NOTES TO NEXT GROUP
- Just finish Linking the last few chapters back up to the TOC.
- Finish correcting the bibliography.
While thinking of the welfare of our Baptist Zion throughout the state, and wondering what would best serve as a stimulus to encourage our brethren, and arouse our churches to more religious activity, it occurred to me that a faithful record of past achievements both by our pioneer fathers and ourselves would give much impetus to lagging denominational pride, and set up a beacon light to guide and inspire the young preacher of today. To this end I cheerfully set myself to the task, and after consulting God and writing the late Bishop A. B. Flood (President Louisiana Baptist State Convention); Secretary W. E. Purvis, Treasurer T. L. Welch, Sr., Vice President W. M. Taylor, Drs. H. C. Cotton, John Marks, Taylor Frierson, J. M. Carter and others, I received Divine approval and hearty endorsement by the above-mentioned brethren, the State Executive Board and the Louisiana State Convention. This volume promises to set forth as faithfully as possible: (a) The pioneer work of our fathers extending into ante-bellum times; (b) the work of the young ministers and teachers to the present. I am not unmindful of the fact that this is a Herculean task which I can not finish in its entirety, hence the critic must be asked to be reasonable, remembering that it is “human to err.” God gives us the rose with the thorns: we must learn to enjoy its fragrance without being torn by the thorns. Roses with their thorns may be found in this work, but the critic must be charitable and fair enough to accept them. It is out of the question to look for all that Louisiana Baptists have said and done since 1801. It would require too many scribes to write their doings, and too large a volume to contain them. Because of inability to obtain cuts and biographies as I desire, mention of many excellent men of our denomination is omitted. I could not tell everything, nor have I tried. I have simply humbly endeavored to answer the questions in part as a denomination: From whence have we come? What have we done? To what have we attained? What are the possibilities before us? Being aware of the fact that we are denominationally young, a voluminous history should not be expected. I simply pray that this may serve as a nucleus of Louisiana Baptist history. Other writers more able than I will tell the Baptist story more fully.
- Preface 3
- Introduction 7
- Letters of Endorsement 10
- General History 17
- Pioneer Work in and Around New Orleans Before and After the War 21
- Organization of First Louisiana Baptist Asociation 31
- First Free Missionary Association 31
- First District Missionary Baptist Association. 32
- Second District Missionary Baptist Association 42
- Third District Missionary Baptist Association 43
- Fourth District Missionary Baptist Association 45
- Fifth District Missionary Baptist Association 46
- Sixth District Missionary Baptist Association 48
- Seventh District Missionary Baptist Association 49
- Second Eighth District Missionary Baptist Association 50
- Tenth District Missionary Baptist Association 52
- Twelfth District Missionary Baptist Association 53
- Thirteenth District Missionary Baptist Association 58
- Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association No. 1 63
- Springville Missionary and Educational Association 73
- Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Association 65
- Gum Spring Missionary Baptist Association 66
- Friendship Missionary and Educational Association 83
- Calvary Missionary Baptist Association 69
- Union Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Association 72
- Louisiana Freedmen Missionary Baptist Association 76
- New Hope Missionary Baptist Association 71
- The Woman’s Baptist State Convention 81
- Northwest No. 2, Missionary Baptist Association 70
- Louisiana Baptist State Sunday-School Convention 55
- New Beulah Missionary Baptist Association No. 4 58
- Louisiana Baptist State Convention 77
- Biographies 84
- A SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTER.
- Negro Baptist Beginnings in America 211
- T. A. Walker, A. M., M. D.
- I. J. Washington, M. D.
- O. L. Coleman, A. M.
- Elder J. A. Carter
- Melvin L. Collins
- Thomas Henry Kane
- George W. Green
- John Milton Smith
- Thomas Lee Welch, M. D.
- Miss Elizabeth Norrington
- I. C. Chaptman, M. D., LL. B.
- R. P. Player
- Madison James Foster, A. B.
- N. H. C. Henderson, M. D.
- William McDonald
- Elder J. H. Flemings
- Elder H. C. Cotton, D. D.
- Elder George W. Walker
- Elder T. L. Welch
- Bishop L. C. Simon
- Bishop D. M. Brown
- Bishop R. A. Mayfield
- Elder Auder Back Flood
- Bishop W. B. Purvis
- Bishop P. B. Lewis
- Elder J. J. Fuller
- Bishop W. M. Taylor
- Elder Bryant Wright
- Elder A. H. Samuels
- Elder F. J. Davidson, A. M., D. D.
- Elder S. T. Clanton, A. M., D. D.
- Bishop W. W. Hill
- Bishop C. S. Collins, B. A., M. D.
- Elder Caroliner Fuller
- Bishop Albert Henry
- Elder Lorenzo Smith
- Elder Allen Stevenson
- Elder James Roberson
- Elder Luke Allen, Sr.
- Elder J. M. Carter
- Bishop J. H. Henderson
- Elder A. F. Owens, D. D.
- J. W. Wiley, M. D.
- Elder J. L. Burrell, D. D.
- Bishop C. W. Brooks, B. A.
- Ira Henderson
- Elder C. L. Roberts, D. D.
- Emmett L. Washburn, B. A.
- Elder H. B. N. Brown, D. D.
- Elder Armstead Mason Newman, D. D.
- Elder A. S. Jackson, D. D.
- Elder John Marks, D. D.
- Elder C. L. Fisher, A. M., D. D.
- Professor R. E. Jacobs
- Elder S. D. Nance
- John Jones
- I. A. Carter
It is indeed a source of pleasure to introduce the writer of this history. The highest aim of the author, who will be blessed, honored and revered more by future historians, orators and statesmen than the present, is to so portray the life history of men who have risen out of the very depths of poverty and obscurity to places of honor and trust of men of science, arts and letters that the young of all generations, climes, peoples and tongues while reading and studying shall catch inspiration that will make the great of mankind the greatest, and the lowly of mankind the better. The writer of this history was born in Shreveport, La., April 9th, 1869, of Square and Jane Hicks. When but a child he showed signs of marked intelligence. He attended the schools of his home city, and being seized by a desire for higher education he left his home and went to New Orleans, La., in 1887, where he entered Leland University. Here he distinguished himself as a hard student, and graduated from this University with high honors, graduating the first time May 9th, 1893, receiving the Normal and College Preparatory diplomas after the delivery of one oration. After finishing these two courses and studying on through the freshman to the sophomore year, he accepted a call to the Thirteenth District Academy at Shreveport. Here he wrought successfully and well seven consecutive years, when he felt so keenly his need for more thorough preparation that he returned to Leland, resumed his studies and graduated from the B. A. degree course in 1902. After pushing the work of the Shreveport school on another year, and after carrying the school from a very small enrollment to a maximum enrollment of nearly 300, and from an old one-story frame building with many leaks therein to a $3,000 two-story frame building nicely painted and reasonably well equipped, he accepted a call to the Deanship of the Theological Department of Coleman College, Gibsland, La. Here he realized his need for more Biblical knowledge, and again returned to his Alma Mater, graduating the third time. This time he won the B. D. degree. After making good here at Gibsland as a theologian and pastor of ability, he was called to Atlanta, Texas, and Junction City, Ark. Locating in Texas he pastored a two-Sunday church in each state until he was called back to his home city by the Trinity Baptist Church. When he had succeeded two years phenominally at Trinity, he was called to Meridian, Miss., by the El-Bethel Baptist Church. Finishing his well-done labors here, he moved to Uniontown, Ala., and took charge of the First Baptist Church of that place at the urgent request of the members of said church. Selma University, at Selma, Ala., recognizing the accomplished work, and the intellectual ability of Bishop Hicks, conferred upon him the D. D. degree May, 1913.
Dr. Hicks married Miss Olivia Josephine Madison, a graduate of Leland University, December 27th, 1897. Their union has been blessed with nine children and a model home. Elder Hicks is one of the most scholarly of our brethren, and is rapidly gaining renown, having been selected by the National Baptist Publishing Board to write articles for the National Baptist Sunday-School Teacher, to write monthly for the National Baptist Union-Review, and to a Bible Teachership in the National Baptist Sunday-School Congress, which represents about 14,000 Sunday-schools. Editorial Secretary W. S. Ellington, speaking of the writer of this history, says: “Rev. Wm. Hicks is a conscientious Christian gentleman in whom there is no guile. He loves his Bible and is an exeperienced expounder of its truths. The Sunday-School Congress is to be congratulated for obtaining the services of so competent a man.”
His services have been secured by Dr. Booker T. Washington to lecture to the students of the Phelps Bible Training School at Tuskegee. Dr. Hicks was ordained at the Evergreen Baptist Church, Shreveport, April 28th, 1899, by the following brethren: Bishops I. A. Carter, J. M. Carter, L. W. Canfield, Robert Taylor, C. S. Shelton, H. R. Flynn and A. T. Sumpter. In disposition Dr. Hicks is as meek as a child. In dress he is not extravagant. His face wears the expression of thoughtfulness. His will is iron and his nerves steel, yet meek and mild in deportment. As a professor he is deep and thoughtful; as a preacher he is known. His arguments are convincing and conclusive, being a ready speaker, a clear scholar, an accurate thinker, he is always in demand. When I contemplate the life of such a man, it makes me feel that God has created no man for naught but rather that He has put into the reach of every man vast possibilities which only need be turned into right channels at the right time.
“Pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon,
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honor by the locks.”
Such is the character of the writer of this history, loved and admired by all who know him.
W. B. PURVIS, Pleasant Hill, La.
LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND ENDORSEMENT.
Pelican, La., May I, 1909.
Rev. Wm. Hicks, E. D., Shreveport, La.:
Dear Brother--In reply to your communication, we take pleasure in saying that we approve of the task (of writing the History of Louisiana Negro Baptists), which you are undertaking, and any help we can give you in the way of data, etc., we shall gladly do so.
Done by order of Louisiana Baptist State Executive Board in session at Opelousas, La., May 5th, 1909.
REV. A. E. FLOOD, President.
W. B. PURVIS, Corresponding Secretary.
Delhi, La., December 24, 1909.
Rev. Wm. Hicks, D. D., Shreveport, La.:
Dear Brother in the Lord, your very timely message by mail has been received and read carefully. In response I must say that your idea meets my hearty approval. Louisiana Baptists deserve a history of their work. The old leaders made history but were unable to put it in print. So I think it is the work of you young men to put it in print. I shall do what I can to help you. I shall let you have my cut and sketch of my life as early as possible. With love and best wishes to yourself and family, wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, I am,
Yours in Christ,
A. B. FLOOD,
President Louisiana Baptist State Convention.
Belle Alliance, La., January 20, 1909.
Rev. Wm. Hicks, Shreveport, La.:
Dear Brother--Your letter bearing date of the twelfth instant is received and has been read with a deal of satisfaction. The work you are about to undertake is beyond doubt a much-needed one, and is worthy or the man undertaking it. I am sure you will find a rich field of interesting material from which to make up your forthcoming volume. There is no doubt that your book will be hailed with great delight by the progressive Baptists all over the state, and will find a ready market. I hope that you will be granted abundant life and health to complete the arduous task..........It is a much-needed work, and it appears that you are the man for it. The brethren will appreciate its worth. It will accomplish a wonderful amount of good in stimulating and putting new life in the brotherhood of the state. It will be a source of information revealing facts that cannot be found from any other source. I hope that you will continue the work to an honorable and successful conclusion.
Yours in Christian service,
H. C. COTTON.
- Elder A. B. Flood.
- Louisiana Baptist State Conv
- ention Leaders in 1879.
- Elder J. M. Carter.
- Elder J. M. Carter's Home.
- Elder L. Allen, Sr.
- J. W. Wiley, M. D.
- Miss Elizabeth Norrington.
- Theological Class. Leland University.
- Bishop W. W. Hill.
- Mrs. L. D. Pruitt.
- Elder J. A. Carter.
- City Ministers' Union, New Orleans.
- Evergreen Baptist Church.
- Louisiana Baptist State Convention Leaders, 1914.
- Elder F. J. Davidson, A. M., D. D.
- Proposed Theological Department, Coleman College.
- Elder A. H. Samuels.
- Administration and Dining Departments, Coleman College.
- Elder L. Ford.
- Reynold's Hall, Girls' Dormitory, Coleman College.
- Bishop John Harris Henderson, B. D.
- Main Building, Coleman College.
- Elder Jackson J. Fuller.
- Boys' Dormitory, Coleman College.
- Dr. H. C. Cotton.
- Bishop E. S. Stills.
- Elder George W. Walker.
- Galilee Baptist Church, Shreveport, La.
- Bishop William Hicks, B. A., D. D.
- Sabine Normal and Industrial Institute.
- Chamberlain Hall, Leland University.
- Faculty of Sabine N. & I. Institute.
- Leland Hall, Leland University.
- Industrial Hall, Sabine N. & I. Institute.
- Bishop P. B. Lewis.
- Elder H. B. N. Brown, B. D.
- Elder C. L. Fisher, D. D.
- Elder C. L. Roberts, D. D.
- Prof. R. E. Jacobs.
- Bishop C. W. Brooks, B. A.
- Elder J. L. Burrell, D. D.
- John Milton Smith, Sr.
To the Negro Baptist Pioneer Preachers of Louisiana (many of whom having preached the Gospel in log cabins with dirt floors, thereby laying the foundation upon which our brick and stone church houses of today STAND) is this volume with our abiding gratitude dedicated.
As to the general history of Negro Baptists of Louisiana, according to Dr. W. E. Paxton, author of the history of white Louisiana Baptists, we must go back to 1804 and come forward. When more than half of our state was a wilderness, and there were only a few French settlements in the southern part on the Mississippi River, Bayou Teche, the prairies of the Opelousas, and the fertile bayou that threads the valleys of the Lower Red River, “there came into the state a Negro Baptist preacher, Bishop Joseph Willis, of Mississippi, but probably a native of South Carolina. This was in 1804, the next year after the Louisiana Purchase. Louisiana was in her infancy and not a single Protestant or Baptist Church within its bounds. The first Baptist doctrine in Louisiana was preached by this pioneer in November, 1804, at Vermillion, about 40 miles southwest of Baton Rouge in a day meeting. At night he preached at Plaquemine Brule. This preaching was done at the peril of his life, since he was both a Negro and a Baptist. At this time he was on a visit, and had not permanently settled. His labors, however, were successful, turning many from the error of their way. These converts were the first in Louisiana to begin marching under the flag bearing the triple declaration--“One Lord, one Faith and one Baptism.”
Not being ordained he was unable to baptize his converts and organize the First Baptist Church of Louisiana at this time. After urging them, perhaps, to be strong and steadfast in the faith, he returned to Mississippi for ordination, and for other brethren to help him organize the First Baptist Church of the state. But to his surprise on reaching the church of his membership he found it pastorless, and the church, therefore, felt that it could not arrange and grant his request, although they desired to do so. They advised him to take his letter and unite with a church that had a pastor. This he did, but the church refused to ordain him, claiming that the Church of Christ might suffer reproach owing to the humble social condition of this Negro preacher. This was a heavy blow to the “Apostle of the Opelousas,” as he was called, but he did not give up on account of unwavering faith in God, and the large amount of iron in his blood. How could he give up when he was under marching orders and had been told to go into all the world and preach the Gospel? Some prudent white friend advised Brother Willis to get a recommendation from the people among whom he had labored, and present it to the next meeting of the Mississippi Association. This he did in 1811, and the Association appointed two ministers, Bishops Thomas Mercer and David Cooper, to visit Brother Willis and his work in Louisiana. These two brethren were providentially hindered and failed to go. This Pioneer Preacher still stood undaunted, like Job, waiting for his change to come. His petition came before the Association the next year (1812), and two other white brethren were appointed to go and examine the colored brother's work, Elders Moses Hadly and Laurence Scarborough. Meanwhile Brother Willis had returned to his field of labor only to find those who had come to Christ through his preaching deceived and led off by a Methodist preacher, who had entered the field of Brother Willis and formed the converts into a society of methods at Plaquemine. Yet this Baptist hero was not discouraged, because he had preached the first New Testament doctrine, and made the first disciples in the state of Louisiana. By the time Elders Hadly and Scarborough arrived he had indoctrinated others, planted the Baptist flag, and was standing ready for ordination and organization. When they reached Bayou Chicot, in St. Landry Parish, one of the places where Brother Willis preached, there were five brothers and one sister whom they formed into a church, called Calvary, November 13th, 1812, thus organizing the first church in the state. These elders were also requested to ordain Brother Willis for their pastor.
The request was granted and the Lord blessed their labors by adding nine to the membership the following year. The work of these elders was approved at the next session (1813) of the Mississippi Association. Dr. W. E. Paxton, author of Louisiana Baptist History (white), and to whom we are indebted for above information, says concerning this pioneer: “The zeal of Father Willis, as he was called by the affectionate people among whom he labored, could not be bounded by the narrow limits of his own home, but he traveled far and wide. He extended his labors to Cheyneyville on Bayou Boeuff in the Parish of Rapides, some fifty or sixty miles higher up the country where many of his Mississippi acquaintances had settled, and among whom were some of the Bayou Chicot members. The history of Louisiana Baptists could not be written without mention of this brother (Joseph Willis), whose name occurs so often in connection with the oldest churches in the Louisiana Association.” He was born in 1762 and died at Ten Mile Creek in Rapides Parish, September 14, 1854.
Another pioneer Baptist preacher of these times was Bishop D. H. Willis, grandson of Elder Joseph Willis. He was born on Bayou Boeuff in Rapides Parish, December 28th, 1817. At the age of 11 he was carried by his father to their new home on Calcasieu River in St. Landry Parish, a wilderness country, eight miles from the nearest white settlement. He stayed here nine years, attended school five months, and when 17 years old went to an Academy twenty miles from home, remaining only one month. Being blessed with his grandfather's push and pluck, he studied at every opportunity by the flickering light of pine knots and in this way prepared himself for the task of continuing the pioneer work so nobly begun by his grandfather in 1804. He married March 15, 1838, and in 1840 was converted and baptized into the membership of Occupy Baptist Church, which was then a member of the Louisiana Association. In 1847 he preached his first sermon, and in 1849, on Spring Creek Rapides Parish at the home of Elder Willis he was ordained to the gospel ministry by Bishops Joseph Willis, B. C. Roberts and John O'Quin. This young Baptist elder continued to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of God until he became a beacon light in those dark times. Notwithstanding he afterwards lost his sight, yet, Moses like, he pressed forward along the rugged road of those perilous times, crying aloud, “Repent, believe and be baptized.”
This period of our General History extends from 1804 to the Civil War. Elder Willis and his grandson were the only Negro Baptist preachers of prominence during the first part of this period. During the latter part the Baptist work was carried on by white preachers who generally preached a sermon in the forenoon to white people and in the afternoon to the colored people. However, a Negro Baptist ministers would rise up occasionally among the slaves, and preach to them despite high water and patroles. And, too, there were a few free-born Negro Baptist clergymen in some parts of the state, especially in the towns and cities, who were sometimes permitted by the slave master to preach to the slaves.
Bishop Henry Adams was the most noted of this class of preachers. He labored as far back as 1837 with marked success. He was a man of education and ability. After leaving Louisiana he continued his labors as pastor of the First Colored Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky., where after accomplishing much for the Master, during twenty-five years of pioneer life, he fell asleep in Jesus. Further mention of the early work of Negro Baptists is not necessary here, since their work before and after the war, especially in New Orleans, will be taken up in the following chapter.
PIONEER WORK IN AND AROUND NEW ORLEANS BEFORE AND AFTER THE WAR.
Because the birth of our organic denominational life is so closely connected with that of the white Baptists of the state, and especially those of New Orleans, we must know their beginnings if we would intelligently know our own. The first effort made by the white Baptists to establish a church was in 1817. In that year the Board of the Triennial Baptist Convention sent out as missionary, Elder Jas. A. Randolson, who preached and taught in the “Long Room” which belonged to a Mr. C. Paulding on Dorseive street, near Canal. In this room Bishop Ranaldson organized the first white Baptist church in the city of New Orleans, which was admitted into the Mississippi Association. Dr. Paxton says in his history this church prospered under the pastorate of Elder Benj. Davis, of Natchez, Miss., who succeeded Bishop Ranaldson. The membership soon reached forty-eight--sixteen white and thirty-two colored. These thirty-two Negro Baptists were perhaps the first to hold membership in an association except those who were won to Christ by “Father Willis,” and with all probability they were the first Negro Baptists of New Orleans. In 1820 Bishop Davis left this church, and it disbanded soon after. Following the dissolution of this church, Elder Wm. B. Johnson, of South Carolina, came to New Orleans and preached in this “Long Room.” From this time until 1826 Baptist preaching was only occasionally heard. Frequent preaching was resumed when Elder Wm. Bondeau arrived from England in 1826, formed a new organization and preached about one year, first in the “Long Room,” and then in a school house in Paulding's Row on St. Charles street, and then in a brick building, corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas streets. Mr. W. C. Duncans says Bishop Bondeau afterwards went north and settled in Kentucky. His church
ELDER I. A. CARTER.at one time had about twenty members, but by the close of the year 1828 it was dissolved and scattered. Now we are nearing the organization of the first Negro Baptists in New Orleans. Dr. Paxton's History says: “There was also at this time (1827) an African church of about twenty members. They had a colored minister named Asa Goldsbery, who just before had been bound over by authority of the city, or otherwise to be silent six months under penalty of a law against colored preachers.” Of this body J. L. Furman, an intelligent member of the First Baptist Church (white) and editor of the New Orleans Baptist Messenger, says: “As we have been informed by the late Brother Lewis Banks, an aged colored Baptist from Virginia, who resided here many years, and who died here last January (1876) and as appears also from a book of minutes in his possession, the first colored Baptist church of this city was organized on the 31st of October, 1826, under the name of the First African Church of New Orleans.” This was done in a school on Burgundy street, by a Presbytery consisting of the already mentioned Wm. Rondeau and Elder Elisha Andrews. Asa C. Goldsbery was elected by the church and ordained pastor and Moses Jackson deacon. The church flourished for a time. Additions were made from time to time until the membership numbered 41 males and 46 females.
After a few years, Mr. Goldbery died and the church declined. About 1834 several other colored Baptists came from Virginia and elsewhere, among whom were Brethren N. D. Sanders, Richard Satterfield, John Edmonds, Lewis Banks and Nathaniel Short. The church became somewhat revived, worship was maintained and new life was apparent. Brethren Sanders and Satterfield were licensed as ministers and labored with much success. In 1837 Elder Peter W. Robert, aided by some transient preacher, reconstituted this First African Church, and ordained Brothers Sanders and Satterfield to the gospel ministry. Bishop Sanders became pastor. The church purchased property and began to build on the corner of Howard and Cypress street in 1842. Under Elder Sanders the “Old Church” grew and became the acknowledged mother of New Orleans Negro Baptists. However, during the time Elder L. Fletcher pastored the white Baptist church (1850), the Negro members of his church were organized into a church under the care of the white brethren. This Second Colored Baptist Church numbered sixty-two members and was received into the Mississippi River Association (white), in 1859 under the fostering care of the Coliseum Baptist Church (white). This is the same church that Bishop Jackson Acox now pastors (1914), called the Fourth Baptist Church. This body owes its beginning to the new interest started by Elder R. H. Steptoe in 1857. Dr. Paxton, speaking of the work of these churches, said: “The First and Fourth African Churches had greatly prospered. They had baptized into their membership about 3,000. They had established a number of branches in the city, and extended their labors along the Mississippi above and below New Orleans. With their branches they now number 7,000.”
It will be also of interest to those who scan these pages to read what Dr. John Marks, pastor Sixth Baptist Church, has to say concerning Baptist progress from 1867 to 1902. He speaks as follows: “In order that I may have a foundation to build upon, I will have to go back to 1833 when the Rev. Nelson D. Sanders, a Negro Baptist minister, was sold in Virginia and brought to New Orleans in chains by Negro slave traders. He was sold to a good master who allowed him to hire his time, and afterward bought himself. He gathered together 32 slaves in a little house in Gentilly Road. Under the leadership of Rev. Sanders, assisted by Revs. Satterfield, Hollands, Esau Carter, Robert Steptoe, Joseph Davenport, Henry White and others. The First Colored Baptist Church was organized in 1833. They held services on Gentilly Road until 1844. As it was against the law for colored people to hold public meetings, their meetings were often broken up, and their leaders were often arrested by the police officers and carried to jail and punished to the full extent of the law that was then on the statute books against slaves holding meetings. Sometime all in the meeting house were arrested and carried to jail--both men and women. They finally, through the kindness of some of the whites who owned slaves, obtained permission from the city authorities to allow the colored people to hold meetings two hours on Sundays from 3 to 5 p. m., under the watch of a police officer who was to be paid $2 per hour. The officer was instructed not to let the meeting continue one minute over two hours. If they should violate that order all who were present would be arrested and punished. The city authorities and police officers were not favorably disposed to Baptist doctrine, and as the law was against colored people assembling in any meetings they enforced the law to the letter. Under these oppressions and persecutions the Baptists “contended earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” The fire of truth was kindled and could not be quenched. In 1844 they moved to Cypress street and Howard avenue. Here they bought the first piece of ground owned by Negro Baptists in the state, and erected a house of worship thereon. Many were the oppressions and persecutions of these humble servants of God, but their faith in Christ and his Word made their burdens light. When New Orleans surrendered and freedom removed the persecutions and oppressions, new zeal for the faith sprang up, and the once-smothered flame burst forth and its influence spread all through the city and parish. Churches were organized in different parts of the city, and in every parish in the southern part of the state. In 1865 a large number of churches had been organized. Elder Sanders and others organized what is now known as the Louisiana Southern Baptist Association. The following year Rev. Charles Stachel and others, taking issue at the name, “Southern Baptist,” withdrew from the Association, and organized the First Free Mission Association. These two bodies being zealous of each other unto good works, labored earnestly and planted the Baptist banner all over the southern part of the state and as far up the Red River as Nachitoches, and in the southwestern part as far as the line of Texas.
In 1867 a very few churches owned any property. Preaching was done in the gin houses, ware houses, log cabins, under cane sheds on plantations, or rented houses in cities and towns. In 1871 Revs. Wm. Head, Whaley and others organized the Gumspring Association in the northern part of the state; and the brethren in the northwestern part of the state withdrew from Texas and organized another Association. These two bodies extended all over the northern part of the state, organizing and building churches in every town and city, and on every plantation until the ministers were heard of from the Gulf of Mexico to the line of Arkansas, and from the line of Mississippi to the line of Texas.
The work of the Associations had grown to such magnitude in 1872, and each of them covering such large territories, that it was impossible for them to cultivate their fields properly. In order to more thoroughly organize their forces, the Louisiana Southern Baptist Association, in session at Baton Rouge, February, 1872, passed a resolution inviting the other associations and churches to send delegates to meet in joint session at the First Colored Baptist Church, New Orleans, La., for the purpose of organizing a State Convention. The invitation was hailed with joy all over the state, and on the appointed day, delegates from each Association and each regularly organized Baptist church met and accomplished their work.
In 1883, the Convention in annual session at Baton Rouge, passed resolutions dividing the state into fourteen Associational Districts. The districts' plans were well received by the churches throughout the state, and by July, 1884, nearly every district was organized. We have our Grand State Convention with sixteen Associations. Our growth for the last thirty-five years has been as follows: In 1867 we had a few small churches organized, and about 5,000 members. The ministers had just been emancipated, and with a very few exceptions they could neither read nor write. We had no day schools nor Sunday-schools. Today (1902) we have 125,000 members; 1,200 churches at an average cost of $1,000 each, making a total of $1,200,000 worth of church property throughout the state. We have eleven well organized and fairly equipped academies, namely: Gibsland, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, Cheyneyville, Opelousas, Homer, Ruston, Shreveport, New Iberia and Monroe. These schools value on an average of $1,200, making a total valuation of $30,000. Adding church and school property together, you have a grand total of $1,213,200. This does not include our Leland University, which is our highest institution of learning given by Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook Chamberlain. We have now in the state over 800 pastors who read and write intelligently. We can count our graduates by the hundreds; also there has been wonderful improvement in divine services. All of this work has been accomplished by Negro brain and energy from the Baptist pulpits, as they have lifted up Christ to the people. We can say with thanks-giving and rejoicing: “The Lord is with His people.”
The above REMARKABLE progress recorded by Dr. Marks brings us up to 1902. From that time to this our material progress has been phenominal. Today (1914), we thank God for our Grand Old Convention born in 1872. Further mention will be made of it elsewhere in this volume. Through this and other agencies our pioneer and post-pioneer brethren wrought more than we knew. They set in motion snow balls of consecrated work which gained in momentum and size as they rolled.
BISHOP J. M. CARTER'S HOME.
ORGANIZATION OF FIRST ASSOCIATION.
As you have observed, the associations are older than the conventions, and the churches are older than the associations. This is clear since churches make associations and associations make conventions. The first association was organized in 1837 by Elder Joseph Willis, and was called the Louisiana Baptist Association. This body was formed of churches he had previously organized. Dr. S. T. Clanton says the Louisiana Southern Association was organized in 1865, the first after Freedom. We can point with pride to this as the first distinctive Negro Baptist Association of Louisiana, but not the first association organized by a Negro. Elder Willis' organization was of a mixed membership, while the one former by Elder Sanders and others was entirely of freedmen.
These Christian workers grew, waxed strong, and led by our pioneer fathers did much good in those stormy days of our denomination's infancy. They were officered by Elder Sanders and others who won many hard-fought battles while digging out the rubbish of sin, superstition and ignorance that the mudsills of New Testament doctrines might be laid. Hats should be taken off to them for having set up these landmarks by which we are safely guided today. Further mention of this father of all Louisiana Negro Baptists and organizer of the state's first association will be made elsewhere in this volume.
FIRST FREE MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION.
As previously stated, this body was organized by Elder Charles Satchell and others, in 1866. They did not like the name “Southern Baptist Association,” and consequently took issue and organized the First Free Mission Association. This body made rapid progress and accomplished much. For some time it vied with the Louisiana Southern Association in the matter of organizing churches and spreading the Gospel along the lower and upper coasts of the Mississippi River. Finally the First Free Missionary and the Southern Baptist Associations came together and began doing business under the new name--“First District Missionary Baptist Association.” This body, which will be spoken of later, has done and is doing a commendable work.
FIRST DISTRICT MISSIONARY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
This body was organized in New Orleans, La., in 1866 by the following brethren: Bishops George W. Walker, John Marks, Esau Carter, Charles Satchell, Alex Armstrong, R. H. Steptoe and others. Besides having preached the gospel and established churches in New Orleans and along the coasts of the Mississippi River, it has fostered an Old Folks Home.
Sister Joanna P. Moore has the following to say with reference to the founding, development and growth of the Home: “The most pitiful objects I found in New Orleans were the old freed women worn out with years of slavery. They were usually rag pickers, and had a little hut where they lodged at night, and ate old scraps they had begged during the day. There was in the city an Old Ladies' Home, but no department for colored, and there was no alms. These old people you sometimes found on the streets, because for some reason they had been turned out of their little corner and had nowhere to go. Sometimes the police took them up and lodged them in the parish prison. They were soon turned out of this because they were guilty of no offence, save age, poverty and sickness. The colored people had tried several times to collect money for a Home, but something always happened to the treasurer before they got enough to open a Home. For two years I made this a subject of prayer. Nothing was done until 1878, when I called together those whom I thought the most interested, both colored and white friends. For several weeks we unitedly asked God to supply this great need.
“About the last of January, 1879, the Lord said: ‘Go Forward.’ Deacon Lease (white) was selected to hunt a house which he soon found. The first story was fitted up for the aged, and our missionaries moved into the second story. I first prayed for some one to take care of and to cook for these pilgrims. Katie Lewis was the answer to this prayer. I wish you could have seen her. She was about seventy years old, tall and as dignified as a queen, and wore her turban as gracefully. While a slave she was a head cook and general manager in the home of a rich planter. She was a good Christian and had correct ideas about most things. I had never met her. The first day she came to my home she said: ‘Sister Moore, I am Katie Lewis. The Lord showed me in a vision that I must come and help you take care of those little babies (as she called the old slaves). I am old but have good health, and know how to cook and I want to help you missionaries that the Lord has sent down in this low-ground of sorrow. Now I am ready to go to work.’
“This and more she said in a very direct and business way. I accepted her as God's gift. She did not ask for any money. Dear Katie certainly was a God-send and remained as long as I had charge of the Home, leaving the day I left because she would not serve under a colored matron.
“Our first inmate, Sallie Henderson, a rag picker, old, dirty, cross, sick, was received February 1, 1879. She had been unkindly treated so long that she thought no one loved her, and I am sure she did not love any one, and yet she was a Christian, but down in a very low class of which we have so many in our churches. Brother Wilson had a cart in which for more than a year he brought the old people to the Home without charge. At first Sallie did not know my plan to leave the old rags behind. Poor Sallie had several bags of them. I succeeded in burning some of them, but it almost broke her heart. I offered her nice new garments, but she preferred the old rags, because she said I am used to them. We had the same trouble with most of our inmates, and yet we found among these neglected ones a few real saints, from whom I learned many lessons of gratitude. I had saved up $55 with which we began. Within one month we had five inmates, and that money was all gone and some additional gifts. But our motto over the mantle said: ‘The Lord will provide,’ and in that our faith rested while we prayed, and according to the promise to supply our needs a check of $15 from Miss E. C. Prudden, of Wheaton, Ill., came the very day it was greatly needed. Two years later she gave us $450 to help us pay for our property. I had met this friend the preceding summer, and told her about my old women, but she had not heard that the Home was started. The Spirit that moved us to pray said to her: ‘Send this money to for the old people.’ I wish I had time to tell you of the many remarkable answers to prayer in that blessed Home. We never went in debt, but when the oil and meal were nearly gone, the old saints joined me in asking supplies from our Heavenly Father. They all knew that God was our Treasurer. The first year we sheltered 22 weary pilgrims; none of them were well; six were cripples, one blind and two unable to leave their cots were cared for like babies.
