Lovick Marvin Twiggs was the fifth of six children born to the Rev. John Wesley Twiggs and his first wife, Sarah Elizabeth Hughes Twiggs of Choestoe. He was born May 30, 1880 at what was lovingly called “the Twiggs homeplace” in Choestoe, where his grandparents Willis and Margaret England Twiggs settled about 1836.
No doubt Marvin went with his father who was an itinerant Methodist circuit preacher. He was only five years of age when his mother died June 2, 1885. He and his younger sister, Nellie Margaret, who was not quite three when their mother died, became very close. The other siblings were Edwin Paxton Twiggs (Nov 6, 1872-July 25, 1954); Nancy Elmira (Feb. 17, 1874-Dec. 26, 1953); Emma California (Feb. 9, 1876-Sept 19, 1903) and Mary Frances (Mar. 19, 1 879-May 3, 1952). Rev. John Wesley Twiggs married his second wife, Georgia Elizabeth Westmoreland from White County on February 4, 1886. It is reported that she was a good step-mother to Rev. John Wesley Twigg’s first six children. Georgia Twiggs had three children, half-siblings to Marvin: Kitty who was born and died in January, 1887; Walter Mondwell (1888-1984), a Methodist minister noted in last week’s column; and Erwin Eugene (1890-1977).
Marvin Twiggs graduated from Young Harris College and later served on the Board of Trustees of that institution. He maintained his love for and support of the college throughout his adult life. Prior to being admitted to the Methodist Conference as a fully-certified minister, he taught school for several years in Cleveland, Georgia. His ordination as a minister came in 1902.
For forty-eight years of his eventful life, he was a minister in the North Georgia Conference. He was admitted for a trial period in 1904, ordained as a deacon in 1905, and as an elder in 1908. To begin his trial period, his first charge as a pastor was in the Hancock Circuit from 1904-1908.
He was pastor at Broadway Methodist Church, Augusta, Georgia in 1910-1911. While there, he and Miss Estelle Middlebrooks were married on September 7, 1910. The marriage joined two strong Methodist families for Estelle was a granddaughter of Bishop George Foster Pierce. Her parents were Henry Lafayette and Claudia Snider Pierce Middlebrooks.
His charges, like those of his brother the Rev. Walter Mondwell Twiggs listed in last week’s column, read like a geography of towns in Georgia; The newly-wed couple was assigned to Harlem from 1912-1915. Consecutive appointments and dates included: Conyers, 1916-19; Madison, 1920-21; Cartersville, 1922: St. John Church, Atlanta, 1923-26; Superintendent of the Griffin District, 1927-1930; LaGrange First Methodist, 1931-34; Dalton First Methodist, 1935-38; Superintendent, Augusta District, 1939-1942; Gainesville First Methodist, 1943-47; first full-time chaplain of Emory University Hospital, 1948-1952.
He retired in 1952, but immediately became associate pastor of Druid Hills Methodist Church in Atlanta from 1952-1958. In denominational service he was a delegate to the General Conference (national) in 1930, 1934, 1938 and 1940. He served on the Methodist Boards of Missions and of Pensions.
An interesting news article appeared in the “Eaton Herald” of Eaton, Colorado in the August 5, 1938 issue. Rev. L. Marvin Twiggs and his family had been visiting his sisters, Mrs. Nancy Elmira Collins, Mrs. Mary Frances Nix and Mrs. Nellie Margaret Allison, and his brother Edwin P. Twiggs of the Greeley area. He cut his visit short in order to return to Georgia to be present at a convocation held at the University of Georgia on Thursday, August 11, 1938 wherein the University conferred upon President Franklin Delano Roosevelt an honorary doctorate of humanities degree. At the time, Rev. Twiggs was a member of the University’s Board of Regents and had voted for the honor for the president of the United States. Rev. Twiggs was present in cap and gown at that significant convocation. Other civic assignments were on the State Board of Corrections and Paroles, on the Georgia Citizens’ Council, and on the Georgia Prison Advisory Commission.
Three children were born to Rev. and Mrs. Twiggs: Claudia Pierce Twiggs (1915), Sara Elizabeth Twiggs (1920) and Lovick Marvin Twiggs, Jr. (1925-1946). Unfortunately, Marvin, Jr. was killed in a jeep accident October 5, 1946 in Gainesville, Georgia. He had completed a two-year term in the U. S. Air Corps and was in his senior year at the University of Georgia when his death occurred.
In a letter from the Rev. Marvin Twiggs in “The Northeast Georgian” published in Blairsville, Georgia May 15, 1908, this man who had gone out from Choestoe wrote from Mayfield, Georgia of his former mountain home: “The mountains of North Georgia furnish a valuable source of inspiration to an aspiring youth. Your intellectual energy is unsurpassable…Never be handicapped nor embarrassed about where you came from, but think seriously about where and how you are going. Hard work and good common sense are two of the most essential requisites for success. The simple life, lived close to nature, susceptible to her heaven-born influences, is the life that has implanted the seed truths of eternity.”
Rev. Marvin Twiggs died January 17, 1962 in Atlanta, Georgia and was buried at Sparta, Georgia. His widow, Estelle, died five years later on August 25, 1967. In the obituary for this outstanding Methodist minister from the mountains, the Reverend Doctor William R. Cannon wrote: “He was both an ecclesiastical statesman and a diplomat of remarkable skill. He knew how forcefully to reach an objective and at the same time to carry the people along with him, without offense…His was a steady march forward toward the kingdom of God, but in that way he never walked alone; he carried his people with him.”
c2004 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published October 21, 2004 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.