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(title page) The Sons of Allen: Together with a Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio.
Rev. Horace Talbert, M.A.
The Aldine Press
Call number BX8443 .T3 (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH
digitization project, Documenting the American South.
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BISHOP RICHARD ALLEN.
To the great African Methodist Episcopal Church throughout the world; to the memory of its founder, Richard Allen, whose Christ-spirit and dauntless courage made him a builder for time and eternity; to its constantly increasing membership and friends who gladly attest the vitality of its teaching in the formation of perfect Christian character, this book is affectionately and respectfully dedicated.
THE Wise Man truly said "of making many books there is no end," and never were books good, bad and indifferent, more multitudinary than at the present day. But I offer no apology for adding to the number. For the story of a good man's life, however imperfectly it may be told, is the sowing of a good seed, destined to influence, directly or indirectly, the interested reader. And the possible good that may come to the young men and women of our Church from the perusal of the heroism, patience, determination and ultimate success as found in this little collection of sketches is the primal cause of its existence; and if one heart is encouraged to perseverance in duty's pathway, however rough and thorny it may be, the author will feel more than repaid for the time, labor and personal sacrifice represented by the book.
Not yet fifty years from slavery, these sketches portraying the proud success of lawyers, doctors, authors, editors, ministers, business men, scientists, college students, etc., are worthy of redemption from obscurity as an earnest of still greater things promised by the future. And I well know that there are hundreds of others whose life-stories are well worth careful preservation, but time and circumstances forbade their garnering by me.
A number of the sketches are meagre in incident, owing to the fact that many persons conversant with the lives of these noble men were lax and indifferent about furnishing the data and
events, and it was virtually out of my power to gather fuller and more intimate knowledge concerning them; this fact, together with the many important calls upon my time has embarrassed and retarded the work. And to many, who perchance will criticise the sketches as lacking in incidents, I kindly say, you knew that I desired them and failed to respond to my plea. To those who have given material and sympathy to the work, I return my earnest and sincere gratitude for their aid.
I again say that the book has been prosecuted amid a steady pressure of other duties imperative in their nature, and part of the time when the shadow of bereavement rested on my home; but it goes to the public with the sincere wish that it may win admiration and remembrance for the worthy lives inscribed upon its pages, and carry with it the blessing of the great Father served by all.
THE Rev. Horace Talbert, B.A. M.A., the author of the following pages, is a graduate of Wilberforce University (Classical Course) and is pre-eminently qualified for the task he has taken in hand. He is a man of strong and vigorous mind, of scholarly attainments, and is a logical and forceful preacher--indeed a theologian of no mean type. By education and association a part and parcel of the great Church of Allen and Payne. Prof. Talbert is among the strong men of our Zion from whom we may expect great things.
After leaving his Alma Mater, by appointment he went East where he spent several years in Boston, Cambridge and other centers in that section of country, and where he had special opportunity of adding to an already well stored mind. He did not fail to make the best use of the advantage offered. The experience gained there constituted a grand outfit with which to begin life and was of especial service to him in his future work.
From the East he was called to a Professor's Chair in his Alma Mater, (Classical Department) thence to the responsible position of Financial Secretary and Business Manager of the Institution, a position which he now holds, and one in which he has rendered invaluable service to the University. It was he who secured, through the munificence of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the beautiful and substantial library building which now adorns the campus of the University. The bequests of Mr. George W.
Hardester, of Urbana, Ohio, and Mr. James Callanan, of Des Moines, Iowa, were also secured through him.
It is with great pleasure, therefore, in compliance with the request of the author, that I offer a brief note of introduction to his book. "THE SONS OF ALLEN" is its title, and a more appropriate name could not have been chosen.
Allen and his sons mean much to the Race, much to the world. If Bishop Allen had not lived, we would not have had, possibly, the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
If Martin Luther had not lived we might not have had a Reformation. Yet it is possible to conceive of both without either of the great leaders mentioned. For if God had willed it otherwise, he would have provided other means, other agencies to accomplish the same end. But he did not. Richard Allen lived, and he lived for a purpose. He played his part well. God had reared him and set him apart for that end. He will, therefore, always live in the hearts and memories of those who are the recipients of his benefactions. Generations unborn, as they come into being, and as they come on the stage of action, will call him blessed. Well may they do so.
Richard Allen was more than a mere reformer, more than the mere founder and organizer of a great Church. He was a man, every inch a man, a man of ideas, of principles, a man of convictions, and the courage of the same. Though without the training of the schools, he had native ability--and best of all hard, common sense. Richard Allen had no superior among his fellows. He was pre-eminently a leader. He despised shams, and hated Race prejudice in all of its forms.
When therefore oppressed because of his Race and color, he seized the opportunity quickly, and as a result the African Methodist Episcopal Church sprang into being, and now, with nearly a million members and communicants its influence is felt the world over.
Who would not be proud of the Sons and Daughters of Allen's Church, its Bishops, its Clergy, its Laity--all that it represents? Here we find some of the ripest and best brain produced by the Negro people. Who would not be proud of a Church that makes it possible for this brain to receive the very
highest development in all lives that make for the good of the Race, for the good of mankind; of a Church that knows neither color nor color prejudice? Of a Church that recognizes the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man?
God grant that such a Church may have no end of days, and that it may continue to grow and flourish. Its destiny, its future, however is in the hands of its sons and daughters.
It was only when Israel became an apostate--when she refused to heed the advice given her that God forsook her. He plead with her long and patiently through his prophets without avail. She had become wedded to her idols, so God let her alone. History does sometimes repeat itself. Allen's children have a precious legacy. Let them appreciate the responsibility and yet fear God and keep his commandments.March, 1906.
IN HOLY ZEAL, in singleness of purpose, in purity of heart, in the joyous faith with which privation, toil and persecution were met, the life of Bishop Richard Allen embodies the words of him who wrote, "none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
On the fourteenth day of February, 1760, a slave woman belonging to the household of Benjamin Chew in Philadelphia, held in her arms a new born son, whom she little dreamed was to be the founder of the great African Methodist Episcopal Church throughout the world.
Richard was still a little boy when his parents and four of their children were sold to a man residing near Dover, Delaware; but he describes his new master as tender and humane to his slaves though not a Christian.
The religious experience of Bishop Allen began in his childhood; he early knew the rapture of loving faith, the darkness of doubt and the burden of unconverted souls around him; he delighted in his membership with the Methodist Society and was spiritually blest in the class-meetings held in the forest near the city of Dover.
The fact that he and his brother were permitted to go to meeting on every other Thursday was criticised by their master's neighbors, who said that such privileges would be ruinous to
them; whereupon to show their owner that religion meant fidelity to duty they would stay at home when the crops seemed to demand their care. This loyalty was noticed by the master and he declared "that religion made slaves better and not worse," and consented to Richard's request that some of the Methodist preachers might come and preach at his house; and it was through the influence of one of these men of God that he proposed that Richard and his brother should buy their time, paying him 60£ gold and silver.
This chance of freedom was heralded with joy, and Richard went to work cutting cord wood, but the unusual toil so blistered his hands that they were almost helpless; he prayed to the Lord for help, and in a few days his hands were well and he was often able to cut two cords a day. He then worked in a brickyard, did day's work, anything to swell the little pile that meant manhood and freedom, but wherever he was his heart was continually lifted in prayer, "sitting, standing or lying." Driving a salt wagon in the time of the Continental war, he had his regular stops and preaching places on the road.
After the proclamation of peace, he traveled through a part of Delaware and New Jersey preaching the Gospel of Christ, often compelled to stop and cut wood or perform other labor, for he had but little money, and like St. Paul he desired to say, "these hands have ministered unto my necessities." He more than once suffered from rheumatism, and his feet were blistered by continual walking. But he always found an open door of kindness, and hearts and hands ready to comfort and relieve.
His congregations were more often composed of white than colored people, and there was no thought of race distinction as they crowded around the altar, moved by his words of power, anxious to confess their sins and find peace at the Cross.
A present of a horse proved a great source of help. He traveled into Pennsylvania, meeting his first congregation at Lancaster, where he "found the people in general dead to religion and scarcely a form of godliness;" after preaching at Little York he went to Maryland.
In December, 1784, he attended the first General Conference of Methodists in America. It was held at Baltimore, and
eminent divines from England were present. Here the Society merged into the Episcopal Methodist Church; ministers were set apart in holy orders and some claimed the dignity of the gown; this formalism was greatly deprecated by Rev. Allen and in after years he traced to it the decline in religious zeal of the church.
It is pleasant to note the cordial relations that existed between Rev. Allen and his white brethren in the pulpit. Bishop Asbury asked him to travel with him through the South, but told him he could not mix with the slaves and that he would often have to sleep in the carriage; the proposition was declined on the ground that in case of possible illness he might fail to receive the kind treatment desired.
In February, 1786, Rev. Allen was preaching in Philadelphia where he saw the need of evangelistic services among his own people, as but few of them attended public worship; he established prayer-meetings and organized a small religious body of forty-two souls; to them he suggested the erection of a church for colored people, but only three colored men, who like himself were members of St. George's Church, approved the plan; in a short time the separate prayer-meetings of the Negroes were forbidden by the Elder. Rev. Allen says in his little autobiography that the colored people "were considered as a nuisance."
The congregation of St. George's Church began to look with disfavor upon the increased attendance of the black race upon its Sunday services, and they were moved from the seats usually occupied by them and placed around the wall; one Sunday morning the sexton ordered them to the gallery, and several of the trustees finding them too far in front, tried during prayer to force them from their knees and push them farther back. At the close of the prayer the colored people present left the church in a body. This outrage led ultimately to the building of the first African church in America.
Its erection brought a storm of persecution about its projectors. Threats of public dismissal from the great body of the church were made against them, and the white Elder was vehement in his efforts to stop the work. But many warm and sincere friends were found among the white people. Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston proved especially true in their
friendship, the latter acting as treasurer of the new church fund.
Rev. Allen, as the first proposer of the African Church, had the honor of putting the first spade into the ground when the cellar of the edifice was dug. After the completion of the building came the decision as to the denomination with which it should be connected. The majority of the congregation voted in favor of the Church of England; Rev. Allen and Rev. Absalom Jones made a small minority that desired an alliance with the Methodists; for notwithstanding the harsh treatment received from that organization he recognized it as the church most powerful in reaching and influencing the common people. But the majority carried the day, and the church went into the fold of the Church of England. In 1793, being then the only colored minister in the city, he was solicited to take charge of the new church; but allegiance to his Methodist convictions forbade it.
The desire for a Methodist Church for his people daily grew stronger; purchasing the frame of an old blacksmith shop, he moved it to a lot on Sixth near Lombard street, and had it fitted up for church purposes. In July, 1784, the little building was consecrated by Bishop Asbury, and the first African Methodist Episcopal Church was established.
The Church was induced to enter the white Conference. For ten years all went well, when unexpectedly a white presiding Elder demanded the keys and church books, and forbade the holding of sacred services only when specially permitted. The congregation claimed the premises, but found, to their surprise, that incorporation with the Conference had deprived them of the right of ownership. Legal advice was taken, and it was ascertained that if two-thirds of the Church so desired, withdrawal from the Conference was properly in order; it was effected without the knowledge of the Elder and a rumpus followed. For several years there were constant annoyances from some of the white Methodist charges who insisted upon furnishing the church with ministerial supplies and wanted exorbitant amounts from the congregation in payment. One resident Elder asserted his right in preaching and caring for the church, and upon being requested to confer with the trustees, replied
that, "He did not come to consult with Richard Allen or other trustees, but to inform the congregation that on next Sunday afternoon he would come and take the spiritual charge," but he found the pulpit occupied at the appointed hour. Another Elder appealed to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, to know why the pulpit was closed against him. This brought about a law-suit which was decided in favor of the Church.
This state of affairs did not exist alone in Philadelphia, but was the experience of the colored people in Baltimore and other places, who had now organized places of worship for their own people.
But in 1816 many difficulties were removed by the calling and organizing of a Conference, which placed the African Methodist Episcopal Church among the legally recognized religious bodies of the world.
Rev. Richard Allen endeared himself to many of the citizens of Philadelphia during its terrible visitation with yellow fever in 1793; he nursed the sick and buried the dead with a Christian courage and tenderness that enrolls him among the heroes of the earth.
He lived to see the seed planted by his love and faith grow into a mighty tree that shall never wither, for its roots are fed by the love and care of the immortal Son of God; and in the glorious hope of a blessed immortality, at the age of seventy-two years, this fearless and valiant Christian man closed his eyes upon earthly scenes. March 26, 1831, was the day of his translation.
RICHARD ALLEN, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was the embodiment of noble characteristics that enabled him to infuse an ideal manhood and womanhood into a people whose past was dim with antiquity and overshadowed with ignorance, and stained with the immoral habits and customs of their condition and environment; a people without hope of ever being lifted from shame and servitude except in some mysterious way by the power of Him who balances the spheres and holds the elements in control.
Through Allen's achievement we rise to a greater knowledge of the God that raised him up for the wonderful work; a work that reveals him not only as a champion for his black brother, but also as one who stood for the cause of human rights and religious liberty for every soul on the face of the earth.
More than a century has passed since the exodus from St. George's M. E. Church, (which, to say the least, was, to all intents and purposes, a strike for religious freedom) and within that space of time has developed a wonderful church organization whose power is felt throughout the world.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church in its structure, its polity vigorously carried out, stands to-day as an imperishable monument to the memory of its heroic founder. Its democracy
of doctrine is, perchance, proving the strongest Church agency in solving the so-called Race Problem. For while in its inception it has sometimes been called a "Race Church," and its mission from the day of its birth until the present time has been essentially to a people ostracized and discriminated against in nearly every walk in life, no person was ever excluded from its communion on account of race or national distinction. Its birth was of absolute necessity and by the laws of necessity it must live to accomplish its work of destruction of race barriers and race injustice. For the Christian civilization of a great republic like ours cannot dignify and promote its highest possible greatness without the concentration of all mental, moral and religious forces upon those sublime principles which have for their basis, "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, and Man our Brother." In this particular mission the Church of Allen shares the hopes and fears of all who believe in the principles of a Government, "Of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Racial advancement, in many things, is like that of an oak, slow in development but grand in potentiality; and while our material growth does not satisfy our highest ambition, nor measure up to our greatest expectation, yet when viewed in the light of the trying ordeals to which we, as a people, have been subjected, the heights reached are phenomenal when compared with other races of the world who possessed advantages far superior and means more ample.
When we emerged from the smoke of the struggle that liberated four and a half millions of people from abject servitude, the Church of Allen became the most practical agency in the hand of God in meeting those emergencies which came with the new conditions of American life; and the system of moral, mental and religious training inculcated by it has continued to adjust itself to every new condition and demand of the Race.
To those who would question the validity of this assertion we point with pride to the schools, colleges, universities and stately church edifices, whose existence relate not only the history of aggressive and successful effort, but measure up to the required standards of the age. A great Educational system which meets the demands of the Race with a financial department
out of which is paid more than half a million of dollars annually to carry forward the work so well begun, is, in itself, an object lesson to the world. And the sincerity of the desire of our Race to attain the highest ideal of citizenship is attested by the practical, as well as the ethical lines along which this education of our young people is directed; the theological and literary departments in our institutions are close neighbors to the rooms in which the student is taught the science and art of the industrial world about him in which he is to play an important part.
To the influence of the Church of Allen may be ascribed much of the advanced religious thought of the times so vital to the permanency of national life and the development of a national conscience; its lessons of Christian faith, self-government and virtuous life are mighty factors in the establishment of character, both individual and national.
The history of the colored American is virtually embraced in the years stretching from 1787 to 1905. The founding of the little African Methodist Church in the city of Philadelphia was truly the Plymouth Rock of his religious independence, which in time was to become the corner stone of his intellectual and personal freedom; the one enfolded the other.
There is no diminution in the influence of this Church and its founder upon the lives and hearts of men to-day. His soul purified by the holy fire of Divine love and luminous with the white flame of consecration to the visible advancement of the Church of God, his heart tender with the wrongs inflicted upon his race and strong in an abnegation that meant persecution and suffering, constituted him a worthy leader in a cause that meant alliance with God in the salvation, both spiritual and physical, of a people that to-day delight to revere and bless his name
But great as is the honor due him, and gladly given, it must be shared with those upon whom his mantle fell when he was called to the Church Triumphant; heroic souls who, through the storm and stress of the early days of church establishment, uncomplainingly and patiently met defeat and persecution with undaunted hearts, confident that they were building for eternity and that the cause dearer to them than life, would be blessed with golden results by the Lord they served. Wonderfully
has their faith been rewarded, for the African Methodist Episcopal Church to-day stands at the head of all activities of good in the elevation of our people and the development of a citizenship that is an honor and power in the land in which we live.
The golden age of our race lies not in the past but in the future, and the Church of Allen is one of the gates of blessing through which we enter into possession of its limitless promise.
METHODISM, both in its inception and development, is remarkable for the complexity of interests to be conserved, as well as for the specific and peculiar agencies necessary for its elaboration.
The summarizing of a set of rules for the regulation of the conduct and life of church members (as our "General Rules"), with the attachment of punitive laws for their infringement, would have been impossible of successful accomplishment, without a strong centralized form of ecclesiastical administration; itself subject to still higher inspection and change as regards the units constituting its membership.
The danger of misuse or abuse of delegated administrative and disciplinary authority is thereby reduced to a minimum, and a problem, the gravity of which can scarcely be estimated, has been happily solved by the system of the Itineracy, Methodism's just pride.
