Pastors' Memoirs

Lineous Preston Bland, Jr., 1900-1989

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Unto Linius Payne Bland and Mary Ellen Padgett Bland, a son was born, September 29, 1900, while they were living at Cash, Virginia, Gloucester County, whom they named Lineous Preston Bland Jr. The father died seven months later, leaving the responsibility of three children to the faithful and God-loving mother. Mary Ellen Bland did not marry again, for she felt that her time and talents must be used in training her children in the basics of life, such as faith in God, faith in themselves, and faith in other people. She also believed her children must find a profession or vocation whereby they would have a part in building a better life for all persons.

Lineous Preston Bland Jr. attended the public schools of Gloucester County until his junior year in high school. At this time he entered Ferrum Training School where he remained the entire school session, even though he lost much time from sickness caused by malaria in his system. During the first month of the second year, the local doctor recommended that Preston transfer to some school in central Virginia, due to the malaria condition. Burkeville, Virginia was selected, where he graduated from high school in June 1920. In the fall of 1920, he became a freshman at Randolph-Macon College. Preston returned to Randolph-Macon College for his second year. On September 29, 1921 (his birthday) he was taken ill and the college physician diagnosed his case as typhoid fever. He was told that he would have to spend a month or two in the infirmary or return home. Home was his choice. In the fall of 1922, Preston returned to Randolph-Macon and completed the sophomore year. After having taken the next year working to save money for the college fees, Preston enrolled in Roanoke College in September 1924. He graduated in June 1926 with a B.A. degree. His theological studies were through correspondence courses from Emory University. On June 8, 1926, Preston married Ethel Price Heckman, a public school teacher in the City of Roanoke, whose mother was the Rev. Roy Price's sister and whose father was a brother of the Rev. J.W. Heckman of the Virginia Annual Conference. To this union the following children were born: Lineous Preston Bland III, Portsmouth, Va.; Benjamin Price Bland, Plano Texas; Mrs. Nan Bland Seeley, Wakefield, Va.; and James Leftwich Bland, Richmond, Va. Lineous Preston Bland Jr. served the following appointments in the Virginia Annual Conference: South Albemarle, 1926-1929; Green, 1929-1933; Prince Edward, 1933-1936; Clarksville, 1936-1940; Grema, 1940-1947; Tappahannock, 1947-1952; Wakefield, 1952-1963; and Kenbridge, 1963-1967, from which he retired. After retirement he served Clarement, 1970-1973. On June 6,1976, the children of the Rev. and Mrs. Bland honored their parents on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, at Rocky Hock United Methodist Church on the Wakefield Charge. Hundreds of friends from various churches where they had served were in attendance. 

-The Bland Family


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