MARY (BEVANS) HANEY (The Mother of M. L. Haney)
My father, Rev. James Haney, was born in the County of Donegal, Ireland, about the year
- He and his brother Thomas came to America in 1782 with my grandfather, John Haney, and settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Father was of Scotch descent and reared a Presbyterian, but in boyhood his heart was turned toward the Methodists. He was married to Hanna Freeborn, and from this union there were born twelve children, nine sons and three daughters. In the year 1811, with a small company of adventurers, he removed to Ohio, where, one mile east of where now stands the town of Savannah, in Ashland County, they cut their farms from a dense beech forest.
Father was a self-made man, with less help than can now be well conceived, but he made
his mark in those times as a man of unswerving integrity, as a real Christian, and an able minister. He was an ordained local preacher for nearly 50 years. He never belonged to a conference, but traveled and preached much more than pastors now usually do. I think he never received one dollar by way of compensation for his ministry. He was twice in the State Legislature, but I have no recollection of his referring to it but once! Father’s natural sense of justice was marked and wonderful. I believe he would have scorned the offer of ten thousand dollars, if made on condition that he would wrong a neighbor out of one cent. I think in fifty years he never intentionally swerved a hair’s breadth in business transactions from what he saw to be right.
In August, 1820, his first wife died at the birth of her twelfth child, and three years
afterward he married Mary Bevans, who the 23d day of January, 1825, became my mother…My mother was subsequently converted in her tenth year, about 109 years ago, and joined the Methodist Church under the ministry of Freeborn Garretson. Of this church she was a member eighty-three years.
She was a woman of prayer and attained a wide knowledge of the Scriptures. Private
prayer and searching the Scriptures were the strongholds of early Methodists. From the time she reached her majority, till her marriage, her time was largely given to teaching. During these years
she was widely recognized as a woman of strength in public prayer and exhortation. To the end of her life she possessed a remarkable interest in soul saving. I think I have never known one who surpassed her in soul travail, taking the years together.
She was always a believer in the Methodist doctrine of holiness, and always a seeker.
Mentally she knew it was received by faith, but eighty-three years were put in in getting ready to believe. Practically she could not shake herself loose from the growth theory which has deceived a multitude of millions. She was strong willed and high tempered, and carried a battle of four score years against self-will and unholy anger. The years of fasting and prayer, of struggle and agony to conquer herself are amazing to contemplate. It was not till in the last week of her life, while surrounded by a group of holiness people, that she let go of it all, and allowed the Lord to sanctify her.
Source: “Pentecostal Possibilities or Story of My Life” by M. L. Haney
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts