Page 6 - United Brethren Preachers
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Volume 9 Preachers of U.B. and EUB Virginia Conferences December 26, 2013

towering oak in a forest, Brother Funkhouser stood conspicuously in our midst. A personality, strong,
forceful and efficient. The touch with him for years we scarcely knew, and few were they, indeed, who
learned to know him well. But this was plain as plain can be: his largeness did not make him small.
Occasionally in conference debate, in the heat of argument, we crossed swords with him, confident of
defeat, but; always without wounds, for he was considerate, and respected the feelings of an opponent
and ignored resentment as beneath the soul of honor. His talent and ability qualified him for adventure
in various forms of important enterprise, and, with energy and enthusiasm, he aspired to reach the limit.
He considered no discouragement, paused at no obstacle, waited for no council, and listened for no
applause.

Under the burning lash of galling criticism he refused to wince and whine. He was a preacher,
educator, and organizer, with power to command recognition. In the pulpit and on the platform, his
originality, rhetoric, and emphasis were commanding to the extent that he won and entertained his
audience. It was a pleasure to hear him speak. His mind was brilliant. His thought flashed the radiance
of intellect, and his flawless language flowed like music from ribbons in the wind. To introduce a point,
you will excuse a personal reference. On a certain occasion, I spoke to the Conference in a solemn
service such as this. Later, at an opportune time, he addressed me thus: “Brother Dyche, how long were
you preparing that speech?” “I cannot tell you,” I replied. “It was put together at different times. I
admit it was a studied effort.” “Well, I thought so,” he said.

Sister Funkhouser was present, and joining in the conversation, said: “Mr. Funkhouser never will do
that. When knowing that he must speak on an important occasion, he omits preparation, and maybe jots
down a few notes at the very last minute.” Beforehand preparation, he knew, was not essential to his
discourse. To originate and arrange subject matter was his natural prerequisite, and at the moment of
his delivery his mental inspiration supplied expression. In sermon or address, who of us heard him
quote a stanza of poetry? No one, for reason that he could not memorize. Before an audience I knew
him to fail but once, and then in an attempt to repeat verbatim a few lines of familiar Scripture. The
magic of his oratory was off-hand eloquence, and he knew he used it well and freely.

There was a count in the calendar of his composites seldom noticed, and yet, one, had I the ability, I
fain would emphasize—his adherence to decision. He was a member of the Church of the United
Brethren in Christ and of Va. Conf. He knew, of course he knew, the position, preferment, the
prominence to which his superior genius justly entitled him. Elsewhere doors stood wide for his
entrance, and beckoning hands invited to a royal welcome, but he remained unmoved, face set to serve
the Church of his early adoption, and the Conference of his first love and choice—a loyalty untarnished,
from which temptation seemed to roll like rain drops from a marble shaft. Marvelous man! His name
must drop from our Conference roll. No more will his clarion voice be heard, answering to the call, but
as sure as Va. Conf., over on life’s immortal side, is holding a session now, it is placed there, on that
lengthening record never to be erased.

C. P. Dyche (Conference Proceedings, 1917, pp. 57-60)

Dedication vi
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