The history of the unprecedented growth and development of Methodism in all lands and among all peoples, is a trustworthy witness to the necessity and efficacy of the Itineracy as a Church agency. To properly consider it as a developmental factor it must be regarded from three standpoints: The Episcopacy, Presiding Eldership, and Pastorate. Reversing the order of
presentation the Pastorate is the sacred office nearest to the people, the masses, for whose benefit Methodism was primarily intended; realizing also that both the Presiding Eldership and Episcopacy exist by the reserved authority and powers vested in the Itineracy.
Methodism denies that either the individual preacher, or society, has the right to limit the sphere in which the talents and services of one called of God, and accredited by the Connection, shall be employed while ministering to the flock of Christ and upbuilding the kingdom of God on earth. It maintains the Ministry is God's gift to His church, and it is for this reason "that all who continue to labor with us in the vineyard of the Lord" are solemnly forewarned that they "should do that part of the work which we advise, at those places and times which we judge most to His (God's) glory." In this admonition lies the basic principle of the Methodist itineracy; to its observance is largely due the marvelous spread and development of Methodism, which means the bringing of the greatest good to the greatest number, which is verily a literal following of the great Teacher, who Himself "went about (itinerarium ) doing good."
Methodists believe in calling into service the various gifts of those divinely called to preach, viz, the evangelizing, the seed sowing, the watering, the indoctrinating and the preservation of the standards of Christian living; and because it is difficult, if not impossible, to find all these spiritual qualifications embodied in one man, and inasmuch as each and every church needs care along all of these specified lines, the Itinerant system, in turn, brings to each the help desired; the evangelist to awaken, the pastor to feed and teach, the doctrinarian to confirm in the faith, and the disciplinarian to set spiritual and temporal affairs in orderly array.
We re-affirm the strength and power of the Methodist Itineracy, and all honor is due those unselfish men of God who come up to Conference, year after year, "not knowing what shall befall them," glorying in their high privilege to spread abroad a Saviour's love and satisfied if they may spotlessly and safely keep the sacred charge committed to them.
The Presiding Eldership was a natural outgrowth of the
rapid development of Methodism, and like the Episcopacy, was necessary for the protection of ministerial and lay interests which, though really mutual, might easily, under certain contingencies, become bitterly antagonistic and destructive of the peace, if not of the very existence, of Methodism.
To travel throughout his district, to superintend every part of his work, is an Episcopal function and prerogative; but in its widest sense this would mean the investigation of the spiritual and temporal affairs in each separate church society, a duty manifestly impossible for one man to accomplish, owing to the rapid increase of Methodist organizations; hence the appointment of Presiding Elders, who, as Episcopal subordinates, are assigned certain limited territory in which every pastor is visited once a quarter; his relation to his charge investigated, reports heard from the various church boards, and the maintaining or severing of the relation of pastor and people is mainly dependent upon the reports made to the Bishop at the meeting of the yearly Conference. The Presiding Eldership is a strong factor in the success of the Methodist church.
As to the efficiency of the Episcopacy as an itinerating agency in the spread of Methodism there can be but one opinion. From the time of the sainted Richard Allen, the first of an illustrious line, to the scholarly and consecrated bishops of the A. M. E. Church to-day, is an unbroken service of devoted lives illuminated with holy and unfailing zeal for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom through the power and might of the teachings of John Wesley. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is rich in the legacy of the heroic lives of its Bishops, and if our church lines are daily taking in new territory, if Methodism is advancing its banners among the religious organizations of the world, much, very much, of the credit and praise must be given to the sagacity, the foresight, the wisdom, the holy enthusiasm of the noble men that have constituted the highest ecclesiastical authority of the church at large.
Who can estimate the perils from which our dear church has, perchance, many times been saved through the prayerful deliberations of our Bishops, or the direful consequences of ill-advised and hasty legislation by our General Conferences, but for
the wisdom and conservatism of the Episcopal Quadrennial Address, and their impartial rulings over the lesser councils of the church.
Under the immediate care of the Episcopacy are the Missionary, Educational and other vital interests of the church. Their exalted position removes them from the bustle and excitement attending the contact with petty details, yet their hands direct and govern all that affects the ministry and laity in their relation to the church and so serene has been this high authority, so wise its deliberations, that for eighty-nine years there has occurred no schism in the African Methodist Episcopal Church at large, albeit that body is world-wide in influence and has attained historical import.
No just estimate can be placed upon the impetus that the Episcopacy has given to the development of Methodism by prayer, the laying on of consecrating hands in the ordination of the ministry, by travels, sermons, and addresses.
In what balance can be weighed the world-embracing labors of Daniel A. Payne, Alexander W. Wayman, Jabez P. Campbell, Thomas M. D. Ward, William Paul Quinn, Henry McNeal Turner, Benjamin W. Arnett, William B. Derrick, Levi J. Coppin and others of worthy fame? Each and all have served the cause of Methodism as founder, evangelist, preacher, pioneer, historian, orator and missionary. It is impossible to estimate the value and magnitude of their work. The church never can know what it owes to the labor, zeal, devotion, and saintly character of its bishops. Many of them rest from their labors, but their work for the church so dear to their hearts wreathes their names with flowers immortal. They have heard the glad "Well done" in the glorious splendor of the Church Triumphant, but eternity holds for them the joyous gratitude of myriads of saved souls who will rise up to call them blessed.
[BISHOP HENRY M. TURNER.]
POSSESSING the love and honor of the great religious body over which he wields ecclesiastical authority, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner is a man eminent by reason of broad intellectual gifts and achievements, fervid piety and rare executive ability.
His parents, Hardy Turner and Sarah Greer Turner, were residing in the vicinity of Newberry Court House, South Carolina, at the time of the birth of their son, February 1, 1834. On his mother's side he was connected with one of the best families among those commonly spoken of as "Free Negroes."
Educational advantages were very limited and he was early placed among the toilers in the cotton field, but unflagging determination made him master of the reader and the copy-book; at fifteen years of age he was employed as a servant in a law office at Abbeville Court House, and his willingness to act as Mercury between the young advocates and their sweethearts won the favor and interest of the office force and he was helped to a knowledge of History, the Bible, Astronomy, Arithmetic and Geography; but since his union with the Methodist Church South, in 1848, the purpose of his life was to be one "set apart" for its service, and upon receiving license to preach in
1853, he itinerated for several years through South Carolina, Georgia and other Southern States. In 1858 he transferred his membership to the A. M. E. Church and joined the Missouri Annual Conference; later he was transferred to the Baltimore Conference, and for four years was stationed in the city of Baltimore, and while there studied Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Theology and German at Trinity College, and took a special course in Elocution from Bishop Cummings of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
In 1863 he left the pastorate of Israel Church, Washington, D. C., to take the chaplaincy of the First Regiment, U. S. colored troops, being the first colored Chaplain commissioned in the war. He was mustered out in September, 1865, to receive from President Johnson a commission as Chaplain in the regular army, but served in an official capacity in the Freedman's Bureau in Georgia, resigning in a short time to return to the ministry.
But his able brain was needed outside of pulpit limits in that disturbed, almost chaotic, period of American history, and for a time he engaged busily in the work of organizing schools for colored children. After the enaction of the Reconstruction Laws by Congress, he called the first Republican Convention in Georgia, and made many eloquent speeches in the interests of the party. An election to the Constitutional Convention was followed by two terms in the Georgia Legislature. During the administration of President Grant he received the appointment of postmaster at Macon, and was afterwards appointed Inspector of Customs and connected with the United States Secret Service Bureau.
In 1876 the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church made him General Manager of its Publishing House in Philadelphia, and four years later the same body in convention at St. Louis, Missouri, raised him to the Bishopric; the obligations of this office have caused him to travel extensively, and conferences have been organized by him in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Transvaal and Queenstown.
In the line of literary work Bishop Turner has placed his church under many and great obligations to his pen; he is the author of a little volume, "Methodist Polity," and has compiled
a hymn book and written a catechism, besides various lectures and orations; two newspapers, now authoritative organs in the church, were born in his fertile brain.
During his ministerial connection with the church, Bishop Turner claims to have received over one hundred and six thousand persons into church fellowship in this country, Canada, Africa, and West India Islands.
Bishop Turner has two sons, born of his first marriage to Miss Eliza Ann Peacher in 1856; in 1893 he was wedded to Mrs. Martha Elizabeth DeWitt, and upon her death, the widow of the late Bishop A. W. Wayman became his wife in 1900.
Bishop Turner is entitled to write a long list of letters after his name, as the University of Pennsylvania conferred upon him the degree of LL. D.; Wilberforce University that of D. D.; and from Liberia College came that of D.C. L.
[REV. THEODORE GOULD.]
FIFTY years of unceasing activity in the service of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, have won for the Rev. Theodore Gould the reverent praise and willing admiration of the thousands that have been directed and led on the "highway of holiness" by his earnest life and words. The tranquil look on his venerable face tells eloquently that the peace that "passeth all understanding" has been his comfort and stay during the half-century of storm and trial.
Rev. Theodore Gould was born August 12, 1830, and waslicensed to preach in 1853; six years later receiving Deacon's Orders, consecration to the Presiding Eldership following in 1861.
With the exception of six years connection with the New Jersey circuits and a three years pastorate at Fleet Street A. M. E. Church, Brooklyn, the first twenty-seven years of his ministry were passed in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, a large portion of the time being given to different pastorates in Philadelphia.
In 1887 he was transferred to the New England Conference, then going from a three years pastorate in Boston to Bethel Church in New York City; returning to the Philadelphia Conference in 1892, to be eventually given the Presiding Eldership over the Philadelphia District in the bounds of the Philadelphia Conference.
It is the purpose of this veteran of the church to shortly publish a detailed account of his ministerial labors, which will be warmly welcomed by the church at large.
[REV. WILLIAM HAMMETT HUNTER, D.D.]
THE DARK shadow of slavery but lightly touched the life of Dr. Hunter, as his father bought himself, wife and family, when William, the eldest child, was but a mere lad, and brought them North to find a home on free soil.
William was born in Raleigh, N. C., June 21, 1831. After coming North his father settled in Brooklyn, N. Y., and William obtained employment as smelter and refiner in a jewelry manufacturing establishment in Newark, N. J.
The young man identified himself with Catherine Street A. M. E. Church in Newark, and determined to become a minister; his first preaching was in the pulpits of the churches at Elizabethtown and Rahway. In 1854 Bishop Quinn assigned him to the Penningtonville Circuit, but he was afterwards transferred to the Baltimore Conference and given a charge at Georgetown, D. C.
Feeling that a more profitable experience would come from greater intellectual qualifications, he entered Wilberforce University, remaining there three years, but during that period was zealous in the interests of his beloved Zion, establishing preaching places, the present charge at Lebanon, Ohio, proving the soundness of his work.
His education completed, Dr. Hunter returned to the Baltimore Conference, and was sent to Water's Chapel, Baltimore; while filling this appointment he received from President Lincoln a commission as the first colored Chaplain in the United States
army, an honor of which he is justly very proud. Faithfully and earnestly did he sow the Gospel truth in the camps of the "boys in blue."
At the close of the war, Dr. Hunter was assigned by his Conference to important charges in Washington, D. C., Wilmington, N. C. and Pittsburg, Pa. For several years he superintended the business affairs of the Book Concern of the A. M. E. Church, being transferred at the expiration of his term to the New England Conference, and stationed at Boston, which pastorate was followed by one at New Bedford; but the Virginia Conference wanted him, and he was sent to the city of Richmond, going afterwards to other leading charges in the State, to eventually return to the Baltimore Conference, to be made, at the close of a successful pastorate at St. Pauls, D. C., a Presiding Elder. His life of active service in the church was finished with the termination of his Eldership, and he was placed on the list of superannuated ministers.
He lives in comfort in his beautiful home at Anacostia, D. C., rejoicing in the consciousness of a life well spent, and that his work will in the morning of eternity, bring him an exceeding "great reward."
[REV. W. G. ALEXANDER, D.D.]
AS A CHRISTMAS gift, Rev. W. G. Alexander D.D., came to his parents, Lewis and Celia Alexander, in 1856.
His early schooling was obtained in the public schools of the District of Columbia, after which, on the recommendation of Dr. Chas. B. Purvis, he entered Howard University where his ability and studious habits won much commendation from his able instructors.
He became a member of the Baltimore Conference during its session at Union Bethel (now Metropolitan) under Bishop J. M. Brown and was ordained Deacon and Elder by Bishop D. A. Payne, at Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1883.
Dr. Alexander began his ministry with a zeal peculiarly his own, and with a determination to succeed, that has ripened into large upbuilding of the interests of the church, and the mental and social progression of his race.
He has with great success filled important appointments at West River and Frederick, Md., Portsmouth, Va., Montgomery and Birmingham, Ala., and Columbus, Atlanta and Macon, Ga. In connection with his spiritual work has been constant care and interest in the building and remodeling of churches and parsonages in his pastorates.
While stationed in Virginia, Governor Fitzhugh Lee honored him with the Curatorship of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, and his capable services won for him liberal commendation
from those in high places. In 1889 he was selected by the Bishop's Council at Charleston, S. C., as Fraternal Messenger to the C. M. E. General Conference at Little Rock, Ark., and his address to that assembly brought him wide-spread praise and fame.
The presidency of Payne University sought him, but he declined the flattering position, preferring to work in the rank and file of the itineracy; and he was one of the distinguished representatives of his race at the Congress of Religions at the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, in 1893. Four years later he was elected Dean of the Theological Department of Morris Brown College where he acceptably filled the Chair of Biblical Literature.
As a lecturer upon religious themes Dr. Alexander has but few equals in the field; and his eloquence has thrilled the students of Tuskeegee, Clark University, Spellman Seminary and other prominent educational centres in the land. To his forethought and interest in his race, the influential Southern Afro-American League, organized at Macon, Ga., owes its existence.
Among the numerous honors conferred upon him, none are more highly esteemed than the degree of Doctor of Divinity bestowed by Wilberforce University, and he is, at the present time, greatly interested in his duties as Dean of Turner Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.
Besides being liberally endowed with unusual literary ability that has brought several thoughtful publications from his pen, as "Living Words," "The Negro in Commerce and Finance," "The Model Sunday School," Dr. Alexander possesses the art of musical composition, and was selected by Bishop D. A. Payne to write musical settings to three of the Bishop's original hymns.
Dr. Alexander not long ago celebrated the "silver" anniversary in his ministerial work.
[REV. REUBEN B. BROOKS, D. D.]
SIX YEARS before the birth of the subject of our sketch, December 18, 1860, in Leon County, Florida, his father, Daniel Brooks, bought his freedom, but his mother remained a slave until freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.
Reuben learned to read at his Sunday school, as in those days much of the instruction imparted was similar to that of the weekday school, and he became very familiar with the contents of Webster's blue-backed Speller and Saunder's First Reader, and soon committed to memory the two hymns that were a fixed part of the regular exercises, "I want to be an angel," and "Come thou fount of every blessing."
At fourteen years of age he was forced to leave the public school and go to work on a farm, as his father was dead and he was the chief support of his mother; but Providence placed in his hands a catalogue of Cookman Institute, and he procured the books that made the course of study in that institution, and at night after the hard day's toil was over, would gloat over their intellectual treasure; thus, when he had reached his nineteenth year he was able to successfully pass an examination for school teacher, and until 1883, was employed in the public schools of his native State. The next four years were given to mercantile interests, after which he published a paper and opened a real estate office in Ocala, Florida, later, for one year, filling the office of Inspector of Customs at Key West.
Since 1882, the year of his conversion, he had been licensed as an Exhorter and Local Preacher, and in 1893 entered the itineracy of the A. M. E. Church, and has done excellent work in a number of pastorates of the Florida Conferences. His sermons have convinced hundreds of the beauty and truth of the Christian life, and his energy and persuasiveness have proved very effective in freeing churches from debt and strengthening new organizations. He is now serving his second year as pastor in Macedonia, Florida.
Rev. Brooks has for four years most satisfactorily filled the office of Secretary of the Florida Conference, and was elected Recording Secretary at the last General Conference. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was the gift of Morris Brown College.
Rev. Brooks, has been twice married. His first wife, Miss Nannie Smith, to whom he was united in 1880, dying in two years; in 1884, Miss Jennie Denkins became his wife, and with their little flock of five children, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks live happy and useful lives in their pretty home at Jacksonville, Florida.
[REV. DANIEL P. SEATON.]
NO MAN IS more widely and favorably known in the African Methodist Episcopal Church than Rev. Daniel P. Seaton, who is as well versed in medical lore as he is in theology.
He was born of free parentage in Reistertown, Baltimore County, Maryland. By a private teacher he was taught to read and write. Leaving his native place when about fifteen years of age, he went to New York, where he obtained a common school training.
He was still quite young when he was licensed to exhort by the Quarterly Conference of the Vine Street A. M. E. Church in Buffalo, N. Y. But feeling a need of more education he took a high school course before joining the New York Conference.
His first appointment was at Morristown station, but Bishop A. W. Wayman soon transferred him to the Philadelphia Conference, stationing him at Wilmington, Delaware. In two years he was sent to Frankford Church, Philadelphia; while in this city, his over-mastering love for study led him to take a medical course at the American University of Medicine, winning a diploma in 1871.
A number of the most influential pastorates in the A. M. E. Church have been strengthened and prospered through the ministry of Rev. Seaton; among them are St. Stephens, Wilmington, N. C.; Union Bethel, Washington, D. C.; and Bethel Church, Vermont street, Indianapolis.
