Biographical Sketch of Elijah Butler
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Elijah Butler, Lukfata, was an uncle of Rev. William Butler. He was one of the early leaders in Christian work in what is now the northeast part of McCurtain County. In 1878, when St. Paul Church was organized at Eagletown, he was ordained as one of its first elders, and became an active Christian worker. A few years later he moved to Lukfata, and when the Mount Gilead Presbyterian Church of that locality was organized, July 26, 1885, he and his son, Elisha Butler, were chosen as two of the first elders of that Church.
Elijah Butler, like Apollos of old, was a man, “fervent in spirit,” and was teaching others of the people, what he knew of God and the Bible, when Parson Stewart first visited the Lukfata neighborhood. His zeal and faithfulness, in magnifying the call of God to him to be a Christian leader among his people, suggested to them the propriety of naming their Church, at the time of its organization “Mount Gilead,” the home of the prophet, Elijah, in his honor. As an elder and Christian worker, he “kept the faith” and “finished his course with joy.”