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James L. Compton

FROM THE BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF PRIMITIVE OR OLD SCHOOL BAPTIST MINISTERS BY DAVID MONTGOMERY AND MARK GREEN: 

ELDER JAMES L. COMPTON

 “Elder James L. Compton was born on February 18, 1905, in Iredel County, NorthCarolina. His parents were James Garfield Compton and May Henry Compton.Both Brother and Sister Compton united with Columbia Church (near Silver Springs, MD) during the Ketoctin Association and were baptized by Elder T. E. Majors on the first Sunday in September 1957. Brother Compton was ordained as a deacon in Columbia Church on the 3rd weekend in July 1958. Having felt the burden to speak in the Master's name, he began exercising in 1964. His first attempt to speak in a preachingway was at Needmore Church, Needmore, PA. His text was the 23rd Psalm. He was liberated shortly thereafter and began to fill appointments as he was invited to other places. Columbia Church called for his ordination (along with Brother Tommy Alderton) and he was ordained on Saturday before the 3rd weekend in July 1967. The presbytery was composed of Elders T. E. Majors, Troy Edwards, F. E. Thompson, J. Harvey Daily, W. G. Fletcher, Emory Alderton, W. E. Balir, Phillip Johnson, and severalothers. He began his first pastorate at Landmark Church -who had called for his services - (OldLondon Tract Church) from the time of his ordination until July of 1978. Later he was calledto serve Columbia Church. During the time spent in the ministry, he has traveled quite extensively and has preached in more than 20 states. After a few years on the farm in North Carolina, Jim Compton traveled to Washington, D. C., where he became employed as a repairman in a jewelry store. (He can relate many stories how he and his brother learned the skill of watch and clock repairs --mostly by theirown initiative and self-taught experience). Shortly after he became settled down on his job,he was married to Miss Becie Loren Beaver in the state of North Carolina on the 28th ofDecember, 1927. They immediately moved to Washington to live. They were blessed to raisefour fine children. After a short tenure as jeweler, salesman, and manager in the shop where BrotherCompton worked (and a brother in the flesh) they bought out the owner and went intobusiness for themselves. Through lots of hard work, caring for some government agency'sclocks, the Compton Brothers built their business up to be one of the most dependable andtrusted watchmakers in Washington. Their business, which is located very near the WhiteHouse, brought them in contact with many of the politicians and military officials and cameto be the trusted advisors of their trade.”

Elder Stephen Aquino writes: 

We have several testimonial tapes listed by Elder Compton which are very interesting. He lived the generation that experienced many changes throughout  their  lives. Like many of his generation he was raised in poverty and ultimately became a very successful business man in Washington D.C.  Among the many accomplishments of his life was being married to Sister  Becie for over 75 years. He kept recordings of meetings, the basis for this web site, and provided shuts-ins with cassette copies. Many times Brother Compton would buy the recorder for shut-ins so they could have the means to listen to sermons. Early in his time with cassettes and recordings there was some trepidations among many ministers. It was something different and several expressed that they did not believe in these modern gadgets. One time he entertained a certain minister in his home who expressed the same sentiments about recording sermons. So Brother Compton put a cassette in his recorder a played it for the minister to make a point. Though the minister did not care for it at first he started likening the message he was hearing, “Say”, he said, “Who is that fellow?” And brother Compton turned and pointed directly at him and said, “You.” From that time onward that minister never objected to cassette recordings.When he first met Becie Loren Beaver they both were in their teens. He had mentioned that he was going to a wedding sometime next year. She said, “yea, who you gone to marry?” And James Compton said, “I am going to marry you.” Well, as the saying goes, the rest was history. About that time Jim drove to  Washington to get employment with an Uncle who had a pharmacy in Georgetown. However, he first stopped by a Swiss watch maker and repair shop near the White House and took a job repairing watches with Howard his brother. He went back and brought his new wife to town and settled in. The business was eventually purchased because the owner desired to go back to his homeland. The store remains open today and is called “Compton Jewelers”.An early experience he often spoke about was the time a man walked up to him, on the sidewalk outside the store in Washington D.C., the man asked if he knew where any Primitive Baptist Churches were. The man was Elder C.W. Miller and brother Compton pointed him to Bethel Church in Fairfax Virginia. Brother Compton had a unique history, a long life and many successes in life. But his experiences never hindered his love for the gospel truth and the church. He simply loved preaching, church meetings, visitations, hospital visits and entertaining ministers in their modest home in Washington DC. He and his wife put up well over 60 different ministers through the years, many of whom he recorded.  He spent much of his own money on repairs and additions to various meeting houses. He always left the house in better and improved conditions. He was a consistent man. He did things by the 'clock' and was very dependable that way. I had the privledge of going to visit shuts-ins with him. In some cases we did it every month on a particular Sunday, for years. Other times we would travel to church houses to hold meetings, like at Kettle Run Church in Manassas, Virginia.  It mattered not that it was but a handful of brethren. He was a great mixer, (his term for others who had a good personality and was all the time inviting various brethren to preach).

Some of his experiences are availble, in his own voice, recorded for your listening pleasure under his heading in the Sermon Section. I think I could write and write about what I have learned about the man, I am sorry to say that many Pastors have not had the opportunity to sit beneath a ministry like James Compton's, I am very blessed to have had.

S. Aquino



larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)