Dr. Seaton has traveled extensively both at home and abroad; visiting the great cities of continental Europe, and was the first colored tourist to the land of the Saviour's wonderful earthly life.
While in Europe he was several times invited to deliver addresses that electrified immense audiences with their thought and eloquence, and widely extended his fame as an orator.
In 1888 he had the honor of being sent as a delegate by the Baltimore Conference to the World's Sunday School Convention in London, England. At its close he indulged in a second glimpse at the manifold attractions of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and Scotland. In '92 and '93 he was privileged to gratify a long-cherished desire, and circumnavigated the globe. He occupied the pastorate of the A. M. E. Church at Norfolk, Va., upon his return, going from there to Portsmouth. He is now Presiding Elder of Potomac District, Baltimore Conference.
In the many and varied duties of his life, he has found time to add to American literature a delightful book, entitled, "The Land of Promise."
[REV. WINFIELD HENRI MIXON, D.D.]
FOR "PUSHING AND PULLING" along the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, no man has a greater reputation than the subject of this sketch. He is noted far and wide for his readiness at all times to help in all good work, and so strong is the faith of others in his ability to plan and execute, that he has but little time that he can call his own.
Dr. Mixon was born near Selma, Dallas county, Alabama, April 25, 1859; was converted in 1876, was licensed to preach the same year, and entered the traveling connection of the Conference that met at Huntsville, in December 1879.
As pastor he has served efficiently at Decatur, Pratt City, Brown Chapel, Montgomery, Columbiana and other important places; was twice Presiding Elder of Birmingham District, and is now busy with the cares of the same office in Camden District.
Dr. Mixon has won the regard of the church for the capability evinced by him in his work as Minister and Elder, and also for his success as an organizer.
Extensive travel in the United States and abroad has added wide culture to his art as an orator, and he ranks among the distinguished speakers of the A. M. E. Church.
For many years he has been one of the active trustees of Wilberforce University, and that institution is peculiarly dear to him, for in 1896 he wooed and won its lady principal, Miss E. L. Jackson, for his wife; but she, and two bright little sons, have
preceded him to the home in heaven. From the same college came his degree of Doctor of Divinity.
The establishment of Payne University at Selma, Alabama, was largely due to his foresight and zealous interest. Devoted to the work of the Sunday School, he was honored with the presidency of the State Sunday School Convention of Alabama; and no man in that part of the country is more often called upon to help on all lines of Christian work than is Dr. Mixon. Yet his manifold duties, someway, leave him time for excellent literary achievements, as he is the historian of his State, and has published several valuable books, the last being a "History of the A. M. E. Church in Alabama."
The Third Alabama Conference of his Church is indebted to him for its establishment, and he is planning the organization of a Fourth Conference.
Like many of his ministerial brethren, Dr. Mixon stands high in Masonic circles.
[REV. CARTER WRIGHT.]
REV. CARTER WRIGHT had reached his forty-third year before engaging in the active ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
He was born in slavery, in the city of New Orleans, July 30, 1833, but fortunately the chains of servitude were held by kind and considerate hands, and he escaped the terrible suffering that fell to the lot of many of his people in bondage.
In 1841, a change of ownership moved the residence of his parents and family to Lexington, Kentucky, and a little later they all spent several years with their master's household in Florence, Italy, where young Carter attended an English school.
Their return to the United States was in 1845, landing in Philadelphia; owing to the kind interest of some English people, his mother had provided herself with free papers, which proved a happy precaution, for in 1847 the odious Fugitive Slave bill was passed.
When he was about twenty-two years of age he decided to locate in New Haven, Connecticut, where he caught the New England love of the ocean, and made several voyages to the West Indies.
In 1860 he experienced the divine forgiveness of his sins, and joined Bethel Church in the beautiful "City of Elms," and in three years was licensed to preach. But feeling it a sacred duty to aid his country in her dark hour of peril, the following January he
enlisted in the 29th Connecticut Colored Volunteers, and passed through the fiery ordeal of eight hotly contested battles. At the close of the war he returned to New Haven and found employment at Yale College, where he remained until he identified himself with the itineracy of the A. M. E. Church by joining the New England Conference in 1874, at which time he was ordained as Deacon by Bishop Shorter and appointed to the pastorate of the A. M. E. Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
He afterwards preached in Portland, Me., again in Bridgeport, Conn., Cambridgeport, Mass., Providence, R.I., receiving the office of Elder from Bishop J. M. Brown in 1882. Transference by Bishop Cain to the Philadelphia Conference came in 1885, and for four years as Pastor and Presiding Elder he was busy in the Harrisburg District; he was then placed by Bishop H. M. Turner in the Pittsburg Conference, since which time he has filled some of the most important appointments in the jurisdiction of that assembly; the new church at Cannonsburg was begun during his pastorate in that place.
He is now the honored Presiding Elder of Washington District of the Pittsburg Conference, working with a zeal and enthusiam that may well be emulated by younger men.
[REV. W. J. LAWS, D. D.]
AS A PULPIT and platform orator, Rev. W. J. Laws has won much public commendation, and his services as a speaker have been in requisition on many important occasions.
He was born in Frederica, Delaware, February 18, 1847, but at an early age was taken to Philadelphia, where his childhood was fostered by the kindly influences of Bethel A. M. E. Church; at seventeen years of age the searching sermons of Bishop A. W. Wayman led to the acceptation of the Divine Redeemer as his personal Saviour and a connection with the membership of the A. M. E. Church in New York City, entering at once upon the duties of Choir Singer and Sunday School Teacher. Three years afterwards he was licensed to preach, but more thoroughly prepared himself for pulpit work by a four years course at Lincoln University, where the distinction of being the first President of the Philosophian Literary Society gained for him a gold medal.
After his graduation in 1871, Bishop J. P. Campbell, at the meeting of the New York Annual Conference, ordained him as Deacon, but he was immediately transferred to the New England Conference and stationed at Lynn, Massachusetts, where he was ordained to the Eldership by Bishop James A. Shorter. Appointments followed at New Haven, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and New Bedford, Massachusetts; when he was again transferred by Bishop John M. Brown to the Illinois
Annual Conference, receiving an assignment to Bethel Church, Chicago, where he remained four years. His itineracy then embraced the churches at Galesburg, Illinois; Keokuk and Des Moines, Iowa; and Minneapolis. He stayed but a few months in the last named city, as Bishop Wayman sent him to St. James Church, Dallas, Texas; going after the close of a successful five years pastorate to Corsicana, and thence to the Metropolitan Church at Austin, Texas.
Dr. Laws has four times represented his Church at the General Conference, and twice has the degree of Doctor of Divinity been conferred upon him, the last time by Guadaloupe College, Sequin, Texas.
He had the honor of delivering the address of welcome at the Republican National Convention at Chicago, in 1884.
More than once the name of Dr. Laws has been mentioned in connection with the Bishop's office, but his extreme conservatism is said to bar his way to ecclesiastical preferment.
He is now President of Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas.
[REV. JOHN F. HAMILTON.]
OVERSHADOWED by the tragic sadness of slavery the childhood of Rev. John F. Hamilton was passed. His grandparents, originally free people in Africa, had been trapped to this country to undergo the horrors of slave-servitude in Maryland, where in 1846 the subject of this sketch was born.
He was but a few months old when an older brother and sister lost their lives in a fire that destroyed "the Quarters," and his mother was scarred and maimed for life in the heroic rescue of her infant son.
His parents belonged to different masters, and the father was only permitted to spend three weeks out of the year with his family; none of her children were ever sold away from the mother, for she grimly told her master, Richard Bowie, "The day you sell one of my children, that day I cease working for you."
She was a woman of strong character, deeply religious, and is numbered among the founders of the Bethel A. M. E. Church, in Baltimore. She lived to see her son a prominent and honored minister in the church so dear to her, and on her death-bed sent him the characteristic message, "Tell John I could not wait; and tell him to meet me in heaven."
When John was about fifteen years of age, he was hired out to W. R. S. Giddings, of Baltimore, who one morning started to his farm accompanied by the boy; suddenly changing his mind, he returned to the city, saying that they would go tomorrow.
But the free life of his ancestors seemed, all at once, to rush through the veins of the lad, and he resolved to be "free" or die; when night fell he slipped into a box car with a few ginger cakes in his pocket, and in three days was a "wandering Hamite" in Pittsburg, from which place he went to Guernsey County, Ohio, where he made his home.
He does not remember how he learned his letters; but Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic and Wright's Analytical Orthography fell into his hands, which were placed along with his Bible, making a library that was studied at odd moments until literally their contents became his mental possession.
In July, 1864, he entered the Union army (in which his father lost his life as a soldier) and was discharged August, 1865, with badly impaired health. In the Fall of '72 his name was enrolled as a student of Wilberforce University, with the small capital of $35, in his possession, but the kindness of one of his teachers enabled him to remain until the close of the school year. In September he began teaching, and his ability placed him at the head of the colored school in Bellaire, Ohio. But in little over a year he entered upon his life work as a Minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, and was ordained as Deacon, at Bellaire, in December, 1878, by Bishop Wayman. He joined the North Ohio African Conference, but upon the advice of Bishop Campbell, again took up the profession of teaching, retaining it until assigned to the charge at Warren Mission, which meant the giving up of an income of $78 a month for the meagre salary of $86 a year; but he quaintly says it was a change "from commotion to quiet."
Rev. Hamilton afterwards occupied as pastor, pulpits in Youngstown Circuit, and in 1890 was made Presiding Elder of Cleveland District. In April, 1893, while in charge of the church at Delaware, he broke down from nervous exhaustion, and the following year was superannuated.
He has twice been elected a Trustee of Wilberforce University, but the honor that he prizes next to his call to the ministry was being asked to write and read the Memoirs of Bishops Armstrong and Payne, and Reverends March and Stewart at the Annual Conference in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1894.
Rev. Hamilton was married January 25, 1865, to Miss Nancy M. Ransom, of Washington, Ohio. Their marriage was childless, but two adopted daughters, Miss Mary B. Worton, and Mrs. Nettie A. Kirk, wife of the Secretary of Paul Quinn College, have blessed their lives with tenderest love and care.
Rev. Hamilton is, on account of ill health, a superannuate of the North Ohio Conference and is very comfortably located at Delaware, Ohio.
[REV. GEORGE C. SAMPSON.]
THE SUBJECT of this sketch is an honored permanent trustee of Wilberforce University, and for thirty-six years has been one of the most earnest of the many devoted ministers of the A. M. E. Church.
He was born at Hamilton, O., February 16, 1846, and in his twentieth year consecrated himself in loving service to God as a preacher of His word. Three years were devoted to study at Adrian College, Michigan, and while there, in December, 1869, he was licensed to preach.
Upon his return to his home the following year, he increased his mental strength and financial support by two years of teaching in the schools of Falmouth and Paris, Kentucky; but the death of his father, in 1872, compelled a return to his home, and he determined to abandon the school-room for the itinerant service of the Church, and in April joined the Ohio Conference at Zanesville.
His first appointment was Bridgewater Circuit, and during this pastorate he added to his store of theological tenets by attending the Presbyterian Western Theological Seminary.
The ministerial work of Rev. Sampson has been chiefly in northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. He is now pastor of Allen Chapel, Indianapolis, Indiana. His unfailing interest in educational matters is appropriately recognized in his retention, for a number of consecutive years, on the Board of Education of the First Educational District.
Rev. Sampson was a delegate to General Conference in 1884.
[REV. ISAAC M. BURGAN, D.D.]
OCTOBER 6th, 1848, is the date of the birth of the subject of this sketch, which took place near Marion, North Carolina. There the first years of his childhood were passed, and he was still a lad when he went to Tennessee, where he entered the free schools of the State.
When he was twenty-one years of age, he studied for some months at a select school in Bowling Green, Kentucky, after which several years were spent in the public schools of Evansville, Indiana, and the State Normal at Terre Haute. He taught his first school in 1875 at Lost Creek, near Terre Haute.
Holding a membership in the A. M. E. Church at Evansville, Indiana, in 1876 he was licensed to exhort, and the following year received a preacher's license and was ordained to Deacon's Orders by Bishop J. A. Shorter, and admitted into the connection of the Indiana Conference at New Albany.
Conscious of a need for wider reading in theology, in 1878 he matriculated at Wilberforce University, and for five years was a close student, but yet found time to fill many pulpit appointments.
Finishing the course in 1883, fifteen days after his graduation he was called to the Presidency of Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas, which place was most acceptably filled by him for eight years, when he resigned to return to the itineracy of the Church so dear to his heart.
His first charge was at Oakland, California, going from
thence to Richmond, Indiana, afterwards to Vincennes in the same State.
But in 1896 he was again asked to fill the President's Chair of Paul Quinn College and acceptation seemed an imperative duty, where he served until 1904 as its hard-working head, his strong mentality inciting the pupils to strenuous intellectual labor, his sympathetic nature winning their confidence and his firm will encouraging their faith in themselves and the future. He was sent by the college as Ministerial Delegate to the General Conference of 1900.
The degree of Doctor of Divinity was received by him in 1884, from Philander Smith College, at Little Rock, Arkansas.
[BISHOP ABRAHAM GRANT.]
FOR SEVENTEEN years Bishop Abraham Grant has been among those honored with the highest ecclesiastical authority that it is in the power of his church to bestow.
He was born August 25, 1848, near Lake City, Florida, and came into possession of the arts of reading and writing before the outbreak of the Civil War; he gladly took advantage of every opportunity of adding to his store of knowledge, attending the missionary schools after their establishment, and was enrolled as a pupil in the night school at Cookman Institute.
In October 1868, while present at a camp meeting at Lake City, he was led to accept Christ as a personal Saviour, and joined the A. M. E. Church at Jacksonville, Florida, taking up gladly the duties of steward and class-leader that came to him.
A license to preach was granted him in April 1873, and the following December he was ordained to Deacon's Orders, and in March, 1876, set apart as Elder. During his residence in Jacksonville he received the appointment of Inspector of Customs, and also served as County Commissioner of Duval County.
In 1878 he was transferred to Texas, and assigned pastorates at San Antonio and Austin; he was then made Presiding Elder and elected Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Paul Quinn College.
His elevation to the Bishopric came in May 1888, and the Ninth, Sixth, Seventh, First and Seventh Districts have been under
his ecclesiastical jurisdiction; the first time the Seventh District included the State of Florida, the second time South Carolina was taken within its boundaries.
Bishop Grant's official duties have carried him across the seas; twice he has been in Europe and he has presided over Conferences at Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Monrovia, Liberia, West Coast Africa.
His shoulders have been thought broad enough to carry other weighty burdens, so he was for years the Presiding Officer of the Board of Trustees of Wilberforce University; for twelve years he was at the head of the Church Extension Board of the A. M. E. Church, and for a time one-third as long was President of the Publication Board of the A. M. E. Church (Philadelphia) and President of the Board of Trustees of Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Georgia; for three years he had the casting vote of the Board of Trustees of Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, and Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida.
In April, 1900, he was a member of the Ecumenical Missionary Conference held at New York City, and in October of the following year was one of the Ecumenical Council Methodist Conference, at Washington, D. C.
He is now in charge of the Fifth Episcopal District, which includes Missouri, Kansas and Colorado Conferences.
[REV. GEORGE W. NICHOLSON, D.D.]
THE father of the subject of this sketch was for many years a minister in the Baltimore Conference of the A. M. E. Church; and his son is nobly wearing the mantle of consecrated service that fell from the older servant of the Church at his translation to a better world.
Rev. George W. Nicholson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, April 24, 1851. Converted in his sixteenth year, he was early impressed with his duty to preach the gospel of Christ, but he continued teaching, (for which work he was prepared at the Howard Normal School in Baltimore,) for thirteen years, combining it with his first ministerial duties, for since 1878 he was connected with the Baltimore Conference as local preacher.
In 1879 his Conference elected him to a scholarship at Wilberforce University, where he studied until his graduation in 1883, with the degree of B.D. While pursuing his studies at this institution, he received from Bishop Shorter the temporary appointment to succeed Elder (now Bishop) Arnett at St. Paul A. M. E. Church, Columbus, Ohio, the latter having been elected Financial Secretary of the A.M. E. Church. Upon the return of Rev. Nicholson to the school, Bishop Shorter offered him the pastorate of Holy Trinity A. M. E. Church at Wilberforce.
His collegiate course completed, he was transferred by Bishop Payne to the Virginia Conference, but at the close of eight years itineracy in its territory, was again transferred to the Baltimore
Conference, and for five years performed the duties of Presiding Elder in his home District.
In 1900, Payne Theological Institute conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. The same year he was elected a Delegate to the General Conference, and served as a Member of its Educational Board. At this time he is serving a most successful pastorate in the Baltimore Conference.
[PROF. H. T. KEALING.]
THE VERY able management of the A. M. E. Church Review for the past nine years marks the editor, the subject of this sketch, as one of the ablest and most influential journalists of the country.
He is a Texas man, born in the capital of the State, April 1, 1859. His educational attainments are wide, starting with the public schools and embracing a course at Straight University, New Orleans, La., with a diploma won at Tabor College, Tabor, Iowa, in 1881.
His work as teacher was begun immediately after the completion of his college career, starting in the public schools of Waco, Texas; which place he resigned to accept the position of First Principal in Paul Quinn College, where he taught for three years and was then made Assistant Principal of the Colored State Normal School at Prairie View, Texas, going at the end of three years diligent toil to Austin, in which city he was eventually promoted from Principal of the Grammar School to that of the High School, reaching at last the position of Supervisor of all the Colored Schools. He held this responsible place until called to take the Presidency of Paul Quinn College. The General Conference in 1896 called him to the Editorial Management of the A. M. E. Church Review, and the president's chair was exchanged for the "quill and scissors," a work for which he is most eminently qualified, both by education and natural gifts.
