3:15.
  1. He himself asserts that
    a certain number were
    given him by his father.
    Jno. 17:2,9. Jno. 6:37.
  2. What he suffered is expressly
    declared to be for
    his own people. 2 Cor. 5:21.
  3. It is by him that they
    are quickened.  Eph. 2:1
    Jno. 5:21.
  4. If any are saved it is
    only by Jesus Christ.
    Rev. 21:27.


1. According to other sources, James Fisher Fulton was the son of Thomas and Nancy (King) Fulton.  Thomas (1791-1879) was the son of Joseph Fulton (c. 1759-1845); and Joseph was the son of Abraham Fulton (born. c. 1712) who lived at Articlave, Northern Ireland.—JTK.