“I must say a word about two or three of ‘our babies.’ Harriet Taylor was a poor drunken woman, whom I found often in an Irish woman's saloon. After much coaxing I finally persuaded her to come and see my Home. She was partly drunk. I led her to the street car, and because it was nearly dark I succeeded in getting the wretched woman on. My Home was one block from the car line, and I had hard work to drag her to the house. She was determined to go back. We could not do much for her that night, and the next morning she asked for whisky and said she would die if she did not get it. Once she had been a professing Christian. I said, ‘Harriet, whisky is killing your soul and body. We will ask God to take away this wicked appetite, and then if you believe you will be saved.’ We prayed and glory to God the answer came. Some days after Harriet said: ‘I don't study about whisky. I prays and I prays; sometime I feel light and happy; sometimes low down and sorrowful, but I keeps on praying.’ Harriet was brought to the Home a perfect wreck, and yet God restored her physical health so that she was a great help in taking care of Margaret Jones. She was a hundred years old. She had fallen on a pavement in December and was never afterward able to walk. A kind-hearted sister gave her a room in which there was no fire. Different persons brought her something to eat. The day I found her she was about to be turned out of this shelter. I brought her to my Home, laid her on a cot and took care of her for more than two years, and then she moved to Heaven. I wish you could have heard her say for every favor she received: ’I thank you, Master Jesus.‘ and often with tears of gratitude rolling down her withered cheeks she would turn and thank the one who brought the gift from Jesus. Harriet had never met Margaret before, and yet she cared for her as tenderly as any daughter ever cared for a mother.”
“We had several inmates who were addicted to drink. All were not so completely saved as Harriet. One day in my visits I saw a little child leading a blind woman across one of the back streets. She walked very slowly. I asked where she lived, and we climbed a dirty stairway. ‘Here,’ she said, ‘this is my home.’ I asked, ‘where is your bed?’ ‘I sleep on the floor in one corner this little girl's mother allows me to have.’ ‘Have you a home in Heaven?’ ‘No, I have no home on earth nor in Heaven,’ and the tears flowed from her sightless eyes. I said, ‘Wait here till I come back.’ I went out and made an inquiry about her, and all the neighbors said, ‘Do take her to the Home.’ This I did but the car driver did not want to take such a filthy object into the car. He did not see the immortal
BISHOP JAMES MONROE CARTER.soul that now shines in glory. After several attempts we succeeded in crowding in. When I got home it was long after dark, because poor blind Lucy could walk so slowly. Katie Lewis was feeling anxious lest something had happened to me. She met me at the door. ‘What is that thing,’ she said with contempt. The light revealed Lucy. ‘A human being for whom Christ died,’ I replied. ‘O, Sister Moore, you do not know the dirt and disease you are bringing into this Home. You will ruin us.’ At first she did not want to help wash Lucy, but when I had all ready, she came, saying, ‘You go away and I will do all this.’ Soon after Lucy was converted. She met me one evening exclaiming: ‘O, Sister Moore, I have seen Jesus, and now I have a home on earth and one in Heaven.’ ”
“Jane Burk was about one hundred years old, and was quite active. She knew how to care for the sick, of whom we had many. She was our peacemaker, and such persons are much needed in all homes, especially one like ours where dwelt so many old bodies and souls, weary and full of pain and unhappiness. Every little thing hurts them. We feel that those younger and stronger often lack the tender sympathy that God wants given those who have ‘borne the burden and heat of the day.’ ”
“Patsy Shaw, one of our inmates, was a character that any one could love. She was reared in Virginia and could read and write. She and her husband were sold to a trader, and were auctioned off in New Orleans about forty years previous. She was sold to a citizen of New Orleans. She begged him to buy her husband. He took Patsy home, but for three days she refused to eat, weeping bitterly. He was a humane man and for pity sake bought her husband. This bound her to the family by chords of love. Shortly after his wife died, leaving two children in Patsy's care. The father was now an invalid and very poor--the family having lost all their property. They were Catholics. Patsy was a strong Baptist and still had her Bible and hymn book which she brought from Virginia. The white children she had reared begged me to take Patsy into the Home as they were unable to care for her. I said I will send a cart for her, for she had been unable to leave her bed for several years, and they cared for her. ‘O, no, I will never send my mammy in a cart. We will get a hack and bring her if it takes the last cent.’ So the brother and sister brought her, carried her in, laid her on the cot, knelt beside her and wept like children, while Patsy's old black hand wiped the tears away and she comforted them with loving words as I suppose she did when they were little children. They came to see her as often as possible. Patsy was a real lady of culture, fond of flowers and pretty things. One morning her face fairly shone. I asked, ‘Patsy, what makes you look so happy?’ ‘O, Sister Moore, Jesus came last night and told me he had my mansion ready.’ That light never left Patsy's face until Jesus took her into the light of Heaven.”
“I have told you about the good folks. I like to remember them. But surely we did have some rough and coarse natures with which to deal. One was Patience Jorum. She would take her staff and strike the others, if they offended her. Yet she insisted that she was a Christian, and that the Lord gave her a spear and said, ‘My little one, go into yonders world and spear my people.’ To this command she was very faithful. I am sorry the world has so many like her. A large number died in our Home because they were very old and sick when we took them in; and because those admitted were both old and sick. We not only cared for their worn bodies, but directed them to the Great Physician, and none left our Home without giving evidence of readiness for the Home in Heaven.”
“I wish I could introduce you to one more of that forty inmates, and show you how beautifully they grew under the culture of God's Word. We repeated texts in the dining-room, prayer room and everywhere. They could memorize one each month. ‘Did prayers alone supply your needs each month?’ you ask. I answer, ‘Yes.’ Letters often came enclosing money without any name, and provisions were received when we didn't know the donors. Persons in the North whom I had never seen sent boxes of clothes. I wish you could have seen our old folks when we dressed them up on Sundays and state occasions--white turbans, white neck handkerchiefs and gingham aprons. They never felt dressed without an apron. When these gifts came I wrote grateful letters telling of the work being done. At the end of the year I published a report and sent it to all who had helped, and so the good news spread not by telling what we were going to do, but by praising God for what we had done. The fact that something has been done encourages individuals to give.”
“The colored Baptist churches in New Orleans began to give monthly, and the little children from the Sabbath-schools came trooping in with glad songs, and put their offerings of money and provisions in the old wrinkled hands and received a ‘God bless you.’
Once George W. Cable sent me $10. Rev. Hartzell, now Bishop Hartzell, did the same, also Dr. Holcome and other white people in New Orleans. I remained in charge about three years, and stood by the work until the property which cost $1,500 was paid for. The price was $2,500, but in answer to prayer the owner donated $1,000 without being asked to do so. I then gave the Home into the hands of the colored Baptists with the earnest request that they would not go into debt. They tried to obey, but when hungry, incurred debt, saying as an excuse, ‘Sister Moore, we are trusting God to get us out of debt which is just as good as to give us money before we go into debt.’ Their philosophy is very popular today, but not-withstanding all mistakes Faith Home has made, she has lived 24 years, and today shelters many poor of New Orleans. To God be all the glory.
“Before I close this narrative I must refer to a lesson I learned in the Home. It is this: YOU MUST LOVE BEFORE YOU CAN COMFORT AND HELP. Referring to my first annual report of Faith Home, I find the following record: In starting this Home I hoped to accomplish three things. (1) To care for the aged poor. (2) To teach greater faith in God's promises. (3) We hoped that this Home would teach the people the Bible plan of giving--to lay by from thier income a portion for the Lord as He had prospered them, each according to his ability, and not resort to such wrong methods as suppers, concerts, fairs and such things; and going about begging contributions from the world.”
Thus you see from the above what this veteran missionary, Sister J. P. Moore, has done for our people. Too much worthy of praise cannot be said of her. She has labored among us for more than fifty years with marvelous success; and is now (1914) active on the field. She was among the first to come and help us when freedom came. The First District brethren will always feel grateful to her. This mother association has worked well and accomplished much. According to the minutes of its forty-fifth annual session it comprises today sixty-nine churches. Perhaps there are other churches that did not represent. The membership of the District is 3,397. This is the nestor association of the state, since it has in it the first churches organized after Emancipation. Its present officers are (1911): Elder J. H. Fleming, Moderator; Elder Thomas Columbus, Vice Moderator; Elder A. Hubbs, Recording Secretary; Brother R. Johnson, Corresponding Secretary, Bishop Jackson Acox, Treasurer; Bishop M. S. Gordon, Statistician. Executive Board Members: Bishops E. D. Sims, J. R. Lawson, G. W. Tony, John Brown, S. Wilmore, Levi Leach, L. H. Ben, J. L. Burrell and Ed. Coleman.
SECOND DISTRICT BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
This is one of the state's oldest associations. Unfortunately I have not been able to gather full information as to when, where and by whom organized. With all probability it is the work of pioneer fathers just after the order went forth to district the state. Like the other associations it has satisfied a long-felt want and rendered yeoman service in the matter of lifting Christ up in South Louisiana.
Officers: Elder T. Allen, President; Elder J. Payne, Vice President; Elder G. D. McGruder, Recording Secretary; Elder J. Dumas, Corresponding Secretary; Elder E. Stewart, Treasurer; Elder B. Bell, Missionary. Executive Board including the above brethren: Elders J. Wallace, J. Tumor, H. Roe, R. N. Waters, A. J. Favors, V. Baily, G. Western, B. P. Lee, L. S. Hopkins, J. J. Ellis.
The B. B. and O. Association has the following staff of officers: Bishop W. P. Darrington, President; Bishop J. E. Walker, Recording Secretary; Bishop R. W. White, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. Gains, Treasurer, and J. W. Brown, Missionary. Executive Board (including above officers): Elders S. H. McCall, S. H. Sneed, H. B. Bland, A. B. Stamper, A. D. Turner, R. C. Garrison, J. Newman, T. H. Jefferson, S. A. Alexander.
THIRD DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
Inability to get data telling fully of the work of this body prevents me from saying all I would like to say about it. I am pleased to record, at any rate, that this organization has been a force for good in South Louisiana. The labors of these brethren have touched the work of charity at the Old Folks Home in one way or another; the educational work at Leland and other points, and have quickened Spiritual life throughout their associational bounds. Too much cannot be said in honor of the old ministers of this District for well done pioneer work. The younger preachers have been and are standing today on foundations laid by the fathers of this District years ago.
ELDER J. L. BURRELL, D. D.
The following brethren comprise the staff of associational officers: Elder Robert Vernon, President; Elder A. P. Orlage Vice President; Bishop I. H. Perkins, Recording Secretary; Bishop E. A. Watkins, Corresponding Secretary; Bro. H. Williams, Treasurer; Elder A. W. Warren, Missionary.
OFFICERS OF WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION OF THIRD DISTRICT.
Sister A. E. Randall, President; Sister M. Daniels, Vice President; Sister F. D. Blanchard, Recording Secretary; Sister A. J. Baker, Corresponding Secretary; Sister E. Johnson, Treasurer; Sister Mary Williams, Missionary, and Sister M. E. Jones, Assistant Missionary.
FOURTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
This Association was organized by the pioneer fathers in 1875 on the 12th day of April. Consolidated December 10th, 1883; incorporated December 12th, 1881; re-organized April 12th, 1895, and on January 24th 1901, it was re-incorporated.
In 1905 and prior the Fourth District Association held jurisdiction over or in the following parishes: East Filiciana, West Filiciana, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Point Coupee, Iberville and Livingstone Parishes.
This body of Christian workers, in 1905, was led by the following staff of officers: Elder Robert Morrison, D. D., Moderator; Bishop W. M. Taylor, Vice Moderator; Brother L. F. Germany, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. D. Smith, Recording Secretary; Elder Joseph Foster, Treasurer; Elder J. Mitchell, Missionary for East Side of River, and Bishop P. W. Silket, Missionary for West Side of River.
Executive Board, including the officers: Bishops S. D. Nance, Isaac Anderson, L. Scott, C. C. Richardson, D. Palmer, W. W. Georgetown, A. H. Harbor.
Educational Board: Bishop W. M. Taylor, President; Elder R. L. Williams, Vice President; Elder Joseph Foster, Secretary; Bishop H. Rivers, Educational Treasurer, and Bishops R. Brooks, A. Freeman, L. Bullup, J. B. Williams, C. L. Washington.
Dr. T. A. Walker, M. D., Superintendent of Baton Rouge Academy, and Prof. J. S. Clark, Principal of Academy.
This Association has done, and under the leadership of Bishop W. M. Taylor is today (1914) doing a great work in the matter of lifting Negro Baptists religiously and educationally.
FIFTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
This Association was organized in 1876 by Elders Isaiah Lawson, Thomas L. Rhodes, I. C. Stewart and R. Coleman. Bishop Lawson was its first president. Then followed successively Bishops R. Coleman, I. H. Stewart and Dr. H. C. Cotton, who at this time (1912) stands as the Moses of this great Baptist host, numbering 3,200 as loyal Baptists as can be found anywhere in the Union. Dr. Cotton is a man who believes in doing things by DOING THEM. This fact is evidenced by what he and his great association have done and are doing. For more than twenty years he has led them in the work of lifting up the men, women and children “farthest down.”
Through his ability to do things two academies have been founded--one at Houma, La., and another at Belle Alliance, La. Both of these schools have been powerful influences for good in this part of the state, expelling ignorance and vice. The cost of these school buildings was more than $2,000 each. They are two-story frame buildings and are completed throughout, very well furnished with the latest improved desks and furniture. Dr. Cotton took a single church, the Israel Baptist Church, and erected the Israel Academy building at a cost of $2,556.20. They were only six months and one day paying this amount.
The property of the District is as follows: two plots of ground, two school buildings and a creditable Old Folks Home. The members of this District under their pioneer fathers and the great men they now have, have, without doubt, wrought well. Their present staff of officers (1913) follows: Bishop H. C. Cotton, President; Bishop C. D. Reese, Vice President; Professor D. F. Ross, A. M., LL. B., Recording Secretary; Bishop C. S. Collins, A. B., M. D., Corresponding Secretary; Elder T. L. Welch, Treasurer, and Bishop S. L. McComb, Missionary.
S. S. Association Officers: Bishop O. Williams, President; Bishop J. W. Wickham, Recording Secretary; Prof. McWillis, Corresponding Secretary, and Elder T. L. Welch, Treasurer.
P. S.--Since the above was written Elder Cotton has gone to his reward and Bishop Chas. D. Reese is now (1914) Moderator.
SIXTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
This is one of the oldest and most active districts in the state. It was organized by Elder J. B. Livingston and other pioneer leaders in 1877.
Elder Livingston has been its honored head for more than thirty-seven years. This body of Christian workers has weathered many storms during these years, but this veteran leader has stood heroically on the bridge of this ship of Zion and kept her from going to pieces on the rocks. Brother Livingston and his co-workers began this work with but few churches, but today the Sixth District Association is among the largest and most influential in the state, having ordained preachers many and organized NOT A FEW churches.
In addition to the large amount of church work this District has wrought well educationally. Howe Institute, the pride of Sixth District Baptists, stands as a monument of educational interest. This splendid school began its existence among these brethren in 1890, and has borne much fruit. In point of commodious school buildings, the Sixth District leads; other Districts follow. In addition to a large two-story frame building, they have erected a beautiful two-story brick building at a cost of $8,000.
The Sixth District Association is officered by the following brethren: Elder J. B. Livingston, Moderator; Elder J. T. B. Labeau, Vice Moderator; Elder J. C. Rochell, Recording Secretary; Bishop A. J. Horton, Corresponding Secretary; and Bishop Prince Albert, Treasurer.
Sunday-School Association Officers: Bishop A. J. Horton, President; Bishop A. R. Butler, Vice President; Bishop A. J. Willis, Recording Secretary; Elder J. W. Cooper, Corresponding Secretary, and Elder J. C. Rochell, Treasurer.
Women's Association: Sister S. Jenkins, President; Sister N. L. West, Recording Secretary; Sister L. D. Bray, Corresponding Secretary, and Sister L. J. Green, Treasurer.
SEVENTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
In the year 1874 there was organized at Opelousas, La., an Association known as the Seventh District Baptist Association. The following brethren were the organizers: Bishops J. P. Davenport, Osborne England, Samuel Moore, James McNeil, V. Rideau, Isaac Hodges, John Horn and others. Its first officers were J. P. Davenport, Moderator; S. W. White, Secretary; V. L. Rideau, Treasurer. Its present officers (1911) are: Bishop H. L. Stewart, Moderator; Elder E. W. Renty, Vice Moderator; Dr. G. M. Hunter, Recording Secretary; Brother P. L. Silas, Corresponding Secretary, and Brother L. J. Campbell, Treasurer.
These Christian workers have done much in the work of “lifting up” in their part of the state. Their work began in a hot-bed of Roman Catholicism with a handful of members, so to speak, but today they praise God for sixty-five strong churches with a membership of 5,000 or more marching under the triple declaration of “One Lord, one Faith and one Baptism.” Bishop L. C. Simon, in 1900, founded one of the best high schools in the state, which under his fostering care has gone steadily on in the good work of saving our boys and girls. This school has a good annual enrollment and has grown in value from almost nothing to $20,000 in 1911. Elder Simon and co-workers deserve much credit for this great work.
In a few short years this District has accumulated the following: School property, $20.000; church property, $95,000; total, $115,000.
SECOND EIGHTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
In the year 1872 this body was organized by Bishops C. H. Ellis, F. Boyd, A. January and others. This being one of our pioneer associations, it necessarily began its existence with a few churches, but it has grown steadily and worked hard in carrying the Gospel to its remotest territorial bounds. So that today (1911) the membership numbers 872 or more, and under the leadership of Moderator Smith they are pushing on to higher grounds.
In addition to the large amount of religious work done, this body of Christian workers has done a great deal by way of encouraging and supporting schools for the education of its young people. Many strong young men and women have gone out into life's work from this section of the state, and have touched communities for good wherever they have located. Prominent among these young people who have forged their way to the front is Professor C. C. Smith, B. A., who is (1911) a member of the Faculty of Leland University.
OFFICERS OF ASSOCIATION.
J. W. WILEY, M. D.
ELDER C. L. ROBERTS, D. D.Secretary; Elder J. H. Ellis, Treasurer, and Elder H. R. Norris, Missionary.
Executive Board (including above officers): Elders L. T. Tison, O. Smith, C. H. Thomas, S. T. Wilkins, E. Griffin, W. M. Banks, G. W. Pannell.
S. S. Association Officers: Brothers L. T. Tison, President; E. L. Parker, Vice President; R. C. White, Recording Secretary; E. Fobs, Corresponding Secretary; W. M. Phillips, Treasurer, Mc Burns and L. W. Wallace, District Directors.
Officers Woman's Association: Sisters Carrie Payne, President; H. Johnson, Vice President; J. B. Wilkins, Recording Secretary; M. L. Wilkins, Corresponding Secretary; M. L. Wilkins, Corresponding Secretary; M. Jackson, Treasurer, and L. Johnson, District Missionary.
Both the S. S. Association and the Woman's Association have done and are doing much good for the cause of Christ.
TENTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
This organization covers a large territory in Northeast Louisiana. It was organized in 1872 in Cloudy Creek Baptist Church by the following Elders: T. H. Johnson, who was the first President, Phillip Robinson, John Strauther, Stephen Baller, Isaac Grant, Mitchell Sims, H. A. Scates, I. Verwood, J. Jacob and A. Johnson. Drs. J. Tresvant and J. Mangham (white) assisted the brethren.
They began with seventeen church, membership about 2,000; today (1912) they number more than 10,000. This body has wrought well, and greatly improved conditions in this part of the state. Not only have they preached the Gospel, organized and built up churches, but they have and are now doing a deal of educational work. The North Louisiana Industrial High School located at Monroe with the scholarly Prof. M. J. Foster at its head, is sufficient proof of the District's interest in education. Elder H. R. Flynn, who for years has been chairman of the Trustee Board, Bishop Hill and the late Bishops Hamilton and Flood and scores of other strong men have labored hard for the educational work of the District.
Professor Foster, its efficient principal, is a college graduate of Leland University and a man of experience in matters pertaining to school management. With his able faculty, he is doing head, heart and hand work that measures up with any state district school. This school was founded in 1895 by Elders Wm. Hamilton, W. P. Darrington, J. B. Bolden and others. Its present valuation (1912) is $3,000. This host of Christian workers has been led from 1872 to 1912 by the following Moderators: Elder T. H. Johnson, C. Gardner, William Hamilton, Auder Back, Flood and W. W. Hill. Bishop Hill, the present Moderator (1912), is an untiring worker and stands shoulder to shoulder with any District Moderator in the state in point of devotion to the Master's cause. No District in the state is more loyal to the Convention. She easily holds her place among the banner districts of the state.
TWELFTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
In August, 1870, this Association came into existence. It was organized in the First Baptist Church, Natchitoches, La., by the following brethren: Elders A. R. Blunt, Martin Kiles, Benjamin Perrow, Professor John G. Lewis and others who names cannot now be recalled.
For many years this body was successfully led by the following officers: Elders A. R. Blunt, Moderator; Martin Kiles, Vice Moderator; Benjamin Perrow, Treasurer, and Professor John G. Lewis, Recording Secretary.
These brethren deserve much credit for pioneer work. Present-day conveniences of travel were unknown to them, yet they pressed their way to the remotest bounds of their District, planting the gospel banner as they marched. Elder A. J. Harris succeeded Bishop Blunt. The younger men under Bishop Harris have been and are carrying the work on nobly, building on the foundation laid by the fathers. They have gone on with the work of organizing churches, ordaining preachers, until the entire District has been flooded by gospel light. Years ago it took its place among the banner districts of the state, and up to this writing (1914) it has held its own in the great work of Christianizing Louisiana. This association has evidenced its interest in education by doing what it could by way of fostering and encouraging schools. Moderator Harris, a broad-hearted and liberal-minded man, is always ready for any movement that promises to lift his constituency spiritually and educationally.
OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD.
Elder A. J. Harris, Moderator; Elder B. A. Amons, Vice Moderator; Elder George W. Green, Sr., Recording Secretary; Elder M. A. Gurst, Treasurer; Elder A. D. Anderson, Corresponding Secretary; Elder John Loveless, District Missionary, Ringold, La.; Elder George W. Green, Sr., District Missionary, Campti, La.; Elder S. Carter, District Missionary, Montrose, La.; Elder Wm. Clayton, High School, Treasurer; Elders S. Horton, F. Hatcher, L. S. Hodge, R. A. Nash.
LOUISIANA BAPTIST STATE S. S. CONVENTION.
After the organization of churches, associations and conventions came the institution of the Louisiana Baptist Sunday-School State Convention.
Bishops S. T. Clanton, C. J. Hardy and other pioneer leaders were responsible for the introduction of this work. These brethren wrought more than they knew in that they set in motion a movement that has blessed thousands of children in the state, and quickened spiritual life in old people as well.
In 1887 the officers were: Bishop C. J. Hardy, President; Elder A. L. Reese, Vice President; Bishop S. T. Clanton, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop H. K. Barret, Recording Secretary, and Elder B. Dorsey, Treasurer.
Bishop A. J. Horton, of New Iberia, was for many years the honored President of this body. He and his co-workers accomplished much. Other Presidents whose names I cannot now recall followed in the wake of Elder Horton's well done work.
At this time (1914) Elder D. M. Brown leads the Sunday-school hosts of the State. They held a splendid session recently at Crowly, La. They adjourned to meet next year (1915) at Homer, La.
ELDER L. ALLEN, SR.
The present staff of officers follows: Bishop D. M. Brown, President; Elder H. C. Ross, Vice President; Bishop T. H. Evans, Recording Secretary; Bishop J. W. White, Corresponding Secretary; Brother J. A. Steadman, State Missionary; Bishop G. S. Lee, Sub-Missionary, and Elder J. R. Rodney, Sub-Missionary. Brother Steadman is a splendid Sunday-school worker, and is also under the co-operative plan of the Southern White Baptist Convention.
Bishop Evans is accomplishing much at Oak Ridge, and is one of the Tenth District leaders. Bishop White is one of the leading workers at Bunkie and is helping his people no little bit.
TWELFTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
THE WOMAN'S HOME MISSION ASSOCIATION.
This noble band of Christian women has worked shoulder to shoulder with the brethren and has accomplished much. Under the leadership of Sister F. M. Washington they give promise of continued great work as the years come and go.
Officers and Board members are as follows: Sister F. M. Washington, President; Sister Ella Cloud, Vice President; Sister Eugenia Allen, Recording Secretary; Sister A. J. Thompson, Corresponding Secretary; Sister Ann Ladson, Treasurer; District Missionaries, Sister M. T. Anderson, Sister Rosa Carter, Sister E. M. Brown, Sister Ella Cloud, Sister Ann Ladson, Sister E. M. Washington and Sister Clara Williams.
Executive Board, including officers: Sister L. H. Morris, Sister Charlotte Russell, Sister E. M. Brown, Sister M. T. Anderson, Sister Katie Frierson, Sister Annie Levy, Sister Bell Speed, Sister Katie Chatman, Sister Catherine Miles, Sister E. L. Primm, Sister Martha Felix.
NEW BEULAH ASSOCIATION NUMBER 4.
This body of Christian workers is doing splendid work in and around Natchitoches, under the leadership of Bishop Z. Z. Harrison. Twenty-five churches represent in this Association, with a membership of 2,000. Elder Z. Z. Harrison is the efficient Moderator; Brother W. M. Allen is the worthy scribe. Among other associational leaders are: Bishops Henry Douglas, D. January, E. A. Adams, S. L. Hamilton, John Gains, B. R. Holmes, M. C. Holmes and J. L. Cole.
THIRTEENTH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
This is one of the largest and most progressive districts in the state, and is the home district of the writer. Its beginning and work date back to 1876 when Bishop Wm. Massy, of Marshall, Texas, was appointed by the Louisiana and Texas brethren Educational and Financial Agent. Half of what he raised went to start the FIRST educational work in North Louisiana, while the other half was used to foster educational work in Texas. One hundred dollars was raised in the first Educational Rally.
After the Louisiana brethren withdrew from the Texas brethren they formed local associations, the first being organized in 1880 with Bishop L. C. Capers as Moderator. This first organization was effected by Elders L. C. Capers, Luke Allen, Sr., N. W. Winston, Jackson Powell, Eli Adams, Dave Grantham, Tom Luke and others. Bishop Robert Taylor was elected Missionary--the first to go forth in this part of the state.
The North Louisiana Association No. 1 was organized in 1869 with the following officers: Bishop John Jones, Moderator; Elder Dave Grantham, Vice Moderator; P. W. Shivers, Secretary, and a Treasurer whose name cannot be recalled. Others helped to set up this body, whose names are lost to this history, but their names are on the “Record on High” to be known when the roll is called in Heaven.
The Thirteenth District Association is the result of the union of local bodies, and was constituted in the year 1888 at Antioch Baptist Church, Elder L. Allen, Sr., pastor, Shreveport, La. The following brethren affected the organization: L. Allen, Sr., C. S. Shelton, Allen Johnson, Daniel Gross, L. C. Capers, Robert Taylor, J. M. Carter, H. C. Coleman, F. J. Cook and others. Bishop J. M. Carter was chosen to be the Association's first Moderator, and Deacon A. A. Pradd its first Secretary. The rest of the officers were elected and the Association got down to business. Elder L. C. Capers was subsequently elected to the Moderatorship and served acceptbly for a number of years.
In the year 1894, during the session held at Mansfield, La., with the St. John Baptist Church, Elder Albert Isaac Carter, by the will of the association, came to the Moderator's chair. This body has wrought well religiously and educationally since this grand old man has had his “hands upon the throttle and his eyes upon the rails.” He took the work up where his predecessors had creditably left off and brought it forward with marked success. This Thirteenth District as such had no educational work going on at this time. A school known as Providence Academy, however, was being operated in its midst by a Trustee Board independent of the association. This school was the product of the great mind of Dr. A. M. Newman, who was its founder and Educational Supervisor. The teachers were Miss Blanch Sterrett, Miss Elizabeth Norrington and others, whose names cannot now be recalled. The Providence Academy accomplished much under its efficient Board, able Supervisor and faculty. Bishop A. B. Daniels was the popular chairman of this Board.
In the fall of 1894 the Providence Academy Board and the Thirteenth District Executive Board met in joint session at the Antioch Baptist Church, Dr. A. M. Newman, pastor, and agreed on the dissolution of the Providence Academy and the organization of the Thirteenth District Academy, with Professor Wm. Hicks as Principal; Miss Blanch Sterrett, Assistant; and Dr. A. M. Newman, Supervisor. So to speak, the Institution got up steam and started out, sending word ahead “to close all switches because the Thirteenth District Academy was on the main line.” The beginning of this school was small and humble. When Principal Hicks climbed the hill, October, 1894, on which he hoped to find a two-story structure completely equipped, instead he found an old “L” shaped cast-away dwelling house on whose top was the warm-hearted and education-loving Bishop A. T. Sumpter and the faithful Deacon Aaron Gaskin, with hammer in hand, stopping the leaks in the old building. After five years of successful labor the Principal moved this old house back, made a dining-room and kitchen of it, and on its site erected to the credit of the District a fine $3,000 two-story frame building. In a short while the District had paid every cent on it. No member of the Board worked harder and more zealously in the erection of this edifice and the payment of the debt than did Bishop A. H. Samuels, chairman of School Board. He stood ready at all times to encourage the Principal with both his money and his words. The enrollment of the school grew rapidly to nearly 300, and the term receipts from tuition, board, etc., to more than $2,000, when Professor Hicks resigned in 1903 and accepted the Deanship of the Theological Department of Coleman College, Gibsland, La. The Managing Board of the school was made up of the following brethren: A. H. Samuels, President; C. S. Shelton, Secretary; J. M. Carter, District Supervisor of Education; J. T. Alexander, A. T. Sumpter, L. W. Canfield, L. C. Capers, H. R. Flynn and Wm. Caldwell. The following teachers have served this school: Wm. Hicks, B. A., D. D.; Miss Blanch Sterrett, Prof. Harris Hamilton, Mrs. Desire Morse Priestly, Mrs. Olivia Madison Hicks, Mrs. Julia Carter Whalley, Mrs. Rhoda Brown Madkin, Mrs. Agnes Johnson Mickens, Mrs. Dr. Rainwater, Mrs. Lula Burgess Capers, Mrs. Dr. J. H. Henderson, Mrs. Harris Hamilton, Professor A. Cheatham, B. A., Professor R. P. Player, Professor A. Leatherman, B. A., Professor A. C. Capers, B. A., Professor J. E. Wilson and others.
This school has grown from a minimum value or $600 or $700 to a maximum of about $6,000 or $7,000 in 1914. It comprises one two-story frame building with an attached boys' department, seven or eight city lots and 120 acres of farm land. The District's churches have increased
BISHOP W. W. HILL.to 94, with a membership of about 9,000. Elder A. H. Samuels has been recently elected Moderator (1913).
In connection with the Association of churches this body has three working auxiliaries that are accomplishing much.
The entire staff of District officers follows: Elder A. H. Samuels, Moderator; Bishop E. S. Stills, Vice Moderator; Bishop C. S. Shelton, Recording Secretary; Brother J. A. Steadman, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. J. Evans, Treasurer; Professor R. P. Player, Auditor.
Sunday-School Association officers: Brother J. A. Steadman, President; Mrs. S. C. Williams, Vice President; Prof. R. P. Player, Recording Secretary; Miss Essie Bailey, Corresponding Secretary; Brother H. C. Henderson, Treasurer.
Baptist Young People's Union: Brother H. S. Davis, President; Brother L. E. Murray, Vice President; Miss Johnetta Bradford, Recording Secretary; Bishop I. A. Carter, Jr., Corresponding Secretary.
Woman's Home Mission Association: Mrs. S. C. Williams, President; Mrs. J. C. Carter, Vice President; Mrs. H. R. Flynn, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Margaret Chew, Treasurer.
NORTHWEST LOUISIANA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
Among the oldest and most progressive associations in the state is the Northwest No. 1. Its organization was affected in 1872 by the following Bishops: William Newman, Cager Nelson, Peter McDaniel, Monroe Moore and others at Saint Rest Baptist Church, Minden, La.
Since its organization it has been victoriously led by the following officers: Elders William Newman, Jerry Chaptman, W. W. Stewart, Matt Glover, Monroe Moore, Joseph Frank, J. R. Moore, James Newman, P. P. Mellon, Th., B., and the present (1913) intrepid and tireless leader, Bishop Jerry A. Moore, Th. B. The pioneer preachers began work in this part of the state when the darkness of ignorance and sin was dense. There was hardly a ray of light to guide them on their way, but their faith was strong in God. They got together a few scattered churches soon after freedom and set themselves to work. Their small beginning has grown into a strong and influential association with twenty-five or more churches and a membership of more than 2,500. This body of Christian workers is after “the man farthest down” and is gradually getting him in hand. Its churches would number more but for the giving birth to the Springfield Missionary and Educational Association which is doing a great work throughout Bienville and other parishes. Besides church work well done these brethren have done and are doing a deal of educational work.
For a number of years many of its members gave liberally for the support of Coleman College, and since 1905 they have fostered the Northwest Louisiana District High School No. 1, which was founded by Bishops J. R. Moore, P. P. Mellon, Th. B., J. M. Moore, A. G. McDaniel and others. The school comprises a two-story frame structure situated on about 33 acres of fine land valued at $3,000. Bishop J. A. Moore, B. Th., a man of great mental, moral and spiritual power, is the present (1912) head of this Association. He is leading this body to “higher grounds.”
LIBERTY HILL BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
In the year 1884, this body came into existence at the Liberty Hill Baptist Church. The organization was effected by Bishops G. W. Jackson, W. B. Washington, R. D. Malone, G. H. Gullatt and others.
