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The Lord Jesus, who brought to the world the glad tidings of the gospel often finds his messengers in strange or unexpected places; and leads them, in remarkable ways to the accomplishment of his purposes. No one can tell, what is going on in the mind of a young man, brought under the influence of the divine Spirit; nor how deep the impressions, that may have been made upon the heart of those, who naturally seem most unlikely to become heralds of the gospel.
William J. Starks (born March 14, 1876), Garvin, is a native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. After completing the grammar course in the public school of that place, he prepared for college under special teachers.
The Falling Spring Presbyterian Church of that city, maintained a mission that was attended by white and black. Mr. J. M. McDowell, a white lawyer, was the superintendent of this mission. His special interest was awakened in young Starks, by the fact he committed the entire list of 107 questions and answers in the shorter catechism, in one week after a copy was placed in his hands. The superintendent proposed, he undertake special studies under him as his teacher. In 1897, he entered the college at Lincoln University and graduated from it in 1901, and from the Theological department in 1904.
After one year spent in mission work at Mercersburg, Pa., he became in 1905 the stated supply of the New Hope Church at Frogville, and in 1908, also of Sandy Branch. On November 1, 1912, he became the successor of Rev. W. H. Carroll at Garvin.
During his residence of seven years at Frogville, he maintained a six months term of school every year in the chapel, serving the first five years as a mission teacher under our Freedmen’s Board, and the last two as a teacher of public school. In September, 1910, he was elected stated clerk of the Presbytery of Kiamichi, and is still serving in that capacity. In October, 1910, he served as moderator of the synod of Canadian at Little Rock, Arkansas.