Professor Kealing is also widely recognized as a speaker of
unusual force and charm, and is always enthusiastically greeted at large educational assemblies and religious convocations. His speech at the meeting of the National Educational Association in Topeka, Kansas, when in behalf of Texas he responded to the address of welcome, will never be forgotten by the hearers in that great convention.
He has twice been elected President of the Texas State Teachers' Association, and had the honor of being the only colored member of the World's Fair Educational Committee in 1893.
In 1901 he was sent as delegate to the Ecumenical Conference at London, England, and with Bishop Tanner, spoke in behalf of the A. M. E. Church at that wonderful gathering. He was solicited to lecture in England, but home obligations forbade an acceptance of the tempting offer. The following year he carried fraternal greetings from the Bishops' Council of the A.M.E. Church to the General Conference of the M. E. Church South, sitting in Dallas, Texas.
[REV. W. B. PEARSON.]
LIKE SAMUEL of old, the subject of this sketch was consecrated by his pious parents, in infancy, to the service of the Lord.
He is a son of the tropics, having been born on the Island of Jamaica, West Indies, in 1865. At the age of seven years he was sent to the district pay school, and while a little child gave his heart into the keeping of his Heavenly Father, and began to serve Him before his tender feet had been wounded in the paths of sin.
In school he proved an apt scholar, and was especially distinguished by his attainments in mathematics and Biblical knowledge, and when he had reached his twelfth year he stood at the head of his Latin class.
Entering Calabar College he very successfully passed the Cambridge (England) examinations, and studied for two years in that Institution; afterward he completed his schooling at Paddington, London, England, and won merited honor for himself in that great school.
Two years of travel on the continent and in Africa followed, after which he returned to Jamaica, where he married Miss Frances Gale, daughter of the sainted Adam Gale.
Coming to the United States, he connected himself with the New England Conference, but at the last meeting of that church-body he was given the arduous and responsible position of Superintendent of Missions of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Leaward Islands.
Rev. Pearson takes high rank among his clerical brethren as a fearless and logical speaker, and is also recognized as possessing strong ability as a financier.
[REV. JOSHUA A. BROCKETT.]
REVEREND Joshua A. Brockett, the General Secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Statistical Bureau of Negro Trades, Industries and Professions, organized at the last General Conference in Chicago, was born in 1861, in Currituck County, North Carolina. His school opportunities being extremely limited, the kindness of friends opened to him the doors of the best schools in New England where he obtained a liberal education, finishing at the Boston School of Oratory.
He began his christian work as Assistant Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association, of Newburyport, Massachusetts, from which position he went to the itineracy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; first, however, filling for some time the responsible positions of Assistant Principal of the North Carolina State Normal School, and the Presidency of the Building and Trades College, Southern Pines, before engaging in the direct work of the ministry.
As Pastor and Presiding Elder, Rev. Brockett has held numerous important charges in Virginia and Alabama, and was taken from a Presiding Elder's appointment in the last named State to occupy the Chair of Theology and Elocution in Turner Theological Seminary, Morris Brown College. For five years he lectured and taught with dignity and efficiency, and upon his resignation of the professorship was made Presiding Elder in the Georgia Annual Conference, an appointment held by him at the present time.
The fame of Rev. Brockett as a pulpit and platform orator is far wider than the limitations of his work, and he is classed among the successful and popular men of his race. He is an enthusiast in the temperance cause, and in his earlier days, while a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was associated with Rev. Francis Peabody of Harvard University, and other eminent men, on the executive committee for the prohibition work.
His family consists of his wife, five daughters and one son, and the mutual love existing makes it an ideal home.
[REV. ANDREW HENRY HILL.]
THOUGH he has served but sixteen years in the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Andrew Henry Hill, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, has established a reputation for earnest, enthusiastic, successful work for his Saviour.
He was born June 7, 1870 at Brintwood, Tennessee, and was only two years of age when his father moved to Arkansas, where he had the good fortune to be brought up on a farm and receive an elementary education in the public schools.
Converted at the tender age of twelve, the Ministry at once became the purpose of his life, and in 1889 license to preach was given him; but desiring to increase his intellectual attainments before engaging actively in ministerial work, he entered Branch Normal College, at Pine Bluff, and was afterwards sent by the South and East Arkansas Conferences for three years of study at Wilberforce University. Returning to his native State he began his itineracy at Fort Smith, being appointed to the second largest Colored Methodist Congregation in Arkansas.
Rev. Hill is greatly beloved by his Church, and a future of wide usefulness in the ministry and of honor to his race lies before him. He is now President of Shorter College, Little Rock, Arkansas.
[REV. DAVID F. CALIMAN.]
REVEREND David F. Caliman possesses the gift considered so desirable by the psalmist of old, that of "the pen of a ready writer," as eight prizes for excellence of thought and expression have fallen to him in literary contests in Conference societies.
He is an Ohioian by birth, his native place being the Lett Settlement, in Muskingum County, where he was born July 11, 1853. His early life was passed in working on a farm through the summers, and attending district school during the winter months; at the age of nineteen he had the privilege of four months study in the public schools of Zanesville, Ohio, after which he taught for nine years in the schools at Middleport, Barnesville and Troy.
His conversion took place at Middleport, Ohio, in 1873; in 1881 he was licensed to preach by Dr. W. J. Johnson, and two years afterwards joined the North Ohio Conference, at Lebanon, and did effective pastoral work at Marysville, Mt. Vernon and Delaware, and further qualified himself for his profession by taking a three years course at the Ohio Wesleyan University, during which time he was ordained Deacon and Elder.
Bishop Payne, in 1891, transferred him to the Pittsburgh Conference, and for four years he preached at Chartiers Street Church, Allegheny, Pa., with great success; the conversion of one hundred souls blessed his pastorate at Williamsport, at the close of which, as Presiding Elder of Allegheny District, he
labored hard, and with happy results for the advancement of religious interests in his appointed field.
Rev. Caliman is noted as a singer of unusual sweetness, a magnetic speaker and a fearless expounder of Bible truths. He was sent to the General Conference at Columbus, Ohio, and for five years held the Chief Secretaryship of the Pittsburgh Conference. He is now located at Washington, Pa., where he has largely increased the membership of his charge and aroused a special interest in Church Missions.
[REV. FRANCIS B. CAROLINA.]
THE LIFE work of the subject of this sketch, who is at present Presiding Elder over Forest City District of the South Arkansas Conference, has been one of persistent agressiveness against the enemies of righteousness.
His was born at Columbia, South Carolina, December 13, 1837. In 1885 he was received into the Methodist Church South. In 1866 his name was placed among the charter members of the A.M.E. Church organized at Columbia by Bishop R. H. Cain; and four years afterward, Rev. Thomas W. Long, of Florida, licensed him to preach and assigned him to Gainesville Mission, and in December, 1870, he was welcomed into the Florida Conference. A church was built at Gainesville and Archer during this pastorate.
He was then stationed for several years at Lake City Circuit, and while there was elected City Alderman, receiving every vote cast by both parties. During the winter of 1873-4, he served as Chaplain of the State Legislature, and for twelve months was Government Tax Assessor.
He preached next at Palatka, Florida, where he erected a church and was again made City Alderman. In 1878 he received the appointment of Presiding Elder by Bishop J. P. Campbell to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Elder John W. Wyatt; but the following year, by request of Bishop T. M. D.
Ward, he was transferred to the South Arkansas Conference, in whose jurisdiction he served as Pastor and Elder.
In 1882 he was connected with the North Mississippi Conference, but in two years was again a member of the Arkansas body; later came transference to the North Louisiana Conference where he remained one year, but in 1892 was back again in Arkansas, a member of the South Arkansas Conference, with which he is still connected as Presiding Elder, having served in that relation the Districts of Clarendon, Monticello, Pine Bluff, Helena, Clarendon, and is now over Forest City District.
Rev. Carolina, in 1884, was a Delegate to the Ecumenical Conference at Baltimore, Maryland, and has four times been sent to the General Conferences,--Atlanta, Indianapolis, Wilmington and Chicago.
[HON. C. L. MAXWELL.]
BUT FEW MEN of his race have attained the honor and high position that life has brought to the subject of this sketch.
Mr. Maxwell is an Ohioian by birth, his childhood's home being in Fayette County, where he received the splendid out-door training under the benediction of nature that comes to boys who live on a farm. By studious application to his books he prepared himself for teaching, and in his nineteenth year began work in the school-room where he was eminently successful. The legal profession was more alluring, and after taking a law course at Wilberforce University, and before he had reached his twenty-second year he was a full-fledged attorney in Xenia, Ohio.
But clients did not fill his pockets with the gold that was a fair equivalent for thoughtful advice as rapidly as desired, so he again went to teaching, accepting the Principalship of the Pleasant Street School in Springfield, Ohio, where he won much praise as an instructor and disciplinarian during four years of faithful work. But his heart was with his law books, and after prospecting through the South, he concluded that, after all, Xenia was the place for his ambition and labor.
It proved a happy decision. This time fortune smiled upon the young barrister, and a prosperous business was built up by his careful attention and thorough understanding of the needs of his clients. His popularity with the citizenship of the place elected him to the position of City Clerk which he held for several terms.
He was also honored with the Grand Worthy Secretaryship of Ohio Masons and appointed Recorder of Xenia Commandery, Knights Templars.
Much interested in national politics, Mr. Maxwell has been a prominent figure among Ohio politicians, and was a member of the National Republican Convention that met at Chicago. For his ardent party devotion and fealty to principle, President Harrison made him Consul General to San Domingo, which high official trust he held until the Fall of 1904, his conduct of the affairs of his important station meeting the unqualified approbation of the State Department and his host of friends.
Mr. Maxwell is distinguished in bearing, social in manner, and open-hearted to his friends. His domestic relations are most happy and fortunate, his wife, who was Miss Cousins, of Xenia, gracing his beautiful home with culture of mind and manner, and kindliness of heart. Their son and daughter have been finely educated, and the former now holds the position of Secretary to the Consul General who succeeded his father at San Domingo.
Mr. Maxwell is a staunch Methodist, and serves on the Official Board of St. John's A. M. E. Church, Xenia. He was a delegate to the General Conference in 1892.
Mr. Maxwell is and has been for years Dean of the Law Department at Wilberforce University.
[BISHOP CHARLES SPENCER SMITH.]
A NATIVE of Canada, where he was born at Colborne, March 16, 1852, Bishop Charles Spencer Smith stands as one of the strongest and most influential men in the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. His father was Commissary Sergeant of a colored regiment in the English army and saw active service during the Mackenzie rebellion of 1837.
Bishop Smith is pre-eminently a self-made man. His scholastic privileges were limited to the primary education obtained in his boyhood in the school at Bowmanville, Canada; but natural ability, keen observation and extensive reading united with rare spiritual qualities, have richly fitted him for the exalted station that is his in the Church to-day.
He began his life-work as a school teacher. But his purpose was to enter the ministry, and he left the Anglican Church in which he had been baptized, and in August 1872, was licensed as a Local Preacher of the A. M. E. Church. Two years afterward he was elected to the House of Representatives of the Alabama Legislature.
In August, 1882, he founded the great Sunday School Union of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and for eighteen years the onerous duties of Secretary and Treasurer of the organization were his special care; to these labors were added the Publishing of all the Sunday School Literature used by the A. M. E. Church.
Bishop Smith was a Delegate to the Second and Third Ecumenical Councils of the Church, and in 1894 he visited the west and south-west coasts of Africa, the terminal point being St. Paul de Loanda; some months afterward he enjoyed a cruise to the West Indies, stopping at Cuba, San Domingo and Hayti.
The General Conference in session at Columbus, Ohio, in 1900, elected him to a Bishop's Chair, and placed him in charge of the Twelfth Episcopal District comprising the Conferences of Ontario, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, Hayti, San Domingo, Windward Islands, British Guiana and Cuba; the following year while attending the Third Methodist Ecumenical Conference at London, England, he visited Sheffield and Hull as one of the speakers at the platform meetings held in those cities.
In December, 1903, Bishop Smith was specially honored in being chosen as Messenger from the Church at Large, to bear the greetings and felicitations of that great body to the Republic of Hayti on the celebration of the Hundredth Anniversary of its Independence, January 1st, 1904.
Bishop Smith has given the impressions and reflections of his Oriental journeyings in a charming volume, entitled "Glimpses of Africa's West and South-West Coast." He is known throughout his people for his devotion to all that tends to their welfare and elevation. Few have studied the many-sided race question with more fairness and intelligence.
Mrs. Lucy Thurman, an older sister of the Bishop, is prominent in the work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and in 1895 visited England as the guest of Lady Somerset.
[WILLIAM BALDWIN HIGHGATE.]
THE YOUNGEST in a family of six children, William Baldwin Highgate, one of the leading teachers of his race, was born at Syracuse, New York, on the tenth day of March, 1854.
He had started finely in the public schools of his native city, but when he was twelve years of age his parents moved to Philadelphia; his schooling there was brief, as in 1867 he went to Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, where he worked for two years before beginning his collegiate course. He was graduated in 1873, standing fifth in a class of eighteen. It is one of the pleasant remembrances of those days that Bishop Dickerson and Dr. W. Decker Johnson were among his college mates.
His very successful career as teacher began in Oxford, Mississippi; but a position in the State Recorder's office at Yazoo City, followed by editorial responsibility on the Yazoo City Herald, drew him away from the teacher's desk for several years until he was persuaded to accept the Presidency of the State Normal School at Holly Springs, where for thirteen years his life and precepts were the inspiration of the ambitious students.
In 1886 he went as instructor for one year to the school at Kansas City, Missouri, going then for three years of faithful toil in the schools at Warrensburg, in which city he secured the erection of a large school building for his pupils; then came four years service in the schools at Carrollton. During his residence in Carrollton he united with the A. M. E. Church and
began at once to take an active interest in all departments of Christian work.
For the past ten years Professor Highgate has been the successful and greatly esteemed Principal of the Colored School at Saint Charles, Missouri, and is unwearying in his endeavors to instill high purposes of life and thought in the hearts and minds of his pupils.
[REV. OTHO ELI JONES, D.D.]
AMONG the promising younger ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is found the name of Rev. Otho Eli Jones, who, though not yet forty years of age, already adds the degree of Doctor of Divinity to his title of Reverend.
He is a native of Ohio, and was born at Winton Place, Hamilton Co., April 20, 1870. After teaching several years in the public schools of Kentucky, he entered Wilberforce, University, and while there experienced conversion and united with the A. M. E. Church.
In 1895, Rev. C. Bundy, Presiding Elder, granted him a license to preach, and he was also received on trial by the Ohio Annual Conference, and given an appointment at South Charleston, O., where he remained three years; two years later he was ordained as Deacon at Columbus, O., by Bishop B. F. Lee, after which he studied theology at Payne Seminary, graduating as valedictorian of his class. The same year he was elected Instructor at Wilberforce University, but was soon transferred by Bishop Lee to the North Ohio Conference, and stationed at Warren Chapel, Toledo, his ordination as Elder coming from Bishop Lee, at Mt. Vernon in 1899.
But his ability as a teacher was so highly prized by his Alma Mater that he received an almost imperative call to the Chair of Pastoral Theology and Hebrew at Payne Theological Seminary, which he most ably filled for two years, also preaching a greater part of the time every Sunday in the neighboring village of Cedarville. But in 1901 he resigned the position, and was transferred by Bishop Arnett to the California Conference, stationed at Oakland, where he is serving a successful pastorate.
[REV. JOHN HENRY DICKERSON.]
THE subject of this sketch was born in Madison, Madison County, Florida, Sept. 14, 1862, and enjoyed school privileges throughout his childhood and youth.
The preaching of a stranger in his home pulpit during a revival season brought him to a realization of the awfulness of sin, and Thursday, July 4, 1880, proved indeed a "day of freedom" to his soul, as it was the date of his "new birth," baptism, and connection with the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In August, 1885, he was licensed to preach by Rev. T. W. Walker of the East Florida Conference, and the next summer assigned to San Mateo Circuit; the following February the East Florida Conference received him on probation and sent him to East Palatka Circuit, and in March, 1888, he was taken into full connection by the Conference, ordained as Deacon by Bishop D. A. Payne, and placed over Mt. Moriah Station at Jacksonville. Two years later, at the meeting of the Conference at Gainesville, Bishop B. W. Arnett laid upon his shoulders the sacred duties of Eldership.
The itineracy of Rev. Dickerson has been altogether in the State of Florida, and he is regarded as one of the most useful pastors in the ministry of the A. M. E. Church in that part of the field. In a number of appointments he has united school-teaching with his pastoral work, for which he is ably qualified, as he has studied at both Cookman and Edward Waters Colleges. He has held several offices of trust in the Florida Conferences, and was a delegate to the General Conference in 1904.
Rev. Dickerson is an ardent lodge man, and has held high official positions in the Masonic order. A Mason's Benefit Association was organized by his thoughtfulness, and he has paid out many thousands of dollars.
[REV. J. W. NORRIS.]
IN RELIEVING churches of the weight of debt and building up congregations, Rev. J. W. Norris, now occupying the pulpit of Allen A. M. E. Church in the city of Baltimore, stands among the very successful men in the ministry of our denomination.