The number of churches was small, but today (1911) it comprises thirty-one of the best churches in the state. The pioneer New Testament preachers of this period were men of sterling character. They served the people faithfully in their day, and laid a foundation deep and broad upon which the young ministers coming after have raised creditable superstructures.
The association's Moderators and Secretaries from its organization to date (1912) follow: Elders G. W. Jackson, Moderator, and G. H. Gullatt, Secretary; then came Bishops G. B. Washington, Moderator, and A. J. Jackson, Secretary; and last but not least, the present stalwart Christian leaders, Bishops D. M. Brown, Moderator, and L. W. Fuller, Secretary.
These brethren have wrought well, having preached the Gospel through their churches to thousands, bringing hundreds into fellowship with God and doing much in a Christian and educational way to lift the people up out of the mud of superstition, ignorance and vice.
At this time the Liberty Hill Association fosters the Allengreen Normal and Industrial Institute valued at $3,000. Under the leadership of Elder Brown these laborers in the Lord's vineyard have done and are doing an abiding work.
The following brethren constitute the present staff of officers and Executive Board: Bishop D. M. Brown, D. D., Moderator; Bishop P. B. Lewis, Vice Moderator; Bishop L. W. Fuller, D. D., Recording Secretary; Bishop A. L. Adams, Corresponding Secretary; Elder G. B. Washington, District Missionary; Deacon G. S. May, Treasurer; Bishops F. W. Winbush, S. M. Mannings and C. L. Woods.
WOMAN'S HOME MISSION SOCIETY AUXILIARY TO LIBERTY HILL ASSOCIATION.
The aim and object of this organization is to inculcate in its members the true spirit of missions, to aid and assist worthy young women in becoming trained missionaries.
The object of these women is indeed noble. Up to this time they have done a deal of work, and under the leadership of Sister Brown and her able staff of officers they are destined to do untold good.
Officers: Sister L. R. Brown, President; Sister Mary J. Lewis, Recording Secretary; Sister Sadie Hollis, Corresponding Secretary; Sister Katie Peevy, Treasurer; Sisters Nellie May and Eva Derrett, First District Missionaries; Sister Regina Dorson, Second District Missionary, and Sister M. Sanders, Third District Missionary.
GUM SPRING ASSOCIATION.
In the town of Farmersville, 1872, the Gum Spring Association was brought into existence by the following Bishops: W. Gray, P. Shepherd, Ezekiel L. Jones, C. Morse, G. W. Jackson, W. G. Head, J. D. Dunn, N. T. Abbott and others.
This pioneer body was organized with twenty-five churches. Today it more than doubles this number, and from time to time new churches are being added to its membership. The present membership is 5,642. This organization has accomplished, perhaps, much more than it knows. I speak with special reference to the fathers, who took no note of their labors, but worked steadily on, doing in the Lord's name what their hands found to do. Too much cannot be said honoring these veterans. Their day was dark and full of inconveniences. They had no V. S. and P. R. R.; and no Rock Island R. R. to help them on their way. When too poor to go on horse or mule-back, or by way of buggy or wagon, they went forth on foot with the torchlight of Gospel truth, walking miles to preach in some old gin house, barn or log cabin with dirt floor. By so doing they made it possible for the present day minister to preach the Word in brick and stone buildings with their pulpits not on dirt floors, but on tongue-glued floors and Brussels carpets. THREE CHEERS! Not only for the pioneers of Louisiana, but for the world. So vigorously and persistently did they push this propaganda that within a few short years after the white Baptists had turned them loose to stand or fall, they had nearly all of the parishes of Louisiana dotted with churches.
Most of the fathers have crossed the river, but their sons in the Gospel are on the scene, carrying on the well-begun work. This band of Christian workers has not only organized churches and preached the Word, but they have and are now moving things educationally. They own and operate the Ruston Colored Normal, valued at $3,000. This school is ably principaled by Prof. I. S. Powell, B. A., one of the most scholarly Christian teachers in the state. He has accomplished much for God and his race.
ELDER F. J. DAVIDSON, A. M., D. D.
The Moderators of the Association since its organization are as follows: Elders W. Gray, Ezekiel Jones, Prince Jones, W. G. Head, J. D. Whalley, F. T. Delley and the present Moderator, Bishop Albert Henry.
Secretaries as follows: Elders W. G. Head, T. J. Brown, J. M. Dade, Prof. S. S. Gray and J. F. Rhone. Bishop Head was the first Secretary and served with credit to himself and his denomination for years. The value of this Association's church and school property is estimated at $55,285.
This body was organized in 1872 at Rocky Mount, La., Bossier Parish. The first Moderator was Elder A. Windham (white), who did much in organizing and assisting the ex-slaves religiously. The next Moderator was Bishop Charles Jones; the third, Elder F. J. Cook; fourth, Bishop H. C. Dickerson, and the fifth Moderator (1911) is Elder L. Ford.
These early laborers began this work with a very few members in the early seventies; to-day, they number more than 3,000. Interest in the educational uplift of their people is evidenced by their High School, which was organized in 1907 by Elders S. H. Ralph, L. Ford, S. W. Jackson, Z. Flenouy, W. H. Hall, I. S. Mitchell, Jr., Bishop Ralph worked hard and wrought well as principal of this school. It is valued at $1,000 and has an annual enrollment of 150. It is destined to do much good in this part of the state. In fact, Calvary Association, under the leadership of Bishops L. Ford, F. J. Cook, S. H. Ralph, Jesse Byrd, James Moore, Mitchell and others, has done and is doing much in this part of the moral vineyard to dispell the darkness of ignorance, superstition and vice.
Bishop Ralph was among the first or the first Negro Baptist newspaper man in North Louisiana, his first paper being about the size of a letter. Elder Jesse Byrd, although working principally in the bounds of the Thirteenth District Association, weilded much influence for good in this body also. He is often called “Father Byrd.”
NORTHWEST ASSOCIATION NO. 2.
Among the Baptist state organizations, none labors harder for the religious and educational uplift of the people than the Northwest No. 2. It is among the oldest associations in the state, and was organized in the year 1873 by the following brethren: Bishops Thomas B. Smith, Henry Jackson, Joseph Satterwhite, Carolina Fuller, Rial Wickwire, S. Presley and Brother Henry Farris. Bishops that have served this body are T. B. Smith, R. B. Gant and J. J. Fuller. Bros. Smith and Gant have served acceptably and with credit to themselves and denomination, and gone to their reward. Elder Fuller is at present the Moses of this band of Christian workers. What he may lack “in the letter” is more than made up “in the Spirit, in moral power and in executive ability.” At the time of its organization this association had but few churches; today it has 56 splendid bodies of baptized believers with a membership of 4,000.
Besides this marvelous spiritual growth, the organization's educational growth has been phenominal. Moderator Fuller has backed and stood by Professor J. H. Whaley, in matters educational, “to the last ditch,” consequently the District School has grown from almost nothing just a few years ago, under Professor Whaley, to one of the leading District Schools in the state. See more about this and other of our schools elsewhere in this volume.
Association secretaries that have served follows: Bishops B. F. Edwards, J. M. Carter, H. L. Davis, W. B. Purvis and William Caldwell. The Mansfield Colored High School at Mansfield is owned by this body. The valuation of the District's property is not less than $5,000. With Moderator Fuller at the head, it is safe to predict that this good work will go on. Officers: Bishop J. J. Fuller, Moderator; Bishop R. B. Sloan, Vice Moderator; Elder B. F. Edwards, Recording Secretary; Bishop W. B. Purvis, Corresponding Secretary; Brother H. H. Farris, Treasurer, and Prof. J. M. Peace, Auditor.
NEW HOPE ASSOCIATION.
In the year 1873 at New Hope Baptist Church, Jackson Parish, La., there came into existence the New Hope Association. It was organized by the following Bishops: I. S. Flournoy, Moderator; Ezekiel Jones, Will Gray, W. G. Jackson and other brethren. They began with eight churches. Now (1913) the younger brethren who are in charge of the work are thanking God for twenty-four or more of the best churches in the state.
These brethren have taught and preached. Their work of teaching goes on in Chatham District School which is owned and operated by them. The valuation of this school is $1,000.
In addition to this work within their own borders they contribute to representatives of Coleman College, Ruston Normal Institute and others who may appeal to them during their sessions. The following Bishops have presided over this body since its organization: I. S. Flenouy, H. P. Pierce, Elbert Scott, Stephen Jackson and C. B. Collins. Brother Collins, the present Moderator, is leading the host on to victory.
Staff of officers (1911) follows: Bishop C. B. Collins, Moderator; Bishop A. B. Harris, Vice Moderator; Professor William McDonald, Recording Secretary; Brother L. J. Nelson, Recording Secretary; Brother H. N. McCarty, Treasurer, and Elder J. W. Cassy, District Missionary.
UNION MOUNT OLIVE ASSOCIATION.
In 1900 this body of Christian workers was born in Ascension Parish, La. The following Elders took part in the organization: A. Stevenson, H. C. Johnson, James Roberson, M. P. Vincent, F. Coleman, F. Willis and others. This body began with a small number of churches--only twelve, but today their number is doubled and they are pressing on, covering more territory, organizing more churches and planting the blood-stained banner wherever opportunity permits.
In addition to the religious work that they have done and are doing, this association shows its loyalty to that part of the Great Commission which makes it binding “to teach” by fostering Leland Academy at Donaldsonville, La. This is one of our District Schools which has accomplished much, being valued at $6,000.
Bishops Stevenson, Johnson, Roberson and their followers are pushing steadily on in the matter of educating and Christianizing the people in this part of the state. They are going on with the Gospel propaganda and are “making disciples.”
Association officers are (1910) as follows: Bishop A. Stevenson, Moderator; Elder F. Williams, Vice Moderator; Brother Hy Henderson, Corresponding Secretary; Brother G. H. Hill, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop F. Coleman, Treasurer, and Bishop James Bruley, District Missionary. Board Members: Elders J. J. Jenkins, Thomas Brown, F. Burnett, H. Williams, H. White, E. D. Reditt, H. Butler, R. W. Allison, Wm. Davis and Brother D. C. Nelson.
SPRINGVILLE MISSIONARY AND EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
This organization is among the youngest, but it is one of the most influential for good in the state. In point of numbers it is small; but in point of actual, tangible and constructive missionary and educational work, it is THERE with the largest association in the state. When the Apostle of Education of North Louisiana, Prof. O. L. Coleman comes before it with an educational appeal, it is an ordinary thing for the messengers to give from $40 to $50 with additional contributions during the associational year, and when the Foreign Missionary comes and tells them about dark Africa, they count $25 or more for the preaching of the Gospel across the waters. In addition to this the churches send to Dr. Jordan foreign mission money during the year. Bishop J. D. Stewart, A. B., Moderator of this body, is one of the most liberal foreign mission contributors in the United States.
ELDER A. H. SAMUELS.
This association is a child of the Northwest No. 1. It was organized November 7th, 1907, at Springville Baptist Church, Gibsland, La., after the above mentioned association had granted several of her churches letters of dismission to affect a new organization. The mother association granted these letters in peace, being impressed that said churches would do better and more affective work.
Meeting to organize was called to order on above mentioned date at 10 a. m. Devotionals were led by Elder R. Booker. After a part of the 8th chapter of 2nd Corinthians was read, prayer was offered by Brother E. D. Johnson. Appropriate words of welcome were then delivered by the pastor, Bishop J. D. Stewart, which were aptly responded to by Bishop T. H. McDonald. The association was then organized by Bishops J. D. Stewart, T. H. McDonald, A. B. Amons, W. L. Gibson, Wm. Hicks and others. The following officers were elected: Bishop J. D. Stewart, Moderator: Brother T. M. Egan, Vice Moderator; Brother B. G. Hewitt, Recording Secretary; Bishop T. H. McDonald, Corresponding Secretary, and Brother H. H. Henson, Treasurer.
The following brethren were elected to constitute the Executive Board in connection with the officers: W: L: Gibson, W. L. Lewis, B. A. Amons and G. W. Smith. In this first meeting after an able introductory sermon, preached by Bishop W. L. Gibson, the brethren gave so liberally that Bishop Wm. Hicks easily lifted a collection of $26. Total raised in this initial session was $159.80. The baptizing that this first session of the association received at the hand of the Holy Ghost will be long remembered and never forgotten. This body of Christian workers is destined to do much good under God and their tireless leader, Bishop J. D. Stewart, A. B.
LOUISIANA FREEDMEN'S ASSOCIATION.
This is one of the oldest Christian organizations in the state. It was constituted in the city of New Orleans in 1869 by Elder Thos. Peterson, its founder, and others. It was incorporated June 16th, 1880. These veterans organized it with only seven churches, but at this writing, Moderator Brown and his followers praise God for sixty churches. Not only have they won stars for their crowns by doing church work, but by maintaining and supporting an Old Folks Home in which they have cared for scores of our old mothers. No race will live long that neglects its old and its young people. This Association, like the First District and a few others, is nobly living up to that phase of Christian religion which makes it BINDING to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” Their asylum for the old people is a nice, large, commodious building valued at $5,000. It has a campus comprising 19 lots with a value of $10,000, making a total valuation of $15,000.
The association's present membership is 3,000, and under the undaunted leadership of Moderator Brown this number will grow numerically, morally and spiritually. Bishop Brown is comparatively young in the work, but under God he has more than made good, and with his able staff of officers promises to do much more by way of bettering conditions in the city of New Orleans.
The present 1912 corps of officers and Executive Board follows: Bishop E. L. Brown, Moderator; Bishop N. Melrow, Vice Moderator; Bishop A. Guilliott, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop E. N. Webb, Recording Secretary; Bishop B. J. Stewart, Statistical Secretary, and Bishop R. W. Williams, Treasurer. Board Members: Brothers G. S. King, Wm. Brown, Robert Rush, James Roberson, Arthur James R. Carter, J. Thomas, C. V. Thomas, E. Scott, E. Washington, D. D. Marcell, C. Barber, Robert Riley and Sister Mamie Willis.
LOUISIANA BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION.
The wonderful growth of the few associations which were at work in the state in the early seventies, and a desire among the brethren to more closely associate themselves in the work throughout the state, brought about the organization of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention.
The Louisiana Southern Baptist Association, in session at Baton Rouge, La., February, 1872, passed a resolution inviting the other associations and churches to send delegates to meet in joint session at the First Colored Baptist Church, New Orleans, La., for the purpose of organizing a State Convention. This call was hailed with joy all over the state, and on the appointed date, the brethren came from the north, east and west and accomplished the great work. It appears that a pioneer preacher by the name of Madison Allen was the first president; then came the following brethren: Elder Henry White, Hon. C. F. Ladd, Bishops John Marks, A. S. Jackson, A. M. Newman, A. R. Blunt, J. B. Livingston, H. C. Cotton, J. L. Burrell A. B. Flood and W. M. Taylor.
Bishop Taylor is President at this time (1914). Since the organization was affected, this body has done much by way of stimulating the brotherhood and encouraging the work in every nook and corner of the state. As early as 1883, signs of immense moral and intellectual progress were apparent. There were 500 churches connected with the Convention; 70,000 members, 650 ministers and 350 Sunday-schools. The officers of the Convention at this time were: Bishop John Mark, President; Bishop A. S. Jackson, Recording Secretary; Bishop S. T. Clanton, Corresponding Secretary, and Bishop Ambrose Hubbs, Treasurer. Officers of State Sunday-School Convention follow: Bishop C. J. Hardy, President; Bishop A. L. Reese, Vice President; Bishop S. T. Clanton, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop H. K. Barrett, Recording Secretary, and Bishop B. Dorsey, Treasurer. Other organizations throughout the state were alive, and the influence of the Convention for good was felt everywhere. The organization of this body had supplied a long-felt want. The pioneer fathers at this time were on the scene, but were gradually turning the reins over to the younger brethren.
In this same year (1883) the Convention divided the state into thirteen district associations (Bishop J. M. Carter made the motion), making 16 in all (including three associations previousy organized). The brethren throughout the state entered vigorously upon the work of developing these districts, which work they have prosecuted admirably well. Forty-one years have gone by since the fathers started this work and many of them, Bishops Newman, Blunt Walker, Hamilton, Ladd, Dorsey, Flemings, Cotton, Flood and scores of others, have answered the roll call, but their well-begun work goes on. Their labors have borne fruit which has become ripe all over the state to the glory and honor of God. “Right blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”
The work of these great men and the labors of those who have followed them are expressed in terms of churches, Old Folks Homes and schools all over Louisiana. They planted no cotton and corn, raised no large crops, but they planted churches and Christian schools and raised men. We have a splendid crop of men in the state today due to seed planted by the hand of “the fathers” forty years ago.
The Convention is proud of the fourteen or fifteen hundred churches with a membership of 135,000; two or three old folks homes; the eighteen or twenty District Schools, and the present-day opportunity to do greater work.
Convention Officers (1909): President, Elder A. B. Flood; Vice President, Bishop W. M. Taylor; Recording Secretary, Prof. D. F. Ross, A. M., LL. B.; Corresponding Secretary, Bishop W. B. Purvis; Assistant Secretary, Elder G. W. Head; Treasurer, Elder T. L. Welch.
Missionaries-Superintendent of Missions, Dr. H. B. N. Brown, Elder J. M. Carter, Elder J. W. Williard and Elder Luke Allen, Sr.
BISHOP PHILLIP BERRYMAN LEWIS.
Vice Presidents: First, Bishop E. D. Sims; Second, Elder A. Stephenson; fourth, Elder A. L. Ash; fifth, Elder C. D. Reese; sixth, Bishop A. Horton; seventh, Elder A. W. Renty; Educational seventh, Bishop C. J. W. Boyd, Sr.; eighth, Elder H. J. Williams; S. E. eighth, Elder S. R. Franklin; tenth, Elder H. Y. Florence; Elders: L. Hill, P. B. Lewis, Wm. Wyatt, Luke Allen, Jr., F. J. Cook, R. B. Sloan, C. W. White, R. J. Dunlap.
State Board: First District, Dr. J. L. Burrell; Second District, Elder J. Roberson; Fourth District, Bishop W. M. Taylor; Fifth District, Elder H. C. Cotton; Sixth District, Elder J. B. Livingston; Seventh District, Bishop L. C. Simon; Educational Eighth, Bishop C. J. W. Boyd; Eighth District, Elder R. Cleveland; S. E. Eighth District, J. W. White; Tenth District, Bishop T. S. Washington; Gum Spring, Bishop A. Henry; Liberty Hill, Bishop L. W. Fuller; New Hope, Bishop B. C. Collins; Twelfth District, Elder C. S. Satterwhite; Thirteenth District, Elder J. M. Carter; Calvary Association, Bishop B. Moore; Union County Association, Elder W. B. Willis; North Louisiana Association, Elder C. W. White.
Recently, Elders Flood and Cotton have been called to their home in Heaven. Bishop W. M. Taylor is now (1914) President of the Convention.
THE WOMAN'S BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION.
For twenty-two years after the brethren began organic work, the sisterhood of the state was doing unorganized mission work as best they could until Bishops H. C. Cotton, William Hamilton, H. B. N. Brown, Israel Thomas, L. C. Simon, John Marks, A. S. Jackson, J. M. Carter and S. T. Clanton called them together and organized them into “The Woman's Baptist State Convention of Louisiana,” with Mrs. Alice Staff as President, in 1887.
The following Presidents came after: Sister Rosa Cotton, Sister Sarah A. Gates, Sister A. L. Windham, Sister N. L. West and Sister L. D. Pruit, who at this time is the efficient leader of Louisiana Baptist women.
All the good accomplished by these sisters will never be penned. Many of their noble deeds are unwritten, and the writer is unable to record them here, but there is a Historian ON HIGH who has jotted the proceedings of all their meetings, and who will read them on Judgment Day to the teeming millions of “the great and the small.”
After much good had been accomplished, it seemed that the work lagged and became practically disorganized, but in September, 1896, Bishops L. G. Jordan, J. M. Carter, Israel Thomas and A. J. Horton encouraged and reorganized the sisters. Sister N. L. West was elected President and the Convention “set sail” again. From 1896 to the present day they have come, scattering sunshine along their pathway and into many darkened homes. With the Joanna P. Moore spirit they are making glad and encouraging the hearts of many mothers.
The present wide-awake President is Sister Loretta Dunn Pruitt. She and her co-workers “are doing things.” In addition to their already well-done work, they are pressing forward, and are making splendid headway in founding a State Female Seminary, which is to be known as “The Joanna P. Moore's State Female Seminary.” Convention Officers: Sister L. D. Pruitt, President; Sister N. L. West, Vice President; Sister M. A. Cook, Recording Secretary; Sister Winnie Ambler, Corresponding Secretary; Sister R. D. Watkins, Treasurer, and Sister Jane P. Harden, State Missionary.
FRIENDSHIP MISSIONARY AND EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
This is perhaps one of the youngest associations in the state. It is doing missionary and educational work in and around Homer, La. Having been very recently set up much cannot be said of its accomplishments. Under the leadership, however, of Bishop Roy A. Mayfield and others it is destined to do much good.
This association was organized by the following brethren: Bishops Wm. Garrett, J. M. Harvey, R. A. Mayfield, Brothers J. W. Oliver, T. B. Dozier and others.
Present staff of officers follows: Elder Wm. Garrett, Moderator; Elder J. M. Harvey, Vice Moderator; Elder R. A. Mayfield, Recording Secretary; G. W. Adams, Corresponding Secretary; W. Scott, Treasurer.
NEW LINE NORTH NO 5 BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
We learn from an article in the News Enterprise, dated October 3, 1914, that a “New Association at Preston, La.,” had been organized. We pray for these brethren unlimited success in the vineyard of the Lord. Officers: Bishop M. Ray, Moderator; Elder L. L. Gastin, Vice Moderator; Brother E. J. C. Allen, Recording Secretary; Brother W. H. Green, Corresponding Secretary; Brother Henry Demery, Treasurer, and Brothers J. Nash and B. J. Johnson, Board Members. Bishop W. L. Hobley, Missionary.
Women's District Home Mission Association Officers: Sister Ellen Hobley, President; Sister Josephine Demery, Vice President; Sister Siller Williams, Recording Secretary; Sister Henrietta Ray, Treasurer, and Sister Charlotte Russell, Board member.
T. A. WALKER, A. M., M. D., NOTED PHYSICIAN AND ORATOR.
The gentleman of whom we now write was born in the city of New Orleans in the year 1864. His parents were the revered and very popular minister, George W. Walker, pastor Austerlitz Street Baptist Church, New Orleans, and Mrs. Martha Jane Walker. At the fireside, listening to the reading of God's word by his sainted mother, he was imbued with higher ideals of life, and with a burning desire to give himself to the service of God and humanity. His mother and father having learned how to read through the generosity of their young master and mistress, encouraged him to go to school and prepare to battle with the stern realities of life.
Acting upon their advice he began laying deep and broad, the foundation of a thorough education by making good in the public schools of New Orleans. After receiving a pretty fair common school education, he entered Leland University, and by assiduous attention and studious application he completed the college course in six years, receiving the B. A. degree at the early age of 17. He is among the first classical graduates of our race. After his graduation, there appeared on the scene a benefactor in the person of the Hon. T. B. Stamps, a cotton factor who offered young Walker a position as cotton clerk in his office on Carondelet street, near Poydras. He remained in this position until Mr. Stamps failed financially.
Early in life he was converted and baptized into the membership of the Austerlitz Street Baptist Church by his father, and at once became an active church worker, identifying himself with the Sunday-school and other church auxiliaries. Unlike most college men he attended regularly the prayer meetings and the Saturday night Bible Class, conducted by Sister J. P. Moore.
After finishing his course at Leland, becoming converted, beginning work as office clerk and teacher, he began to consider what should be his life work. Inspired by his Professor in Latin at Leland, and encouraged by one of the ablest physicians of New Orleans, Dr. E. T. Shepherd, he began the study of medicine at Leonard Medical College, Raleigh, N. C. Being studious and industrious he could be seen on Saturdays and at other spare times sawing wood on the campus of Shaw University. Here he solved many knotty medical problems and stood at the head of his class in Chemistry. After studying two years at Shaw and passing a rigid examination, he entered Meharry Medical College,
ELDER JACKSON J. FULLER.Nashville, Tenn., October, 1884, taking up the senior studies and graduating at the head of his class in Gynecology, February 26th, 1885.
Returning to New Orleans he began practicing medicine. Soon afterwards he married Miss Fannie Elliott, of New Orleans, who has stood faithfully by him, serving as a source of comfort, cheer and inspiration. He first labored at Lakeland, La., away “down in the sticks,” where he and his help-meet first began life's struggle. Becoming anxious for a larger field, after practicing here successfully, removed to Baton Rouge, where he is known and acknowledged as a physician skilled in minor surgery and the science of Materia Medica. Dr. Walker has shown himself an able scholar and an apt teacher by his thorough work as Professor of Gynecology at Flint Medical College, New Orleans. The lectures delivered here were always considered both scientific and literary treats.
He was commissioner from Louisiana to the World's Negro Congress at Atlanta, Ga., in the year 1902. The following positions have also been honorably filled by him: General Superintendent Education of Fourth District Association; Baton Rouge College physician (blessing many suffering students with his healing powers); Historian of the National Medical Association, writing its history from 1895 to 1906, and reading said history at the Philadelphia session, 1906; and he has been elected honorary member Mississippi Medical and Surgical Association.
As a writer, he has written and delivered many orations on the Emancipation of his race, and other subjects which have been looked upon as masterpieces of oratory and literary gems. His “Aftermath of the Negro Congress” held at Atlanta, Ga., was commented on by Professor I. Garland Penn to be the best he had seen on the subject, and Professor M. S. Davage, A. M., said it was the best he had heard on that subject. His History of National Medical Association was published far and wide by the Odd Fellows Journal, of Philadelphia, Pa., and many commendatory letters were sent the writer. President P. A. Johnson, in requesting Dr. Walker to continue the writing and read it at New York, referred to it as a “Scholarly Production.”
Though one of the busiest medical men in the state, Dr. Walker has never been too much engrossed with his own interests to divide his valuable time with the cause of Christian education. He has taken time from his practice and collected from white friends of Negro education more money for Baton Rouge College than any other man that has gone among them. This alone shows how he stands in his home city. The Baptists of the state are justly proud of him, because he has subordinated and consecrated his giant intellect to the cause of Christ; and now (1914) glories in the fact that he is an honored follower of the Lowly Nazarene. He and his accomplished wife live happily and comfortably in their $4,000 home on Boulevard Avenue, Baton Rouge, La., within two blocks of the Executive Mansion, enjoying the confidence and esteem of both their white and colored friends.
I. J. WASHINGTON, M. D., PHYSICIAN AND TEACHER.
On reaching school age he found himself unable to enter and remain in school. His parents for no fault of their own were without means, but they had blessed him by borning in him the spirit of honest endeavor which enabled him by God's help to fight the scholastic battle singly and alone. After catching up what he could here and there, he entered Coleman College, Gibsland, La., and there under adverse circumstances surmounted every difficulty incident to the struggling student's school life, and graduated with honors from the Normal Course.
After being happily converted he was baptized into the membership of the Palestine Baptist Church, Gibsland, La., by Bishop P. P. Mellon, B. Th., in 1896. Dr. Washington reached a decision as to his life work, after he had taught a considerable time with marked success.
He chose the humane work of healing and comforting the sick. With the tenacity of the noted physician, James Y. Simpson, who discovered the anaesthetical properties of chloroform, he seized upon the almost invisible opportunity to study for the M. D. degree. I say invisible because in connection with paddling his own canoe he had to support and care for a dependent mother. This he did by the Lord's help and graduated at the head of a class of Medicoes at Flint Medical College, New Orleans, La., 1905.
At Lake Charles, La., Minden, La., and El Dorado, Ark., he has proved himself by his curative power to be among the leading practitioners of his race. His record should inspire the young man who reads these lines with increasing desire to become a doctor, because “what man has done man can do.”
This son of Hippocrates (the father of medicine) made his way through the school of medicine by working at saw mills, picking cotton, teaching school and railroading during vacations. He is today climbing the medical ladder with wonderful rapidity.
He was married to Miss Hattie Scott, of Arcadia, La., by the writer. His wife has proved herself a help-meet indeed. At this writing two children have blessed their union. Dr. Washington's thorough work guarantees for him future success.
PROF. R. E. JACOBS.
Prof. R. E. Jacobs, the oldest son of Solomon and Ellen Jacobs, was born at Converse, La., Sabine Parish, near the Sabine River, May 22, 1877. He spent his early days on his father's farm. He attended the common public school around his home and at Stonewall, La., where he was greatly encouraged by his uncle, Jack Butler. His first teacher was his father, S. J. Jacobs. After finishing some of the common public school grades his father encouraged him to go to college.
January 1, 1897, he entered Coleman College, Gibsland, La. He was short of money and his father was not able to help him financially, therefore he made arrangements off of the campus, where he could help himself by working. Mr. W. F. Hawk, who was Prof. Jacob's landlord when he first entered college, and Prof. O. L. Coleman, the President of the school, showed him many kind favors by helping him through school. He graduated in 1902 with much honor. He desired to deliver an oration on commencement day, but the President and faculty appointed him class valedictorian because of his high standing in school. He was loved by his teachers, admired by his classmates and greatly honored by the students below him. He had several positions offered him when he graduated. Among them was one as field agent for his Alma Mater, and he accepted this position the next day after graduating. He traveled seven months in the states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas in the interest of the above-named school. At the expiration of this time, the President was in need of another teacher and Prof. Jacobs was called on to take the position and he did so.
In the spring of 1903 he was re-elected one of the members of the faculty of Coleman College, but resigned to go to his old home to accept a position his father desired him to take. Nov. 2, 1903, he founded the Sabine Normal and Industrial Institute, Converse, La. This position was planned by his father before Prof. Jacobs entered college.
Jan. 28, 1904, he married Miss Mary Lee, a student of Coleman College, Gibsland, La. In 1905 Prof. Jacobs took a special course in the University of Chicago. With the aid of Mrs. Jacobs, a few trustees and friends, Prof. Jacobs has erected seven good buildings on the campus of the Sabine Normal and Industrial Institute. The value of the property in 1914, including land and live stock, was $30,000.
ELDER AUDER BACK FLOOD.member of the examining committee, and also appointed in the city of Shreveport to do the same work. The white people with whom he has dealings respect him as a man of business and he is often called on by the white school authorities to address them in the behalf of his race.
Prof. Jacobs succeeded in getting the Slater Fund, the Jeanes Fund and his county school board to make annual appropriations to the Sabine School.
Facts About the Sabine Normal and Industrial Institute.
Founded Nov. 2, 1903, by R. E. Jacobs. It has 7 buildings. Supported by the Slater Fund, Jeanes Fund, county school board, school farm and private subscription.
Present Faculty: R. E. Jacobs, President; S. B. Belton, First Assistant; Miss Flora M. Goode, Second Assistant and Secretary; E. D. Tyler, Third Assistant and Business Manager; W. M. Tyler, Fourth Assistant and Field Agent; Mrs. M. L. Jacobs, Domestic Science; Miss Lillie Mae Baddie, Music; A. J. Jones, Agriculture.
Value of school property, including land and live stock, is $30,000.
PROF. M. L. COLLINS, ONE OF LOUISIANA'S BEST TEACHERS.
This young man, Melvin Lee Collins, son of Mr. Milton and Mrs. Malissa Collins, began life in 1882 at Forbing, La. At an early age his parents trained him to go to church and Sunday-school, so that on reaching the years of accountability his heart was susceptible to the gospel, and when it was preached to him by the late Bishop O. C. Jones, it took root and he was happily converted. Elder Jones baptized him into the membership of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Forbing, La.
After working many years on his father's farm and attending the Parish schools whenever opportunity presented itself he, through the aid of devoted parents, entered the Thirteenth District Normal and Collegiate Institute under the tutorship of the writer and his efficient wife. Mrs. Hicks says he was one of the best students she ever taught, being susceptible, docile and obedient. With help divine, the assistance of his parents and the encouragment of his friends, he stuck to his bush and manfully fought the scholastic battle to a finish, graduating from the Normal Course with honors, May, 1908.
As a teacher he is thorough in what he attempts to teach. He is conscientious and painstaking. Already at the early age of 30 years, through perseverance and push, he has forged his way as teacher through the teachership of schools at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Grand Cane, Dotson Academy and Spring Ridge Industrial Institute, to the principalship of the West End Public School, of Shreveport.
He founded and taught “The Collins Practical Night School,” at Shreveport. Professor Collins is not only acknowledged for his marked ability to work the school up from within, but when it comes to working it up from without, he is there. When the teaching fraternity and friends of public school education of Shreveport knew not what to do that they might pay for a school lot and win for themselves another public school building, Professor Collins came to the rescue and set his master mind in action, and when he got through thinking a few thoughts, a plan of action had taken shape in his mind. This plan materialized and yielded $334.41. The embarrassed situation was relieved and better facilities for Negro public school children were secured.
Be it said to his credit that he is among the few young educators of our race who take stock in the church of God and delight to worship and mingle with “the man farthest down.” We feel safe in the prediction that this young man will continue to ripen as he grows older into one of the world's greatest scholars.
PROF. THOMAS HENRY KANE, AN HONORED NORTH LOUISIANA EDUCATOR.
One of the most widely known teachers in the state is the subject of this sketch. He was born in slavery, of Mr. Samuel and Mrs. Amanda Kane in the state of South Carolina, February 6, 1853.
After the horrors and besetments of American slavery had passed and freedom had been freighted with educational hope for the Negro, young Kane began to apply himself. The first school he attended was Providence, Benton, La., next Peter's School, Shreveport, La., and finally Bishop College, Marshall, Texas. Here he was a hard student, and through that pluck and indomitable will so characteristic of the professor, he laid the educational foundation on which he stands today, and on which he has stood and won his hard-fought scholastic battle from the country schools of Greenwood, La., and Kellyville, Texas, up to the principalship of the Antoine or Mt. Zion School, Shreveport. La.
