J. M. Rine
To study the past is to free oneself from the “tyranny of the contemporary.” It is to humbly acknowledge that “we are warming ourselves by fires we did not build.” It also motivates us in the present to imitate these heroes of old and do greater service for the cause of Christ. One such hero of a previous generation was J. M. Rine.
James Miller Rine was born October 4, 1856 in Rine’s Ridge, Marshall county West Virginia. He was married on September 1, 1878 to Mary Belle Wellman. The Rine’s were blessed with eleven children. (Plum, 6).
Rine was well known throughout his native Marshall county where he was a school teacher for 50 years. In addition to teaching, Rine was elected to serve as county Superintendent of education one term. He was also a successful sheep farmer. (from the newspaper account of his death).
Rine was baptized at 21 years of age. He devoted himself with distinction to the cause of Christ. He became a preacher and later served as an elder for the Salem congregation meeting near Glen Easton, West Virginia. Rine was intimately involved with the Salem congregation from its beginning in 1905. Rine had invited veteran evangelist T. H. Kirkman to hold a meeting in Glen Easton in the fall of 1905. But there was an element in the Glen Easton congregation that would not open up the meeting house to Kirkman since he opposed the missionary society and instruments of music in worship. Those same members also prevented the meeting from being held in the local school house. This led to the establishment of the Salem chapel congregation, which held their first meeting with Kirkman in January 1906. The congregation initially met in Rine’s home, then in a meeting house built on farm land donated by Rine. Brother Skelton Standiford helped Rine to get the meeting house built and paid for in record time.(Field report - Nye, Wv: 12). The members of the Glen Easton congregation derisively predicted that the small building would soon be only a “sheep pen.” While the “digressives” at Glen Easton disbanded years ago, the Lord’s sheep still meet in the pen provided by Rine and Standiford.
Rine was noted for his knowledge of the Word of God. He often was called on to preach for all day area meetings which were common in that part of the Ohio valley in that period. (Field report - Barrackville, Wv: 13). One sermon of Rine has been preserved in a book entitled, Sermon Outlines, published by Fred Rowe in 1918. Significantly, it is titled, “The Value of a Righteous Life.” Truly, Rine’s righteous life was a great blessing to many.
J. M. Rine passed away on March 21, 1928. His funeral service was preached by C. D. Plum. The local newspaper estimated more than 1000 people in attendance. His body rests in the Salem cemetery. His friend and fellow evangelist, Thad Hutson wrote the following poem in the Leader in tribute to Rine.
He with ease discerned the right
Brave, true and kind,
So strong in mind.
He loved God’s house,
Her ordinances and ways;
He could arouse
In us all cause for praise.
Calm, yet with force,
He could speak the truth of God,
He would divorce
All sin from the path we trod.
A man of peace,
Thoughtful in time of stife,
He would release
All contentions from our life.
Retaining gems galore,
Gave to us the richest lore.
But he is gone,
Sunset had a golden glow.
The morning dawn
Found him where the righteous go.
Thad Hutson, “J. M. Rine,” Christian Leader 4-17-1928: 7.
J. F. Ice, “Field report - Barrackville, Wv.” Christian Leader 9-13-1927: 13.
T. H. Kirkman, “Field report - Nye, Wv,” Christian Leader and the Way 1-30-1906: 12.
C. D. Plum, “A Great Man Has Fallen,” Christian Leader 4-3-1928: 6.
J. M. Rine, “The Value of a Righteous Life,” in Sermon Outlines (Cincinnati: FL Rowe, publisher, 1918): 166.
“J. M. Rine Expires at Farm Home,” compiled newspaper accounts found in Patty Diane Jefferson’s genealogy of the Salem congregation, 921.