He was born August 8th, 1842, in Jefferson County, Virginia. The year after the close of the rebellion he went to Carlisle, Pa., where he decided to locate. In 1870 he experienced a change of heart and united with the Carlisle A. M. E. Church, with the resolution of making the Ministry his life work; and having been successively licensed as Exhorter and Local Preacher, Bishop D. A. Payne, in 1877, admitted him to the Philadelphia Conference; but upon the advice of the Bishop he took a two years' course in theology at Lincoln University before engaging in ministerial work.
Transference to the Baltimore Conference came in 1889, and occupation of four of its leading pulpits has loaded the years with care and responsibility. His pastorate of Trinity A. M. E. Church, Baltimore, bore fruit in the collection of $26,000 and two hundred and ninety souls added to the roll of the Church; during three years of service at St. Paul, Washington, D. C., the amount of $10,000 was raised by his untiring effort. He remained five years at Ebenezer Church, Baltimore, and increased its already large membership and collected $38,000 for church work.
The twenty-seven years of itineracy of Rev. Norris in the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conferences, place to his credit the large amount of over $100,000 collected by him for payment on church debts, outside of what his congregations have given for church benevolences.
As a priest of hymen his record cannot be excelled, as the chains of matrimony have been thrown by him over fifteen hundred persons, uniting one hundred and fifty hearts within the short time of five weeks and two days during his pastorate in Washington, D. C.
Rev. Norris is thoughtful in remembrance of the social side of life, and delights in carrying the Gospel to the homes of his parishioners, and is noted for his kindness to those of his flock who are ill.
[S. JOE BROWN, A.M., LL.D.]
MR. S. JOE BROWN, although counting but three decades in his life, has already won enviable distinction as a member of the Legal Fraternity of his native state.
He is a son of Iowa, having been born July 6, 1875, at the pretty villiage of Keosauqua, but during his early childhood his parents moved to the larger town of Ottumwa, in the same State. Their death, when he was but fourteen years of age, threw him on his own resources, but he was full of Western grit that evinced itself in the determination to acquire a thorough education; and at the age of nineteen years, the Ottumwa High School graduated him with the honor of Class Orator. He was the only negro member of the class. Matriculation at the State University followed, remaining until he was sent forth with a well-earned diploma and the degree of A.B., the first time in the history of the Institution that its dignitaries had conferred an academic honor upon a colored student. He was also elected an honorary member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society of the college.
Doors of responsibility opened to him, and he accepted the Principleship of the Public Schools at Muchakinock, Iowa, from which place he was called to the Chair of Ancient Languages in Bishop College, Marshall, Texas; which position, in 1899, was resigned for the purpose of studying law at his Alma Mater, finishing the prescribed course in two years time, receiving the degree of LL.B. In June, 1902, he was recalled to the University
for the bestowal of the degree A.M., being the first Negro thus honored by the College.
Mr. Brown is associated with Mr. George H. Woodson in the practice of his profession in Albia, Iowa, and these gentlemen enjoy a large share of the lucrative and high class business of the place. Mr. Brown does not neglect his religious obligations, but gives glad service to the Church and Sunday School of the A. M. E. denomination. He was an Alternate-Delegate, in 1904, to the General Conference in Chicago. He is most congenially married, his wife being formerly Miss Sue Wilson, of Buxton, Iowa, a woman noted for unusual intellectual ability and great devotion to the Church; she was several times elected District Superintendent of Sunday Schools of the Iowa District of the A. M. E. Church.
[PROF. GEORGE ELLSWORTH MASTERSON.]
AS teachers in our public schools, professors in our colleges, the young colored men and women are keeping equal step in attainment and proficiency with those of the heretofore more favored white race, and the subject of our sketch, though still young in years, has already by natural ability and assiduous application gained the front rank as instructor of college students.
Prof. Masterson is a native of the Buckeye State, and was born March 20, 1871, on Hillsman's Ridge, not far from Georgetown. He was brought up on a farm, working during the summer and attending an ungraded public school through the winter months.
The passage of the mixed school law opened to him the superior advantages of the High School at Georgetown, which he entered in 1887, and for three years was one of its most painstaking pupils, winning the prize of Salutatorian on Commencement Day, 1890, proving that brain, not complexion, is the just measure of ability. He at once applied for a teacher's certificate, passed a successful examination, and was given the school that he had first attended as a pupil.
In 1892 he was admitted to the Sophomore Class of Wilberforce University, and during his three years of collegiate instruction, often performed the duties of assistant teacher. The year of his graduation, 1895, he was offered the Chair of Science in Morris Brown College, which he left in 1901 to accept the Professorship
of Mathematics in the Normal Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, where he is still teaching.
Prof. Masterson is a member of the A. M. E. Church, devoted to its prosperity in all of its departments of Christian work, and possesses the cordial esteem and appreciation of all who know him.
[REV. HENRY REED NGCAYIYA.]
THE son of a local minister and class leader in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Rev. Henry Reed Ngcayiya was born Oct. 16, 1863, at Qawraya's Location near Fort Beaufort.
Religious influences surrounded his childhood and he enjoyed the advantages of a day school until he reached his sixteenth year, when for two years he was employed in a cloth shop, sandwiching it with a few month's service as a soldier in one of the frequent tribal wars of the country. The next three years he was engaged in studying the higher branches at Heald Town, after which, for eight consecutive years, he taught with pleasing success in the Government schools of the country, laying down the work, in 1890, to accept the position of Translator of Native Languages and Assistant Clerk in the Court of Civil Commissioners and Resident Magistrates; during his clerkship he had the Ministry ever in view, and embraced every opportunity of adding to his store of knowledge, sometimes paying $5 a month for private tuition in the classics, mathematics and sciences.
The ministerial labors of Rev. Ngcayiga began in 1896, and his experience in far-off Africa has not run as smoothly as that of most of his American brethren. Opposition to the church, in places, has been bitter and intense. He was one of its valient defenders in the great Secession Movement of 1899 to 1901, and was a victorious defendant in a law suit in which the plaintiff, also a minister, sought to compel him to give up a church. Like
St. Paul, he has known imprisonment for the cause of Christ, having been kept in confinement for eight days at Queenstown, in 1900, for trying to organize a Church of the A. M. E. faith but came out a winner, as two hundred persons joined him in establishing at Oakraal, Kamastown, the best station of the A. M. E. Church in Cape Colony.
Twice he has had the responsibility of interviewing the Orange River Colony Government for the purpose of obtaining religious privileges for the Church and stopping the persecution of its ministers.
Rev. Ngcayiya was a member of the committees that, in 1899 and 1900, submitted addresses to Sir Alfred Milner and Sir Henry Lock, the respective Governors of Cape Colony.
Organization of churches has been a major part of the ministerial work of this good man, he having established more than a dozen religious Stations, Circuits and Missions in Grahamtown District.
Coming as a Delegate to the General Conference at Chicago, in 1904, he was warmly welcomed as a brother whose "doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions" will in God's own time bring him an "eternal weight of glory."
[REV. JOHN CLAY COLEMAN.]
THE blessing of Christian parentage is seen in the consecrated life of the subject of this sketch, who was born February 1, 1871, near Durant, Holmes County, Mississippi. His father and mother were eminent for piety, and the restraining influence of the church surrounded his youth, though he did not yield to the saving influences of the Holy Spirit until he had reached his twentieth year.
His early education was obtained in the common schools of the rural districts. He was only sixteen years of age when he was placed in charge of a rural mail route, and throughout a year's faithful service he never failed to be on time but once, and that was owing to the overflow of a river. In 1888, with the aid of a stereoptican, he gave Bible talks and lectures through the country districts of seven Southern States, and so popular were they with the people that his list of subjects was enlarged to take in Missionary and other departments of Christian work, and four years were spent in this profitable service; about this time he essayed his first experiments in literary or more especially journalistic work, and so fascinating did it prove that he has never entirely abandoned it.
His ordination as a Minister of the A. M. E. Church took place in 1895, but he further qualified himself for the pulpit by several years study at Victoria College, Ontario.
His itineracy has been confined to the Canadian field, and
he has proven very successful in the organizing of new congregations. His relations with the ministers of all denominations throughout the Dominion is exceedingly cordial, and he was elected Chairman at the meeting of white Methodist preachers in Halifax in 1903-4. He finds spare time for literary work and has made valuable contributions to the Canadian Encyclopedia of "African Methodism in Canada," which is told in thirty-two volumes.
A signal honor conferred upon Rev. Coleman was the invitation from the Governor of Nova Scotia, to serve upon the Reception Committee that welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York in 1901.
[REV. W. T. BIGGERS, A.M.]
TO Rev. W. T. Biggers the fairies that are said to watch over the infancy of fortunate children, were singularly lavish with beautiful gifts, bestowing upon him the art of turning truth into melodious poetry, and the magic power of the artist's brush; he is also an able journalist, but these priceless gifts are held secondary in importance to his work as Minister and Pastor.
He was born in Marshall County, Tennessee, May 3d, 1871, but while he was still a small lad his parents located in Oswego, Kansas, in which place he was privileged to attend the public schools.
At the age of eighteen years he embraced the Christian life with the resolution of entering the Ministry of the A. M. E. Church, and in the Spring of 1892 be received a license as Local Preacher in Winfield, Kansas. It was while in this place that he paid special attention to his art studies, teaching it later in Guthrie, Oklahoma City and Elreno, Oklahoma.
His first regular appointment was at Coffeyville, Kansas. In 1896, in Kansas City, he was ordained Deacon by Bishop James A. Handy.
Thus far the Ministerial labors of Rev. Biggers have been confined to the West, and varied somewhat in experience, as for a while he was Alternate Chaplain of the State Reform School, in Hutchison, Kansas.
During his Pastorate at St. Paul Church, in Argentine, Kansas
he continued his theological studies at Western University, and in 1899 was raised to the Presiding Eldership in Omaha, Nebraska, by Bishop B. T. Tanner.
More recently he has been in charge of a Church in Portland, Oregon and also doing successful Evangelistic work on the Pacific Coast, especially at Seattle, Washington. At the present time he is Pastor of Allen Chapel, Omaha, Nebraska, and with the assistance of his wife, is editing a monthly journal, "The Christian Wayfarer." An object very dear to the heart of Rev. Biggers, is the establishment of a Home for the Aged and Worn-out Clergymen of the A. M. E. Church.
[REV. ADAM JACKSON.]
LIKE the prophet Samuel, the Rev. Adam Jackson heard the call of the Lord in his childhood, experiencing conversion when he was but eight years of age.
Rev. Jackson is a native of Madison, Morgan County, Georgia, and his early years were passed in that State. In 1859 his home was changed to Alexandria, La., in which place he was verbally licensed to exhort; a brother residing in Bankston, Mississippi, led him to make his home in that village, where for six years he eagerly embraced every opportunity of turning sinners to the way of righteousness, rejoicing when his usefulness was increased by a verbal license to preach.
In 1866, he took up his residence in Wesson, Miss., and the same year Bishop H. M. Turner (then Presiding Elder of Georgia) made him an authorized Minister of the Gospel, the following year witnessing his ordination as Presiding Elder, the ceremony taking place in St. James Chapel, New Orleans, by the hands of Bishop J. P. Campbell.
His first work as Presiding Elder extended over a district of nearly three hundred miles in eastern Mississippi, and his three years of service were filled to overflowing with the organization of churches, licensing of preachers, and the promiscuous and important duties that came to a Presiding Elder forty years ago. At the termination of his Eldership he became an incumbent of the pulpit of Zion Chapel in the City of Natchez, which he found
weighted with a debt of $8,000, but his wise and able exertions reduced it to $2,275.
This charge was followed by pastorates in Vicksburg, Greenville, Natchez, Tallahassee, Baton Rouge, Plaquemine, New Orleans, Jackson, Woodville, Summit, Meridian, Cold Water, interspersed with the duties of the Eldership in the Districts of New Orleans and Jackson, being now located at Greenville.
Nearly forty years of active work in the itineracy lie behind him, each and all testifying to consecrated, unfaltering allegiance to the sacred purpose of the Church; and by reason of this fidelity he sees awaiting him at the end of the years, the "new name," and the "crown of life."
[REV. GEORGE FREDERICK BROWN.]
REV. GEORGE FREDERICK BROWN was born April 14, 1856, in Boonville, Missouri, where, in youth, he was a diligent pupil in the common schools of the town, afterwards entering the High School at Baxter Springs, Kan.
When only ten years of age he knew the happiness of a "change of heart," and united with the A. M. E. Church, in which, as he grew older, various offices of trust were laid upon him, serving as Sunday School Superintendent for twelve years.
After receiving preliminary licenses as Exhorter and Local Preacher, he was, in 1884, admitted to the Missouri Annual Conference at Independence; ordained as Deacon at Omaha, Nebraska, in October, 1886, and the same month in 1893 witnessed his ordination as Elder by Bishop James A. Handy in Kansas City.
Among the Ministerial appointments held by Rev. Brown are pastorates in Pacific City, Missouri; Nebraska City, Nebraska; Bonner Springs, Topeka, Hutchison, Kansas, and other strong charges, all of which have been blessed by the revival spirit during his incumbency. Success has attended his efforts in paying off church obligations and in building houses of worship.
He was Alternate Delegate to the General Conference at Chicago, in 1904.
[REV. WILLIAM H. THOMAS, M.A.]
THE SON of a Minister whose full name he bears, and who is of sainted memory in the New England Conference of the A. M. E. Church, Rev. William H. Thomas is one of the most earnest of the younger pastors in the service of the Church.
He was born at Utica, New York, October 22, 1871. His childhood and youth were influenced by the happy environment of a Christian home, and he was early taught to love the A. M. E. Church and its sacred services. His conversion took place in his seventeenth year, and be resolved to follow in the footsteps of his revered father, and become a Preacher of the Revealed Word.
The foundation of his education was laid in the public schools of the State of New York, matriculating later at Lincoln University, also studying at Boston University. In 1875 he entered the New England Conference where his ten years of itineracy have been in connection with that Church authority. The A. M. E. Church, at Jamestown, Rhode Island, owes its existence to his faithful labor.
Rev. Thomas is Treasurer of his Conference, a responsibility that for many years rested in the hands of his father, who was called from earth in 1903.
Rev. Thomas is wide awake to the advancement of his race, and always identifies himself with the party whose aim is municipal reform in whatever city he may be located.
The degree of M.A. was conferred upon him in 1897, by Lincoln University.
[REV. GEORGE WELLINGTON PORTER, D.D.]
REV. George Wellington Porter D.D., stands foremost among the able Ministers of his Church who have taken an active part in State and National Politics, believing that it is the duty of men with fixed religious principles to use their influence and votes wherever good can be accomplished.
He is a son of Tennessee, having been born in Paris, Henry County, October 25, 1859. In his nineteenth year he changed the place of pupil for that of Country School Teacher, gradually making his way into the graded schools of his home state, Tennessee, and Kentucky and Missouri.
On August 8, 1883 he was converted at Union City, Tennessee, where he was in charge of the city school; he united at once with the A. M. E. Church and resolved to enter the Ministry.
A license to preach was handed him on November 2, 1890, by Rev. D. E. Asbury, at Paris, Tennessee, and two weeks afterward, at the same place, Bishop A. W. Wayman received him into the Conference of West Tennessee.
Among the Conference appointments of Dr. Porter were charges at Huntingdon Mission, Crossland Circuit, St. Peter Station, Clarksville, where he remained five years, being the first A. M. E. Minister to serve that length of time consecutively in Tennessee. He was then made Presiding Elder of Clarksville District by Bishop Tanner, which position he resigned to accept the Pastorate of Bethel A. M. E. Church at Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he is now stationed.
At different times Dr. Porter has been a prominent figure in the politics of his state, twice going to the Republican National Convention as a Delegate from Tennessee. In 1898-99 he published a weekly paper at Paris, Tennessee, which was the first and only Negro journal ever issued in that community, and exerted a great influence in strengthening Republican interests and principles.
Dr. Porter was a strong factor in the election of Dr. Evans Tyree as Senior Bishop of the five Bishops elected at the General Conference at Columbus, Ohio, in 1900; he has been a delegate to every meeting of that ecclesiastical body since his connection with the Ministry.
He was Chairman of a Committee that waited on the late Governor Longino on matters relative to the St. Louis Exposition, and in 1902 was a Commissioner to the great Atlanta Congress, taking an active part in its proceedings.
[REV. J. P. MAXWELL.]
THE name of Maxwell is well known among the citizens of Central Ohio. as several of the family have attained positions of honor in political, ministerial and professional life.
The birthplace of Rev. J. P. Maxwell was about ten miles south of Washington Court House, in Fayette County, Ohio. He was one of eleven children, all of whom, but one, lived to establish Christian homes.
His father was a Minister in the Ohio Conference, and the atmosphere of the home was permeated with a strong and sweet religious faith; he speaks of his mother as "one of the most faithful and devoted Christians I ever knew."
Though his childhood and youth were fostered under these rare influences, he did not yield to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit until he reached his twenty-second year; his conversion took place at the home of a neighbor, and he thus tells of the happiness that flooded his being. "As I was on my way home, I remember that although it was raining, I have never since looked upon a night that seemed so beautiful; whether due to my spiritual condition, or to the moon's soft and mellowed light gently shining through the overhanging clouds, I do not know and cannot say, but to me, the rain, as it gently fell, seemed like golden beads or gems. All earth appeared to have robed itself in a beauty, a radiance, such as I had never gazed upon before."