Prof. Kane is active in educational circles, both local and national, having conducted State Summer Normals for years in various parts of Louisiana and represented the State at the National Teachers' Association. He has been identified with the growth of public schools for years, being among the prime movers who influenced the public school authorities to grant and establish the Peabody Normal in Shreveport for Negroes; and through his untiring efforts the new school building where he now teaches was erected.
His interest does not stop with the children in the day school, but extends to the Evergreen Baptist Church Sunday-School, which he has super-intended for a number of years. He came to this work shortly after he was converted and baptized into the membership of the Antioch Baptist Church in 1877 by Bishop Thomas Christian. He has been continuously engaged in Sunday-school work since uniting with Evergreen. For many years he presided over the children of the entire District, being President of the Thirteenth District Sunday-School Association. While holding this position he became endeared both to the children of his school and those of the District. He delighted in lecturing the Negro Boy's Improvement Association--a movement organized by Bishop Wm. Hicks, A. B., D. D., at Trinity Baptist Church. Professor Kane is a great reader, having read the Bible through several times, and reads almost daily some of the best authors of this and other ages, thus keeping abreast of the times and holding his own among the educators of his day.
ELDER GEORGE W. WALKER.
PROF. GEORGE W. GREEN, TEACHER AND CHURCHMAN.
There is not to be found in Louisiana a teacher more devoted to the church and its work than the man of whom we now write. He was born in St. Louis, Mo., in 1849. Mr. Alexander and Mrs. E. A. Green being his parents. His father lived to the ripe old age of 83, and his mother 94. Both were Virginians. Prof. Green was born a slave but was bought by his own father and thus escaped the sad and bitter experiences of the bondman.
He entered the public school in St. Louis, where he received an academic education. In 1871 through recommendation of Mr. W. H. Redmond, Bishop A. R. Blunt sent to St. Louis for Prof. Green to come and begin school work in the Pelican State. He reached Natchitoches, La., November 26, 1871, and was appointed to a school in Campti, where he has lived and labored successfully ever since. The first Negro Baptist Sunday-school, perhaps, in this part of the state was organized by him in the St. Peter Baptist Church, December 11, 1871.
In 1880 he succeeded Prof. John G. Lewis as Secretary of the Second Regular Baptist Association of the Twelfth District. He has held this position continuously until now, save his five years' residence in his native city. Upon his return in 1886 this body promptly re-elected him. He fills the office with credit to himself and denomination.
He is among that class of teachers to whom the race is ESPECIALLY indebted. He is an honored pioneer teacher and as such endured hardness, teaching in log houses and perhaps on dirt floors that the present-day Negro teacher might teach in his two and three-story brick building. Under the circumstances he has wrought well, and made for himself an imperishable record which will live on surviving the ravages of time after his body will have gone back to mother earth.
JOHN MILTON SMITH, SR., TEACHER, FARMER AND EX-U. S. POSTAL CLERK.
Of our many young Baptist laymen, none have climbed higher in teaching, farming and United States Postal Clerk circles than Mr. J. M. Smith, Sr. He was born October 28, 1872, at Furrh, La. His parents, Mr. William and Mrs. Ida Smith, being financially weak when he reached school age, failed to carry him all the way through but did what they could under the circumstances.
Being blessed with sufficient iron in his blood and hustle in his bones, the subject of our sketch started upward like a rising star. After attending the rural public school, the Providence Academy, Shreveport, La., under the late lamented and scholarly Dr. A. M. Newman, and Bishop College a short while, he passed first grade Texas examinations and won his place among college graduate teachers in the big state of Texas and often outclassed them.
After teaching seven years in Harrison County, he passed a Civil Service examination and entered the Railway Mail Service June 2, 1903, which position he held and honorably filled to the delight and satisfaction of the United States Government until 1912, when he of his own accord resigned much to the regret of “Uncle Sam.” One of his reasons for leaving this lucrative position was to go back to the farm where he could more successfully save and rear his children. Brother Smith wisely put the value of his children above a big salary and the privilege of living in Mississippi's metropolis. He reached the highest round in the ladder of service on the mail car, i. e., Clerk in Charge.
His career thus far has been one of unbroken success. His motto--“A Consistent Christian, a Loyal Baptist, One and Inseparable Now and Forever”--is the secret of his success. He was converted August, 1891, and baptized into the membership of Republican Baptist Church by Bishop L. W. Canfield. He married Miss Crenzia Patsy Hicks, March 13, 1898. Eight children bless their union. Brother Smith's marked success has helped him to get closer to, not further from, the Lord. While doing well financially in the mail service, during his stay in Meridian, Miss., he always found time to work in El Bethel Baptist Sunday-School and superintend a division of the Negro Boy's Improvement Association, a constructive movement for the good of the boys.
He is comparatively young and has a great future before him. His achievements say he will still succeed.
THOMAS LEE WELCH, M. D., PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON.
In the town of Houma, La., there was born of Mrs. Saraphine and Bishop T. L. Welch the young doctor of whom we now write. He became a student at an early age. After finishing his course in Houma Academy, he began the study of medicine at Flint Medical College, New Orleans, La., and at the early age of 25 years graduated M. D. with honors in 1907.
Dr. Welch sought and found the Lord early in 1898, and was baptized into membership of the New Zion Baptist Church, Houma, La. Although he had the unstinted support of a good father, yet he proved his pluck by hustling part of his way through school and working during his vacations at the United States Custom House, New Orleans, La. Notwithstanding he has only been pacticing the short period of four years (at this writing), he has held his own in the science of Medicine at New Iberia, La., where he is administering and healing the sick.
Dr. Welch is both a physician and lecturer.
The writer was privileged to enjoy one of his great lectures on Tuberculosis delivered before the Louisiana Baptist State Convention in session at Shreveport La.
The Baptists of the state are justly proud of this young man, and although the greater part of his medical road lies before him, from work already well done, it is easy to predict that success will be his as he shall count more mile stones in medicine.
MISS ELIZABETH NORRINGTON, NOTED SCHOLAR AND TEACHER.
The lady whose biography we now pen is the daughter of Mr. Emanuel and Mrs. Eliza Norrington. She was born in the town of Minden, La., 1865. It was evident earl in life that she was endowed with a bright intellect. Her parents, though slaves, were firm believers in, and ardent supporters of Christian education. Though they had but little of this world's good,
DR. H. C. COTTON.they set themselves to the task of educating their little daughter. After removing to New Orleans they first sent her to the Clio Public School. Having accomplished much here, they removed again to Shreveport, La., where Miss Elizabeth immediately entered school. Here she distinguished herself by showing that she had laid deep and broad a foundation for higher education. Accordingly her father sent her to Oberlin College, Oberlin, O. Here she was studious and industrious, being loved by her teachers and schoolmates. She often led in her examinations.
After preparation for her life work, here at Oberlin, she came south and began teaching. As a teacher she has been and is a success, having won for herself not only a state-wide, but a country-wide reputation. She has held the following positions: First Assistant in Providence Academy, Shreveport La.; First Assistant in Antoine or Mt. Zion Public School, Shreveport, La., where she now (1914) labors to the satisfaction of the School Board and the patrons and to the delight of the children. Miss Norrington has served repeatedly in Summer Normal School Faculties as Model Teacher. She is Trustee and one of the Supervisors of The Heart's Ease Industrial Orphanage. This is one of the most accomplished women in the state, well read, a consistent Christian, model housekeeper and an exemplary teacher.
N. H. C. HENDERSON, M. D., PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON.
This young man is the son of Mr. H. C. and Mrs. Pheobe Henderson. He is one of Louisiana's most successful physicians. Longwood, La., is his birthplace. Being blessed with a parents who were intensely interested in Christian education, he had fairly smooth sailing as to getting through school. Reaching school age he was sent to the country public school. Later he entered Bishop College, Marshall, Texas, where he spent several years. During his vacations he studied Latin and other subjects under the writer at a Summer School near Furrh, La. Afterwards he entered the College and Medical Department of the University of West Tennessee, and graduated M. D. 1908.
Dr. Henderson located in Memphis, Tenn., in 1909, after passing the State Medical Board of Tennessee. He has been elected president of the Alumni Association of West Tennessee University, and also Professor of Chemical Medicine.
He was converted at the early age of 14, and baptized into the membership of the Republican Baptist Church, Furrh, La., by Bishop L W. Canfield. This young man has a bright future in the field of medical endeavor.
ISAAC CORNELIUS CHAPTMAN, M. D., LL. B., PHYSICIAN AND LAWYER.
The subject of this sketch was born in Lafayette, La., 1861. Mr. Isaac and Mrs. Malina Chaptman were his parents. Dr. Chaptman was deprived of early school training. He worked on the farm with his father until he was of age. The writer has heard him say that on the day he was 21 his father called him in the field, and reminding him of his age told him he might go, and (so to speak) enter life's battle to win or lose. With a good supply of nerve and iron in his blood he started out. His first job was on a farm at $12 per month. The work was hard but he stayed on his job until the crop was gathered. Next he succeeded in getting work as a common laborer in the U. S. Custom House, New Orleans, La., under Hon. William Pitt Kellogg. He worked here two years at $50 per month, saving about $600 during this time. Lending this money out amiss made it almost impossible for him to begin the work of self-education. However he succeeded in entering Leland University with a small sum of money, and practically no education at all after he was 22 years old. After spending some years here at Leland, doing a deal of literary work, he entered New Orleans University, where he was a hard student, and where he accomplished much. Following he took up the study of medicine at Flint Medical College and graduated M. D., with honors, being among its first graduates, He again graduated from the Intercontinental School of Law.
Starting out on his medical career practically penniless, his only money to start with being a graduating present of $10, given by Mrs. Frances White, and $1 by Prof. Jonas Henderson, he began at once to demonstrate his curative powers as a physician at New Orleans, La., Crowley, La., Orange, Texas, Lake Charles, La., and Lafayette, La., where he now (1912) labors.
He was converted and baptized in the membership of the Good Hope Baptist Church, Elder C. Noah, buried him in baptism. Dr. Chaptman is pushful, enterprising and progressive. He is largely a “self-made man”--pure and simple. What he has accomplished bespeaks for him continued success in the medical profession.
PROF. R. P. PLAYER, NOTED TEACHER.
March 11, 1876, this young man was born near Alden Bridge, La., of Mr. Samuel and Mrs. Maggie Player. At the age of eight his parents sent him to school at Cotton Grove (near Alden Bridge) to a Mr. Russell (white) as the public schools at that time were being taught by a very few colored teachers. So marked was young Player's interest in his books, and so studious did he become that he began to hold the “head of his class.”
At this early age he started up to take his place among the intellectual stars of Louisiana. He spent four years in public schools of his parish, and after studying “farmology” eight years he entered the Thirteenth District Normal and Collegiate Institute under Professor Wm. Hicks. Here he studied hard and graduated from the Normal Course with honors. He speaks as follows of his school life: “Although Rev. Hicks resigned before I finished, I confess that I owe much of the character building and general information needed to carry one over life's sea to him.” After finishing the prescribed course of study here at this Institution, he was elected Assistant Principal of his Alma Mater, but soon resigned and accepted the principalship of the Butler Hill Public School, Shreveport, La.
He began this work with only about 50 pupils in one rented room. But because of the large amount of hustle in his bones, and his indomitable will, he was willing to go up against adverse conditions, believing that with God on his side no night would get too dark, no road too muddy, and no hill too high. He got down to business and in a short while, by the assistance of God,
MISS ELIZABETH NORRINGTON.white and colored friends, his 50 pupils grew in numbers to 450, and his little rented room gave way to a large two-story frame structure with six modernly equipped recitation rooms and a large auditorium. He is now (1914) the popular principal of this school, enjoying the confidence of his corps of teachers, hundreds of students, friends and the public school authorities of both parish and state.
Prof. Player was converted at the age of 17 years, but owing to a continual “sending back to the wilderness,” which was in vogue in those days, among the pioneer preachers (and which is much needed to be revived in these days), it was a year hence before he was baptized. Bishop I. S. Whitaker baptized him into the membership of the Evergreen Baptist Church, Alden Bridge, La. His pleasing manner and Christian deportment commended him to his church. He was elected clerk and annually represented his church in the Thirteenth District Association. The Association being favorably impressed, elected him Corresponding Secretary. During this time he was also appointed School Secretary. He is at this writing Auditor of the Thirteenth District Association of Churches and Secretary of the Association of Sunday-schools.
Four years he owned and operated the Search-light Printing Office. In 1908 he married Miss Pearline Bailey. Two boys bless their union. Prof. Player's pleasing manner, upright character and religious sentiment predict for him future success.
PROF. M. J. FOSTER, B. A., TEACHER AND SCHOOL BUILDER.
The light of day was first seen by Professor Foster in 1875 in the parish of St. Martin, La. He is the son of Mr. Albert and Mrs. Cora Foster. Being proud of their boy they doubtless prayed early and earnestly that God would some day make of him a great man. It is gratifying to say that their prayers have been answered. They helped God to answer their prayers by starting their boy out to school as soon as he reached school age.
Having a bright intellect, he successfully made his way through the course of study at Howe Institute, New Iberia, La. He attended Atlanta Baptist College, Atlanta, Ga., and afterwards entered Leland University, New Orleans, La., where he applied himself as a hard student, winning and holding the confidence of the President, faculty and student body; and graduated twice with honors: first from the College Preparatory Course and then from the B. A. degree Course May 17, 1905.
On leaving Leland he was called to the principalship of the Tenth District High School, Monroe, La., which position he now holds with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the Tenth District brethren, having graduated from the Teacher-Training Course in connection with his Normal and College Course. This school is in a prosperous condition with an enrollment of 208. Domestic Science, Sewing and thorough work in literary branches up to the Ninth Grade are taught. Plans and specifications for another building three stories high with a seating capacity of 500 have recently been approved by the principal.
After his conversion in 1892, Elder J. B. Livingston baptized him into the membership of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, New Iberia, La. In 1905 he was united in holy wedlock to Miss Ottie Alberta Wright. Two sons bless their union--Madison W. and Leland F. Prof. Foster has put himself on record as an efficient teacher, school and home builder.
PROF. IRA A. HENDERSON, TEACHER AND U. S. R. R. POSTAL CLERK.
None of Louisiana's young men are more industrious and more religiously inclined than Ira A. Henderson. His birth place was Longwood, La. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howell Henderson, have always been loyal supporters of Christian education, and he received from them every school advantage they were able to give.
It became evident early in life that his was a bright intellect. He was started to school at an early age, and after making good in the public school of his parish and also in a private school taught by the writer and other teachers, he entered the famous Tuskegee Institute, Oct., 1902, and graduated from the Academic Course, May, 1904. On leaving school he accepted the principalship of the public school at Emma, La. In 1907 he was appointed postmaster at Sojourner, La. He served “Uncle Sam” for some time satisfactorily in this capacity; later he climbed higher into the United States' Mail Service, which position he now (1912) holds with credit to himself and race.
Mr. Henderson was converted in 1893 and baptized into the membership of the Republican Baptist Church, Furrh, La., by Bishop L. W. Canfield. His economic ability is evidenced by the fact that in a short while he has acquired property in Texarkana, Tex., Shreveport, La., and is also a stockholder in the Caddo Pharmacy, Shreveport, La. The push, energy, will-power and determination possessed by this young man say that he will win more victories.
BISHOP J. H. FLEMINGS, NOTED PIONEER PREACHER.
No man in the state has done more for our Baptist Zion than Elder John H. Flemings. He was born in St. Landry Parish in 1852. In 1872 he was converted at the early age of 20 years. This pioneer came along when intellectual darkness hung like a pall over his pathway, but being made of the proper kind of metal with plenty of push and energy he pushed his way to the front. Although deprived of early training he seized every opportunity freedom brought him to improve, and very soon he was able to read the “King's English” and God's Holy Word. In 1882 he passed a very creditable examination and was ordained to the gospel ministry. His first pastorate was Good Hope Baptist Church, Algiers, La. Following he pastored successfully Mt. Olive and Mt. Carmel Baptist Churches. He was the honored pastor twenty-nine years of the first church to which he was called, serving until he left for Heaven. For more than twenty-three years he stood at his post, weathering many storms as Moderator of the First District Association. During these years this body has done a work that mortal tongue will never tell fully
JOHN MILTON SMITH.The District fosters and maintains an Old Folks Home which has done much in soothing the sorrows and alleviating the sufferings of our poor old mothers. Bishop Flemings now rest from his labors and his good works do follow him.
“Servant of God, well done,
Rest from thy loved employ,
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy.”
DR. H. C. COTTON, A GREAT PREACHER AND COMMUNITY BUILDER.
Some of our brethren throughout the state have accomplished much in preaching the gospel, building church houses, school houses and communities, but none have reached a higher mark in these endeavors than Bishop H. C. Cotton. He was born at Bayou Sara, La., August, 1852. At the close of the Civil War he attended the private and public schools of his town, where he completed the English Course. In 1884 he entered Leland University, where he found himself surrounded by many disadvantages. These obstacles, together with the responsibility of a family and the oversight of a large church, compelled him to give up further study at the University and arrange for private study at home. His progress proved his success as a private student. Manifest educational attainments possessed by him, and the educational training that came to others through his instrumentality placed him among the men of thought and action of his day.
Elder Cotton was converted at Bayou Sara, La., and baptized into the membership of the Independent Missionary Baptist Church, May 10, 1871. In 1875 he was licensed to preach and in 1879 he was ordained by the following Bishops: Daniel Dorsey, Samuel Tucker, Henry Hewlet, Eli Perkins and Anderson Hogan.
One of the first acts of his public life was the organization of East and West Feliciana and Point Coupee Baptist Association. This association was instrumental in collecting the few scattered churches for future service. It began the work of organizing churches, ordaining preachers and disseminating Baptist doctrine until the year 1885. Then the State Convention (as will be observed elsewhere in this volume) for the conveniences of the churches re-districted the state into 13 associational districts. It was then that this body organized by Dr. Cotton became the Fourth District Baptist Association. The following brethren assisted in the organization of the East and West Feliciana and Point Coupee Baptist Association: Daniel Dorsey, George Dent, Henry Hewlet, Archie Hulbert, Nathaniel Ratliff, John Clark, Wash Carter, Moses Overton, Rufin Thornton and many others whose names are not preserved.
Bishop Cotton served nearly four years as State and District Missionary and has pastored twenty-seven years, during which time he baptized more than a thousand souls, assisted in organizing many churches, helped in the ordination of a large number of young ministers. Three church edifices have been constructed and remodeled under his wise leadership. This same leader of men with others organized and founded the Houma Academy, Houma, La., and the Israel Academy, Bell Alliance, La. Both of these schools have creditably constructed buildings with modern improvements. Their value is more than $2,000 each.
For more than twenty consecutive years Dr. Cotton served as Moderator of the Fifth District Association, and was three times elected President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, the highest honor that could be bestowed by his brethren. His brethren were satisfied and delighted with his service while he presided over the Convention. He was called to the Israel Baptist Church in 1885, which is one of our largest and most influential churches. During the 28 years of pastoral work with these good people, he has more than doubled the membership and increased the material value from $5,000 to $10,000, having remodeled the church edifice and made it modern in every respect. Israel Academy which was fostered by him and his great church is a large two-story frame structure 45×30×22, completed throughout. Israel Baptist Church put this school up at a cost of $2,556.20, and paid for it in six months and one day.
Through the teaching and influence of this great man the majority of his members own homes.
Leland University has signally honored him by conferring upon him the honorary degree, D. D., and also elected him as one of its trustees. Dr. Cotton enjoyed the esteem and confidence not only of the people of Bell Alliance, but of all who knew him. He did great good while he lived, blessing every life that came in contact with his.
ELDER GEORGE W. WALKER, PIONEER PREACHER OF ABILITY.
The great work of this noted man accomplished in the city of New Orleans caused his name to become a household word almost throughout the state of Louisiana. The veteran whose life and deeds we attempt to depict was known for his sterling qualities beyond the confines of his state. He was a skilled mechanic and held the position of engineer at the shipper's Cotton Press, New Orleans, La.
After his conversion he united with the First African Baptist Church, New Orleans, La., under the pastorate of Elder Nelson Sanders. In the year of 1819 he was born at Pulaski, Tenn., and at the time of his death, December, 1892, was 73 years old. The greater part of these years was spent in unselfish service to God and humanity.
Soon after his conversion he felt divinely called to preach the Gospel of Christ, and after relating his call was ordained to the ministry by Bishop Nelson Sanders and others. In almost middle life and about the time of his entrance into the work of the ministry, he married Miss Martha Jane Wright, of Norfolk, Va., who was a great source of inspiration to him in his Divinely appointed profession. While working at his trade as an engineer he gathered together a faithful band of followers and began worshipping God at a little church within the confines of the old Delechaise Brick Yard. His effectiveness as a gospel preacher and his ability to attract and hold men became so pronounced that the congregation outgrew its small house and he was compelled to purchase larger quarters on Austerlitz street, upon which was erected a commodious building. Hundreds of souls were born of the Spirit through the plain but effective Gospel which was preached from the sacred desk of the new church edifice. Soon this structure became too small to accommodate the large and increasing membership and congregation that would gather to hear this gifted gospel preacher.
Seeing the need of a larger house, his trustees and members joined him in purchasing the lot whereon stands today an edifice which is a monument to his memory, his far-sightedness and ability as both a preacher and a church house builder. Funds were readily raised by various kinds of entertainments and liberal private subscriptions. Upon the completion of the building, and the entry of the congregation into it, his ministry was blessed with many more souls; and because of his ability to influence and persuade men to come to Christ there are scattered here and there throughout these United States hundreds of men and women who delight to call him “Pappy George,” and who attribute their conversion to his plain, thoughtful and convincing gospel.
He was an intense lover of education and encouraged the young members of his church to attend school. During his pastorate at the Austerlitz Street Baptist Church more College students heard his sermons and connected themselves with his church than with any other Baptist church in the city. Elder Walker possessed wonderful power in prayer. At a meeting held
SABINE NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE.in Washington Artillery Hall he prayed so much like Paul anl Silas in the Philippian jail that the Holy Ghost came and set that vast audience on hallowed fire, and moved them to uncontrolable tears of rejoicing.
In the dark days of slavery, this veteran preacher learned to read and write, and also to add, subtract and multiply. He accumulated a large theological library which he studied and which was made manifest through his intelligent and able expositions of God's Word. He was a trustee of Leland University as long as he lived; was a life member of the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, the first interstate organization among Negro Baptists, organized at Montgomery, Ala., in 1880. He was Treasurer of the old Louisiana Southern Association, Treasurer of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, and one of the founders and Treasurer of the Old Folks Home at New Orleans, La. His ability to handle wisely the finances of his people, and his honesty of purpose was demonstrated by the fact that he accumulated little for himself, but left at least $20,000 worth of property for his members.
His sainted wife preceded him to glory, and after the cares and turmoils of life had begun to make successful inroads upon his physical frame, he departed this life December, 1892. The esteem in which he was held was clearly demonstrated, for he had one of, if not the largest funeral pageants that ever approached a cemetery. His children are Mattie E. Walker, noted teacher, Thaddeus Walker, A. M., M. D., a scholar and one of the leading physicians of the United States, and George H. Walker, a printer.
BISHOP T. L. WELCH, SR., AN EMINENT PREACHER.
Among the good and loyal Baptist preachers of Louisiana stands towering high Elder Thomas Lee Welch, who was born in Louisiana in 1859. His parents moved to Texas in 1861, but owing to bad health the family moved back to Louisiana. When quite young Brother Welch showed signs of a desire for learning, accordingly in 1869 he entered school. After completing his English Course misfortune came to his parents which made it necessary for him to begin teaching school.
When he had taught three or four years, he became acquainted with Miss Sarah Carter and after five years they were married. This union has been blessed with three children, the younger of whom, T. L. Welch, Jr., is a successful physician. Elder Welch was converted and by baptism added to the Morning Star Baptist Church, July 7, 1878. Five years after he joined the church, it became pastorless, and being led by the Spirit to believe that Bishop Welch was the man, called him to their pastorate in 1885. In 1902 he was elected pastor of New Zion Baptist Church, which he pastored successfully for seven years, having added three hundred souls and raised to their credit $4,670.60.
Brother Welch has held and now holds many positions of honor and trust. In 1887 he was unanimously elected secretary of the Fifth District Association, which position he filled with credit five years. In 1903 he was elected Treasurer of this same body and served with that dignity and honor which becometh a Christian minister, and in 1908 he was elected Treasurer of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention. He fills this position now (1912) to the satisfaction of this great body. Bishop Welch enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him.
BISHOP LAURENCE CYRUS SIMON, DISTINGUISHED PASTOR AND ORATOR.
Of the hundreds of Louisiana Baptist pulpiteers there are none stronger than Elder Simon, who was born March 8, 1858, at Youngville, La. His parents were Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Delia Simon. From youth he had a bright intellect. His school age and Emancipation coming about the same time surrounded him with meager opportunities for going to school. However, his parents did what they could for him, and notwithstanding hardships he continued struggling upward until the good fortune of entering Leland University, New Orleans, La., came his way. He hailed this privilege with delight, and very soon was enrolled among Leland's students. Here he became a hard student, usually leading his classes.
He was not alone interested in his own welfare at the University, but was much concerned about the other boys. The writer will not forget the kindness and help that came to him at Leland from the hands of this good man. Elder Simon continued his studies and stayed in Leland's molds of preparation until he had about finished the Normal Course.
He is noted for his humor, wit and sound judgment, and has but few equals when it comes to doing things, believing thoroughly in the doctrine of doing things BY DOING THEM. More than once has he captured with his wonderful oratory the great National Baptist Convention, and swayed that great audience to and fro like a forest in a tempest.
He was converted in 1873, baptized by Bishop R. R. Dyeis, preached his first sermon July, 1875, and was ordained March 26, 1881. He has preached the Word with power and demonstration to the Baptist churches at Lafayette, La., Morgan City, La., and Opelousas, La., where he has held forth the Word of Truth for the past 22 years.
For twelve years he was Moderator of the Seventh District Baptist Association. This position he held with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his brethren. At the expiration of these twelve years this Christian body with much reluctance gave up this great thinker and worker, who had been their Moses through all these years of sunshine and storm. During his administration the Association founded and paid for a District High School with a valuation of $20,000. Brother Simon stands well in his community, and his worth as a man and as a preacher is not only acknowledged in his District and state but throughout the United States.
ELDER D. M. BROWN, PREACHER AND ASSOCIATION MODERATOR.
Bishop Brown was born of Mr. Abram and Mrs. Adline Brown, at Vernon, La., Jackson Parish, November, 1865. He inherited love for knowledge and found himself the happy possessor of energy and push in the struggle to win out in life's battle. At an early age he married Miss Laura Thompson.
In 1885, Elder Brown was converted and baptized into the membership of the County Line Baptist Church by Bishop H. P. Pierce. His faithfulness to duty caused his church to esteem him highly. He served this church one year as deacon, during which time he was impressed of his call by the Spirit to preach. He was ordained by the following: H. P. Pierce, C. H. Harvey. C. H. Wilson, G. B. Washington. He was ordained to take charge of the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, Boatner, La., which he served one year with credit. In 1894, he accepted a call to the County Line Baptist Church, of which he was a member. Here he erected a good house of worship during these six years of service at this place; he taught both by precept and example. He accepted the pastorate of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Clay, La.
Feeling more keenly his need for further study, he moved to Ruston and entered the Ruston Normal School under Professor S. A. Williams. While at school he was elected pastor of Olive Grove Baptist Church. He was the prime mover in the organization of St. Peter Baptist Church. He has pastored with credit the following churches: Hopewell Baptist Church, Dubach, La.; Hopewell Union Baptist Church, Bernice, La. Here he erected a $600 edifice as proof of his ability as a builder. Salem Baptist Church, which he pastored eight years; Fellowship Baptist Church, Simsboro, La., where he served six years, built a nice house of worship and received many into the membership of the church.
He finished the Normal Course in 1907 at Ruston Normal School under Professor I. S. Powell, B. A., with honors. Bishop Brown has held the following positions: Moderator Liberty Hill Association several years, Vice Moderator Liberty Hill Baptist Association, Member Executive
FACULTY OF SABINE NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE.Board Louisiana Baptist State Convention six years, District State Missionary two years and President State Sunday-School Convention.
Temporally as well as spiritually, Brother Brown believes in improving his business. As evidence of this fact, he possesses a nice six-room cottage at Ruston, and also a nice house and lot at Burnice. He is blessed with an energetic wife who figures prominently in his success. She holds the position of President of the Woman's Home Mission Society of Liberty Hill Association. Elder Brown has wrought well thus far, and with the continued support of his co-laborers in Sunday-school and District work his future achievements will be greater than his past accomplishments.
BISHOP R. A. MAYFIELD, CHURCH AND SCHOOL BUILDER.
Of the progressive Baptists of Louisiana none have given signs of more spirit of push and pushfulness than Bishop Roy Arthur Mayfield, who was born April 8, 1876, near Vienna, La. It is said that he was a strange child, and that he never crawled, but one day all at once jumped up and went to running all about.
Before knowing what a school was he was versed in notation and numeration. He entered a Lincoln parish school when he was 10 years of age. After getting five heavy thrashings the first week from his teacher, Mr. S. L. Keels, who afterwards baptized him and became his lifelong friend, young Mayfield did good work under his teacher in his Blue-back Speller. In 1892 he entered the Ruston Colored Normal School under Professor S. A. Williams. After four years of hard study he graduated with honors. He first taught a little summer school with marked success. After closing this school term he went to Pine Bluff, Ark., to live with his cousin. By his diligence to Sunday-school and church work he won the admiration of the Arkansas people. He attended an Arkansas Summer Normal in June, 1897, and took examination, making second grade. Many of the young men did not know he was a teacher until he came to the Brick Yard (where he had been working with them) to bid them good-bye to take leave for his Summer School.
In the fall of 1897, the Ebenezer Baptist Church desired him to build a school for the Baptists in and around Homer, La., since they were denied the privilege of taking shares in a movement which afterwards became the C. M. E. College. The Baptists called for a man to be their Moses in this undertaking. Professor S. A. Williams, principal Ruston Colored Normal Institute, answered the call by recommending Brother Mayfield as the man. Bishop Mayfield was accepted and the work was begun January, 1898. His first whole session ended 1899, at which time he was able to build a small house for the public school. His ability to pass examinations soon won for him the principalship of the city public school, and today he is among the best first-grade teachers in the state.
He married Miss S. P. Legardy in 1901. During this same year he entered the ministry and was called to pastor the First Baptist Church, of Homer, where he yet pastors (1913). In 1905 he entered the Moody Institute and Wendell Phillips Schools, Chicago, Ill. After accomplishing much at these schools he took up study at Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., in 1906. After studying here two years he was compelled to return to his work at Homer, La., where he is now accomplishing much as a church and school builder, having founded and built up the Homer Normal, Industrial and Bible Training School.
BISHOP P. B. LEWIS, A GREAT PREACHER AND CHURCH BUILDER.
The subject of this sketch is the son of the late Bishop G. C. Lewis and Mrs. Sallie Lewis. He was born in Lincoln Parish March 8, 1872. When young Lewis was 9 years old his father died. The mother and children were cared for the next five years by Brother Lewis' grandparents, Elder Richard Johnson and his wife, Mahalia. Bishop Lewis entered school when very young, but conditions were such that he could not remain.
At the early age of 14 he took charge of his mother's business, and managed it like a man for the following eight years, until she married the second time. This brother was converted and notified of his call at the early age of 16. He joined the Liberty Hill Baptist Church, of which he is now a member (1913). Shortly after joining the church he was elected Sunday-school teacher, Mr. D. S. Hollis being superintendent, During his twelve years of service in this school he won the admiration and esteem of all.
He courted and married one of North Louisiana's girls, Miss Della Hill. Their union has been blessed by some of the best and most God-fearing children in the state. In 1901 Bishop Lewis was elected Missionary of the Liberty Hill Sunday-School Association, and in 1902 he was ordained to the gospel ministry. When the Association wanted a competent and energetic missionary in 1903, Brother Lewis was elected as that man. These positions he filled both with credit to himself and denomination.
His usefulness as a pastor began in 1904 with his call to Gethsemane Baptist Church, Wise, La., a church of a very small membership. After about five months of successful service he resigned and accepted Providence Baptist Church, Hico, La., and in September of the same year he was called to the pastorate of Pleasant Groove Baptist Church, Unionville, La. He is now (1912) Vice Moderator of Liberty Hill Association and pastor of the following churches: Macedonia No. 2, Chodrant, La.; Lane Chapel, Downsville, La.; Gumspring, Farmersville, La., and St. John, Lillie, La. Elder Lewis, though young in the ministry, is one of our most successful pastors.
Feeling keenly the need of knowing more, he entered Coleman College, Gibsland, La., January, 1906. He has not only been in training here himself, but has moved his entire family to Gibsland, bought a home adjacent to the college that his family with him might drink of the educational waters. He was a successful theological student here under the writer, at one time, generally leading his classes. President Coleman, faculty and student body esteem him highly. President Coleman said of him: “He is a born preacher, a profound thinker and he believes in preaching the gospel to the people--just what they need to make them better and not what they want to make them feel good in their sins.” Bro. Lewis believes in an applied education, an education that is known and then expressed in terms of real service. His interest is alive in the communities in which he preaches, doing all in the matter of helping the schools of his church communities. He says: “Save the children.” The writer has known Bishop Lewis as a student personally and takes pleasure in saying that for veracity and Christian integrity he has but few equals and no superiors in the Louisiana ministry.
ELDER JACKSON J. FULLER, NOTED FOR HIS PIETY AND INTEGRITY.
