John R. Clements: A man of many talents and gifts
John R. Clements was the first president of Practical Bible Training School. He was appointed by John A. Davis to be this while Dr. Davis continued to be Superintendent. (see stationary below from Harrison Street)
John R. Clements had many talents and gifts from the Lord. He was born on November 28, 1868, in Newry, Ireland. He soon moved to the States with his family. He loved music and poetry and he was seen writing poetry and songs many times on the Campus. He had been saved under the ministry of D.L. Moody and went into Christian service. When he met Dr. Davis the two became wonderful friends. He was president from 1900 until 1914. He was Postmaster of the Bible School Park Post Office from 1935-1945. The man did not stop. He had much energy in serving the Lord and not wanting to waste his talents or gifts. He died on January 9, 1946...61 years ago this past Tuesday.
One poem that John Clements wrote after the death of Dr. Davis was the poem "THROUGH." Mrs. Davis had said when Dr. Davis was near death, "John, you're almost through." With that in the back of his mind John Clements wrote:
The warp and woof of a busy life;
"Through" with the road that led mid tears
To the summit heights of rounded years.
"Through" with the gains that oft proved loss;
"Through" with the heavy splintered cross.
No more the nights with disturbing dreams,
When nothing proves the things it seems.
"Through" with the thoughts of other cares
That creep into helpfulness unawares;
And stilled forever the helping hand
That many were led to understand;
Hushed the voice that had swayed the throng,
In trumpet calls both loud and long;
Closed the eyes that had seen afar
The havoc of life's rough jolt and jar;
And hushed almost the heart that bled
For hosts in sin who sat as dead.
Feet no more to move swift and free,
Where needy of earth were wont to be.
"Almost through,"--but bliss of the years,
The stillness breaks with myriad cheers.
The Gates of Pearl are tonight ajar
There's a Pilgrim coming who journeyed far!