The privileges of an Exhorter were conferred upon him about
1869, but for two winters he taught in the public schools of Warsaw, Kentucky, directly across the river from his home in Indiana, where he resided five years. In 1875 he was granted a Local Preacher's license by Elder (now Bishop) C. T. Shaffer.
His first regular pastoral work was at Marysville, Ohio, in the summer of 1883, when he was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Rev. John Jackson, who had been called to his eternal reward. But in August of the same year he was elected Secretary of the Executive Board of Wilberforce University, and at once entered upon its weighty and responsible duties; to these were soon added the work of a Postmaster, and for a number of years he was indefatigable in his efforts to advance the interests and influence of that truly great school.
He often filled the pulpit of Holy Trinity, the A. M. E. Church of the college settlement, founded and named by Bishop Payne, and recalls with devout gratitude a revival that came to the Church during his Ministry, when he and Bishop Payne one Sabbath morning welcomed one hundred and five new-born souls into the communion of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was while Rev. Maxwell was connected with Wilberforce that he was ordained both Deacon and Elder.
In 1895 he was called upon to serve as juror in the United States Court in Cincinnati.
He was a Lay Delegate at the General Conference at Wilmington, North Carolina, in May, 1896, and Secretary of the Lay "Caucus" that nominated H. T. Kealing and John R. Hawkins, both laymen, for the respective positions of Editor of the A. M. E. Review and Secretary of Education, which offices they still fill.
Rev. Maxwell is now in the itinerant service of the Ohio Conference and is closing his third year as Pastor of Quinn Chapel, at Chillicothe, Ohio. He is most congenially married, and says, "My wife, who has walked life's pathway with me for thirty-six years, sharing its joys and sorrows, richly deserves to share with me the satisfaction and reward of whatever of good I may, under God, have accomplished." They are blessed with three devoted children, all of whom have been graduated from Wilberforce University, and are successful teachers in the world.
[REV. P. C. HUNT, D.D.]
"A SELF-MADE man, a church builder, a keen financier. He knows no failure."
So reads the summary of a friendly pen concerning the character of the popular Presiding Elder of the Houston District, Texas Conference.
The eldest child in a family of seven children, Rev. P. C. Hunt was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee, December 22, 1860. At the age of twelve he was led to consecrate his young life to God and the Church. His parents being unable to give him the education so ardently desired, he started out when he had reached his sixteenth year, with their blessing, and the small fortune of seven dollars and fifty cents in his pocket, to discover what the future had awaiting him.
He made his way to Holly Springs, Mississippi, attended the State Normal School for one year, and then entered Tangaloo University, where he remained four years, but the failure of his eyesight prevented his completion of the full college course.
In 1882 he was licensed as Local Preacher by Rev. A. A. W. Hill, Presiding Elder of the West Tennessee Conference, but went to Texas and taught school near La Grange, transferring his Conference Membership, in December, 1883, to the West Texas Conference that met at that time in San Antonio, with Bishop R. H. Cain as presiding officer. Within the next three years Bishop Wayman ordained him as Deacon and Elder.
The itineracy of Dr. Hunt started at Luling, Texas, and
the succeeding years were filled with successful work on Columbia and Georgetown Circuits, with pastorates in Dallas and Houston, varied with the experience of Presiding Elder over the Corsicana District, and in which capacity he is now serving Houston District.
In 1898 he received from Paul Quinn College the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Dr. Hunt has been particularly successful in securing the erection of new churches in his special field of labor, and in the conducting of revival services. In the midst of many and pressing duties he finds time to attend to his obligations as Trustee of Paul Quinn College and Wilberforce University, and has three times been present as Delegate at the meetings of the General Conference of the Church.
[REV. B. M. CARSON.]
THE spirit of determination that led the slave boy to flee from bondage, in Kentucky, to a land of freedom, is the same that has guided him through many deprivations and discouragements to stable success as a Minister of the A. M. E. Church.
Rev. B. M. Carson was born in Kentucky, July 15, 1844, and well knew what it was to have the eternal "No" said to every hope and aspiration of his young life. The only real happiness that came to him in his slave days was the knowledge of the everlasting love of his Heavenly Father that flooded his heart at the time of his conversion.
He was resolved to learn to read despite the stern prohibition against it; making and selling a scrub brush for fifteen cents he clandestinely purchased a spelling-book, which he carried concealed about him, and learned the letters, one by one, from the white boys of the neighborhood. After learning to spell moderately well, for the sum of fifty cents each, he imparted his store of orthography to a number of slave boys, the place of instruction being an abandoned hut in a field, and the school-term comprising "four months of Sundays."
In 1863 he was sold for $675. At the same sale his heart was rent at the sight of his mother on the auction block, and having saved $75.00 he was allowed to help his father in buying her freedom. He also determined to be a free man himself, and go to Canada, "having seen in a vision the way of escape and
the long road leading from bondage." After emancipation he entered the public schools at Hamilton, Ohio, and was later a student at Wilberforce University.
As a Minister Rev. Carson has been blessed in his work. The Holy Spirit has attended his preaching and many have been brought into the Church. His most signal success has been during his pastorate at Youngstown, Ohio. Going to that little city in October, 1901, he met a membership of only fifty-three persons, and a low condition of things, spiritually and generally. His first year's labor added eighty-two names to the roll of the Church, and the membership has continued to grow until it is more than four times as large as when he took the charge. A parsonage of eight rooms, with modern conveniences, likewise attest his zeal in making the appointment a desirable one along all lines.
Rev. Carson is ever on the alert to the progress of his race, and realizes that the growth of his beloved Church means also the spiritual, intellectual and social elevation of his people, consequently a double purpose inspires his consecrated life.
[WILLIAM H. GIBSON, SR.]
THE autobiography of this most excellent man should be found in the library of every colored man interested in the history and advancement of his people, for its pages present a vivid picture of their deprivations while in bondage, together with glimpses of pathetic patience, rare heroism, unswerving loyalty to principle, and high ideals of true manhood.
Mr. Gibson is a native of Baltimore, in which city he was privileged to attend a select school, also receiving instruction from two eminent ministers. In June, 1847, he was asked to go as teacher to Louisville, Kentucky, starting almost immediately. For six months he was associated with Robert M. Lane in the management of a school, but the following January he opened an independent school in the basement of the Fourth Street M. E. Church, situated in a more central part of the city. This radical departure at first met the angry opposition of those desiring to keep the Negro in a condition of ignorance; but strong influence was brought to bear in favor of its establishment, and eventually hundreds of slaves, holding written permissions from their masters, were, with the free children, instructed in the rudiments of learning.
Mr. Gibson did not escape the prejudice and hostility always manifested towards free Negroes in a Slave-State. Louisville was fully as intense in bitterness as her sister cities farther south. He was a Charter Member of the first Masonic Lodge of
free colored men in the city, who were forced for three years to hold their meetings at New Albany, Indiana, crossing the river at midnight, often periling their lives, walking the five miles that lay between them and New Albany.
In 1862 Mr. Gibson became identified with a school at Indianapolis, Indiana, which was made up mainly of contraband children, and was supported by the Quakers and private subscriptions. This school was closed in a short time and he returned to Kentucky as Recruiting Sergeant for the 55th Massachusetts Colored Regiment. This work proved ineffectual. Though scores of Negroes desired to enlist in the Union army, they were deterred by the threats and menaces made against them, and Mr. Gibson was compelled to return to Indiana for the enrollment of colored soldiers.
After the war he taught for nearly a year and a half in the schools of Leavenworth, Kansas, and was then prevailed upon by old friends to again make his home in Kentucky. In a short time,--during the administration of President Grant,--he received the appointment of United States Postal Clerk, which he held for eight months, resigning then on account of the constant threats made against his life, which kept his family in a state of anxiety and alarm. Of his start in this work he quaintly says:--"As the first negro mail agent in the State, I was equal to Barnum's Animal Show, for the people at every station gathered by hundreds, and climbed upon the cars to get a view of the black animal who dared to invade their territory." At one time he barely escaped lynching by the Ku Klux Klan. He was openly attacked on the car, and for the last three months of his service was daily guarded by Government soldiers. He then accepted a position with the Freedman's Bank, of Louisville, and remained in its employ until its doors were closed. As gauger he served faithfully under President Garfield, going into the grocery business when the Government passed into Democratic control. Later he was engaged as night-watchman by the Bank of Kentucky, the oldest institution of the kind in the State, aud still holds that responsible place.
Mr. Gibson has won more than local renown as President
of several successful Musical Festivals, and has also been congratulated as the author of words written for musical setting on special occasions. His connection with the Masonic and other Orders has lifted him to high offices of trust and accountability. He has gone as Delegate to the General Conference of his Church, and sat in the great National Councils of the Republican party; as a Christian philanthropist, and a true man, he is zealous in all that brings honor and progress to his race.
Mr. Gibson, in July, 1882, was married to Miss Jennie Lewis, of Louisville, Kentucky, and their home is a center of sincere, refined hospitality.
[PROF. H. B. DOUGLAS.]
THROUGH the unremitting sacrifice, encourgement and devotion of his mother and elder brother, Prof. H. B. Douglas was prepared for his life work as a teacher.
He was born April 20, 1861, near Shelbyville, Bedford County. Tenn, and when nineteen years of age received his first certificate to teach. For twenty-five years he has been an energetic, successful instructor in the schools of his native State, having taught in nearly every District of the Counties of Sequatchie and Marion, and at present holds the position of Principal of the School in South Pittsburg.
Prof. Douglas was converted in April, 1894, and is an earnest and useful member of the A. M. E. Church, many offices in the polity of that organization having been entrusted to him. For seven years he has filled the Superintendency of a large and flourishing Sunday School. He embraces every opportunity to advance the religious and intellectual condition of his race.
He has gone many times as Lay Delegate to his District Church Conferences, and was sent in this capacity to the General Conference at Chicago, in 1904.
In August, 1903, Professor Douglas was a Member of the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows that convened at Knoxville, Tennessee. He is an eager partisan of all that is right, and possesses the confidence of his fellow teachers and pupils, and of all that are associated with him in public and social life.
[REV. D. P. MOORE.]
THE parents of Rev. D. P. Moore were slaves, and his birth-place, Dallas County, Alabama, about ten miles from the pretty little city of Selma. His early education was obtained in the public schools at Summerfield, in his native State, his father sending him, when older, to Lincoln Normal University, at Marion, Alabama. At the completion of his school days he taught for ten years in the rural districts of Dallas and Perry Counties in the same State.
Under the preaching of Rev. B. L. Coleman, pastor of the A. M. E. Church at Summerfield, young Moore, in September, 1881, found personal salvation in Christ, and became an active and interested member and worker in both the Sunday School and Church. In April, 1887, he was licensed to preach by Dr. M. E. Bryant, Presiding Elder of Selma District; two years afterward he was taken into the North Alabama Conference at Greensboro, and ordained as Deacon, in 1891, by Bishop W. J. Gaines.
Clanton Mission was his first charge, but in 1892 Bishop Abraham Grant made him spiritual overseer of Calera Circuit, and in a pastorate of three years he lifted a mortgage of four hundred dollars, built a beautiful new church and numerically strengthened the congregation.
Ordination to the Eldership by the hands of Bishop Grant came in 1895, and he was stationed successively at St. Luke A. M. E. Church, North Birmingham, and Gaines Chapel, Anniston,
Alabama. These pastorates were eminently satisfactory to both charges and minister. In November, 1900, he entered upon a three year's service as Presiding Elder of Florence District, and is now connected in the same relation to Birmingham District, daily magnifying his sacred office with a blameless life, and with a heart and purpose devoted to the upbuilding of the Redeemer's Kingdom.
Rev. Moore for seven years held the office of Statistician and for two years that of Chief Secretary of the North Alabama Conference, and was sent as Delegate in May, 1904, to the General Conference at Chicago.
[REV. JAMES W. RANKIN.]
THE subject of this sketch was born of slave parents who were desirous that their son should acquire the education which had been deprived them. He learned his alphabet at a night school; his first book was purchased with money that his mother hoarded from the sale of eggs.
The birth-place of Rev. Rankin was near Demopolis, Alabama, where he made his advent November 14, 1854. The Emancipation Proclamation opened the doors of the school-house to him, and he advanced very rapidly in his studies.
During a residence from 1875 to 1877, in Brookhaven, Mississippi, he was converted and joined the A. M. E. Church, and started on a line of preparation for the Ministry, studying in the city schools at Memphis, Tennessee, afterwards matriculating at Lemoyne Institute.
His connection with the North Mississippi Conference began in 1878, at which time he was ordained Deacon (under the Missionary rule) by Bishop J. P. Campbell; the next year the same ecclesiastical authority made him an Elder.
Rev. Rankin, after serving six years in the Mississippi Conference, was transferred to the North Louisiana Conference, and in 1886 was appointed Presiding Elder of Shreveport District, where he strengthened and developed the work to such an extent that a division of the field was necessary, the new part, known as the Monroe District being placed under his care for two years.
He was then given charge of Lake Providence District, in which he helped to establish Delhi Normal Institute, serving for a time as Trustee and President.
Failing health caused a transference from the malarial region of Louisiana, to Texas, where he itinerated in the churches at Hearne and Houston, doing effective work in building his charges up spiritually, and helping them, when necessary, to cancel financial obligations. He also served as Presiding Elder of Houston District. He has also held successful pastorates at Corsicana, and Waxahachie Station, the latter being in connection with Ft. Worth Conference.
In June, 1897, Rev. Rankin was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity by Paul Quinn College, of which he is a Trustee. He has gone five times as Delegate to the General Conferences of his Church, and served for eight years on the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Board. He is now a valued Member of the Sunday School Board of his Church.
[REV. LOUIS WILLIAM RATLIFFE.]
CHRISTMAS day, 1848, saw the advent of a son in a slave cabin in Roxborough, North Carolina, who was as fondly loved as are more fortunate children born in freedom. But for only nine short years was Louis William Ratliffe to know the blessing of his parent's affection, for they were separated by the cruelty of the system of servitude.
He was nineteen years of age when he came to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he entered the public schools. In 1869 he professed a saving hope in Christ and united with the African Methodist Episcopal Church; two years afterward his work taking him to Indianapolis, Indiana, he placed his Church letter in Bethel A. M. E. Church, and in time became a popular Class Leader, and was shortly licensed as Local Preacher. In 1876 he was admitted to the Indiana Annual Conference at Hill's Chapel, Grant County.
His first pastorates were New Garden, Coryden, Jackson and St. Joseph in the State of Michigan. He was then transferred to Indiana where he preached successively at Jeffersonville, Knightstown, Mt. Vernon, Bloomington, Logansport, Terre Haute, Kokomo, New Albany, Indianapolis, Princeton and Anderson, spiritual and financial success attending his work. From 1890 to 1894 he served as Trustee of Wilberforce University.
Rev. Ratliffe was married in 1873 to Mrs. G. A. Hall, of Indianapolis, who has proven a true helpmate to her husband in
his pastoral labors. Mrs. Ratliffe was the first President (and was kept in office for ten years) of the Indiana Conference Branch Mite Missionary Society, organized in 1886, by Bishop J. P. Campbell, at Vincennes, and was also the first Delegate from that State to the National Parent Home and Foreign Mite Missionary Society at its meeting in Philadelphia. Two sons have been born of this marriage.
Rev. Ratliffe was recently given a diploma from the Theological Department of Morris Brown College.
[NATHANIEL HAMMOND LEE.]
AT THE venerable age of eighty years, Mr. Nathaniel Hammond Lee is living in glad content, under his own "vine and fig tree," in the beautiful town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, honored and venerated by all who know him.
He was born in slavery April 25, 1825, in Harford County, Maryland. In 1847 he became a resident of a free State, making his home in Boston, Massachusetts. On May 6, 1850, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Williams, of Fredericksburg, Virginia. A large family of children blessed their union.
Not until he had almost reached his fiftieth year, 1874, did Mr. Lee know the power of saving grace in his heart, at which time he became an earnest christian worker, joining Charles street African Methodist Episcopal Church, Boston, where for many years he was a conscientious and efficient Steward and Trustee He often speaks with gratitude of the Divine power and care that have preserved his life in times of accident and peril.
For nearly forty years Mr. Lee was an appreciated employe of the firm of Stephen Litton & Company, of Boston. He now lives comfortably and happily in his own home at Cambridge, and bids fair to attain the advanced age of his mother, who was privileged to celebrate her one hundred and third birthday.
Rev. George Washington, a preacher of the A. M. E. Zion Church, in New England, was a brother of the subject of this sketch.
[REV. D. M. BUTLER.]
REV. D. M. Butler was born March 10, 1849, in Frederick County, Maryland, and experienced a realization of the Divine forgiveness of sin when he was but fifteen years of age, and was taken into the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at Burketsville, Maryland, by Elder Daniel Rideout. In a short time he was appointed Assistant Class Leader and elected a Church Steward.
Going to Springfield, Ohio, in March, 1870, he identified himself with the North Street Church, and his services were almost immediately utilized in several church offices.
His life and aspirations were directed to the Ministry of his Church, and in 1877, Rev. R. G. Mortimer granted him a license as Local Preacher. Two years afterwards Bishop A. W. Wayman admitted him to the Ohio Conference, at Circleville, his first charge being at Oberlin, Ohio.
He was soon ordained as Deacon and Elder, and he has itinerated with great fidelity and marked success at Cadiz, Dayton, Steubenville, Lockland, Chillicothe, Urbana and Findlay, and is now serving our great Church at Toledo, Ohio.
[REV. CHARLES HENRY BOONE.]