The minister whose name appears above was born in South Carolina in 1852 a slave and of slave parents. Elder Carolina Fuller and Mrs. Patsy Fuller. He was sold and brought to Louisiana in 1857. An old colored lady, Mrs. Lizzie Brooks, advised him in 1867 to get a book, assuring him if he would she would teach him. True to her promise she taught him his first letters, and from that time he was able to see the need of education and became very anxious to know more and more. He heard of Mr. Wm. Brown and Mr. M. V. B. Brown, who were teaching a night school and Sunday-school about four miles away, but because he meant business four miles was no distance for him to walk and bow at the feet of these two Gamaliels. Here with Blue-back Speller in hand he received much of his educational foundation, upon which his phenomenal success now stands.
He courted and married Miss Harriet Johnson. Their union has been blessed with fourteen children--ten boys and four girls. In his endeavor to give his children some education, Christian home training and some land he was compelled to deprive himself of further study in
PRINCIPAL R. E. JACOBS,
of Sabine Normal and Industrial Institute.
Elder and Sister Fuller feel grateful to God for giving them so many smart children with whom they worked and paid for more than 800 acres of Louisiana's best land. Bishop Fuller was converted and baptized into the membership of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Kingston, La., in 1882. Shortly after he was notified of his call to preach the everlasting gospel of God's dear Son. After making this fact known, his church voted him license to preach wherever Providence might direct. A very short while after Elder Carolina Fuller, pastor of the above-named church, was called to his reward in Heaven. Bishop Fuller was elected to succeed his father to the pastorate, and June 1, 1887, he was ordained by the following Elders: C. S. Shelton, Charley Boykin, S. S. Fuller and Nathaniel Oliver. He has pastored this church successfully from that day to this (1913).
He has held and now holds some of the highest positions in the gift of his brethren, being at this time shepherd of some of the state's best churches; and at the death of Bishop Gant his brethren lifted him to the Moderator's chair of the Northwest Association No. 2. He presides over this body with credit, having succeeded himself many times. Brother Fuller has made a record as a Christian, a husband and leader.
BISHOP A. B. FLOOD, A GREAT LEADER AND PREACHER.
Of the many great men born in the state of Virginia, none are greater than Bishop Flood. He was born in 1855. Shortly after the death of his father, in Washington, D. C., he was brought with other slaves to the state of Alabama at the early age of six years. He was reared in this state near Uniontown, and while in slavery was owned by a Mr. W. H. Taylor. Being a slave he had meager opportunities to learn, but whenever a chance to learn came his way he would seize it.
In 1871 he was converted and baptized into the membership of the First Colored Baptist Church of Uniontown, Alabama, by Bishop John Dozier, D. D. Brother Flood left Alabama in 1874, removing to Louisiana, where he was admitted to membership, by letter, to the Cloudy Creek Baptist Church, Elder H. A. Scates, pastor. The church being impressed by his knowledge of his call to preach, licensed him in 1881. After the death of Elder Scates the church elected him pastor in 1882. March 19th, 1875, he married Miss Emma R. Bolden.
Bishop Flood was continuously in the pastorate for more than 27 years. During this time he served the Tenth District Association as Missionary for two years; and also two years as Treasurer. The efficient service rendered by him in these offices won for him the abiding respect of his brethren. In 1892 when they found their Moderator's chair vacant and that they needed a man who would
“Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone,
Dare to have a purpose true
And dare to make it known,”
they found such a man in the person of Elder Auder Back Flood, whom they elected Moderator. He filled this office with credit to himself and denomination until he left to join the Great Association on High. He served as President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention creditably seven years and four months. This was the highest position within the gift of his brethren. Both his District and the Convention wrought well under his leadership.
The successful operation of an excellent District High School at Monroe, under the management of Prof. M. J. Foster, B. A., and the harmony prevailing throughout his District attest the fact that he had marked executive ability. Elder Flood was indeed a great preacher and builder, having erected five houses of worship at a cost of from $500 to $5,000. He baptized 2,100 souls and married about 350 couples. Sometime after his wife's death, he was joined in holy wedlock to Mrs. Ella A. Rushing, one of Louisiana's best women. They lived happily together until he heard the blessed applaudit “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.”
BISHOP W. B. PURVIS, A FORCEFUL AND PROGRESSIVE PREACHER.
Brother Purvis is one of our best young ministers and in point of actual service is surpassed by none. His birthplace is Cotton Port, La., Avoyelles Parish. October 7, 1870, is the date of his birth. He is the eldest son of a large family.
Although his parents were ex-slaves, deprived themselves of education, their ignorance was no barrier to their determination to have their children educated. As early as they could they started the children to school. The subject of our sketch, having finished fairly well the prescribed course of study in the public schools of his parish, was, through the advice of Professor Jonas Henderson and Sister J. P. Moore, sent to other schools. Much of his education was received at the Alexandria Academy and Leland University. At the early age of 19, he began teaching and in this way helped to keep himself in school. He went to North Louisiana in 1892, and while there he was urged to buy a farm for the family, which he did. This broke into his plans for going to school.
At this time (December 12, 1895,) he married Miss Jennie Lee, one of the state's best women. A little more than a year before this time he had been ordained, having been converted and notified of his call to preach Christ. His first call to the pastorate came to him from the St. Paul Baptist Church, Pelican, La. The next “Macedonian cry” came from Saline Baptist Church, Converse, La., where he labored successfully until the spring of 1902. In 1900, being urged by the members of his church, he moved into this community and started a school under the auspices of the Farmers' Union. From this work sprang the Sabine Industrial Institute, one of the best schools in the state.
When his wife left him for Heaven in 1901, he resigned this work and re-entered school. Coleman College became the school of his choice, from which he graduated with honors. While here at College he was called to be overseer of Republican Baptist Church, Furrh, La., and St. Peter Baptist Church, Pelican, La. He was also elected Sunday-School State Missionary and Colporter for the American Baptist Publication Society, which positions he ably filled.
On June 25th, 1903, he married Miss Salina Joseph, a graduate of Leland University. Their union has been blessed with four boys. Bishop Purvis has a good home at Pelican, La., and owns valuable property elsewhere. He is now (1911) serving two churches where he has been for ten years, and is also the pastor of the church that had him ordained. Elder Purvis holds the following positions: President Northwest No. 2 S. S. Association, principal Pleasant Hill Colored School, Corresponding Secretary Northwest No. 2 Association, and Corresponding Secretary of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention. Among the ministerial stars that shine in the sky of the Louisiana ministry, none has dispersed more light in the given time than Brother Purvis. He is not a “reactionary” but a “standpatter” when it comes to defending “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Bishop Purvis is highly respected and esteemed by his brethren throughout the state. He is a wise counsellor, formidable in debate and powerful in the pulpit.
BISHOP W. M. TAYLOR, ONE OF THE MOST ELOQUENT OF LOUISIANA PREACHERS.
In the Parish of East Baton Rouge, September 17, 1867, there was born a preacher who was named Washington M. Taylor. His parents, though ex-slaves, were much interested in their son's education, and sent him to the Parish Public School. Here he showed a keen desire for knowledge and won the confidence and esteem of schoolmates and teachers. He was converted and notified of his call to the ministry at the age
SABINE NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE.of 17 years. Elder Hannibal Williams baptized him into the membership of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La. Feeling very keenly his need of preparation to preach, he began saving his earnings, and in due time entered Leland University and became a diligent student. While here at Leland he accomplished much, but on account of the urgent request of his people that he take up some work at home, he was compelled to leave before finishing his course
He was licensed to preach January 21, 1893, and six months thereafter was called to the pastorate of the Morning Star Baptist Church. His success with this church moved New Rising Sun Baptist Church to call him also. More well-done work added to his list of churches the Ebenezer Baptist Church. When Elder Hannibal Williams, pastor of the “Big” Mt. Zion Baptist Church, went to his reward his pastoral mantle fell upon Brother Taylor. Accordingly he was elected January 6, 1901. He entered this new field with a strong determination to win. How well he has done is told by the work he has accomplished here. In 1909 he received a call to another Baton Rouge church, Jerusalem. Perhaps no pastor in the state presides over more people than Elder Taylor. He is now (1910) serving his fifth term as Moderator of the Fourth District Association. He resigned recently but after his successor had ruled only a short while he was re-elected.
His District is one of the largest in the state, and operates one of our leading Baptist schools, the Baton Rouge College. The building is a large brick structure. Bishop Taylor traveled and lectured no little throughout the length and breadth of his District in the interest of this school. In 1907 he was elected Vice President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, and when Elder Flood went to Heaven succeeded to the presidency. Brother Taylor is a man of keen perception and lofty ambition, possessing many winning traits. His life is not an empty shadow, but a real line of thoughts and deeds. He can easily preach to his people both of a home on earth and a home in Heaven, since he owns several houses and lots in Baton Rouge. He has a nice home, his wife being a graduate of the Baton Rouge College. As a speaker this clergyman is logical in his reasoning and witty in his argument. He swayed the great National Baptist Convention in session at Columbus, Ohio, like a mighty tempest sways a forest, when on behalf of his state with pleasing manners and persuasive eloquence he delivered the invitation inviting the greatest body of religious workers in the world to meet (1910) in the city of New Orleans, La. He swept this great body, so to speak, from its feet and forced it to cry out, saying, in substance, “we are willing, we are coming, Father Abraham, 2,500,000 strong.” Bishop Taylor, being comparatively young, has a great future before him.
ELDER BRYANT WRIGHT, AN HONORED PIONEER PREACHER.
Brother Wright is among the oldest pioneers of the state. He was born in Montgomery County, Alabama, December 2, 1837. He has the following to say concerning his early start in preaching: “When I was six years old the white people gave me a suit of clothes for preaching. They saw in me the work of the ministry.” When Elder Bryant was only 17 years old he was fully inducted into the ministerial fold. Leaving Alabama he came to Louisiana, and took his place among the first gospel preachers of the state. He not only did pioneer work in Louisiana, but pushed his way into Texas; and in those early, perilous times preached the Word with power and demonstration at Marshall, Marion County, and Douglass Mill, Ark. He preached the Word with much acceptance along the Red River coast at Alexandria and other points, on steam boats and on land, thereby setting up several of the state's first churches. Elder Wright, like many others of our pioneer fathers, did great and abiding work.
He organized many of the first Sunday-schools, and therefore stands among the first Sunday-school superintendents, thus opening the door for the young superintendent of today. In those early times many souls were converted unto God through his preaching, and baptized into the membership of the state's first churches. On one occasion at the risk of his life he broke the ice in December, plunged into the icy waters and baptized five happy souls. On another occasion for preaching and standing for what he preached his life was threatened. He says: “One man made three shots at me and never hit me, and walked off a piece and said, 'I will kill you.' I told him to shoot ahead. His will was my pleasure.” This veteran was hidden behind “The Blood,” and was safely wrapped in the folds of “The Blood-Stained Banner,” and could not be shot. He was protected (Matt. 18:6). He accomplished much in his day.
ELDER A. H. SAMUELS, ELOQUENT PREACHER AND VETERAN EDITOR.
May 15, 1857, in Desota Parish, Louisiana, there was born Elder Andrew Henry Samuels, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cato Samuels.
The real progress of Bishop Samuels began with his conversion. Like Isaiah, a live coal touched his tongue when he realized his call to tell the “Story of the Cross.” This he has been doing with power and telling effect. In the Thirteenth District he is known as the “Silver-Tongue Orator.” Being born a slave, his opportunities for schooling were few, but by dint of perseverance in study he has pushed on and today stands among the denominational leaders in the state.
He was ordained in 1888, and since that time has served with marked success the following churches: St. Rest Baptist Church, St. Luke Baptist Church, Red Chute Baptist Church and Willow Chute Baptist Church, Shreveport, La., and Union Mission Baptist Church, Waskom, Texas. He has been managing-editor of the News Enterprise for years. He is and has been deeply interested in the education of the children of his race. Like a stone wall Bishop Samuels stood with the writer and others in the work of founding and developing the Thirteenth District Academy. There was not a man in the District who held the principal's arm higher than did Elder Samuels. He has been chairman of the Education Board for more than fifteen years.
In 1875 he and Miss Esther Chew were united in holy wedlock. Through life's combats and shifting scenes, they have guarded the matrimonial vow and today (1914) are together in their cozy little home on Christian street, Shreveport, La., in which city he has lived for thirty-six years, enjoying the confidence and respect of his white and colored friends. The St. Rest Baptist Church edifice, the last church building erected by Brother Samuels, is one of the most beautiful frame buildings in the state--“a thing of beauty and a joy forever.”
Bishop Samuels has been recently elected Moderator of the Thirteenth District Association, one of our largest associations. He gives promise of much more usefulness.
ELDER FRANCIS JAMES DAVIDSON, PREACHER AND EDITOR.
This veteran preacher and editor was born of Mr. Nero and Mrs. Malinda Davidson, October 31, 1862, at Nealsboro, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. The first school he attended was in a little log cabin M. E. Church on Williamson's Creek Parish of Rapides, 1869-72. Next he attended a public school at Greenwood, Laftlore County, Miss., to which place his parents moved in 1873. Young Davidson also attended a Missionary school during the summer months. From Greenwood he removed to New Orleans, January, 1878, where he attended night school at Straight University.
During the winter of 1869, Brother Davidson was converted on Williamson's Creek and followed the M. E. Church regularly although he refused to join. After earnestly, carefully and prayerfully reading his Bible, he became convinced that the Baptist way was the right way, and in 1878 was baptized into the membership of St. Mark Fourth Baptist Church, New Orleans, by Bishop R. H. Steptoe. Impressed of his call
INTENDED THEOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT, COLEMAN COLLEGE.to the ministry he began the work of preparation. He studied under Dr. H. C. Green, President Bothwell of Columbia University, attended theological lectures delivered by the late President E. C. Mitchell, of Leland University; later he studied under J. Lewis Smith, A. M., D. D., LL. D., and attended the Washington University, Tacoma, Wash.
Bishop Davidson has held the following churches: St. John, Dorseyville, La.; St. Matthew, New Orleans, La., 1889-1902; First Baptist Church, Mandeville, La.; Starlight, Slidell, La.; Zion, Ponchatoula, La.; Olivet, Tacoma, Wash.; Mt. Herob, Greenville, Miss., 1905; First Baptist, Cairo, Ill., 1907; Centralia, Centralia, Ill., 1908; First Baptist, Metropolis, Ill.; Trinity, Shreveport, 1910; Shiloh, Alexandria, La. He now pastors at Leesville, La. Elder Davidson has edited the following papers: The Teller, 1890; the New Orleans Tribune, 1891-1902; Tacoma Tribune, 1903-04; the Bulletin, Greenville, Miss., 1905-06; the Tribune, Centralia, Ill., 1908-09; The Christian Herald, Mound City, Ill., 1909-10, and Louisiana Baptist, 1910-11.
As a preacher Dr. Davidson is fearless and progressive and preaches “a what saith the Lord” Gospel. As an editor and writer he is conscientious and bold. In the language of the lamented Dr. Wm. J. Simons, “Some men are often brave from experience with arms and the scenes of war; others because of the recklessness of life, and a dare-devil spirit, and still others are born for deeds of bravery and glide easily to places of danger as if led by unerring instinct; they are bold, aggressive, determined and venturesome.” Such a man as the last is Bishop Davidson, when it comes to driving the quill. When editing the New Orleans Tribune, he was the gamest Negro editor in Louisiana. He has and is accomplishing much.
BISHOP SOLOMON TRUMBULL CLANTON, A. M., D. D., A TEACHER OF PREACHERS.
Dr. Clanton was born at Glenco, La., March 27, 1857. His parents were Mr. Solomon and Mrs. Maria Clanton. After his conversion he was baptized into the membership of the Austerlitz Street Baptist Church by Elder George W. Walker.
His parents being unable to help him all the way through school, he began in early life to help himself. He trusted God and worked his way through New Orleans University, graduating with honors from the B. A. degree Course in 1878. After holding a professorship in Leland University 1878-80, he entered the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill., graduating therefrom in 1883 from the B. D. degree Course.
Being conscious of a call to the ministry, Bishop Clanton made same known to his brethren and was ordained in 1881 in the Olivet Baptist Church, Chicago, Ill., by the following Bishops: T. J. Morgan, Richard DeBaptist, E. B. Hubbard, Dean of Divinity School, University of Chicago, Wm. Laurence, J. T. Burhoe, George C. Lorimer and J. W. Polk. Dr. J. T. Morgan was chairman of Presbytery and Bishop R. DeBaptist, clerk; ordination sermon being preached by Dr. Hubbard.
After returning South and throwing himself into the work of human uplift, Brother Clanton pastored the following churches: Austerlitz Street Baptist Church, 1891-94, and Bethany Baptist Church, New Orleans, La. The following positions have been creditably filled by him: Sunday-School Missionary of American Baptist Publication Society, 1883-90; District Secretary of American Baptist Publication Society, 1890-95. This secretaryship covered all the Gulf States. He rendered valuable service both to the Society and his denomination while filling these positions. This is not all; the first Secretary of our great National Baptist Convention was Dr. Solomon T. Clanton, being elected at the Convention's organization, August, 1886, in the First Baptist Church, St. Louis, Mo. He served until 1896. He was elected Recording Secretary of the Foreign Mission Convention in 1885 at New Orleans, La., and continued in that office until 1895 with the exception of one year (1887). 1903-04 the subject of this sketch served as principal and chaplain of A. & M. College, Normal, Ala. October of this same year he was called to the principalship of Helena Academy, Helena, Ark. After working for some time as Field Secretary of the John C. Martin Educational Fund, he was called to the Assistant Deanship of Theological School at Selma University. After serving in this capacity under Deans W. H. McAlpine, Albert F. Owens and C. O. Booth, Brother Clanton succeeded to the Deanship in 1909 when Dr. Booth resigned. At this time (1914) he is Vice President of Selma University.
June 6, 1883, he was joined in holy wedlock to Miss Olive Byrd, of Decatur, Ill. Eleven children bless this union, the eldest being Miss E. M. Clanton, stenographer Houston College; Georgia E. Clanton, Benjamin Griffith, Attorney-at-Law; S. T. Clanton, Jr., Attorney-at-Law; Johnetta B. Clanton, Music Teacher in Western College, Macon, Mo.; Dwight Lorimer Clanton, Jannitta B. Clanton, Robert Stewart, Pheobe Nan and two others who have gone before.
The Louisiana Baptist brotherhood will always think kindly of Dr. Clanton for services rendered. For years he stood shoulder to shoulder with the early state leaders. Such men as Bishops John Marks, A. S. Jackson, A. R. Blunt, J. M. Carter, H. B. N. Brown and others.
BISHOP WARNER WASHINGTON HILL, A PROGRESSIVE YOUNG PREACHER.
Elder Hill is a great church builder, because God has used him to preach men and women out of darkness into light, and he is a church house builder, because through his leadership and management beautiful church edifices have been erected. Our brother was born of Mr. Warner and Mrs. Angeline Hill in Franklin Parish, La., March 10, 1870. His parents were Alabamians from Sumpter County near Gainsville, being sold into Louisiana before the war. Bishop Hill's father was an unusually bright slave, serving his young master as secretary and Negro driver until freedom came. He then began to accumulate property and help in the establishment of public schools for his race. Being a leader of his people during those dark and perilous times, he was elected to the State Legislature.
But this father who was bent on educating his son was called to his reward when Elder Hill was but 12 years of age. His prop having gone, young Hill began at once to apply himself, to study as best he could, taking lessons from any one able to teach who would come his way. In church work he was apt and studious, doing with
MAIN BUILDING, COLEMAN COLLEGE.a will whatever his hands found to do. After his conversion and baptism in 1889 he was added to the True Vine Baptist Church, Bishop H. R. Flynn, pastor, Delhi, La. Realizing his call to preach, an insatiable appetite for Bible reading seized him, and he read the Bible through twice. Since his ordination by the Tenth District Association, fifteen churches have honored him with calls. He served as President of the Sunday-School Association and District Missionary for three years. After Elder Wm. Hamilton went to his reward, the Zion Travelers Baptist Church, Monroe, La., called him to its pastorate. Since entering upon this work he has spent five years in the Tenth District High School, graduating therefrom with honors. For more than eight years he has pastored this church successfully, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of both races at Monroe and his brethren throughout the state.
He succeeded the lamented Bishop A. B. Flood to the Moderatorship of the Tenth District Association. He has filled this office creditably, taking up the work where Brother Flood left off and carrying it on toward perfection. During his short term of office more than $3,000 were raised and a debt of 15 years' standing against the District School liquidated. Brother Hill is among the youngest District Moderators of the state. His work places him among the highest ministerial stars of the state.
BISHOP C. S. COLLINS, A. B., M. D., PREACHER AND PHYSICIAN.
Of Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Amelia Collins, Dr. Collins was born in Houma, La., March 12, 1867. Though his school facilities were meager, his parents were proud of their boy and did what they could to train his mind, heart and hand.
Accordingly they sent him to a Terrabone Parish public school, where he studied until he entered Leland University, where he graduated with the writer and others from the Normal Course, May, 1893, under the world-renowned scholar, Dr. E. C. Mitchell. Not contented, he continued his voyage on the scholastic sea until he finished the highest course at the University, thus graduating Bachelor of Arts. This did not satisfy his intellectual longing because he entered Flint Medical College, New Orleans, La., where he won the M. D. degree, 1910. It is clear that while this young man has waited on the Lord, it is evident that he has “hustled” while he waited.
In the year 1886 he was converted and added to the Little Zion Baptist Church, after being baptized by Bishop S. T. Smith. He at once became aggressive and progressive in church work, and was notified of his call to the ministry. His interest in the education of his race was attested by well-done work as Principal of Cheneyville Academy, Cheneyville, La. He held this position successfully until he was called back to his home town (Houma) to take charge of the Boy's High School there. After making good in this work, Bishop Collins accepted the pastorate of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Houma, La. His election to the secretaryship of the Fifth District Sunday-School Association and to the presidency of Houma Academy Educational Board prove his standing with his brethren and point to his future usefulness.
ELDER CAROLINER FULLER, A VETERAN OF PIONEER DAYS.
Far back in the darkness of American slavery, Bishop Fuller was born, in South Carolina. At an early age he was baptized, after being converted, and joined the Missionary Baptist Church. Soon afterwards the Spirit notified him of his call to preach the “Everlasting Gospel.”
Convincing the Louisiana brethren of his call, by actual works, Bishop Scott (white) and others ordained him to take charge of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Kingston, La. Leading this flock onward and upward he was called to pastor Mary Evergreen Baptist Church, Grand Cane, La., and also Zion Hill Baptist Church, of the same town. This veteran preacher did a great work back there in those pioneer days, his fame as a preacher of power spreading the country around.
His was a sainted wife, Mrs. Patsy Fuller. Their union was blessed with a number of children, most prominent of whom is Bishop Jackson J. Fuller who, like his sainted father, is felt as a power for good not only in his own District, but throughout the state. This man of God buried hundreds in baptism, celebrated many marriages, and by his earnest preaching and Godly life led a multitude to Christ. Too much in a commendable way cannot be said of him and all the other pioneer fathers of the state.
Elder and Sister Fuller carried out their matrimonial contract by living happily together until death did them part. Like hundreds of others of his day, Elder Fuller, under very adverse circumstances and in the face of many odds, “worked the work of him that sent him,” until he was called from earth to Heaven August 26, 1886, his wife following him four years later in 1890.
BISHOP ALBERT HENRY, GUM SPRING ASSOCIATION MODERATOR.
Brother Henry was born in 1868 of Mr. Charley and Mrs. Margret Henry. After conversion, he was baptized into the membership of the Wood Chapel Baptist Church, Cedartown, La. In 1887 his church being convinced of his call to preach set him apart to the work. He was baptized by Elder J. H. Jackson.
Notwithstanding his educational advantages were meager, he had enough iron in his blood to push himself upward. After reaching school age he picked up what learning he could here and there until he was blessed with the opportunity to enter Ruston Normal Institute, where he studied hard under Professor I. S. Powell, B. A., and graduated from the Normal Course 1904. Principal Powell has the following to say of him: “He is now a successful minister and pastor, having been divinely called to preach the gospel and after pastoring several churches a number of years, he felt it necessary to make fuller preparation for his calling. He therefore entered this school where he applied himself zealously and finally graduated with honors. He was the first to enroll as a theological student when that department was attached to our school, and studied God's Word faithfully for three and a half years. He has built more church houses than any other one minister in this section. His terms of pastorate tell how successful a pastor he is, having presided over one church 23 years. The terms of his other churches range from five to eight years.
BOYS' DORMITORY, COLEMAN COLLEGE.He has baptized 1,050 converts. In 1905, he was elected Moderator of the Gum Spring Association and has presided over it from that time to this (1913). He with his earnest helpers has long struggled to foster education. Through his influence the Association has adopted this school, and under his leadership with the co-operation of his staff of officers and with God as the sovereign power, the school will achieve success.”
It is clear from Prof. Powell's statement that Bishop Henry has wrought well and accomplished much good religiously, having served his brethren as Secretary, Treasurer and Moderator, and having served the following churches: Woodlawn, Wood Chapel, Pine Grove, Hopewell, Lincoln Parish; Hopewell, Union Parish; Blooming Grove, Harmony, Jerusalem, Chapel Hill, Providence, St. John, Palestine and Pilgrim's Rest.
ELDER LORENZO SMITH, A PIONEER OF MUCH USEFULNESS.
In the Parish of Caldwell, 1850, Bishop Lorenzo Smith was born of Mr. Nathaniel and Mrs. Amy Smith. Although bound by the ropes of slavery, these parents were hopeful of their son, and perhaps prayed secretly that some day the shackles would be broken off and that their boy would make the mark he has made.
When Brother Smith reached school age there were no schools for him to attend, and unlike the Negro boy who came after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he had to start upward without a single ray of light or an iota of encouragement. He scuffled along as best he could, studying perhaps at night by light from the torch and the pine knot until he learned his letters. After the war he entered the public school and there got a little more preparation for life.
He was converted in 1874 and baptized into the membership of Raven Camp Baptist Church by Elder Levy Sawyer. He was ordained in 1881 by the following bishops: Thomas E. Harris, Thomas Epps, Thomas Clark, H. K. Barrett, A. M. Newman, D. D., Ed Daniels and Joe Washington. Brother Smith is one of the most active Louisiana pioneer preachers, having pastored the following churches: St. Paul Baptist Church, St. Peter Baptist Church, served as Vice President State Sunday-School Convention two years; Corresponding Secretary of the Eighth District Association three years; Treasurer Eighth District Association No. 2 thirteen years; and now (1913) President Eighth District Sunday-School Association and Moderator of Second Eighth District Association.
He has done well in the matter of educating his children. All of them are won to Christ save one; all have been sent to school, one having graduated from the B. A. degree course at Leland University, where he now (1912) holds a professorship. Bishop Smith has given more than half his days to his Master's cause, having baptized more than 850 souls and married more than 355 couples.
BISHOP JAMES ROBERSON, A FORCE FOR GOOD IN HIS COMMUNITY.
Elder Roberson was born in the year 1853 in Ascension Parish, La. Being born in ante-bellum times his opportunities for going to school were few or none at all. But having plenty of pluck and push he started up any how.
He attended the public school of his parish nine months in 1866. To this small store of knowledge he continually added by burning midnight oil and studying perhaps by the flickering light of the pine knot fire. In this way he became sufficiently strong intellectually, and already possessing the moral fitness, he went steadily on doing the work of Him that sent him. After his conversion he was baptized into the membership of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in 1878 by Bishop Thomas Brown. The subject of this sketch was ordained in 1888 by Bishops John Marks, Isaiah Lawson and Thomas Brown. Bishop Roberson has pastored the following churches: Nazarene, Mt. Olive (a church in the city of New Orleans); Mt. Zion, Darrow, La., and has pastored Ebenezer Baptist Church since 1892. Not only has he been interested in the spiritual growth of his people, but their intellectual as well.
At this time he is President of the Trustee Board of Leland Academy, Donaldsonville, La.; a member of the Trustee Board of Leland University, and Treasurer of the Second District Association. He has taught his people that they should buy and own homes, by buying and owning one himself. The children of this home--a daughter and niece--were given every possible educational advantage. His daughter held her own as a winning student and pushed her way up from the Intermediate Department at Leland University to a place on the faculty, after graduating with honors from the B. A. degree Course. Bishop Roberson as a father, preacher and leader has wrought well.
ELDER ALLEN STEVENSON, A TIRELESS WORKER.
Bishop Stevenson first saw light in Ascension Parish, La., in 1858. Mr. Jacob and Mrs. Henrietta Stephenson were his parents. They were deeply interested in the education of their son, and no doubt prayed often that he would some day be a strong and useful man. A prayer answering God granted this request. After the war Brother Stevenson picked up what learning he could here and there, attending public school whenever he could.
He was converted in 1881 and baptized into the membership of the Mount ---- Baptist Church, Ascension Parish. Brother Stevenson was ordained in 1889 by the following Elders: Isaiah Lawson, Nathan Cambrie and V. B. Hubbs. This minister of Christ has pastored the following churches: Mount Bethel Baptist Church and Nazarene Baptist Church, Donaldsonville, La. He has manifested much interest in Sunday-school and day school work, having taught public school seventeen years and at the same time held important positions in the Sunday-school work of his District. He showed his interest in the Christian education of his community by accepting the presidency of the Board of Trustees of Leland Academy, Donaldsonville, La. He has reared a large family of fifteen children, and in other laudable ways done what he could for the material and religious advancement of his people.
ELDER LUKE ALLEN, SR., ONE OF THE NORTH LOUISIANA PIONEER BAPTIST LEADERS.
THEOLOICAL CLASS, LELAND UNIVERSITY.name was Charlotte and his further's name was ------ Allen. After the death of his owner, Mr. Joseph B. Bond, in 1859, he, with other slaves, was brought to Albany, Ga., where he was sold to the highest bidder. A man by the name of S. P. Corbin bought him in 1860, and brought him to Louisiana. Immediately after the surrender in 1865 he came to Shreveport, La.
Bishop Allen was converted June 16th, 1866 and baptized into the membership of Antioch Baptist Church by Elder John Jones, who was Antioch's first pastor. So filled with the Holy Ghost was he when he was first converted he preached the Word on the streets at Shreveport, and everywhere he went and to everybody. Being adjudged crazy he was put in jail, but like Paul in the Philippian prison he preached the jailer off his feet, so to speak, and the doors were opened unto him when he walked out. From that day to this he has been preaching the gospel with power. The writer knows personally of his worth as a New Testament preacher, because after his conversion through the influence of this good man he was baptized into the membership of the Antioch Baptist Church, which was pastored by Elder Allen twelve years. He was licensed to preach December 24, 1868, during the pastorate of Bishop Julius Chambers, who succeeded Elder John Jones to the pastorate of Antioch. After the death of Pastor Chambers and when Bishop Jones was re-called to Antioch's pastorate, Brother Allen was still faithfully serving his, and continued his service as church clerk to the death of Elder Jones, February 23, 1877.
The pastoral mantle fell this time on the subject of this sketch, after a rigid examination by four competent Elders, namely, Bishops J. A. Hacket and George Tucker (white), and Thomas Christian and Joseph Nelson (colored). He wore this mantle with dignity and honor to the end of his ministry at Antioch, and also at the other churches pastored since leaving Antioch. He wears it becomingly today. He carred Antioch's enrollment from a small number to 515 before resigning June 24, 1889. In 1897, when he was elected as one of the State's Missionaries, which office he has filled for sixteen years with credit to himself and to the delight of his brethren.
He was married the first time January 27, 1867, to Miss Hester Ann Williams by Elder H. P. James. This union was blessed with nine children--seven boys and two girls. This wife left for heaven October, 1884, after a well spent life, and, as it were, after hearing the blessed applaudit, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Mrs. Winnie Carr is Elder Allen's second wife, whom he married February 2, 1885, at Antioch Baptist Church, Bishop Thomas Christian officiating. Since their marriage they have lived happily together, nobly upholding their matrimonial vow. At this writing Brother Allen is 72 years old and is active in the ministry. Not a better doctrinal preacher lives in Louisiana today. He is orthodox to the core. For many years he has been honored by his brethren and held as President of the Minister's and Deacon's meeting of the Thirteenth District. Pioneer work done by him places him in the front ranks not only of Louisiana Baptists, but of Baptists throughout these United States.
DR. A. F. OWENS, A PIONEER TEACHER OF PREACHERS.
Of the pioneer workers and scholars in the early days of Louisiana Negro Baptists, none have made a greater record nor enjoy wider distinction than does Bishop Albert Franklin Owens. He was born in Wilcox County, Ala., in 1859. Being deprived of early school advantages, he struggled upward as best he could until he finally made his way to Leland University, New Orleans, La. He was among Leland's first students, knowing personally Deacon Holbrook Chamberlain, the honored founder of Leland. No student stood higher, nor enjoyed the esteem and confidence of both teacher and students than did Brother Owens.
In the year of 1872, he was converted and baptized into the membership of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Atchafalaya, La. Elder Green Stemley baptized him. In 1873 he was notified of his call to the ministry and ordained by the Common Street Church, New Orleans, four years later. The following churches have been successfully pastored by him: Third Baptist and Union Baptist Churches, Mobile, Ala., and First Baptist Church, Uniontown, Ala. Before leaving Louisiana Dr. Owens was one of the most honored Louisiana Baptist State Convention Secretaries. This was during the Convention's infancy. Coming to Mobile he engaged in and did the well-done above mentioned church work. He also accomplished a deal of school work, having served with credit as principal of the Orange Grove School four years, taught in Mobile altogether twenty-five years. He distinguished himself as a preacher of charities years ago with the people of Mobile. He was made manager of City Charities and held that position thirty-three years.
