Millikin, James (1811 - 1850)


(Local Preacher, Belfast Circuit)

James Millikin, of the Belfast Mission, born March 20th 1811, to parents who were strict members of the Secession Church. Although in youth Millikin wanted to play and have funs with friends like any other child, he also recognised his strong desire to be pious. He received an education, as best as could be offered, by his parents and also the Presbyterian Ministry about the ways of God and piety.

Following this he moved to Belfast where he met a man who he befriended and who took him to a Methodist Chapel for service. Here Millikin’s eyes were opened and for the first time he understood that he had been saved and had found salvation from faith. This awakening transformed his goals in life; to always think before speaking, to imitate Christ in his example and to bring sinners to repentance.

Some years later, the Primitive Methodists came to Belfast where they greatly impressed Millikin and caused him to want to co-operate with them wholly. Millikin relished in preaching and began to walk 16 miles daily to preach twice around Belfast for a cause that had exceeded all his expectations and brought him to salvation.

Millikin became a very active member within the community by declaring refusal of any intoxicating substances and so becoming a member of the Belfast Total-abstinence Society. He also succeeded to become the delegate to the Sunderland Conference of 1849.

However, this active nature took its toll on Millikin’s health as it deteriorated and he grew ill from the cold and wet travels to preach for the Primitive Methodists. The illness he contracted proved fatal for him and on July 20th 1850, he joined his seven children in heaven. On his death bed he was promised by his wife and remaining child that they would stay with the Methodist community to be looked after and to ensure their return to him in heaven.

By Robert Hartley

The Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1850, p. 707 – 708

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