LIKE many of his brethren in the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the early life of Rev. Charles Henry Boone was passed in working on a farm during the spring and summer months, and devoting the winter season to the acquirement of the rudiments of an education at a district school.
He was born in Franklin County, Ohio, about the year 1870. While a little fellow he was inclined to the consideration of the more serious things of existence, and in his fifteenth year was soundly converted to God and enrolled his name in the Membership of the A. M. E. Church.
In 1887 he entered the public schools at Springfield, and in 1891 was privileged to matriculate at Wilberforce University, taking the Scientific and Classical Courses, completing them in 1898. His college days meant much of continued hardship and daily privation; his finances at times were extremely contracted, and more than once his dinner consisted of but a little bread and meat or a raw cabbage.
On March 23, 1899, Dr. John Coleman licensed him as a Minister of the A. M. E. Church. Conscious of the great responsibility devolving upon him, he entered Payne Seminary, mastering the regular Theological Course in one year's time.
His first Pastoral experience was at Martin's Ferry, Ohio, where he remained but three months, being then transferred to
the Kentucky Conference, at which time, September, 1900, Bishop Tanner ordained him as Deacon.
In Kentucky the door of opportunity opened into the schoolroom instead of the church, and in 1901 he began a work that quickly caused him to be recognized as a leading educator. The next year led to his selection as Principal of Turner Institute and the John G. Mitchell Bible Training School at Shelbyville, Tennessee, retaining his connection with his Conference. In 1902 he was given Elder's Orders by Bishop B. T. Tanner, at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and was also appointed to the Pastorate of the Church in Shelbyville, where he carried on with vigor and enthusiasm his very successful work in Turner Institute, in connection with his Ministerial labors. He is now Pastor of St. Paul Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
[REV. P. F. CURRY.]
COLUMBIA, South Carolina, is the native city of Rev. P. F. Curry, where he was born May 12, 1868. He is a graduate of Cookman College, Jacksonville, Florida, and also of Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia.
He was happily converted in his tenth year. It was a memorable day in his life when a license to preach was given him, and he was admitted to the Macon, Georgia, Conference, by Bishop W. J. Gaines, on November 16, 1890, completing his equipment for the itineracy. Ordination as Deacon and Elder quickly followed.
The Ministerial labors of Rev. Curry have been entirely in the State of Georgia, with appointments at Spring Hill, Smithville Station, Waycross Station, Brunswick Station and Bethel Church, Savannah. He is now the zealous Presiding Elder of Millen District.
Rev. Curry is a valued Trustee of Morris Brown College. In 1903 he was elected Ministerial Delegate to his home Conference, and the next year was sent to the General Conference at Chicago.
[REV. J. ONESIMUS MORLEY, B.A.]
REV. J. Onesimus Morley is the spiritual overseer of St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church at Hamilton, Bermuda, West Indies, and, although comparatively young in years and experience, has been made Presiding Elder of the District. He is a native of those beautiful tropical islands, and was for several years a successful teacher in the Government School.
A license to preach was given him by Dr. M. M. Moore in 1894, at Winter Park, Florida, and on the fourteenth day of June, in the following year, he was honored with an invitation to preach the District Conference sermon; this discourse, based upon Proverbs 8:3, 4, brought him much renown, and it was pronounced "a masterpiece of profound thought and beautiful oratory."
Desiring to increase his Biblical and Theological lore, he, in 1896, matriculated at the Wesleyan Theological College at Montreal, Canada, being the only colored student in the Institution, where, at the end of three year's close mental application, he was graduated with high tokens of esteem from his instructors and fellow-students. A future of great usefulness and honor lies before him.
[REV. TIMOTHY DWIGHT SCOTT.]
ORDAINED as a Minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and having successfully filled several pastorates, yet it is as an educator that Rev. Timothy Dwight Scott has obtained a prominent place among the leading men of his race; one that is not excelled in merit by any Instructor in the land.
He was born in Circleville, Ohio, June 21, 1860, and since his twelfth year has been actively and usefully identified with the A. M. E. Church.
As a diligent and studious pupil he won high grades in the public schools of his native town, but desirous of greater intellectual culture without it proving to heavy a burden on his devoted parents, he entered Wilberforce University in 1881, and paid for most of his tuition with money earned on Saturdays in a barber shop in Xenia; he was graduated from the Classical Department of the Institution in 1886.
He began his splendid record as teacher with one year's service as Principal of the Colored High School at Circleville, holding the same position at Parkersburg, West Virginia, for five years; afterwards he occupied with marked ability, for three years, the Chair of Natural Science at Wilberforce University. He has for the past nine years been employed, at a handsome salary, as Principal of the East Main Street High School, Xenia, Ohio.
Professor Scott's Ministerial experience has been intertwined with his profession as teacher. He received his license to preach
from Rev. C. E. Newsome, at Circleville, Ohio, in August, 1887. Deacon's Orders were given him September 30, 1889, by Bishop Daniel A. Payne, at Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and Bishop B. W. Arnett, on October 7, 1894, at Wheeling, West Virginia, ordained him as Elder.
He has itinerated very successfully in the A. M. E. Churches at Parkersburg, West Virginia, Wilberforce and Xenia, Ohio; his great interest in the Sunday School cause has led to his holding for a decade the responsible position of President of the Ohio Conference African Methodist Sunday School Institute. In April, 1895, Governor William McKinley made him Chaplain of the 9th O. N. G., and Governor Asa S. Bushnell, in 1897, again commissioned him to the office.
Rev. Scott, on September 4, 1903 lost by death his wife, who was formerly Miss Mary S. McKinley, of Macon, Georgia, to whom he was married December 27, 1887. She was a woman whose beauty of face reflected the loveliness of heart and soul within, and her strong mentality and intellectual culture made her a charming personality. Five little children were left motherless.
[REV. EDWARD W. LAMPTON, D.D.]
REV. Edward Wilkerson Jones, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was the first African Methodist Preacher in Kentucky, and the life of his grandson has in many ways been a reflection of the Christian courage and fidelity of the saintly pioneer of the Church.
Dr. Edward Wilkerson Lampton was born October 21, 1857, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in which place his father was a first-class brick mason, which trade was also learned by the son. His conversion in September, 1874, at the town of Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, (which event was almost tragic in its happening, the Divine power causing him to leap from the horse that he was riding with a cry for mercy and pardon), filled him with the desire to make the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church his life-work. He at once began to qualify himself for the sacred office, and was admitted to the Annual Conference, at Greenville, Mississippi, where he was ordained Deacon. Bishop Ward, at the eighth session of the North Mississippi Annual Conference raised him to the Eldership.
The itineracy of Dr. Lampton has been one of constant loyalty to right, and success has followed his steps. His brethren in the pulpit have bestowed upon him every official position in the Conference. In 1892 he was sent to the General Conference at Philadelphia. He was the first Treasurer of J. P.
Campbell College, and at present is Vice President and Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of that Institution.
Dr. Lampton is an ardent upholder of the Masonic Order, and has twice been elected Grand Master of Stringer Grand Lodge of Mississippi. His decisions have marked his great ability. In national politics he has always stood for the good of the party, and expressed contempt for trickery and injustice. He was a Delegate from the State-at-Large to the National Convention at St. Louis that nominated McKinley and Hobart.
As member of the Committee sent to the Governor of Mississippi, it was the logical eloquence of Dr. Lampton that prevented a division of the school fund, thus securing a common school education to the Negro children of the State; his arguments and persistence likewise saved Alcorn A. and M. College to the Colored People of the same State, and retained the corps of Colored Teachers in the Institution. For this splendid service the College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Liberal Learning, the degree of Doctor of Divinity having previously been given him by Shorter University at the close of his Theological studies, at which time he won the class medal.
Dr. Lampton is at present efficiently serving the African Methodist Episcopal Church as its Financial Secretary, one of the most important offices within the gift of the General Conference.
Well known as a forcible and influential speaker, Dr. Lampton is equally strong with his pen, as his brochure entitled "Sacred Dynamite on Baptism" will testify.
Dr. Lampton is very happy and fortunate in his immediate home life, whose genial hospitality has been tested by many, both friends and strangers. His race is honored by his earnest, Christian manhood, and he honors his race by continuous devotion to its well-being and well-doing.
[REV. PAUL STILL PRYOR.]
REV. Paul Still Pryor was born March 6, 1865, in Pike County, not far from Troy, Alabama, being the elder son of Rev. R. S. Pryor, who was for many years Pastor of the Baptist Congregations in Brundidge, Troy and other towns in Alabama. Much of his early life was passed upon a plantation; his school privileges were few and his education was mainly obtained from a private white instructor, Mr. Albert Smith.
In his eighteenth year young Pryor located at Union Springs, Alabama, where for two years he was employed as a drayman, after which he clerked and kept books in a grocery belonging to his brother. Later he embarked in the mercantile business for himself.
His conversion, in 1888, made the Ministry the supreme object in his life, and on March 18, 1891, he was licensed as a Minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, by Rev. E. H. Dixon, Presiding Elder of Union Springs District, and the same year joined the Alabama Conference, Bishop W. J. Gaines presiding.
The following year Bishop A. Grant gave him his first appointment at Suspension Mission, where he built a church. In 1893 he went to Bethel and Powell Missions, near Huntsboro. The same year he received Deacon's Orders from Bishop Grant.
Two year's connection, as pastor, with the Troy Circuit, witnessed the ingathering of sixty souls to the Church, and the
building of two new houses of worship. His pastorate at Clopton Church added one hundred and fifty persons to its membership.
His itineracy in other places was rewarded with similar success, the people experiencing spiritual and material blessings, the latter materializing in the shape of remodeled churches, new parsonages and the wiping out of church debts.
In 1899 Bishop H. M. Turner ordained him as Elder.
His energy brought new life to the Church at Dothen; he lifted it out of a cloud of debt, built a parsonage worth $750, and the same year entertained the Annual Conference.
Rev. Pryor is at present Presiding Elder of Columbia District, and also Editor of the Henry County Appeal. He resides in Dothen where he is the owner of valuable property.
He was a Delegate from his Conference to the last General Conference in Chicago.
[DR. LOUIS MADISON FENWICK.]
FEW persons, irrespective of race, possess the broad, thorough preparation for their life-work as does Dr. Louis Madison Fenwick, the subject of this sketch.
He was born in Gentry County, Missouri, August 29, 1858, of deeply religious parentage, and obtained his early education in the High School and College at Oskaloosa, Iowa, afterward entering Penn College in the same city. In 1884 he joined the Conference at Keokuk, Iowa, and was assigned to the Princeton and Knoxville Circuit, Illinois, where he did excellent work in freeing both charges from debt. The same record was made at Minneapolis. In Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Bedford and Creston, Iowa, churches were built; eight charges in Illinois were either made to rejoice over new houses of worship, or the remodeling of old ones, by his wise management of financial conditions; in Evanston, Illinois, his last charge, he raised more money than any of the pastors of the Church before him had ever succeeded in doing.
But a natural love for medical science, and a desire to minister to the physical comfort of his fellow creatures by alleviating their suffering, and healing their diseases, led him, in 1894, to enter the Barnes Medical College at St. Louis, Missouri, from which he was graduated four years later, standing fifth in a class of one hundred and seventy-six, and being the first Negro to receive a diploma from that Institution. For two years he
was associated as Assistant Clinician with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in St. Louis, and also served most efficiently in the City Hospital.
Not satisfied with his attainments in his new profession, he obtained, also, by hard study, a diploma from the National College of Electro-Therapeutics and Electro-Physics in Indianapolis, and is now an eminent and competent physician in the city of Chicago.
[REV. B. W. ROBERTS, D.D.]
CALLED to an eternal reward while his sun of life was still high in the heavens, Dr. Roberts has left to the Church so dear to him, the record of one who served "as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
He was born July 26th, 1852, at Monticello, Jefferson County, Florida. In his eighteenth year he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour, and was licensed to preach September 15th, 1871, by Rev. Wm. Bradwell of the Florida Conference.
Before he reached his twenty-third birthday he had received ordination as Deacon and Elder, and been appointed to Ministerial work in the Bahama Islands, from which he returned to an itineracy in his native State, holding charges at Madison, Tallahassee, Appalachicola and other large centers. In 1883 came transference to Texas and an assignment to St. Paul A. M. E. Church at Waco, with after appointments at Austin and San Antonio and also extensive work as Presiding Elder.
Dr. Roberts, in December, 1871, was united in marriage to Miss Diana W. Williams, of Monticello, Florida, with whom he lived most happily till her death in March, 1893. On March 11th, 1902, he was again wedded to Miss Leona B. Ferguson, of Ohio, who survives him.
As Ministerial Delegate, Dr. Roberts attended five consecutive sessions of the General Conference of the Church, and had been elected to the General Conference at Chicago that met in
May following his translation to a higher sphere, which took place February 1st, 1904.
Throughout his life Dr. Roberts always found some duty awaiting his coming. Besides his labors as Pastor and Preacher he taught school during the early years of his Ministry, served at different times as Justice of the Peace, County Commissioner, Member of Board of Education, and was for a while Inspector of Customs for the port of Key West. For nearly thirty years he was a Trustee of Paul Quinn College, and at the time of his death Chairman of its Executive Board.
[REV. J. M. TOWNSEND, D. D.]
"PRINCIPLE not Policy," has been the inner motive power that has lifted the subject of this sketch to the enviable place of eminence and confidence given him by the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the public at large.
The only son of William and Mary A. Townsend, Dr. Townsend was born at Gallipolis, Ohio, August 18th, 1841. He was converted and joined the Church when only twelve years of age; after four years of successful work as teacher, in 1871, entered the Ministry of the A. M. E. Church.
The itineracy of Dr. Townsend has been mainly in the State of Indiana, in which he has twice been assigned to charges in Richmond and Indianapolis, serving also in Terre Haute; but he has also held pastorates in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio.
Politics and political life have ever been full of charm to Dr. Townsend, but from the standpoint only of the sacred and mighty power that lies in a man's ballot, and for years he was a foremost figure in Indiana State politics. He was elected to the State Legislature and held the office of Recorder of the General Land Office, never once forgetting that fidelity to conscience and duty was the expression of good citizenship.
The Church has been quick to recognize the Christian character and natural ability of Dr. Townsend, for although he was a student at Oberlin, he is in the main a self-made man, studying
and learning whenever and wherever opportunity offered. He was a Member of the World's Ecumenical Conference in 1881, and has gone as a Delegate to every General Conference of the Church, save one, since 1876. For eight years he served as Secretary of Home and Foreign Missions, and the present Missionary Department of the Church was founded by him. The first permanent work of the Church in Hayti, San Domingo, the West Coast of Africa, and in Indian Territory is due to his energy and far-sightedness.
Dr. Townsend is regarded as a most earnest preacher, an excellent pastor and a winning evangelist. Over six thousand men and women have been taken by him into the fold of the Church. All of his work is permeated with optimistic faith in a future of honor and greatness for his race.
[REV. ISAIAH HENDERSON WELCH.]
No man in the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is more devoted to the progress of his race than is the subject of this sketch, who was the founder and first President of Wayman Institute, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, June 22, 1845. Work on a farm near Bellfonte, Pennsylvania, occupied his early years. As he grew older the desire for an education was strong within him, and he entered Wilberforce University under the guardianship of Bishop D. A. Payne. Two years of his college course were completed, when the mad allurements of war proved more powerful than books, so he ran away and enlisted with the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, but was later transferred to Co. C. 55th regiment. Wounded in the charge on James Island and battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina, he was assigned to the Freedmen's Bureau under General O. O. Howard, and set to work writing contracts between ex-slaves and their former masters.
Returning to Wilberforce at the close of the war he was graduated as valedictorian of the class of '70, and the same year ordained as Elder by Bishop Payne and assigned to the pastoral charge of Emmanuel A. M. E. Church, Mobile, Alabama, in which city he organized a second A. M. E. Church.
Rev. Welch is a man of general utility, having been called to various fields of labor. Outside of his many appointments as Pastor and Elder, he has been a School Teacher and held the appointment of Clerk of Customs at Pensacola, Florida. In this city the Church at the Navy Yard is a witness to his zeal and earnestness in his Master's cause.
[REV. THOMAS WESLEY WOODSON.]
REV. Thomas Wesley Woodson is one of the popular Ministers of the North Ohio Conference, and holds the responsible position of Statistical Notary in that organization.
He is a native of Jackson County, Ohio, and was born in that locality, February 15th, 1853. His early education was obtained in the public schools, and a course at Wilberforce University prepared him for the serious and weighty duties of the pulpit of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In September, 1887, he was admitted to the North Ohio Conference, Bishop Campbell presiding. He has done efficient service in all the charges committed to his care. He is now stationed at North Street A. M. E. Church, Springfield, Ohio, one of the most flourishing Congregations in the State.
Rev. Woodson was a Delegate to the last General Conference at Chicago, and is a Life Trustee of Wilberforce University. His earnestness in the Sunday School Cause has placed him in the Presidency of the North Ohio Sunday School Institute. Of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows he is a valued member, and has been given a high official position in one of the Ohio Lodges.
[REV. WILLIAM A. FOUNTAIN.]
THE daily walk and conversation of pious parents were of untold influence in forming the Christian character of the subject of this sketch, and leading him finally into the ranks of the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Rev. William A. Fountain was born at Elberton, Georgia, October 29th, 1870. He received instruction at Clark University, Morris Brown College, and was graduated from Allen University, South Carolina, in the class of 1892, in which he bore off the palm as Valedictorian. Entering the school-room, for twelve years he was a faithful and conscientious instructor of the young, but the call of the Church ever sounded in his ears, and he asked and obtained a license to preach from Dr. J. S. Flipper.