In 1885 he edited the “Baptist Pioneer;” in 1892-93 he edited the “Alabama Baptist Leader.” For many years he was a Trustee of Selma University. Dr. Booker T. Washington, learning of the work and worth of this great man, sought and secured his services as Dean of Phelps Bible School, Tuskegee Institute, Ala. He held this position a number of years to the satisfaction of Dr. Washington and to the delight of his many students and friends. Recently he resigned the work at Tuskegee and accepted a call to the Deanship of Bible School of Selma University, Selma, Ala., where he now makes good, rendering the institution yeoman service. His old school, Leland University, has recognized and acknowledged his ability by conferring upon him the degree of D. D.--Doctor of Divinity.
In 1908, he married Miss S. M. Pruitt, who has been to him a help-meet, indeed, and who today helps him in his great work.
PROFESSOR O. L. COLEMAN, A. M., EDUCATIONAL APOSTLE OF NORTH LOUISIANA BAPTISTS.
This educator stands among the first in his state and in his race. He came into Louisiana from Mississippi twenty-seven years ago, after graduating from the following schools: High School, Livingston, Miss., and Alcorn College, Alcorn, Miss. In addition to completed work at these two schools he has spent six or more sessions doing post work in Northern schools, frequently being the only Negro in his classes, but
EVERGREEN BAPTIST CHURCH, Shreveport.always “holding his own,” reflecting credit on his race.
The Home Mission Society of New York and the Women's Home Mission Society of Boston, Mass., conferred a signal honor upon Professor Coleman when they jointly elected him to represent the Negro educationally of four Southern States, viz., Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas, in Northern Conventions held in the states of Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, respectively.
Brother Coleman's paramount contribution to the Baptist cause in the state is an interesting Christian family and Coleman College, one of the leading Negro Baptist institutions in the South. This school is his life work. It is a big demonstration of what a man can do when he finds HIS job, gets on it, and Coleman-like stays on it with a dogged determination until he wins out.
His wife, Mrs. Mattie A. Coleman, stood by him with Spartan courage as he labored on through frost and snow, through encouragements and discouragements, through well days and sick days in the accomplishment of his great work. The oldest son of this noted educator is at this writing a student of Medicine at Shaw University, Raleigh, N. C., and his eldest daughter is pursuing higher studies at Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn. As a testimonial of the work and worth of this great man Leland University has honored him with the M. A. degree.
J. W. WILEY, M. D., PHYSICIAN AND DRUGGIST.
Dr. Wiley was born on the farm of his father (Mr. Anderson Wiley) at Vernon, La. He lived in the country the first ten years of his life, attending the public schools that were taught in the summer time after the crops were “layed by.” At the age of 13 he went to Coleman College, Gibsland, La., where he attended two sessions. During this time he was converted and baptized. From then until now he has remained loyal to the Baptist flag, being at present Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Deacon of the Salem Baptist Church, Greensboro, Ala.
Dr. Wiley finished his grammar and high school course at Vernon Academy, Vernon, La. Passing successfully the public school examination he began teaching. He worked hard with head and hand, making cotton and corn by working in the evenings after leaving the school room. Not being contented with his limited education and chances for life, he saved sufficient money, and went to Sedalia, Mo., where he made good as a student of the George R. Smith College, graduating in 1897 as salutatorian of his class. His school road was rough but he persevered. While in his senior year he taught school during the day three miles away from Georgetown, Mo., and attended his class work at night. It was during these five months at College he decided to study medicine.
In the fall of 1901 he started for New Orleans, La., to attend Flint Medical College. After pursuing his course here three years, he entered the Illinois Medical College, Chicago, Ill., and graduated with honors January 1, 1905. Dr. Wiley located in Greensboro, Ala., is successfully engaged in the practice of his profession. During the nine years he has been here he has built up a reputation as a competent physician, and generally, with his skill in Therapeutics coupled with the help of the Great Physician, puts his patient on his feet again.
His friends are counted by scores in both races. In connection with healing his people, he has taught them practical lessons in economy by buying property and operating a first-class drug store. While in the west he met Miss A. M. Smith, whom he married in 1906. Mrs. Wiley is a model doctor's wife. Every thoughtful Baptist in the state should be proud of the record already made by this young Medico, and bid him God-speed as he goes forward to greater achievements.
BISHOP J. L. BURRELL, D. D., ONE OF THE STATE'S FOREMOST PREACHERS.
In the year 1859, and in the town of Thibodeaux, La., there was born Dr. John L. Burrell. His parents were Mr. William and Mrs. Nancy Burrell. Being born a slave his chances for going to school were few, or none at all. Despite this fact, by dint of pluck and push he began climbing upward. At the earliest opportunity he entered the public school of his parish, where he learned his lessons well; and by his good behavior won the esteem and respect of both teacher and fellow-students. As soon as the opportunity came he entered Leland University, New Orleans, La. During his stay there he did good work and grew in intellectual power.
Elder Burrell was converted in 1876, after which he was baptized into the membership of Moses Baptist Church by Elder T. J. Rhodes. In 1882 he realized his call to the ministry, made it known and was ordained by the following bishops: T. J. Rhodes, Isaiah Lawson, R. Coleman, I. H. Stewart, John Brown and P. H. Diggs. Brother Burrell has spent quite a number of years in the ministry, pastoring the following churches: Little Zion Baptist Church, Opelousas; Evergreen, Lake Charles, La.; Shiloh, Washington, La.; Mt. Pleasant, Elba, La.; First African, New Orleans, La.; Progressive, Sherman, Texas, and the Progressive Baptist Church, New Orleans, La., of which he is now (1914) pastor.
In 1888 Dr. Bothwell, President Columbia University, conferred the honorary degree, D. D., upon Brother Burrell in recognition of work already done. No man in the state has been more highly honored. The brethren lifted Dr. Burrell to the highest station when they elected him President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention. He has held and is now holding the following positions of trust: Vice Moderator First District Association and President Board of Directors Providence Sanitarium. Brother Burrell's kind disposition has won and holds for him a large number of friends in both races.
BISHOP CHARLES WILLIAM BROOKS, B. A., ONE OF OUR STRONGEST YOUNG MEN.
Among the young ministers of the state, none stand higher than Brother Brooks in point of thrift and intellectual attainment. He was born of Elder Charles and Mrs. Virginia Brooks in the village of Camp Parapet, Jefferson Parish, La., April 2, 1876. He attended the following schools: Short Street, Keller's, McDonough No. 24 and Leland University, New Orleans, La. Brother Brooks entered Leland in 1896 recently after his conversion and during the presidency of the noted preacher and scholar, Dr. Edward
BISHOP D. M. BROWN,
After his conversion and notice of his call to the ministry, Brother Brooks was baptized into the membership of the Plymouth Rock Baptist Church by the late Elder David Young. In his church he held the following positions: teacher of Bible Class No. 2, Sunday-school secretary, president church choir, president B. Y. P. U., president Board of Trustees and church clerk.
He was called to ordination by the Progressive Baptist Church, Bishop J. L. Burrell, pastor, and was set apart by the following Elders: J. H. Flemings, E. D. Sims, A. Hubbs, John Marks, D. D., J. L. Burrell, D. D., G. W. Toney, J. M. Young, D. D., Jackson Acox and A. P. Orlage, April, 1911. Bishop Brooks has done good work during the short time he has been in the ministry, having filled creditably the following positions: Sunday-School Missionary First District Association 1907-08; Missionary First District Association, 1912-13; State Organizer of B. Y. P. U. Convention, 1911-12; now pastor Mt. Moriah Baptist Church; at present one of the state missionaries of Louisiana Baptist State Convention elected at the Monroe session July, 1913, and he holds at this time the position of Financial Agent of Leland University. Bishop Brooks being a well prepared young man of Louisiana Baptists, we predict for him a future filled with “good works” to the glory of God and the uplift of humanity.
ELDER C. L. ROBERTS, D. D., A CHURCH AND SCHOOL BUILDER.
Eighteen hundred fifty-one (1851) was the year during which the birth of Brother Roberts occurred at Cheneyville, La. The above date shows that early educational opportunities were few or none, but he was blessed with a deal of determination and began pushing upward. After making the most of advantages coming to him from the public schools of his parish, he entered Leland University and remained there for some time under a line of the schools first Presidents, Drs. Traver and Gregory, Professor Barker and others.
Bishop Roberts was converted in 1869, and afterwards was baptized into the membership of the Edgefield Baptist Church by Elder Thomas Blackman. After realizing and making known his call to the ministry in 1870, he was ordained to preach Christ in 1875 by the following Bishops: Dr. A. M. Newman, Dr. Nelson (white), Dr. Taylor Frierson, G. W. Walker, Holland Patent, of New York; H. R. Curtis (white), and deacons from First Baptist Church, Jefferson, La., and the Baptist Church, Jordanville. La. Since his ordination Elder Roberts has been one of the most progressive pastors in the state, having successfully pastored the following churches: St. Joseph, Haasville, La.; Second Union, Bunkie, La.; St. John, Lamourie, La.; True Vine, Alexandria, La.; Union Chapel, Lloyd, La.; Edgefield, Cheyneville, La., and Beulah Lacompt, La.
In connection with his large amount of church work, he has done a deal of school work, and has held and now holds positions of trust and honor in the state. Much pioneer work was done by him as a public school teacher. He helped build Central Louisiana Academy, and singly and alone with his three churches founded and built up the Cheyneville Academy, one of the best schools in the state. Too much credit cannot be given these loyal churches and their great leader.
What this veteran preacher has done with three churches some entire associations fail to do with 30 and 40 churches. Unity and loyalty always spell success. Let us doff our hats to them, my brethren, and LET THEM BY. This tireless worker was for eight years Moderator of the Eighth District Association. At this writing he is President of Cheyneville Academy, and for more than fourteen years has been a member of the Trustee Board of Leland University. Of the above-named churches he built up five and organized two. Leland has recognized and acknowledged this successful labor by conferring upon Elder Roberts the honorary degree, D. D.
PROF. EMMETT LOUIS WASHBURN, B. A., A. SUCCESSFUL TEACHER.
This young educator was born in Gloster, Miss., 1889. The names of his parents are Mr. Isaac and Mrs. Annie Washburn. After enjoying the advantages offered by the public school of his town and county, he attended Harper and Natchez Colleges, graduating B. A., from the latter with honors.
Brother Washburn was converted in 1903 and baptized into the membership of the Gloster Baptist Church, Gloster, Miss. He has held the following positions of trust: Three years student teacher at Natchez College, and two years principal of the East Carroll Normal and Industrial Institute. This school is among the best schools in the state. It is located at Lake Providence, La. Bishop J. E. Brunswick founded this school in 1898. It comprises three buildings beautifully situated on 60 acres of land. Watch this young man and his great work. Lovers of education are proud of this institution and are expecting greater things from Brother Washburn as the years come and go.
DR. A. M. NEWMAN, ONE OF THE DENOMINATION'S GREATEST PREACHERS.
Louisiana has never laid claim to a greater preacher than Bishop Armstead Mason Newman. It was the writer's great privilege to know him personally and to listen Sunday after Sunday to his able sermons, taking notes and study sermonic architecture. I delight to record here that my first and best lessons in sermonizing were received from this noble man. It was largely through his persuasion and influence that I accepted the principalship of the Thirteenth District Academy, and during his pastorate at Antioch Baptist Church I was licensed to preach in 1895.
He was born during the dark days of slavery in Alexandria, Va. To him early school advantages were unknown, but being blessed innately with push and pluck, he started to the front. Though his struggle through school was bitter he held to it, and finally forged his way through
CHAMBERLAIN HALL, LELAND UNIVERSITY.Colgate University, Hamilton, N, Y., graduating B. S., with signal honors.
His first labors in the state were at the Common Street or Tulane Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans. Following he did effective work at Bunkie, Shiloh Baptist Church, Alexandria; and after serving as State Missionary and President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, he was called to the Antioch Baptist Church July 27, 1889. Bishop A. B. Daniels in his “Historical Sketch of Antioch Baptist Church,” has the following to say of Dr. Newman and his work at Antioch: “On July 27, 1889, the church elected Rev. Armstead M. Newman, formerly of Alexandria, Va., to take charge as pastor. Rev. Newman began his work in a Christian-like manner and soon had the wreckage cleared up and the sails hoisted and soon the old Ship of Zion had her head to the wind and was moving on her mission of soul-saving. He began the work with 146 members. It will be remembered that during the confusion of the church prior to Rev. Newman's election a great number of dissatisfied members had withdrawn from the church and built another house of worship known as Avenue Baptist Church. In a short time these members were granted letters of dismission and all was peace once more where hatred, malice and everything which was un-Christian prevailed just a few months before. Rev. Newman proved himself to be a peacemaker of whom it is said in Matt. 5:9, “they shall be called the children of God.” During the pastorate of Rev. Newman, beginning July 27, 1889, there has been added to the church 256 members.”
In addition to this excellent church work he did a deal of school work while at Antioch, organizing and operating the Providence Academy, which was perhaps the first distinctive Baptist Academy in Shreveport. Miss Blanch Sterrett and Miss Elizabeth Norrington, ably assisted Dr. Newman as instructors in this school. The chief material used in the founding of the Thirteenth District Academy came from Bishop Newman's school. He was elected Supervisor of Education for the Thirteenth District. This position and pastor of Antioch Baptist Church he filled until he was called from labor to reward. Thus closed the earthly career of an affectionate father, pleasant teacher, a loving and watchful pastor, a forceful preacher, an apt theologian, a profound thinker and a logical reasoner.
BISHOP H. B. N. BROWN, D. D., PASTOR, EDITOR AND MISSIONARY.
With little exception the missionary work of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention has been under the supervision of Dr. Brown since the early eighties or shortly after the state was divided into Districts. Missionaries preceding him served short periods, but Brother Brown has held on for more than twenty years, and accomplished much along missionary lines. He developed the work until three or four other missionaries known as State District Missionaries had been appointed by the Convention. Then the Convention made Dr. Brown State Superintendent of Missions, which office he now fills to the delight and satisfaction of his brethren.
Being born in the state and having become connected with Louisiana Baptists in early life, he studied his people and conditions closely. This pre-eminently fitted him for his great task. In connection with this well-done missionary work Elder Brown has done much church work, and too he has ably edited The Louisiana Baptist, one of our leading denominational papers.
Bishop Brown has been closely identified with our state work for more than a quarter of a century, and has been a prime mover in the organization of many churches throughout the state and other state organizations.
As a preacher Dr. Brown is convincing in argument, sound in doctrine and a bold advocate of Baptist principles.
Guadalupe College, in recognition of the ability and worth of Brother Brown, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.
BISHOP A. S. JACKSON, D. D., A NOTED PREACHER AND SCHOLAR.
Reaching New Orleans in 1887, I entered a university the head of whose Southern Board of Trustees was one of the most cultured men of our race. I refer to Dr. Alexander S. Jackson. The university referred to is Leland. Brother Jackson held the chairmanship of this Board for many years, until he was called from the pastorate of the Tulane Avenue Baptist Church to the New Hope Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.
Before going to this new field he made a record in Louisiana. Coming to the state in the late seventies or early eighties intellectually prepared he easily took front rank among Louisiana Baptist leaders. After his call to the above mentioned New Orleans Church, came his election to the Recording Secretaryship of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, during the presidency of Dr. John Marks.
In course of time the brethren lifted Brother Jackson to the highest position in the state by electing him President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, which office he filled with becoming dignity and to the delight of the brotherhood.
Although in Texas at this writing, Dr. Jackson yet enjoys the confidence and esteem of his Louisiana brethren. He is one of the few Negro preachers who have toured the Holy Land. Since returning he has delivered interesting and able lectures on the Land of our Savior's nativity. As a speaker, Elder Jackson is eloquent, persuasive and convincing. His greatest contribution to his denomination and race is an interesting family. His first wife was an excellent Christian woman. His second companion, Mrs. O. M. Jackson, is an ex-teacher of Leland University, and one of the best Christian instructors that ever lived. She has held the hand of her husband high while doing the great work he has and is doing in Texas.
BISHOP JOHN MARKS, D. D., A PREACHER OF PERSEVERANCE AND ENDURANCE.
Dr. Marks came from Louisiana to Virginia when he was quite young, and located in New Orleans. He was converted through the powerful preaching of Elder George W. Walker and baptized by this veteran preacher into the membership of Austerlitz Street Baptist Church. After giving evidence of his call to preach his church ordained him.
LELAND HALL, LELAND UNIVERSITY.Baptist Church from a Mission Station into one of the leading churches of the state, and has pastored it continuously since its organization, through a period of more than thirty years. This is perhaps the longest New Orleans pastorate among Negro Baptists. During this time he has erected and remodeled not less than two houses of worship.
Early in his ministry he so favorably impressed his brethren that they elected him to the high office of President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, which position he held successfully for more than seven years. Brother Marks has succeeded Dr. A. S. Jackson to the chairmanship of the Southern Trustee Board of Leland University, and has held this position for 13 or 14 years with credit to himself and Louisiana Negro Baptists. He is President of this Board at this writing and holds other offices of trust in New Orleans. Elder Marks has been and is one of the strongest pulpiteers in the state, being a deep thinker, sound reasoner and a bold advocate of his scriptural beliefs.
Recognizing the work and worth of Bishop Marks, Leland University has conferred upon him the D. D. degree--Doctor of Divinity.
BISHOP JOHN JONES, AN ANTE-BELLUM PREACHER OF MARKED ABILITY.
Back in the early fifties there came into the state a free-born Negro Baptist preacher from Ohio. His name was John Jones, generally known by the people of Shreveport as “John the Baptist.”
In 1856 on account of his intellectual, moral and scriptural qualifications he was adjudged worthy, and ordained to the work of the ministry by the following white presbytery: Elders W. H. Stokes, George Tucker, Jesse Lee and A. J. Rutherford. After a few years of successful labor, preaching to the slaves and wherever opportunity permitted, he was called to the pastorate of the First Colored Baptist Church, Shreveport, La., in 1866, immediately after its organization by Bishops Tucker and Wm. H. Baliss (white). Antioch is the present name of this church. This pioneer preacher accomplished much here, both teaching and preaching to the people. He was the first or among the first colored teachers of Shreveport. He labored hard but successfully in establishing the first schools in North Louisiana for the Negro.
Dr. Wm. Paxton, historian of Louisiana white Baptists, says that Elder Jones possessed wonderful gifts, and that he exercised great influence over his race. He did more to preserve order among the Negroes of Shreveport than did the police force. Being a free man he fell under the operation of a law, during the war, putting all free persons of color, not natives of the state under heavy penalties. He went North for a while but it was found that the influence of his example was so essential in preserving order among the colored people that the Legislature, then in session at Shreveport, passed a SPECIAL act recalling him to Louisiana, when he gladly returned to his home and people. This peacemaker proved himself a Henry Clay and a Booker T. Washington in allaying the bitterness and strife and harmonizing the races. After a five-years' useful pastorate at Antioch, and after serving well Shreveport in general,
“A voice at midnight came,
He started up to hear;
A mortal arrow pierced his frame,
He fell but felt no fear,”
on February 23, 1877.
BISHOP JAMES MONROE CARTER-- PREACHER AND EDITOR.
Mr. William and Mrs. Jane Carter were the parents of the subject of this sketch. Brother Carter was born July 4th, 1858. Louisiana is his native state. Though born a slave, he was blessed with enough innate vim and push to start to the front, and when the opportunity came, he attended the following schools: Wiley University, Marshall, Texas, Straight and Leland Universities, New Orleans, La. He made a good record at these institutions, being at one time a student teacher at Leland.
He was converted and baptised into the membership of the St. John Baptist Church, Mansfield, La., in 1878. Bishop Henry Jackson baptised him. In 1888, Bishop Carter was ordained to the work of the Ministry, and called to pastor St. Peter Baptist Church, Pelican, La. The following year he was elected Corresponding Secretary of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, and served successfully for 20 years.
The following churches have been successfully pastored by him: Cross Road, 5 years; Mary Magdalene, 4 years; Stonewall, 3 years; May-flower, 7 years; Friendship, 1 year; Morning-glory, 26 years; and Goodhope, Keachie, La., 24 years. At present (1914) Elder Carter pastors the last two mentioned churches and the Oakland Baptist Church, Shreveport, La. He has been honored by the 13th District Association by a four-time election to the Moderatorship. During this time he recommended the establishment of the 13th District Academy in one of his annual messages. He holds the following positions of trust at present: Member State Executive Board; Vice-President Louisiana Baptist State Convention; Member Executive Board 13th District Association; and Editor News-Enterprise, one of the leading Negro newspapers of the State.
Bishop Carter married Miss Jessie Gaskin in 1875. This union has been blessed with nine children, four of whom have graduated from the Normal Course and others are pursuing their course in school. While Bishop Carter has been busy “fighting the Wolf at the door” of his home, he has been blessed with a queenly woman on the inside who has made success possible for him. He removed recently from Mansfield, and is now enjoying life in his new home in Shreveport, La. A picture of his beautiful residence appears elsewhere in this volume.
BISHOP JOHN HARRIS HENDERSON, B. D., TEACHER AND CHURCH BUILDER.
Elder Henderson is the eighth child of Bishop Wyatt and Mrs. Alice Henderson. He was born about 1872, on a Christmas Day on the Old Independent Plantation near Bayou Sara, La.
BISHOP J. H. HENDERSON,
Hot Springs, Ark.
When quite a boy the subject of our sketch gave evidence of a bright intellect and a dogged determination to educate. His father being unable to send him to school, he set out from home with $32 in his pocket with which to educate himself. He found a helpful and life-long friend in the person of the late Principal, Dr. E. N. Smith at Howe Institute, New Iberia, La. By hard work and “keeping at it,” he graduated from Howe in 1893. This was not enough he pushed his way onward to Leland University, and there began the struggle of finishing another course of study, some time subsisting on 15 cents per day, but he “stuck to his bush” and graduated May, 1897.
After his conversion in 1886, he was baptised into the membership of the church by his own brother. Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, New Iberia licensed him to preach in 1892. Conscious of his need of Ministerial preparation, he made his way to the Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., and after enduring hardness like a good soldier he graduated B. D., under the late Dr. M. Mc Vicar, in 1902. Brother Henderson was ordained in 1901, and united in marriage December, 1902, to Miss Rainy Butler--one of Louisiana's best women. Their union has been blessed with four children--Leona Bee, Joseph Lee, H. A., and J. H. Henderson, Jr. After resigning the Deanship of the Theological Department, Coleman College, Gibsland, La., Bishop Henderson removed to Shreveport where he accepted a call to Trinity Baptist Church, 1903. Taking this congregation out of the Lone Star Hall, he placed them in a splendid church edifice valued at $8,000. After leaving here he organized the Henderson Chapel which he built up to a valuation of $2,700, with a good membership.
This minister also did some splendid school work, succeeding the writer as Principal of 13th District Academy, Shreveport, La. He made the school self-supporting the first year, and succeeded in effecting a purchase of 121 acres of valuable land at a cost of $2,500. In 1910, a “Macedonian cry” came from Minden, La., to which he responded, and assumed the pastorate of the First Baptist Church. Here he erected one of the most modern structures in the state at a cost of $5,000.
He has occupied with credit the following positions: Vice-President Louisiana Baptist State Convention; Vice President Louisiana Baptist State Sunday School Convention.
At this writing he pastors the Roanoke Baptist Church, Hot Springs, Ark. Bishop Henderson has been here only a short while, but has made a splendid record.
ELDER I. A. CARTER, A PIONEER PREACHER OF WONDERFUL POWER.
About 1847 in Culpepper County, Virginia, Bishop Isaac Albert Carter was born. He came into this state in 1858 and settled in Mansfield, Louisiana, Desoto Parish. In 1859 he was converted and baptised into the membership of the White Baptist Church, Mansfield, La. Pastor McCivie (white) baptised him, in 1862.
Elder Carter came to Shreveport in 1866, and began holding prayer meetings on Sunday evenings with Sister Hannah Battle, Sister Priscilla Coursey, Brother Billy Lewis and others. From these meetings Antioch Church was organized, other colored members from the White Baptist Church joining them in the organization. Deacon John Howell of the White Baptist Church urged this organization and advised the Negro members of the White Church to unite with Brother Carter's prayer meeting crowd and set up the First Colored Baptist Church of Shreveport, now known as the Antioch Baptist Church.
Bishop Carter was ordained to the deaconate of Antioch about 1870. After serving 8 years, he resigned to take charge of the St. John Baptist Church, Mansfield, La., being ordained to the work of the ministry, May 24, 1879 by Elders: Josiah Jones, Isaiah Jones, (col) and J. A. Hackett (white). Brother Carter was called to the Pastorate of the Evergreen Baptist Church, Shreveport in 1882. It was then a small membership of about 40, worshipping in a little rented fish shop on Texas Avenue and Jordan Street. His successful labors have brought this membership to about 400. He has led them out of the little fish house successfully through 30 or more years into one of the best frame structures in the state. He has pastored St. John at Mansfield more than 30 years. During this time he has erected two houses of worship, the second being the beautiful frame building in which they now meet for service. Elder Carter secured the services of the writer to preach the dedication sermon when they entered their new building in 1896. He has baptised, perhaps, more than 600 happy souls into the membership of these two churches. The 13th District accomplished its great work educationally and otherwise during his 21 years of dauntless and successful leadership. He labored for 21 years, “the greatest Roman of them all.”
SOME OF OUR WORKERS WHOSE FULL BIOGRAPHIES WE DID NOT SUCCEED IN GETTING.
Bishop J. S. Love, tireless worker of 10th District Association, was born in Richland Parish. After his conversion, he was baptised into the membership of Holly Grove Church, by Elder H. A. Scates. October 19th, 1899, he was ordained to the work of the Minstry. He now (1913) pastors three of the best churches of the 10th District. Bishop Love owns a nice home at Rayville, La., where one of his churches is located and where he is doing a good work.
Bishop E. S. Stills is one of the strong young preachers of the 13th District. Although he has been ordained but a few years, yet his work speaks volumes attesting his worth and ability as a preacher. He now (1914) pastors the Galilee Baptist Church, Shreveport, which in point of membership is the largest or easily among the largest churches in the 13th District Association. Bishop Stills pastors two other churches, and is doing much for the Cause of Christ. He is always anxious to study him who said “Learn of Me,” having studied hard and successfully at the 13th District Academy and Bishop College, Marshall, Texas.
MRS. L. D. PRUITT,
President Woman's State Convention.
Bishop C. S. Shelton, one of the most honored Secretaries of the state, is doing good work in the 13th District. He has been secretary of the 13th District Association since its organization or there-about. He has pastored Trinity Baptist Church, and other of the District's best churches. As Secretary, he has been identified with all the work of the District, and stands well with his brethren.
Elder Robert Taylor was, perhaps, the 13th District's first Missionary. Brother Taylor is among the oldest and most respected pioneer preachers of the state. For many years he served the Galilee Baptist Church, Shreveport. He now (1914) pastors successfully the Baptist Temple, Shreveport. Brother Taylor is orthordox, bold and uncompromising in preaching a WHOLE GOSPEL.
Elder S. M. Bendau is another of Louisiana's Clergy who has made good, and done much for the Master. As many as four of the 13th District's country churches clamor for the services of Brother Bendau constantly. Bishop Bendau though comparatively young in the ministry has done a deal of work and gives promise of still larger usefulness.
Bishop B. Moore, who came into our state a few years ago from Texarkana, Tex., is pastoring the old historic Antioch Baptist Church at Shreveport. In point of location, architecture and beauty this brick house of worship leads in the state among Negro Baptists. It was planned and erected by Bishop J. B. Green whom Brother Moore succeeds. Elder Moore has accomplished much during the short time he has been here, having paid many dollars on the church debt and won many souls for the Kingdom, and gives promise of much more usefulness.
Bishop J. W. Wells is found among the young clergymen of North Louisiana, energetic, aggressive, and pushful. He has pastored and now pastors some of the best churches of the state. Brother Wells has been elected to many positions of trust by his brethren with whom he stands well, and among whom he gives promise of working out a great future.
Elder J. W. Whaley was among the first organizers of the Baptist forces in North Louisiana. After the New Orleans brethren had gotten their work well on foot, and the State Convention had been organized and the state districted, Brother Whaley with his organizers got busy in North Louisiana, and within a few years associations were born and churches dotted the northern part of the state. Many leading churches of the state called him to their pastorate, and his brethren honored him with many important positions of trust. When he left for Heaven he was and had been for many years President Trustee Board of Coleman College, Gibsland, La.
Elder Wm. Head like Bishop Whaley led in the earliest church and associational organizations in the northern part of the state. He was among the first to teach school in the northern parishes of the state, and to ask for schools for his recently emancipated people. Brother Head began serving his brethren as secretary of associations when it was dark--there being scarcely a ray of intellectual light. Very often he would be the only man that could read in the meeting. This was the condition of the Baptist cause just after we emerged from slavery. The brethren have thrust positions of trust upon Bishop Head, and many leading churches have honored him with their pastorate. All honor to the pioneers.
Bishop Luke Allen, Jr., although among the youngest of Shreveport pastors, has wrought well and built up a large membership at the Avenue Baptist Church. He has also been called to the Greenwood Baptist Church, Greenwood, La. Here as at Shreveport he has accomplished much in helping “the man fartherest down.” Bishop Allen is a strong young preacher with a stentorian voice. His pleasing manner, energy and pushfulness bespeak for him a brilliant future. He is the son of one of Louisiana's greatest preachers--Elder Luke Allen, Sr.
Elder L. W. Canfield must be numbered among the men who have done much for the cause in Louisiana. The Republican Baptist Church, near the line of Louisiana and Texas, owes its life to God and the unselfish labors of this great man. He preached a faithful Gospel to them” “in season and out of season,” making 20 mile trips in his buggy out of Shreveport twice per month; sometimes almost swimming the swollen creeks. The Furrh community will never forget Bishop Levi W. Canfield. Henderson Chapple Baptist Church, Shreveport, recently called him to its pastorate.
Bishop J. T. B. Labeau holds forth at Baldwin, La., where he has done a great work. For years Brother Labeau has been among the Baptist leaders in this section of the state. He has held the high office of Vice-President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, and other positions of trust within the gift of his brethren. In addition to these positions some of our first churches have called him to pastor them.
Elder Taylor Frierson--No truer Herald of a whole Gospel has ever taken a text than Dr. Taylor Frierson. He is orthodox to the core, and believes in and preaches a “what saith the Lord” Gospel. He was among the first students who entered Leland University in 1870. After pastoring some years in Mississippi, he was called to succeed the late Bishop Jiles North at Lake Charles, La., where he now labors--doing much good. Leland University has long since acknowledged his worth and ability as a preacher by conferring upon him the D. D. degree. He is a pioneer upon whom too much honor cannot be conferred.
Elder A. T. Sumpter is among the Louisiana preachers who are “doing things.” Like the Apostle Paul he works at times with his hands as well as preaches the Word. He has done much in building up the cause of Christ along the Red River where he has labored for years. He has bought land and built up a nice home in Shreveport. Brother Sumpter is one of the oldest and most respected Ministers of the 13th District, and enjoys the confidence of his brethren. He has also been a member of the Executive Board of the Association and the Managing Board of the 13th District Academy.
Bishop Jordan Taylor, although deprived of a great deal of early school advantages, is easily one of the foremost young ministers of Louisiana. His work like Bishop Sumpter's has been principally in the Red River bottoms. Some of his church work is in the hill country of Bossier
PRESIDENT W. M. TAYLOR AND OTHER STATE CONVENTION LEADERS 1914.Parish. Brother Taylor is one of the most respected and honored leaders in this section of the state. He studied hard and successfully under the writer in the Ministers Department at the 13th District Academy, and is ever ready to learn more and more of the “Lowly Nazarene.” In Christianity and economy he teaches his people both by precept and example, having accumulated some property, built up a home, and he has let his light so shine, and has preached the Gospel with such power that many hundreds have been converted unto God.
Elder L. C. Capers is, perhaps, the oldest pioneer in Bossier Parish church work. As far back as the writer can remember the Friendship Baptist Church, Bossier City, was in his charge. He was the first Moderator of the local association of the 13th District, prior to the organization of the Thirteenth District Association proper. Brother Capers has presided over many of the churches of the 13th District, and baptised hundreds into church membership. The present day ministry owes Elder Capers and scores of other pioneers a debt of gratitude for their well done work in laying the foundation on which the work now stands, and operates.
Miss Mattie E. Walker, of New Orleans, La., has the honor of being one of the first two lady graduates of Leland University, and thus one of the race's first teachers. She is a daughter of the sainted Bishop George W. Walker, who was one of the leaders of Louisiana Baptists. Miss Walker a teacher of large experience, having studied at The Woman's Home Mission Training School, Chicago, Ill., in addition to her course at Leland. She has taught successfully several years at the Baton Rouge College, Baton Rouge, La., where she now labors.
Bishop G. W. Toney within a few years has made his way like a meteor from ministerial obscurity to one of the highest positions among Louisiana Baptists, that is, Moderator of the First District Association. Brother Toney's kind disposition, energy and pushfulness have been deservedly rewarded. He has been serving a New Orleans church for many years, and has accomplished much for the Master. Bishop Toney is a lover of education, having spent several years at Leland himself as a student, and has encouraged scores of others to do likewise. His District actually carries on the work that Jesus commanded and emphasized when He said: “Ye have the poor always with you, but me ye have not always.” Matt. 26:11. “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he shall also cry, but shall not be heard.” . . . .Prov. 21:13. The operation of the Old Folks Home proves that Bishop Toney is loyal to this teaching.
Elder Guy Beck was one of the first preachers in the city of New Orleans recently after the war. He was a power for good in New Orleans, and pastored a church in Carrolton, where he did a deal of abiding work. Elder Beck was a grand old man--strong in morals, and powerful in the Spirit, leading hundreds to Christ and Heaven. He went to his home in Heaven late in the seventies or early in the eighties, leaving a consecrated widow to mourn his loss to earth. She has proven herself to be a widow in deed.
