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Elder G. A. Atchley was born in Sevier County, Tennessee, October 8, 1836.  He was a son of Elder William Atchley, who was a pioneer before him and a preacher of influence and standing in the county of Sevier.  In a meeting held by Elder C. C. Tipton he made a profession of religion and was baptized, in 1853, into he fellowship of Alder Branch Church.  September 30, 1860, he was married to Miss Nancy E. Fox, to which union were born eleven children, six sons and five daughters.   Losing the wife of his young manhood he was married a second time, to Sarah Lindsey, becoming the father of five daughters and two sons.  He was ordained to the ministry in 1876.  He was pastor of several country churches at small salaries; he was also a farmer and school teacher.  He taught in the public schools of Sevier County a number of years. His most successful work as a pastor was with Gist's Creek and Providence churches, where he went in and out and served faithfully as an under-shepherd for eight successive years.  Brother Atchley was a preacher of ability and a life-long Bible student.  This was his one textbook, his chief store-house of knowledge, his main source of information and inspiration for the business of preaching.  He had a good knowledge of the Scriptures, and the Word of God to him was the sword of the Spirit, the one and only effective weapon of his warfare. Brother Atchley obeyed the injunction of the Scripture, "Do the work of an evangelist," and was successful in that work.

He died at his home, in Sevier County, March 10, 1902, and was buried in the cemetery of the Alder Branch Church.  His funeral services were conducted by the pastor, Elder D. F. Manly.

He is survived by this wife, five daughters and seven sons. One of his sons, Elder S. C. Atchley, has been in the active ministry for seventeen years and is one of our valuable preachers.

Source:  Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.:  Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919, pgs. 28-29.

Transcription copyright ©2002 to Rose-Anne Cunningham. All rights reserved.

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