Elder George Byrd, an honored old pioneer, wrought well at Baton Rouge in early times. He came into the state from Virginia, and pastored the Shiloh Baptist Church many years. Brother Byrd was an old-school preacher believing wholly in the “What saith the Lord.” He was respected by the people of Baton Rouge for his moral worth and Christian bearing. When called from labor to reward he had built up a strong church, and accomplished the work he was divinely sent to do.
Elder Charley Williams was the noted pioneer worker below Canal Street in New Orleans for many years. He was the much loved and honored pastor of the Amazon Baptist Church. Although he was down there among many Roman Catholics, he held his own, preached “One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism” and built up a great church. Elder Williams was a great preacher, loved and respected by all who knew him. The work of Brother Williams goes on today through the untiring labors of Bishop Piercy, who caught the banner when falling from the hands of Elder Williams, and has been gallantly marching with it up the hill. Brother Williams hearing the blessed applaudit, as it were, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,” left New Orleans for Heaven.
Among the many efficient Baptist teachers of the state, is Professor J. S. Clark, B. A., who for many years was the able instructor, head and builder of Baton Rouge College, and today through his energy and push holds the highest position of a Negro Educator within the gift of the State of Louisiana, being recently appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, President of the state school--Southern University. After finishing a course of study at Coleman College, Professor Clark entered Leland University where he graduated with honors from the B. A. degree course.
Professors S. S. Gray, member faculty of Leland University; A. C. Priestly, Principal High School in New Orleans; A. J. Lagard, B. A.; Francis Boley, B. A., Mrs. Amelia Boley, B. A., J. M. Frazier, B. A., Mrs. J. M. Frazier, Mrs. Betsy Planving, B. A., Harris Hamilton, William Boston, Principal City School, Lake Charles, John Jones, Principal City School, Lake Charles, William Thomas, Principal, Alexandria Academy, C. C. Smith, B. A., and scores of other Baptist scholars are making good and accomplishing much. We are proud of these.
Bishop H. L. Davis was one of the first Secretaries of the North West Louisiana Association No. 2. After many years of successful labor in Desoto Parish, he removed to Gibsland, La., Bienville Parish where he has with his own hands built a good home. Sister Mollie Davis, his wife, a zealous church worker has stood by him in the building of a Christian home and succeeding in the ministry. Two boys and one girl bless their union.
Elder Davis has pastored and now pastors some of the best churches in the state. The First Baptist Church at Minden, and the Republican Baptist Church, Furrh, La., being among the churches pastored. He pastors Republican at this writing.
Elder H. R. Flynn is among the oldest workers in the state. He came into the 13th District from the 10th District some years ago and accepted the pastorate of the Avenue Baptist Church at Shreveport. He increased his membership of this church to five or six hundred, leading in point of numbers every other church in the
ADMINISTRATION AND DINING DEPARTMENT, COLEMAN COLLEGE.13th District. Brother Flynn now pastors the 20th Century Baptist Church, Shreveport, and churches in the 10th District. Mrs. H. R. Flynn who is deeply interested in church and District work has helped the Elder much in achieving his great success in the ministry.
Professor Albert W. Stewart was without question one of the greatest Baptist school teachers not only in Shreveport, but in all America. He was kind in disposition, firm in decision, painstaking and thorough in his work as a teacher. As a true husband he had no superiors and but few equals. When the Lord called him, he was standing loyally at his post, as the efficient Principal of the Peabody Normal, Shreveport, La.
Professor F. S. McKeel came to Louisiana many years ago from New York City, and became one of the first Negro teachers of North Louisiana.
When overtaken by affliction and called to his reward, he was the honored principal of the West End Public School, Shreveport. He had served this post for many years with credit to himself, denomination and race. Professor McKeel was a “Progressive” ever ready to do what he could for the uplift of his race and humanity. He was a devoted husband and father.
Mrs. Marget Thomas and Mrs. Grace Williams are among the honored pioneer teachers of North Louisiana, having taught successfully and with credit before many of the present teachers were born.
Mrs. Williams is at present one of the popular teachers of the West End Public School of Shreveport.
The writer of this History will always feel grateful to her for teaching him his alphabet before she left the school room.
ELDER S. D. NANCE--PIONEER AND EX-MODERATOR OF 4TH DISTRICT ASSOCIATION.
Brother Simon Daniel Nance was born of Mr. Simon and Mrs. Martha Nance in Walker County, Texas not far from Huntsville, June, 1844. His father was of pure African blood; his mother was half Indian.
After the death of his owner--Captain Black--Elder Nance was brought to Mississippi. At the outbreak of the Civil War he ran away and joined the Federal Army. After the war he married Miss Amelia M. Pierce in 1871. Their union has been blessed. Miss Maggie Nance, their daughter, has developed into a splendid young woman, and serves at this writing as one of Tuskegee Institute's best teachers.
As to Elder Nance's schooling; he spent 5 days in school, so meager were his opportunities in those dark days. And yet with practically no schooling he forged his way to the front. On the 2nd Sunday in October, 1873, after conversion he was baptised into the membership of the Antioch Baptist Church by Elder John C. Williams, and January 9th, 1879 he was ordained by Elders John Carter, Ambrose Harris, and Caroline Weal.
While Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, which grew out of a prayer meeting on his gallery commenced in 1881, he was elected Moderator of what is now the 4th District Association, which position he creditably held 19 years. Elder Nance was member and secretary of District Educational Board 9 years and Missionary 8 years. He has pastored the following churches: Mount Carmel, St. Paul No. 2, Antioch, Mt. Zion, Macedonia, Magnolia, Bethlehem, Mt. Pilgrim, Beech Hill, Little Antioch, Belladonia and Cypress Grove. The Association presided over by Elder Nance was organized in 1883 under the name--First Regular Baptist Association by the following brethren and others.: Elders Daniel Dorsey, Isaac Langdon, Logan Peterson, Sam Tucker, George Tilly, Ruffin Thornton, Major Hamilton and Henry Hewley. No Pioneer in the state has labored harder and more zealously for the race and the Master's cause than Bishop Simon Daniel Nance.
SOME OF OUR MANY SCHOOLS.
Leland was founded by Deacon Holbrook Chamberlain in 1870 at New Orleans, La., in the basement of Tulane Avenue Baptist Church. The writer has often been told of this good man's self-denial and self-sacrificing spirit when establishing this great institution for the Louisiana Negro Baptists and the Negro race. According to Dr. R. B. Cook in his “History of the Baptists in All Ages and Countries,” it seems that Leland's first President was an acting President--Elder M. C. Cole. Then follows the line of Presidents from 1870 to 1914--Drs. Gregory and Barker; Professor Traver, and then it appears that Dr. Cole acted President again until the election of Dr. Edward Cushing Mitchell in 1887. Dr. George H. Felton acted President a while after the death of Dr. Mitchell when Dr. R. W. Perkins was elected President. At present (1914) Professor Alfred A. Earl is President. Although he has been there only a short while, he has thus far made a successful fight for a greater Leland and made many improvements.
Deacon Chamberlain wrought more than he knew. He has established this institution for us and gone on, but his good works follow him. Leland has been and is the Educational Mother of Louisiana Negro Baptists. From her walls have gone out some of the best and most serviceable men our race has produced--some of whom are: T. A. Walker, A. M., M. D., Professors Jonas Henderson, A. M., John Jones, W. O. Boston, Francis Boley, B. A., Alfred Priestly, A. M., S. S. Gray, A. M., A. J. Lagard, B. A., A. L. Yates, B. A., John Yates, B. A., J. S. Clark, B. A., J. D. Stewart, B. A., J. L. Crosley, B. A., J. M. Frazier, B. A., M. J. Foster, B. A., Drs. C. L. Fisher, A. M., A. F. Owens, John Marks, Taylor Frierson, C. S. Collins, B. A., M. D., A. H. Brown, B. A., M. D., Wm. Hicks, B. A., D. D., and scores of others too numerous to mention here. Through these and her other great sons and daughters, the power and influence of Leland touches every part of Louisiana as well as extends into other states and Canada. This school is beautifully situated on St. Charles Avenue. It comprises two large brick buildings and about 10 acres of very valuable land. It has an endowment of $100,000 or
REYNOLD'S HALL--GIRL'S DORMITORY, COLEMAN COLLEGE.more. Dr. Simmons (white) was Leland's first instructor.
Coleman College is easily one of the greatest Negro Baptist Schools not only in Louisiana, but in the South. It is beautifully located at Gibsland, La., on one of the most picturesque hills in the state. The ridge on which sits two three-story brick buildings; one two and a half story brick building; and two two-story frame buildings, is nearly a complete horse shoe made by the hand of nature's God. This institution is the life-work of Professor C. L. Coleman who founded it in 1888. Brother Coleman began practically with no house, but to-day the above mentioned stately buildings beautify the campus.
Valuation about 26 years ago practically nothing; today, its valuation is $60,000, and it is the largest school in the state owned exclusively by Negro Baptists. Through President Coleman's influence and push it is supported more liberally by the white people of the North than any other school of its kind in the South.
It is supported by the following: The Home Mission Society of Boston; The Home Mission Society of New York; The United States Government Bureau of Agriculture; and by the Negro Baptists of Louisiana. It has been and is now doing untold good for the Baptist cause in Louisiana, having sent out many splendid young men and women. Coleman College emphasizes Christian training, not failing each session to lay aside books for a week or ten days, and engage in revival work, with wonderful success. Present Faculty: O. L. Coleman, A. M., President; J. D. Stewart, A. B., Associate President; A. L. Yates, B. A., O. W. Gray, C. R. Dickerson, Principal District Department; T. J. Jordan, Bishop P. B. Lewis, Mrs. M. A. Coleman, B. S., Mary Clay, Rosa Lewis, and Katie Smith.
Houma Academy, Houma, La., fostered and operated by the Fifth District Association. It was founded by this Association under the leadership of the late Dr. H. C. Cotton--a man of sterling worth and ability. The Academy's valuation is more than $2,000. Professor A. J. Legard, B. A., renders excellent services as Principal.
Israel Academy was founded by the late Bishop H. C. Cotton. It is a large well equipped two story frame building. This school is fostered principally by the great church at Bell Alliance of which Dr. Cotton was the honored pastor for many years. Miss Philemine Joseph succeeds here as Principal. Valuation of this school is more than $2000.
Minden Academy, located at Minden, La., was founded in 1905 by Bishops: J. R. Moore, P. P. Mellon, Th. B., J. M. Moore, A. G. McDaniel, and others of the North West Louisiana Association No. 1. Its main building is a two story frame structure situated on about 33 acres of good land. Total valuation $3000. It is doing good work under (1913) under the management of Professor J. D. Johnson, B. S.
Mansfield Colored Industrial High School, Mansfield, La., is fostered by the North West Louisiana Association No. 2. It was founded in 1902 by Professor John H. Whaley and Trustees. It comprises both a boy's and girl's dormitory, situated in a valuable plot of ground. Valuation of school (1909) was $5000 and still it grows under the successful management of its efficient head, Professor J. H. Whaley, graduate of Straight University and a summer student of Chicago University.
Howe Institute was established at New Iberia, La., in 1890. The sons of Peter Howe of Wenona, Ill., who out of filial regard for the wishes of their revered father, placed this beautiful property under the control of the President of Leland University for a number of years. In 1904 they gave the property in simple fee to the school management, and added a handsome donation. At this time (1914) the Institute is fostered and controlled by the Sixth District Association. In 1905-6 the Association erected a splendid two-story brick building costing $8000.
Professor Jonas Henderson, B. A., A. M., is at the head of this institution. He is one of the leading educators, not only of his state but of his race. For many years he was an honored member of the Faculty of Leland University, filling with credit to himself and denomination the chair of History and Mathematics. The writer being one of his old pupils knows personally of the worth and ability of this great man. His wife--a splendid woman and a graduate of Leland University, is matron of this school.
Leland Academy is located at Donaldsonville, La. In 1892, its Trustees made application when it became auxiliary to Leland University. Professor S. S. Gray, A. M., was at one time Principal of this school.
The Tenth District High School at Monroe, La., is in a prosperous condition under the management of Professor M. J. Foster, B. A. Its recent enrollment reached 208. At present it comprises a large two-story frame building, a smaller one and a large plot of ground. This school is fostered and controlled by the 10th District Association. It stands as a beacon light in North Louisiana, and is accomplishing much.
Opelousas Academy was founded in 1900, by Bishop L. C. Simon, Opelousas, La. Its valuation was $20,000 in 1911. This institution has a good enrollment and is doing splendid work under the principalship of Professor B. J. Hurd, B. A.
Central Louisiana Academy is the widely known school of the 8th District Association. It was established under the management of Prof. Warner R. Wright, Elders C. L. Roberts, H. B. N. Brown, Israel Thomas and others were with Professor Wright in founding and building up this institution. It has done a deal of good and lasting work in the central part of the state.
Cheyneyville Academy was founded by Dr. C. L. Roberts with the assistance of his three local churches, and it has been operated with marked success, helping the Baptist cause in and around Cheneyville. It has been principalled by some of the race's strongest men: C. S. Collins, A. B., M. D., A. J. Lagard, B. A., A. L. Yates, B. A., and Wm. Thomas. The present encumbent (1913) is Professor Charles A. Martin.
Bunkie Academy is beautifully located in the town of Bunkie, La. Professor A. J. Willis is the efficient principal. He is “on the wall,” doing a great work for Bunkie and cannot at this time come down. He has enlarged the building twice and yet there is not enough room.
WOMEN'S WORK THROUGHOUT THE STATE
ELDER C. W. BROOKS,
1136 Cherokee St., New Orleans, La.
These Christian women have done and are doing much good in their respective districts. In the First District, the 13th and the Freedmen's the women are loyally supporting Old Folks Homes. In other Districts they are helping the brethren to foster schools.
I tried to get the work of these Sisters more in detail, but could not. It must be said to their credit that they have already won the blessed applaudit “Well done.”
SOME OF OUR MANY SCHOOLS.
Thirteenth District Normal and Collegiate Institute in the city of Shreveport, is owned and fostered by the 13th District Association. It was founded as the 13th District Academy by Wm. Hicks, A. B., D. D., the Trustees of Providence Academy (who afterwards went into disolution); and President I. A. Carter and his Executive Board of the 13th District Association. The school afterwards took the name--13th District Institute at the suggestion of Bishop Hicks. Dr. A. M. Newman was elected Supervisor of Education; with Brother Hicks as Principal. The Institute got down to work. 13th District Baptists accomplished much during the 9 years of Professor's Hicks' encumbency. He opened the school in an old dilapidated dwelling house in 1894, which he soon moved back; converted it into a dining room and kitchen; and erected in 1899, a magnificent $3,000 two-story structure. The enrollment in the Boarding Department
Elder C. L. Fisher, D. D.reached about 40, and of the entire school nearly three hundred, with a maximum annual receipt of $2,000. Professor Hicks organized a School Land Saving Association composed of both his converted and unconverted friends; by means of which five lots on west side of the two already paid for school lots were secured as District property. During the successful labors of Dr. J. H. Henderson as Principal, 120 acres were secured (about seven miles out from town) and added to the school property; and also the Boys' Department was enlarged.
Other Principals who have served this school successfully are: Professors A. C. Capers, B. A., A. Letherman, B. A., A. Cheatham, B. A., and Harris Hamilton. The Institute is getting on nicely now (1914) under Professor J. E. Wilson. The buildings and land of this institution easily value $10,000.
Benton Colored High School was organized in 1907 by Elders S. H. Ralph, L. Ford, S. W. Jackson, Z. Flenouy, W. H. Hall and I. S. Mitchell, Jr. Bishop Ralph has wrought well as Principal. This school is valued at $1,000 and has an enrollment of 150. It is destined to do much good in this part of the state, being within the bounds of the Calvary Association.
East Carrol Normal and Industrial Institute is one of our schools in North East Louisiana. It is located at Lake Providence on 60 acres of fine land. This school comprises three buildings. It was founded in 1898 by Bishop J. E. Brunswick. Under the present efficient management of Professor Emmett Louis Washburn, B. A., it bids fair to do much good as the years come and go.
Ruston Colored Normal Institute, Ruston, La., is one of the best Baptist schools in the state. It was begun about 1896 by Professor S. A. Williams and others. After Professor Williams' encumbency, Professor I. S. Powell was elected to the Principalship. That Professor Powell has succeeded here and done a great work nobody doubts. This school comprises two large two-story frame building situated on a nice plot of ground. The grounds and buildings easily value two or three thousand dollars. Some of our most brilliant Baptist sons have been connected with this school; prominent among whom was the late Professor William Allen, B. A.--one of the most scholarly young men that has graduated from Leland. He was brilliant, pleasing in manners, morally strong, and a teacher of whom all Louisiana Baptists were proud. But the Lord took him after he had worked here successfully only a short while.
Professor Powell did not make excuses here at this school; he made good.
Homer Industrial and Bible Training School was founded by Bishop R. A. Mayfield in 1898. A Board of Mission sisters and brothers assisted him in the organization. Elder Mayfield labored hard but with marked success in the establishment of this school. Having just graduated from the Ruston Normal Institute, he came to this almost forsaken field and threw himself into this work. As a result of his labors he has built up one of the best schools in the state, valuing $3000 or more. It is one of the North Louisiana Beacon Lights. After the establishment of the school, Bishop Mayfield became President. The following have served as Principals: T. C. Compton, B. A., and B. C. Lewis, B. A. The Lord has taken professor Compton to heaven. He was a splendid young man--strong in intellect and morals. To know him was to respect and love him. After well done work at Homer, he accepted the principalship of the Junction Arkansas Baptist Academy, Junction, Ark., where he was doing splendid work when he was called away. The Baptists lost in his departure an efficient teacher, a loyal husband, and a devoted father. Homer Industrial and Bible Training School gives promise of a deal of future usefulness.
A SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTER.
NEGRO BAPTIST BEGINNINGS IN AMERICA.
Dr. Richard B. Cook in his “Story of the Baptists in All Ages and Countries,” says that the Island of Jamaica, W. I., first belonged to Spain, and then to England. After the Indians were driven off, the Island became populated by Spaniards and English. Negroes from America, and not Missionaries from England first began Baptist Missionary work on this Island.“ The Voice of Jubilee” said that as early as 1814, the English Baptist Missionaries on arriving at Jamaica found that black men from America had preached the Gospel there, and prepared a people to hail their coming, to receive their message and to assist in propagating the Gospel through the Island of Jamaica.
As early as 1783, Elder George Lisle went from Georgia to Jamaica as the slave of an English officer. At the close of the Revolutionary War and at the death of his master, he was left free. He preached the Gospel here with telling effect and organized the first Baptist Church on the Island.
At Kingston, moved by the ignorance and vice of his race, he preached to them at the racecourse and in his own “hired room.” He organized a church of four members, who were refugees from America like himself. Like the Apostle Paul, he supported himself, as he preached the Gospel, by labor with his own hands. This Pioneer of pioneers told the story of the Cross to bond and free on neighboring plantations and to distant parts of the Island. His labors were blessed so abundantly that in about seven years he had baptised five hundred converts, and in 1793 built the first dissenting chapel in Jamaica. This subjected him and his followers to every kind of insult and persecution. He was thrown into prison for preaching sedition “loaded with irons and his feet fastened in the stocks, not even his wife nor his children were permitted to see him.” He was imprisoned more than once, and was at one time tried for his life, but acquitted. Elders George Gives and T. N. Swingle were co-laborers of Brother Lisle They organized a Second Church of 700 at Kingston. Another church was established by Moses Baker, a converted drunkard, at Crooked Spring. One of Brother Lisle's contemporaries whose name I cannot obtain was “hung for preaching and baptising.” Notwithstanding a rigidly enforced law from 1805 to 1814, forbidding preaching to slaves, the Word was preached with power and sinners converted by the hundred. Through the preaching of the Gospel these pioneers brought liberty to the souls of these bondmen; England's Emancipation Proclamation brought freedom to their bodies August 28, 1833.
Dr. R. B. Cooks says it was the correspondence of Elders George Lisle, Moses Baker and others, with Drs. Ryland and Rippon of England, that led finally to the sending out of the English Baptist Missionaries. That the work of these Missionaries was a success is evidenced by the fact that it not only became self-sustaining, but in 1842, there were 45 missionaries to leave for Africa, to take the Gospel to their brethren at home. Some one said to this departing Vanguard of African Missionaries, “Perhaps you will be made slaves by the heathen if you go.” Their prompt reply was, “We have been made slaves for men; we can be made slaves for Christ.”
A Jamaica Baptist by the name of Keith sold what he possessed, bought a few clothes only, and leaving his beloved companion for two years,“ worked his way to Africa and preached the Gospel on the very spot where he had been stolen.” By 1887, the number of Jamaica churches had grown from the first church organized by Brother Lisle to 142 live Christian organizations with a membership of 31,000 reporting as many as 2,140 baptisms per year. Dr. Walter H. Brooks refers to Elder George Lisle as “The Black Apostle.”
It seems that the work in Port-au-Prince, Hayti was more difficult than that in Jamaica. Elder W. C. Monroe, ordained in 1835 in New York, met with so much discouragement there that he abandoned the work, however it was afterwards resumed. In 1887 there were six churches, and five ministers in Hayti; and in all
T. A. WALKER,
Baton Rouge, La.
BEGINNINGS OF AFRICAN MISSIONS.
The first missionary from America to Africa was Elder Lot Carey. Although a slave in Richmond, Va., he applied himself to business and soon bought the freedom of himself and his two children for $850 in 1813. As early as 1807 he had joined the Baptist church, and in 1815, he became one of the prime movers in the formation of the African Missionary Society in Richmond, Va. Under very adverse circumstances they raised, within five years, $700 for missions. This was one of the first Missionary Societies of America; another being formed in Georgia soon after. Elders Carey and Colin Teague, both of Richmond, labored first among the Bassas, Monrovia, Liberia, where there was an American Colony as early as 1822. Here the first Christian church by Negro Missionaries was established, and six were baptised in 1823; nine more happy converts the following year. Elder Carey became pastor, and Brother Teague returned to Sierra Leone where they had first landed. Elder Carey extended the missionary work to Cape Grand Mount, among 'the Veys, one of the most powerful and intelligent tribes on the coast.” He maintained missions at both places, and “manifested much energy and faithfulness in his labors, great sagacity in civil affairs, and remarkable power and earnestness as a preacher.” At one time this missionary was Liberia's Vice-Governor, and became acting Governor during the absence of Governor Ashmun. One of the saddest tragedies on missionary fields occurred when Elder Carey was accidently killed by the explosion of gunpowder, November, 1828.
Elders A. W. Anderson, J. Lewis, and Elder H. Teague, son of Brother A. Teague, reinforced the white missionaries on the West Coast of Africa, there being some doubt as to whether the white missionaries could stand the climate. After the death or departure of the white brethren, the mission work was carried on by Elder J. Vonbrunn, a native Bassa.
Bishops J. Day, and A. L. Jones were sent to Africa in 1846, by the Southern Baptist Society, and from 1846 to 1856 other Negro missionaries were appointed, and in 14 Liberian villages, churches and schools were established. Two churches were organized in Sierra Leone. “In 1860 there were 24 stations, and churches, 18 pastors, 1,258 members, 26 tachers and 665 pupils.” Whn this mission was closed in 1875, Missionaries W. J. Davis and W. W. Colley resumed work in Yoruba, where they were heartily received as “God men.” Thousands had been converted while the work went on, and “many Godly men and women of the race were developed.”
Elder J. Day was a very active missionary. He went to Liberia in 1830, “resigned a judgeship, and was elected Lieutenant-Governor in 1847. “In 1854, the church at Monrovia called him to its pastorate. While here he founded and presided over a high school in which were the following departments: Elementary, Classical, and Theological. This pioneer accomplished much at this place. He made extended preaching tours, and reported “a Sunday-school in every village and the word preached statedly to more than 10,000 heathens.
Elder J. T. Bowen founded the Yoruba Mission in 1850, and in 1853 other missionaries were sent out. Through the labors of Brother Bowen stations were opened, residences and chapels were built, and schools and churches established.
The first Negro Missionary sent out under appointment by a Colored Board was Bishop S. Cosby, in 1878. Virginia Baptists sent him forth to labor in their Fatherland. Brother Cosby had with him in the work Elder W. W. Colley instead of Missionary David who had returned home. Thus Brother Bowen opened the way for colored missionaries.
In 1879, South Carolina Baptists sent Elder H. N. Bouey as their missionary to Africa. He took charge of a missionary church at Royeville, where he labored three years and returned home. Brother Bouey labored here with marked success, permanently organizing churches and associations. Missionary J. O. Hayes was a contemporary of Bishop Bouey, and did effective work in Africa. As early as 1887, Dr. Cook said, including Western, Southern and Central Africa, where the Congo Mission is, there are three Associations, 81 churches, 55 ministers, and 3,012 members. The slogan of Colored Baptists everywhere was “Africa for Christ.”
OUR EARLIEST ORGANIZATION IN THE NORTH.
Bishop R. L. Perry, Ph. D., says (1887) “The million colored Baptists in the United States maintain their own churches, associations and missionary conventions. Their early history in the South was interwoven with the history of the white churches, but since emancipation they have made their own independent record in the South, just as they were doing in the North before the war. They began in the North about 80 years ago--that is the Joy Street Church, Boston, Mass., was constituted in 1805; the Abyssinian Church, New York, in 1808, and the First African Church, Philadelphia, in 1809. From these as mother churches others were established, till, in 1840, there had been such an increase in churches in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, that they then formed themselves into a Missionary Convention for work among their own race.
The work of this body was confined to the North, excepting an effort to establish a mission in Africa, till peace in 1865, enabled them to enter the South, to which their whole attention was given. At their 26th Anniversary, at Richmond, Va., August, 1886, this body united with the North Western and Southern Convention. The united bodies took the name of the Consolidated American Baptist Missionary Convention, and did a grand work in the South. Some difference of opinion arose as to jurisdiction and management at Richmond in 1877, which indicated approaching disruption. This Convention still exists, but the fields it once occupied are now worked by new organizations: the New England Baptist Missionary Convention in the North; the Baptist Foreign Missionary Convention of the United States and Territories in the West.
In each quarter of the United States--North, South, East and West, there are some strong churches and able men, who take the lead in mission work and denominational action in their respective societies. The Foreign Mission Convention of the South, and the General Association of the Western States and Territories, have Foreign Mission Stations in Africa, while the Consolidated Convention has a Mission Station, and owns good mission property in Port-au-Prince, Hayti.”
I have quoted Dr. Perry at length that the reader might thoroughly understand these early beginnings. Ebenezer Baptist Church, New York, organized in 1825, and the Union Baptist Church in Cincinnati, constituted in 1827, follow in age the above mentioned churches.
FIRST GENERAL MISSIONARY SOCIETIES AMONG NEGRO BAPTISTS.
In 1873, the Baptist General Association of the Western States and Territories came into existence and was made larger in 1880. Bishop R. De Baptist, speaking of further Baptist growth says that: “In 1853 a movement was begun in the Wood River Association, Illinois, to reach wider and more needy parts of the West, which resulted in the formation of the Western Colored Baptist Convention, which in 1864, was still further widened into the North Western and Southern Baptist Convention. The latter consolidated in 1867 with the American Baptist Missionary Convention, operating in the Eastern and North Eastern States, the new body taking the name of the Consolidated American Baptist Convention, which continued its work at home and abroad till 1879, as a united body, when the Western Churches withdrew and formed their own association.
PRESIDENT JOHN MARKS AND OTHER CONVENTION LEADERS, 1879
The officers for 1887 were: Rev. W. H. Howard, M. D., Moderator; Rev. J. W. Cruchon and Rev. J. H. Oden, assistant moderators; Rev. J. L. Corron, Recording Secretary; Rev. T. L. Johnson, Corresponding Secretary; Rev. R. De Baptist, Treasurer. The income for the year was $5,136. Rev. T. L. Johnson, London, England, and Rev. J. W. Polk at home, are agents for collecting funds for the African Mission. Great interest has been awakened in the Congo Mission, Africa, and the Association appointed in 1886, Rev. J. W. Rickets and T. E. S. Scholes, M. D., as missionaries to the Congo Valley. Miss L. C. Fleming goes also as a missionary to the Congo country, whence her father was brought as a slave to this land. She is a graduate of Shaw University, and will be accompanied by Miss Faulkner and Miss Hamilton. They go under the Women's Societies of the East and West, which have already been doing a work among the women of the South through female teachers and missionaries.
The New England Baptist Missionary Convention was formed in 1875. Its field of operation is in the Northern and Eastern States. The minutes of 1886 show a list of 43 churches--open in Delaware, six in Pennsylvania, nine in New York, nine in New Jersey, four in Connecticut, two in Rhode Island, eleven in Massachusetts and one in Virginia. The main object of the Convention is to send out missionaries into destitute regions and to plant and build up churches within its reach. Its officers for 1887 are: President, Rev. R. D. Wynn; Vice-President, Rev. B. T. Moore; Recording Secretary, Rev. T. D. Miller, D. D.; Corresponding Secretary, Rev. W. T. Dixon; Treasurer, Rev. R. A. Motley; General Agent, Rev. R. L. Perry, Ph. D.”
In 1880 the Baptist Foreign Missionary Convention was formed with the following officers: Bishop A. S. Jackson, President; Hon. J. J. Spelman, Secretary; Professor J. E. Jones, Corresponding Secretary; Elder R. Wells, Treasurer. The Executive Board was located at Richmond, Va. The Convention divided the country into the following districts for Foreign Mission work: 1st Virginia; 2nd--the Territory covered by the New England Convention; 3rd--South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. The receipts for 1886 were $4,473.
Elder J. H. Presley and wife, Elder W. W. Colley and wife, Bishop J. J. Coles and Bishop H. McKinney, were sent as missionaries to Africa in 1883. “Africa In Brief” is the name of a little book of Elder J. J. Coles in which he tells of the labors and trials of these missionaries in building up the Baptist Vey Mission. In 1886 the Convention sent to this mission Bishop J. J. Coles, who returned to America, Mrs. Cole, Elder and Mrs. E. B. Topp and Elder J. J. Diggs, Mrs. Diggs was soon to follow. The Foreign Missionary Force now (1887) consists of four ordained ministers, four native helpers and two women. There are two churches and 150 members. They had 100 baptisms within two and a half years.
ORGANIZATION OF NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION.
By Bishop W. J. Simmons, D. D.
When a call was made by Elder W. J. Simmons, D. D., the First National Baptist Convention of Colored Baptists came together August 25, 1886, at the First Baptist Church, St. Louis, Mo., Bishop J. R. Young, pastor. After Brother Simmons had called the brethren to order, a temporary organization was effected by calling Elder W. J. Shelton to the chair, and selecting W. H. Stewart, Secretary. The permanent election resulted in the election of the following officers; Bishop W. J. Simmons, D. D., President; Elder J. R. Young, 1st Vice-President; Elder T. L. Johnson, 2nd Vice President; Elder W. H. Steward, and Bishop S. T. Clanton, Recording Secretaries; Bishop R. De Baptist, Corresponding Secretary; Miss L. W. Smith, Historian; and Elder D. A. Gaddie, Treasurer. After the adoption of the Constitution, the body was made permanent, and “got down to work.” The main object of the Convention given out by these pioneer fathers was “to unify the denomination in MISSION WORK.”
Seventeen states were represented by 600 messengers and visitors at this initial meeting. Among them were graduates in Law, Medicine, Theology; Professors of Philosophy, German, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew; Ex-State Representatives; Ex-Senators; Two Ex-Lieutenant Governors; Editors and Teachers not a few; and a Baptist Missionary from England. In line with the “Spirit of Missions” on which the fathers founded the Convention, Bishop T. L. Johnson said to this crowd of enthusiastic Baptists “Knox lifted up Germany, and it is for us to lift the heathen of the land of our fathers.”
The second session of the Convention was held with the Third Baptist Church, Mobile, Ala., Dr. A. F. Owens, pastor--1887.
Professor Monroe N. Work, in his 1913 “Negro Year Book” says that the first Negro Baptist Association organized in the United States, was the Providence Baptist Association of Ohio, in 1836. Two years later the Wood River Baptist Association was organized in Illinois.
BAPTIST CHURCH BEGINNINGS IN THE SOUTH.
The earliest church beginnings were in the South. Just which is the first Negro Baptist church in America is a disputed question. The First African Baptist Church, Savannah, Ga., is claimed by some historians to be the oldest, while on the other hand Dr. Walter H. Brooks says: “The First Church of Negro Baptists, the very first and oldest, so far as authentic and trustworthy writings of the eighteenth century establish, was constituted at Silver Bluff, on Mr. Galphin's estate, a year or two before the Revolutionary War. “This church continued to worship here at Silver Bluff situated on the South Carolina side of Savannah River, in Aiken County just 12 miles from Augusta, Ga., until the latter part of 1778 when the vicissitudes of war drove the little flock into exile. Its exile simply meant to multiply it in other places. Elder David George was pastor of the Silver Bluff Church. This pastor and people finally moved to Savannah seeking safety and freedom under the British flag at the fall of Savannah. It seems that unavoidable changes brought on by the war forced the members of The Silver Bluff Church to disband; but in due time God raised up another man--
Elder H. B. N. Brown, B. D.Elder Jesse Peter through whom he revived His work again and set it to going.
As the First African Baptist Church at Augusta, Ga., the Springfield Baptist Church--comes into existence we lose sight of the Silver Bluff Church, with Rev. Jesse Peter as pastor when the church is reported in a flourishing condition. The curtain rises and again we see a flock of devoted Christians, with Jesse Peters as pastor, but they are 12 miles away from Silver Bluff, S. Carolina, receiving the regulated touches of the Rev. Abram Marshall and another white minister, which gave the body standing and influence, as the First African Church of Augusta, Ga.
“If we presume, the Silver Bluff church is still with us, in another meeting place, and under a new name, the oldest Negro Baptist Church in this country to-day is that at Augusta, Ga., having existed at Silver Bluff, South Carolina from the period 1774-1775 to the year 1793, before becoming a Georgia Institution.”
THE FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCH, SAVANNAH, GA.
It seems that this church grew out of one of, the scattered parts of the Silver Bluff Church. There is some difference of opinion as to the founder and first pastor--some claiming that it was set up by Elder Andrew Bryan in 1788, others hold that this could not be. Dr. Walter H. Brooks says: “The Negro Baptist Church at Savannah, Ga., existed before Andrew Bryan became a Christian,” and that Elder Lislie was the first pastor. Mr. Joseph Cook, of Euhaw, South Carolina, in a letter to Dr. John Rippon of London, England says: “A poor Negro commonly called Brother George, has been so highly favored of God as to plant the First Baptist church in Savannah, and another in Jamaica.” From the time of Brother Lislie's departure for Jamaica in 1782 to the time of Bryan's ordination, 1788 the little flock at Savannah, Ga., was bitterly persecuted, but it stood the storm and fire of opposition, and outstripped in point of growth and numbers the other branches of Silver Bluff Baptist Church, and is today the acknowledged mother of American Negro Baptists.
In 1785 there was a Negro Baptist Church organized at Williamsburg, Va., but did not flourish to any large extent. There were other early church beginnings at Atlanta, Ga., New Orleans, La., and Galveston, Texas.
FIRST NEGRO BAPTIST SCHOOLS.
In 1887 there were, in the South at least 26 institutions of Higher Education for Negroes. The following schools had Negro Presidents, and for the most part were under the control of Negro Baptists:
State University of Louisville, Ky., founded by the late Dr. Wm. J. Simmons and others in 1873. Dr. Simmons had two assistants of whom only two were white. The University had three departments: College, Normal and Model school with 171 students. Property value of this school in 1887 was $18,000. First class of B. A.'s graduated in 1886.
Natchez College, Natchez, Miss., was organized in 1877. President P. A. Wardlaw had three instructors and 165 students.
Selma University, Selma, Ala., 1878. Dr. H. Woodsmall, President, in 1887 had seven instructors and 353 students--male and female with a property valuation of $15,000.
Brazoria Institute, Brazoria, Texas 1867. Professor H. S. Smothers was President. As early as 1887 he had trained 60 teachers for work among colored people.
Seguin Academy, Seguin, Tex., as early as 1887 had property valued at $1,400.
Hearne Academy, Hearne, Tex., was organized in 1881; by 1887 Professor W. F. Smith, principal had three teachers and 32 students with a property value of $4,000.
Western Union Institute, Asheville, N. C., was founded in 1884. Elder E. H. Lipscombe was President in 1887 with four teachers and 2000 students. Property valued at $5,000.
In 1887 there were several other Academies North Carolina; Winston Academy, Bishop C. S. Brown, A. B., Principal, costing $2,000; Garysburge High School, R. J. Walden, A. M., Principal, worth $1,500; High School at Warfor years pastor of the first white Baptist church renton, Bishop J. A. Whitted, B. A., Principal, valued at $5,000; Cedar Grove Academy, Elder R. H. Harris, Principal and at Goldsboro a lot had been purchased for a school site on which buildings were soon to be erected.
At Coalsmouth, W. Va., a school property formerly Shelton College had been purchased worth $25,000 and a school of high grade was to be soon opened with Elder C. H. Payne as President.
At Little Rock, Ark, the Arkansas Baptist College was begun in 1886 under “a scholarly and competent” President Professor J. H. Garnett.
The first, third and last of the above schools, and those that follow in this list, in 1887, were under the fostering care of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Dr. Morehouse said, “The Colored Baptists have raised apart from the Society's efforts, about $50,000 for property and teachers, chiefly for the schools at Selma, Live Oak, and Marshall, Texas.
By 1887 eight thousand students had enrolled in Home Mission schools.
Roger Williams University, Nashville, Tenn., the first school of the kind in order of time, began work in 1864. In 1887, President W. H. Stifler, D. D., had eight assistants and 126 young men and 87 young women. The property value was $85,000.
Wayland Seminary, Washington, D. C., opened its doors for the education of freed men in 1865. In 1887 President C. M. P. King, D. D., was assisted by six teachers with an enrollment of 126 students. Value of property at that time $10,000. Our race owes Dr. King a debt of gratitude, because as early as 1887 he had spent 18 years training Negro preachers and teachers.
In 1865, Shaw University began operations in Raleigh, North Carolina. By 1887, President H. M. Tupper, D. D., had a faculty of 20, and 402 students. Within 22 years after beginning this work, Dr. Tupper had built up a great University consisting of Esty Hall, Leonard Medical building, Chapel and Dining Hall Medical Dormitory and residences costing in all about $125,000. The Medical faculty was composed of the best white talent in Raleigh, while the Theological Department was in charge of Dr. T. E. Skinner, for years pastor of the First White Baptist in Raleigh, who said: “The work is itself an inspiration. The deportment is good, and far beyond any I have seen. The desire to learn is a most encouraging feature to the teacher, the ability to learn is fully equal to that of the white people, where the advantages have been the same.”
Dr. C. H. Cory and other white friends of ours founded Richmond Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., in 1867. Two of its faculty of four were Negroes. The student body numbered 64 as early as 1887.
Atlanta Seminary, (now Morehouse College) Atlanta, Ga., came into existence in 1867, and by 1887 President S. Graves, D. D., had five teachers and one hundred and fifty-three students.
Leland University, New Orleans, La., was organized in the basement of the Tulane Baptist Church for the education of freed men by Deacon Holbrook Chamberlain, in 1870, and by 1887 Acting President, Bishop M. C. Cole, was assisted by eight instructors with an enrollment of 221 students. Deacon Chamberlain endowed it with $95,000. Valuation of its property in 1887 was $85,000.
Columbia, South Carolina, is the seat of Benedict Isstitute (now Benedict College), which began work in 1870. President C. E. Becker as early as 1887 had four assistants and 218 students. His work was divided into four departments--Theological, Academic, Musical and Industrial.
ELDER L. FORD,
In 1887 Bishop J. L. A. Fish was President of Florida Institute organized in 1880, at Live Oak, Fla. Teachers at that time numbered 6; students 96; and valuation was $7,000.
Jackson College, Jackson, Miss., was founded in 1877 not in Jackson, but in Natchez, Miss., and was afterwards moved to Jackson. President C. Ayer heroically began the work and by 1887 he had four assistants and 251 students. Property value at that time $30,000.
1887 was the year in which Bishop College was established at Marshall, Texas. President S. W. Culver with five assistants and 156 students was doing a splendid work in 1887. One of his teachers, Professor David Abner was a College graduate of the school. This school was named after the late Dr. Nathan Bishop whose widow liberally endowed it.
Spelman Seminary, Atlanta, Ga., was organized in 1887 for females only. Before the year 1887 Miss H. Giles, and Miss S. B. Packard had built up a splendid school for Negro girls, having a faculty of 20 with an enrollment of 555 scholars.
Hartshorn Memorial College, Richmond, Va., founded in 1884 was another female school. President L. B. Tefft in 1887 had an enrollment of 96 girls. Property value was $35,000.
The Creen Freedman School, Tullahassee, I. T., was established in 1883, Professor C. E. Burdick, Superintendent. In 1887 it had three teachers, 6 pupils and property valued at $6,000.
In 1887 there were in the Home Mission schools alone 23 Negro teachers; 2,739 scholars; 437 preparing to preach; 963 preparing to teach; 35 desiring to go to Africa as missionaries and 38 studying medicine.
SOME OF THE FIRST NEGRO BAPTIST NEWSPAPERS AND EDITORS.
African Expositor, Bishop N. F. Roberts, Raleigh, N. C.; American Baptist, Dr. William J. Simmons, and Brother W. H. Stewart, Louisville, Ky.; Arkansas Baptist, Dr. E. C. Morris, Little Rock, Ark.; Arkansas Review, Bishop J. T. White, Helena, Ark.; Baptist Advocate, Bishop A. S. Jackson, D. D., and Elder S. T. Clanton, D. D., New Orleans, La.; Baptist Beacon, Bishop W. R. Boone, B. D., Springfield, O.; Baptist Messenger, Hon. J. J. Spelman, Jackson, Miss.; Baptist Preacher, Elder A. R. Griggs, Dallas, Texas; Georgia Baptist, Bishop W. J. White, Augusta, Ga.; Baptist Signal, Bishop G. W. Gales, Greenville, Miss.; Living Way, Elder W. A. Brinkly, Memphis, Tenn.; Memphis Watchman, Brother J. T. Turner, Memphis, Tenn.; National Monitor, Bishop R. L. Perry, Ph. D., Brooklyn, N. Y.; Western Herald, Elders R. De Baptist, A. Johnson, R. M. Duling and T. L. Smith, Keokuk, Ia.; Richmond Planet, John Mitchell, Jr., Richmond, Va., West Virginia Enterprise, Elder C. H. Payne, Charleston, West Va.; Weekly, Bishops R. R. Wright and E. K. Love, Augusta Georgia; Baptist Watchover, Brother W. H. Anderson, Evansville, Indianapolis; Mountain Gleaner, Elder E. H. Lipscombe, Asheville, N. C.; C.; Baptist Pilot, Elders L. G. Jordan and F. G. Davis, Waco, Tex.; Baptist Tribune, Dr. E. M. Brawley, Columbia, S. C.; Baptist Leader, Bishop A. N. McEwen, Montgomery, Ala.; Herald, Brother J. C. Duke, Montgomery, Ala.; African Missions, Professor J. E. Jones, Richmond, Va.; The Caret, Elder C. D. Cooley, Newport News, Va.; Marion Headlight, Brother J. L. Fleming, Marion, Ark.; Pioneer Press, Brother J. R. Clifford, Martinsburge, West Va.; Golden Epoch, Brother C. H. W. Stewart, Helena, Ark.; Baptist Banner, Brother J. W. Browdwe, Columbus, Kans.; Texas Pioneer, Professor S. M. Smothers, Brazoria, Tex.; Seven Mansions, N. O. Bryant, Calvert, Tex.; Busy Bee, Brother E. J. Jones, Greenville, Miss.; Baptist Review (magazine), Bishop E. R. Carter, Atlanta, Ga.; Missouri Baptist Standard, Brother G. H. McDaniel, Palmyra, Mo.; Pulpit and Desk (quarterly), Bishop Bird Wilkins, B. D., St. Paul, Minn.
These are only some of the many papers--religious and secular published by Baptist Editors as early as 1887. Drs. Brawley and Perry said at that time that there were as many more, whose names could not be obtained.
OTHER EARLY ORGANIZATIONS.
NEW YORK STATE.
Dr. Richard B. Cook says that the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, West 53d Street, New York City, was organized in 1878 with 21 members, and with five dollars in the treasury. At this time they worshipped in a hall and were under the care of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Chruch (white). Mount Olivet flourished under the pastorate of Bishop D. W. Wisher of Norfolk, Va. The church was organized and the pastor ordained on the same day, May 30th, 1878. Elder Armitage preaching the sermon.
It was not long before this hall became too small for the great crowds that came to hear the Gospel. Over 500 were added to the church by baptism, 250 by letter and 300 by experience. As early as 1886 this church had an active membership of 700, besides, $40,000 had been raised for church expenses; $6,000 for missions at home and abroad, and $16,000 for repairs and interest.
The Southern New York Association, April, 1884, assisted this membership in purchasing the splendid granite church edifice it now (1887) occupies. This was the church of Bishop Cheever, valued at $125,000, with a seating capacity of 2,000. Its organ cost $5,000. The dedication services occurred June 15th, 1884, Dr. Harvey Johnson preaching in the forenoon, Dr. Armitage in the afternoon and Bishop T. D. Miller at night. The dedication prayer was prayed by Bishop H. Williams, Jr. On the following Thursday the venerable Elder Cheever delivered an address of much interest, and a letter from the poet J. G. Whittier was read.
God gave this pioneer church many friends of means, among them were Bishop H. F. Barnes, S. S. Constant, and B. F. Judson who gave from $500 to $8,000. John D. Rockefeller, the richest of men, gave one-fourth of the entire cost of the property.
FIRST MARYLAND BAPTIST CHURCHES.
A Negro Baptist preacher whose name I cannot now obtain gathered a few Baptists in a private house in Baltimore, Md., in 1818, and in 1836 the first Baptist Church was organized in the State of Maryland. Moses Clayton, a Virginia slave, came to Baltimore in 1834. He could read, write, and speak with fluency. He worked at the carpenter's trade during the week and preached the Word with power and demonstration on Sundays. “He began a school with three children, two of them his own. Often he preached to an audience comprising his wife and two or three others, and spoke with much earnestness as if addressing a thousand.” A church was formed with 8 or 10, and Bishop Moses Clayton was ordained pastor of Maryland's first church.
In 1865 Bishop L. Hicks being pastor, sufficient money was collected for a house of worship into which they moved from the old school house. In 1880 a larger house was built in a more suitable location, costing $16,000. The present pastor (1887) is Bishop J. C. Allen.
In 1852, the Union Baptist Church, Baltimore, Md., was organized with 57 members. Elder J. Cary was the first pastor. By 1887 the membership had grown from 57 in 1852 to 2,000. Bishop Harvey Johnson, who was pastor of this church prior to 1887, and is now pastor (1914), stands high in his community. He is a graduate of Wayland Seminary. He took charge of his church in 1872 with only 278 members. In 1876 they entered their new house of worship, which cost $20,000. All of this they paid in four years, excepting $500. The pastor of this church was the prime mover in bringing Maryland Baptists together in a State Convention. There were in the state as early, or earlier than 1887, 20 churches, 6,000 members, 15 ministers and $150,000 worth of church property.
FIRST BAPTIST ORGANIZATIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Bishop Walter H. Brooks says that: “The Baptists of Washington, D. C., organized their first church and erected their first meeting house at the corner of 19th and I Streets, in 1802. There were six constituent members, all white. In process of time many colored persons were received as members. The house of worship had in 1833, become too small for the congregation and the old house was abandoned for a new one on 10th Street. The colored people were encouraged to continue in the old building. Finally the property was sold to the colored Baptists of the District. They had then, 1833, no church organization. They were members of the church on 10th street although they had their separate place of worship, and a Sunday-school for their children.
A number of colored Baptists who had come to Washington formed themselves into a Baptist Church in 1839. The church numbered four, of whom one, Emily Cook, now (1887) lives. As soon as the church was formed the colored members of the church on 10th Street, united with the new body and the property on 19th Street passed into their hands. In 1846 they numbered 202, from 1865 to 1873 they had increased from 370 to 1191, and in 1876 the membership was 1200, but a revision of the roll reduced it to 1086, the present number. The first pastor was Bishop S. White, and the present one is Dr. Walter H. Brooks.
From this church has gone out: The Second, Fourth, Fifth, Salem and Berean churches. Since 1860 other Baptist churches have sprung up that are not off-shoots of the First Church. There are today in the District between 20 and 30 Baptist Churches, many of which have a membership of between 1,000 and 1,800. They own some valuable church property, such as that of the Shiloh, First, Liberty, Fourth, Fifth, Berean, and others too numerous to name, which shows
CITY MINISTERS' UNION, New Orleans.to what good use thousands of the money of this people have been put.”
Revs. Brooks, Walker, Lee, Johnson, Howard, of the Zion Church, preach to large congregations.
VIRGINIA BAPTIST'S BEGINNINGS.
I am informed that the First White Baptist Church of Richmond, Va., was organized with 14 members, in 1780, when Richmond was a village of 1800 inhabitants, one half of whom were Negroes. “Since 1863 the Colored Baptists have constituted themselves separately, and have their own associations,” says one writer. The First African Baptist Church of Richmond existed before the War.
Bishop R. Ryland, D. D., President of Richmond College, was the pastor of this church for 25 years, and during his pastorate there baptised more than 3,800 persons. This house of worship was built between the years 1790 and 1800, and set apart for the use of the Colored Baptists, when the white Baptists erected for themselves a new church in 1841. This old Negro church house was historic, and was published in the list of places to be visited by the stranger in the city, who took Sunday for the purpose, to hear the excellent music. Within its walls some of the most important meetings have been held, and some of the most distinguished men have spoken.
The Virginia Convention of 1829-30 met here. Madison and Marshall were there. It was the last time these distinguished men held a seat in a public assembly.
In April, 1861, 'the largest meeting ever held in that church took place in behalf of the Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws.”
In 1864, a famous meeting took place in this Negro Church building, the object of which was to urge the people to renewed resistance to the Federal Army then thundering at the gates of Richmond. Addresses were made by Jefferson Davis, J. P. Benjamin and others.
Here also was held, after the surrender, a meeting of the Freedmen, “the first ever held in the South.”
In those days such men as Horace Greely, Gerritt Davis, Henry Wilson, and General Howard addressed the multitudes in this old church house. The African Church was the place both before and after the war for all great meetings. This famous old Negro house of worship was torn down in 1876, to make way for the present elegant structure which costs $40,000, seats 2,500 people, and has an organ costing $2,500. Bishop J. H. Holmes, the present (1887) pastor, took charge in 1867 when the membership was three thousand. Since then 5,000 have been added, and eleven other churches have been organized of material from this church. In 1887, the Sunday-school numbered 600 pupils; the church collections amounting to $4,000 annually.
The pastor of this church, though born a slave, educated himself and became a power for good in his day; baptizing June, 1878, at one time, 268 souls; on another day 598, and at another time in 1887, two hundred believers. The Second Baptist Church has a membership of 3,000.
The First Church, Manchester, Va., held its meetings apart from the whites the first time in 1821, at the house of Mrs. Nancy Rasfield. At this time they were few in number, and were a branch of the Spring Creek Church. Their numbers increased under their white pastors until when they purchased ground and erected a frame meeting house. These white pastors, however, were assisted by colored preachers. This church built its first brick house of worship in 1854, and in 1865, Bishop R. Wells, their first colored pastor took charge. He was followed in 1872 by Elder A. Binga. In 1869 they entered their present (1887) house of worship, which seats 1,400 people, and costs $18,000. Present membership is 1,512, after furnishing material for three churches within 15 years.
As early as 1887 the Fourth Church, Bishop E. Paine, pastor, numbers 1,400; Ebenezer, Elder R. Wells, pastor, 1,600; and the Second Baptist Church, Bishop W. Troy, pastor, 3,000. Elder John Jasper at this time was preaching to large congregations, and Bishop H. Williams was preparing a history of Negro Virginia Baptists.
The officers of the Virginia Baptist State Convention in 1887 were: Elder J. M. Armistead, President; Bishops A. Gordon, A. Truatt, A. H. Lewis, and H. W. Dickerson, Vice-Presidents; Bishop H. H. Mitchell, Corresponding Secretary; Elder A. Binga, Jr., Recording Secretary; and J. E. Farrar, Treasurer.
By 1887, this convention had employed six missionaries, raised $3,000 for missions, and paid to missionaries in Africa $2,250. The Secretary and Agent of their Foreign Mission Board was Bishop J. A. Taylor. Lynchburg Baptists had bought a $1,800 lot overlooking the city on which to establish a denominational school of high grade. West Virginia Baptists, in 1887, numbered 1800 with 25 churches, 3 associations and one State Convention, and the Executive Board had purchased school property for the erection of an Academic, Normal and Industrial School.
The originator of the school movement was Bishop C. H. Payne who was to be the President of the Institution.
TENNESSEE BAPTISTS BEGINNINGS.
It appears that they began their work with the organization of the First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn. By 1887 this church had a membership of 2,500. Their house of worship cost $26,000 with a seating capacity of 1300. At this early date Tennessee Baptists also had a large house of worship at Memphis, for which they paid $100,000 cash. They had 10 associations in the state with more than 35,000 members.
Officers of their State Convention, at the 14th Anniversary held at Winchester in 1886 were: Bishop R. V. Vandervell, D. D., President; Elders C. C. Russell, J. Bransford and I. Trimble, Vice-Presidents; Bishop B. Frierson, Recording Secretary; Elder B. A. Franklin, Corresponding Secretary; and Elder A. Buchanan, Treasurer.
The Annual Sermon at this session was preached by Bishop S. M. Dickinson, and inspiring addresses were made by Bishops H. Wood-small and D. A. Franklin.
NORTH CAROLINA NEGRO BAPTISTS EARLY WORK.
In 1887 Bishop N. F. Roberts said: “The State Convention of North Carolina was organized in 1886. Then the Colored Baptists had but few churches in the state, and most of these had neither house of worship nor pastor. There are now 500 ministers; 850 churches; 110,000 members; 850 Sunday-schools; 3500 teachers, and 75,000 scholars. There are several academies of high grade preparing students for Shaw University. During the last 20 years God has greatly prospered us. Our preachers have planted churches in many destitute fields, and the people are hearing the word with gladness. Over 8,000 were baptised last year. Many brethren of other denominations have learned the truth as we hold it and have united with us. Within the past year many of the churches have provided themselves with comfortable houses of worship.”
FIRST WORK AMONG KENTUCKY BAPTISTS.
Earlier than 1887, Brother W. H. Steward said that the Fifth Church, Louisville, Ky., formed in 1839, had the finest building and largest congregation in the state. Bishop J. H. Frank was pastor in 1887, and holds forth now (1914). His flock numbered 1500 about 30 years ago. The Fifth Church was a model church, having a splendid choir. Kentucky Baptists led other denominations in the state in point of numbers and actual Christian work.
Bishop C. C. Stum said that Elder G. W. Dupee was the Nestor of Kentucky Baptists. This Pioneer Baptist was the prime mover in most of the first Kentucky organizations. These early organizers wrought well in the matter of setting up churches, associations and conventions.
They held their 17th session of the General Association of Kentucky at Danville, in 1885. This shows that the fathers started this work as early as 1868. Officers of this Association in 1887 were: Bishop P. Johnson, Moderator; Elders D. A. Gaddie, P. H. Kennedy, Assistant Moderators; Brother W. H. Steward, Recording Secretary; Brother Q. B. Jones, Corresponding Secretary; and Bishop P. Alexander, Treasurer. Brother W. H. Steward was Chairman of Trustee Board. At this session 287 churches and 46,902 members were reported.
Officers of the State Women's Educational Convention: Mrs. A. V. Nelson, President; Mrs. M. B. Wallace, Secretary, and Miss L. C. Crittenden, Chairman Board of Managers.
In 1887, Dr. William J. Simmons was writing a History of Kentucky Negro Baptists, setting forth their wonderful achievements and marvelous growth.
Officers of North Carolina State Convention in 1887 were: Professor Roberts, President; Bishop A. M. Conway, Vice-President; Elder W. T. H. Woodward, Recording Secretary; Bishop J. O. Crosby, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop A. B. Williams, Treasurer; and Elder G. W. Holland, Auditor.
SOUTH CAROLINA BAPTIST WORK BEFORE 1887.
We are informed that the Baptist Educational Missionary and Sunday School Convention of South Carolina was doing a noble work before 1887, and its Secretary, Bishop J. J. Durham, M. D., had asked for as much as $5,000 in one year for missions.
President I. P. Brockenton said: “The Convention is one of the great levers in lifting our people; it has done a great deal toward lifting our ministry to its present height. One of its grand objects is to give to our churches an educated ministry.”
Officers of this Convention in 1887 were: Brother I. P. Brockenton, President; Bishop J. C. Butler, Vice-President; Elder S. B. Stratfoot, Treasurer; Bishop J. J. Durham, M. D., Secretary; and E. M. Brawley, D. D., Historian. There were 100,000 Negro Baptists in the state of South Carolina in 1887.
GEORGIA BAPTIST BEGINNINGS.
Elsewhere in this chapter you will find full reference to the first Christian work done by Georgia Baptists. However, it may be of interest to add that the officers of their State Convention in 1887 were: Elder C. J. Bryan, President; Bishop U. L. Houston, Vice-President; Brother J. H. Brown, Secretary; Bishop T. J. Hornsby, Assistant Secretary; Elder C. H. Lyons, Corresponding Secretary, and Bishop J. T. Tolbert, Treasurer.
This Convention was organized by the Georgia Pioneers in 1870. At their 16th Anniversary in 1886 sermons were preached by Bishops C. T. James, F. M. Simmons, and C. C. Terry. There were in the state at that time 42 Associations; 1301 churches, with 134,489 members, which was claimed to be the largest Negro membership in any state. Two missionaries were employed by the Convention, and more than $1,000 were expended. The First Church, Savannah, Ga., claimed 4,000 members, and the First Church, Augusta, Ga., claimed a membership of 5,000. The Second Church was organized in 1803.
EARLY WORK OF FLORIDA BAPTISTS.
The officers of the General Convention in 1887 were: Bishop J. N. Stokes, President; Bishop T. Lancaster, Vice-President; Elder G. P. McKinney, Recording Secretary; Bishop J. B. Hankers, Corresponding Secretary; and P. S. Sommers, Treasurer. The 1887 Session of the Convention was called to order by Elder J. A. Potter, and Bishops J. Felder, and J. G. Ross preached the principal sermons at this session. Brother Ross was at that time pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla., which had built a $2,000 parsonage, and sent Miss L. C. Fleming to Africa. As early as 1887 there were 27,000 Negro Baptists in the state, and more than $1300 was given in 1885 for the Florida Institute.
Officers of the Sunday School Convention were: Brother A. Dallas, President; Brother D. H. Brown, Recording Secretary; Brother J. W. Benton, Corresponding Secretary; and Bishop M. Wiggins, Treasurer.
ALABAMA BAPTISTS 1868-87.
Their work took organized form in a Conventional way in 1868 with Bishop Nathan Ashby as their first President. Then followed Elder J. Washington Stephens, in 1870; Bishop Prince Merrill, 1871-72; Elder James Foster, 1873-75; Bishop Mansfield Tyler, 1876-86; and Elder W. R. Pettiford, was elected President in 1887. There were at this time in the state 50 associations, 700 ministers, 800 churches, with 85,000 members. Valuation of their church property was $250,000.
EARLY WORK AMONG MISSISSIPPI NEGRO BAPTISTS.
Concerning pioneer work among these brethren, Hon. J. J. Spelman says, as early as or before 1886, that: “Mississippi had a State Convention, besides a General Association, having over 38,766 communicants, and a paper edited, and its whole mechanical department managed by colored men. They have also a College at Natchez worth $20,000 without a dollar of debt, with a President and faculty, all colored, and 165 students.”
The officers of the General Association were: Bishop H. W. Bowen, Moderator; Elder A. Reed, Vice-Moderator; Bishop J. H. Nichols, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop H. M. Thompson, Recording Secretary; Hon. J. J. Spelman, Statistical Secretary; and Elder A. Durham, Treasurer.
State Sunday School Convention officers were: Hon. J. J. Spelman, President; Bishops H. Watson, and H. M. Thompson, Vice-Presidents; Elder T. L. Jordan, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. H. Nichols, Recording Secretary; and Brother L. R. Shepherd, Treasurer.
During the 1886 session of the Association, $400 were raised for African Missions, and farewell addresses were delivered by two of its members, namely, Bishop E. B. Topp and his wife. They went under appointment as missionaries to the Veys. The Introductory Sermon of this session was preached by Bishop G. W. Cohran; Doctrinal Sermon by Elder J. F. Boulden; Educational Sermon by Bishop T. L. Jordan, and the Temperance Sermon by Elder R. Ramsey. In 1887 Hon. J. J. Spelman was at work writing a History of Mississippi Negro Baptists.
TEXAS NEGRO BAPTISTS IN AND BEFORE 1887.
Elder A. R. Griggs is quoted as saying in 1887 that: “The Colored Baptists of Texas began as an independent people, with the ordination of Bishop Reinhardt in 1866 by the white Baptists. In the same year they ordained Elder S. Cobb of Waco and organized the first colored Baptist church. In 1867, Bishop I. S. Campbell came to Texas as Missionary of the Consolidated Convention, and organized the first church of Galveston in 1867, and within a few months some 50 or 60 churches were formed by him, and the Lincoln Association was organized in 1867 at Houston. In 1880 this Association numbered 150 churches and 12,000 members. There are now 25 Associations, 795 churches, 664 Ministers, and 69,950 members.
The State Convention was organized in 1872, and the Sunday School Convention in 1880. The first denominational school for colored people originated in Dallas, in 1867, in the North Western Association, through the efforts of Bishop A. R. Griggs. It is still in operation at Brazoria. Bishop College and Hearne Academy are both Baptist Institutions. The latter was established by the colored State Convention, and to the former the colored Baptists contributed the lot, costing $3,500. The late T. Hill of Austin, a colored man, bequeathed $6,000 to Hearne Academy.
Seguin Academy was founded by the Guadalupe Association through the efforts of Elder W. B. Ball.
The first colored newspaper was started by Elder A. R. Griggs in 1867, and is known as the Baptist Pilot at Waco. To Elder I. S. Campbell, more than any other man, is due the credit for the formation of the present organizations in the state. In 1887 he celebrated his fiftieth year in the ministry and his twentieth year as pastor at Waco, where he has nearly completed the best brick church in the state. There are in the state 19 Women's Missionary Societies, and there has been collected for the year $13,474. The value of church property is $250,000.
Officers of the Texas State Convention were: Bishop W. Massey, President; Elder F. Hooks, Vice-President; Brother W. F. Smith, Recording Secretary; Professor David Abner, Jr., Corresponding Secretary; Brother A. Terrell, Treasurer; and Bishop A. R. Griggs, Superintendent of Missions.
Sunday School Convention officers: Bishop J. Toliver, President; Hon. J. H. Stewart, Secretary; Brother M. Dudley, Treasurer; and Elder A. R. Griggs, State Evangelist.
EARLY WORK OF ARKANSAS BAPTISTS.
Before 1887 they had developed their work until 19 Associations had been organized, about 300 ministers ordained, more than 500 churches instituted with a membership of 30,000 members.
After their well-done work “the fathers” placed their mantles on the shoulders of younger men and went to their reward. The Presidential toga fell upon the shoulders of Bishop E. C. Morris, who has worn it successfully not only among Arkansas Baptists but among the Baptists of America. By 1887, their church and educational work was booming.
FIRST ORGANIZATION AMONG ILLINOIS BAPTISTS
According to Bishop R. DeBaptist was among the colored farmers near Alton. They were free people, some of them owning farms. They organized the Salem Baptist Church near Alton which is the oldest Negro Baptist Church in the state. Three or four other churches were organized soon afterwards. Elder J. Livingston, Pioneer of Illinois Pioneers, with others organized the Wood River Association in 1838, which is probably the oldest Negro Baptist Association not only in the state of Illinois, but in the United States. By 1887, two Associations were the justly proud boast of Illinois Baptists--the Wood River with 48 churches; 3500 members and 40 ministers; and the Mount Olive with 45 churches; 2,000 members and 29 preachers. Elder De Baptist was pastor for nearly 19 years of one of the strongest churches in the Wood River Association, and instrumental in collecting and organizing six churches.
The Western Baptist Convention originated from a movement in the Wood River Association in 1853. In this organization the Negro Baptists of St. Louis, Mo., took part.
The Olivet Church, Chicago, had Bishop R. DeBaptist as pastor from 1863 to 1882, during which time the membership increased from 100 to 600. They had a lot in 1887 which alone cost $13,000. The Bethesda Church went out of Olivet in 1883 with 43 members while Bishop J. A. D. Podd was pastor.
FIRST WORK OF MISSOURI BAPTIST.
Elder R. De Baptist said: “Probably the oldest Baptist Church in the West or Southwest is the First Church, St. Louis, Mo., organized about 1830. For years its first pastor was Rev. J. B. Meacham. He died in 1854 or '55, and was succeeded by Rev. E. Cartwright, who was laid aside in 1873. From this church a large number went out and formed the 2nd or 8th St. Church, now the Central. Its first pastor was Rev. J. R. Anderson who was perhaps the leading Baptist minister of his race at this period, at least in the West. He was educated, and learned his trade in the Printing Office of Rev. E. P. Lovejoy, Alton, Ill. He was pastor till his death in 1863.”
According to information from Bishop R. H. Brown, the Central Church was organized in 1846, with 25 members and now (1887) numbers 800. 1941 members had been received, and $108,512 expended for the Gospel at home and abroad; property valuation was $30,000. Elder S. P. Anderson was pastor.
The Second Church, Kansas City, Mo., was organized by Bishop C. Moore and twelve others in 1866. Several times their house of worship was torn down to make room for the growing congregation. Bishop H. Roberson was pastor. Their membership in 1887 was 475, and property valuation was $50,000. The Pleasant Green Baptist Church of Kansas City was formed in 1881, with 8 members. Their house cost $3,300; their membership was 283, Bishop J. Morgan, pastor.
Through the efforts of Elder R. H. Brown the Berean Baptist Church of this same city was organized in 1882.
DENOMINATIONAL STATISTICS IN 1887.
As early as 1887, Bishop R. De Baptist said that there were in the United States 1,071,902 colored Baptist Church members, organized into churches and associations. He said of the 311 associations organized, 255 reported 9,079 churches; 218 reported 4,590 ordained ministers; 90 reported 2,603 Sunday-schools; 94 reported 143,832 Sunday-school pupils; 58 reported $1,334,092 valuation of church property; 153 reported $181, 063.41 contributions for religious and educational work; 168 reported 39,151 baptisms.
In 1887, Dr. William J. Simmons said: “I claim that there are in the United States more colored Baptists than white Baptists, and more colored Baptists than all Pedo Baptists together.” This is also the claim of the Author to-day (1914).
- Capuchin A Catholic friar.
Text prepared by:
- Madison Bruce
Winter 2018-2019 Group
- Arthur Baylor
- Lauryn Carey
- Jason Gray
Hicks, William. “History of Louisiana Negro Baptists” With a Biographical Introduction by Bishop W. B. Purvis.Nashville, Tenn: National Baptist Publishing Board, 1804-1914. Google Books. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <http://books. google.com/books?id=bzhLAAAAIAAJ>.