In 1898, he was registered as a non-resident student of Central University, Indianapolis, Indiana, and after three years of close study was given the degree of Bachelor of Divinity; he, during this period, doing Pastoral work at Washington Station; again registering at the same Institution, and combining study with Ministerial effort at Marietta, in two year's time received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy,
The oratorical gifts of Rev. Fountain have brought his services into requisition upon important occasions, and in 1901 he was called upon to make a literary address at Allen University, and also to preach the Baccalaureate Sermon at the Commencement Exercises of the Public Schools of Washington, Georgia.
1904 saw him among the lecturers at Tnrner Theological Seminary of Morris Brown College, which Seminary, the year before, honored him with the degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology.
Rev. Fountain is most cordially liked by his fellow ministers, and has twice been elected Chief Secretary of his Conference, and sent an equal number of times to the General Conference. As Presiding Elder he is now doing lasting and good work in Athens District.
[REV. HENRY NASBY NEWSOME, D. D.]
"HE HAS taken in more members, done more building, and raised more money for the A. M. E. Church than any young man in the State of Alabama. He is a great revivalist and is intellectually able to entertain any audience, and is able, and will hold anything this grand old church may give him. He is what I call a wonder, and is Alabama's Napoleon." This glowing estimation of one of Dr. Newsome's brother Ministers, is but a reflection of the sentiment of the Church at large concerning him.
He is the first-born son of George and Rachal Newsome, his birth taking place September 10th, 1866, in Russell County, Alabama. He attended, during boyhood, the common schools of Crawford and Girard, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia, afterward studying Hebrew, Greek and Latin under private instructors, and taking a course in Theology at Morris Brown College.
A religious environment was ever about him. He literally grew up in the shadow of the Church. He was a teacher in the Sunday School at thirteen years of age, and at seventeen was Superintendent instead of teacher. He was also an Instructor in the Public Schools. Two years afterward he was converted, and in 1888, was admitted to the Alabama Conference and stationed at Hopewell Mission, where he found twelve members worshiping under a bush-arbor. In four months a neat church was built, and when at the end of two years he was assigned to another charge, there were fifty more names on the roll of Hopewell Church.
This initial success was indicative of that which has attended all his pastorates. Wherever he went churches were erected or repaired, debts lifted and the membership wonderfully increased. At Enon Circuit he built a thousand dollar church and put a 610 pound bell on it within the limit of twelve months. His success at Opelika was phenominal, spiritually and financially. In December, 1901, he was sent to Mobile, Alabama, where he found the congregation staggering under an incubus of four thousand dollars of debt, but by July, 1903, every cent was paid, and there was much rejoicing when the mortgage was burned. In less than three years pastorate of this charge, Dr. Newsome has already added four hundred names to the church roll, raised over $13,000, purchased a new parsonage, and the church has a small steady revenue from the rent of the old parsonage.
Dr. Newsome represented the Alabama Conference at the General Conference at Columbus, Ohio, in 1900, and the Central Alabama Conference at the meeting of the same Church body at Chicago, in 1904.
But, perchance, the work that he holds nearest to his heart, and that he regards as the greatest privilege to perform for the Church, is advancing the cause of the South African College. In this cause he is never weary, and as its Treasurer welcomes the coming of every dollar, knowing well that it is a sound investment in God's own work.
Dr. Newsome has a very happy home, his cultured wife being formerly Miss Susie Ella Knox, of Brundidge, Alabama. Two sons and three daughters are the joy of their parent's love.
[REV. HENRY COLBURNE MSIKINYA.]
"IN him we find a man who suffers no compromise for Christian principles." What higher encomium can be passed upon a Minister of the Lord Jesus Christ?
The parents of Rev. Msikinya were converted under the preaching of Bishop Taylor, and he was born into the happy influences of a Christian home at Nxukwebe (Healdstown ), a Missionary Station in South Africa.
Young Msikinya was a diligent pupil in the native school he attended, and as soon as he became of age he entered the Native Training Institute of the Wesleyan Church at Healdstown, where he ranked as one of the best students in the college, afterward passing the examination for Government Teacher with honor. In the latter part of 1891 he was called to teach at Kimberly, and has memories of six years faithful work connected with the place.
The highest desire of his heart was to be a Minister of the A. M. E. Church, believing that he was Divinely called so to labor. In America alone could fitting preparation be made for the sacred work, and in the noble University of Wilberforce he spent four years of hard study.
At the present time Rev. Msikinya is Principal of Bethel Institute at Cape Town, and he fully realizes the importance and responsibility attached to his position. His life and words will be of mighty power in shedding Gospel light upon many hearts in the "Dark Continent."
[ANAK THOMAS ATWATER.]
AMONG the many able teachers of the Colored race, no one is more worthy of honorable mention than the subject of this sketch, who was born August 21st, 1872, in Upson County, Georgia, near the present site of Yatesville.
Making the best of the limited opportunities for education that came to him in youth, in his nineteenth year he entered Atlanta University, where he remained for seven years, working his way, teaching during the summer vacations. At the completion of the course he was graduated from the New York Teachers' Professional School, receiving his diploma in 1898.
While a student in Atlanta University he was won by the Holy Spirit to an allegiance to his Divine Master, and united with the A. M. E. Church, and has always honored his profession by an earnest, consistent life, serving, at different times, as Steward and Sunday School Superintendent.
In 1899, he, with a few trustees, founded the East Rome Graded Normal Industrial School, and has been at the head of its teaching force since its organization, delighting in leading the youth of his race to higher levels of intellectual and spiritual truth.
Professor Atwater is often called upon to address large assemblies, as he is noted for his gift of oratory.
He was sent, in 1904, as a Delegate Layman to the General Conference in Chicago.
[REV. MATTHEW W. TRAVERSE, D.D.]
DR. Matthew W. Traverse was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on the last day of the year, 1855. He took advantage in his boyhood of all the schooling open to colored youth in that day, studying at the Douglas Institute and Normal School in the city. When he reached his fifteenth year, he was put to work in a brick-yard during the summer and in an oyster-house in the winter, attending night school whenever opportunity offered.
His conversion, in 1868, turned his purpose in life to the Ministry, and in 1876 he was licensed as a Minister of the A. M. E. Church. The next February he started South to begin his work as Teacher and Preacher, and to please his friend, Dr. Fisher, a Presiding Elder of Savannah, located in Georgia, where he was assigned to the charge of several Circuits. He identified himself with Macon Conference, but at the close of a two year's pastorate was transferred to the Georgia Conference and stationed at Smithville and Leary Circuit, but did not remain here long owing to the frail health of his wife.
In 1884, Bishop James A. Shorter transferred him to the Baltimore Conference, and after three year's Circuit work he preached at Allen Chapel, Washington, D. C., and built a new Church at Cumberland. Great success attended his Ministry at Hagerstown, Maryland, from which charge he was transferred by Bishop Gaines to the West Kentucky Conference. After a year's Pastorate at Avery Church, Memphis, Tennessee,
he was made Presiding Elder and stationed at St. Paul, Atlanta, Georgia, to eventually return to Columbia, Tennessee. At that time race hostility in the State was at fever heat, and the uncompromising defense of his people by Dr. Traverse brought upon him the hatred of his opponents, and, fearful of a tragedy, Church authority transferred him again to the Baltimore Conference and assigned him to Payne Memorial Church, Baltimore, where he quickly became one of the most popular preachers in the city. He has since served at Mount Moriah Church, Annapolis, Maryland.
Dr. Traverse is the editor of a popular little sheet, known as "The Weekly Guide," published at Baltimore in the interest of his race. Besides his editorial and pulpit obligations, Dr. Traverse is officially connected with several societies working along Church lines, and every hour has its imperative duty. He has served as Trustee of Wilberforce University, and received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Livingston College.
His wife, to whom he was married in 1878, was Miss Mary E. Hall, and they have an interesting family of four boys and five girls. He is well off, financially, and ranks high in Masonic and Pythian circles.
[REV. WILLIAM DECATUR COOK, D.D.]
THE value of the life and influence of Rev. William Decatur Cook is apparent in the position held by him in many of the Educational and Benevolent Institutions of the Church; being Life-Trustee of Wilberforce University, a Charter Member of Kittrell Institute, Vice President of the A. M. E. Church Extension Board, Director of Howard Orphan Asylum, Brooklyn, New York, and Trustee of the Sea Shore Home for the Aged at Atlantic City.
He was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, February 17th, 1860, educated in the public schools of his native town, afterwards going to Shaw and Howard Universities, preaching as often as his studies would permit.
His regular itineracy began in the North Carolina Conference, being early the recipient of Deacon and Elder's Orders; appointments were filled in the Churches of Fayetteville, Durham and Kinston, after which he was called to other fields of labor, preaching at Norfolk, Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; Mother Bethel, Philadelphia; Bethel, New York City, and other strong Churches. The handsome Church at Norfolk, Virginia, is a monument to his active purpose and ability. The old edifice was torn away, and in little over a year the present Church was dedicated. It comfortably accommodates fifteen hundred people, and its cost was $38,000. Before he left over half of the debt was paid.
While pastor of the Bridge Street Church at Brooklyn, New York, his practical assistance resulted in the burning of a mortgage that for thirty years had crippled the usefulness of the Church, the lifting of all other indebtedness, and at his departure $600 lay in the Church Treasury.
Dr. Cook rejoices most in the fact that during his twenty-seven years of Ministerial labor over two thousand persons have professed a saving knowledge of Christ, won by his earnest exhortations and sermons.
Dr. Cook has been sent five times as a Delegate to the General Conference. The University of Wilberforce conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
[REV. G. W. ALLEN, D.D.]
THE brainy editor of "The Southern Christian Recorder," one of the leading papers of the A. M. E. Church, is counted among the foremost men of his race in purpose and achievement.
Born near Smith Station, Alabama, August 10th, 1850, he has been a strenuous advocate of the rights of his people in the Southland all his life.
For fifteen years he taught school in Bullock County in his home State, and became so thoroughly identified as a thinker and progressive man that in 1874 he was sent to the Alabama Legislature. He was re-elected for a second term but was "counted out" by the opposition.
The succeeding seventeen years saw him Principal of the Public Schools in Girard City, and also serving as Pastor at several Mission Points near Girard, which his energy made strong enough to support local pastors. Three of the best A. M. E. Churches in Eastern Alabama were built by his tireless endeavor.
In 1899 he was made Presiding Elder of Montgomery District by Bishop Turner, holding the place for four years. He was then assigned in the same official capacity to Union Springs District, but there was another important work awaiting him. The General Conference at its session at Chicago decided that he was the man to manage "The Southern Christian Recorder," both editorially and financially, and it was placed in his hands.
Dr. Allen is one of the wealthiest men of his race in the
South, and has weathered financial storms that would have wrecked men less brave and confident of ultimate success. At one time he mortgaged his property in Girard to buy lumber for the building of Gaines Chapel, an A. M. E. Church in the same city. When the time came for payment he and the Church alike were unable to meet the note, and his property was sacrificed. He felt the loss greatly, but "looked to God and went to work for more," and now owns valuable property in Girard, Phenix City and other places. He is a Director in the Queen City Real Estate Company, of Columbus, Georgia.
[REV. JAMES H. HUBBARD.]
REV. James H. Hubbard stands in the front line of noble servitors of the A. M. E. Church, having for forty-five eventful years been proclaiming the truth of a Divinely revealed religion from its pulpits.
He was born July 22d, 1838, in the beautiful city of Baltimore, Maryland. When seventeen years of age he determined to seek his fortune in the far West, when a journey over the mountains and limitless prairies meant much more of peril and discomfort than it does at the present time.
While attending a protracted meeting in Nevada, conducted by the Rev. William Morrow, he was led by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness of his sins at the altar, and with the peace that followed came a desire to consecrate his life to the cause of his Divine Master.
Joining the A. M. E. Church, at Sacramento, whose pulpit at that time was filled by a Missionary Elder, Rev. T. M. D. Ward, his thought and energy were constantly directed toward preparation for pulpit work. In 1860 he received from Bishop Ward a license to preach, and since that red-letter day in his history he has been a devoted follower of the risen Christ, faithful always in his efforts of "rightly divining the word of truth."
Rev. Hubbard was an untiring worker in the organization of the California Conference that was effected by Bishop J. P. Campbell in 1865. An interesting incident connected with this event is that Rev. Hubbard was one of the first three Deacons ordained
by Bishop Campbell for Christian work on the Pacific Coast. The candidates for the sacred office were Peter R. Green, James H. Hubbard and John T. Jenifer; and they were "set apart" in the order named,--Peter, James and John. They are all still living, faithful veterans in the church. In 1869 Rev. Hubbard was invested with the office of Elder.
He was privileged to be an energetic assistant of Bishop Jas. A. Shorter in the establishing of the Kansas Conference in 1876, and eleven years later labored in the organization of the Colorado Conference by Bishop John M. Brown.
Rev. Hubbard has been connected as pastor with charges in San Francisco, Sacramento, Leavenworth, Atchison, Fort Scott, Kansas City, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Leadville and other important points.
For seven years he served as Presiding Elder, traveling not less than ten thousand miles a year through the thinly settled Districts of the extreme West. He has attended three times, as Delegate, the General Conferences of the Church.
Rev. Hubbard's great secret of successful work lies in the revival spirit that constantly abides with him; hundreds having been brought to the penitential altar through his powerful preaching, and became useful adherents of the church.
[REV. LEVI EDWARD CHRISTY.]
ON the free side of the Ohio river, there was born in Salem, Indiana, April 5th, 1850, a son to Drayton and Eliza Christy. His primary education was obtained in private colored schools, and he recalls with affection and high esteem the instructors of his childhood.
Two years after the death of his mother, in 1863, his father moved to Xenia, Ohio, where the young lad had the benefit of fine public schools under the instruction of that most excellent teacher, Professor John R. Blackburn.
At the close of his school days, Mr. Christy went to Indianapolis, where he obtained employment in the home of General, afterwards President, Benjamin Harrison. But his desire for learning did not leave him. He attended a night school, preparing his lessons with his book propped up on the wood pile while he sawed industriously away; or, tacked it on the wall over the table, as he conjugated verbs or gleaned historical facts while the dishes came sparkling from the hot water in the pan.
His diligence was rewarded by an appointment, in 1870, as Principal of Tinker Street Public School. But the need of teachers in the South attracted him, and he accepted a position in Arkansas, remaining there until he came North to complete his education at Wilberforce University.
His studies did not prevent Cupid from wounding him with his tiny arrow, and the wound remained incurable until he had wooed and won Miss Ella N. Roberts, a teacher in the
Xenia Public Schools, for his wife. They went to Arkansas, and he again taught the same school that he had previously.
Then for several years he was employed in the schools at Indianapolis, taking the while, special courses of study under tutors from Yale. He also assisted in the editorship of the Indianapolis World, and was employed in the Bureau of Assessments under Hon. Thomas Taggart.
But the Ministry of the A. M. E. Church had been an objective point since his conversion in boyhood, and in 1894 he was admitted to the Indiana Conference, beginning his itineracy at Davenport in 1899. Since that date he has served several charges with great efficiency.
[REV. ROBERT FRENCH HURLEY, D.D.]
THE name of Rev. Robert French Hurley, D.D., will go into the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, not only as one of its most able Ministers, but also for his unswerving allegiance to the best interests and advancement of his race.
He was born September 16th, 1846, in the village of Gainesville, Virginia, where he resided until eight years of age, when his parents moved near Leesburg, remaining there until after the breaking out of the Civil War, when they went to Zanesville, Ohio.
The war to young Hurley meant what it did to all his race, the precursor of liberty, and though but sixteen years of age, he joined the Second New York Cavalry. Before a year had elapsed news came of the recruiting of colored troops in Washington, D. C., and with heart on fire with patriotic ardor, he hastened to the National Capitol, and enrolled his name on the roster of Company B, First United States Colored Troops. Faithful, loyal service was his throughout those eventful years from the time of his enlistment to the day of honorable discharge at Roanoke Island, September 29th, 1865. He then joined his parents in their new home on land always consecrated to freedom.
Connecting himself with the A. M. E. Church at Zanesville, Dr. Hurley felt within his heart the Divine command to promulgate the Gospel Message, and in 1869 entered the Ohio Conference, receiving the appointment of Traveling Minister. Realizing that he stood in need of greater qualification for his work, he took a course of study at Delaware College.
His itineracy began, in 1872, in Tennessee, and from the very start, both in and out of the pulpit, he strove most strenuously for the alleviation of the ills and wrongs of his people.
In 1884 he was transferred to New Orleans, where even greater responsibilities in his work devolved upon him. But so fearless and capable did he prove, that at the close of his second year's pastorate he was called to succeed Dr. W. B. Derrick, at Sullivan Street Church in New York City. From this city he went to Boston, afterwards serving in other cities of New England.
Again he was transferred to a distant field of labor, coming west to Springfield, Illinois, later to Detroit, Michigan, to be made at the close of his Pastorate in this city, Presiding Elder of the Michigan Conference. But Indiana wanted him and he was stationed in Indianapolis, going eventually from that city to Trenton, New Jersey.
Doubtless the most prominent period in Dr. Hurley's Ministerial experience, were the years spent in the South, at a time when a "lost cause" made the antagonism of the defeated ones burn with hot injustice against the black man. That he obeyed the Scriptural injunction to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves," is proved by his receiving, while in Tennessee, the nomination for Congressional Elector on the Garfield ticket for the Memphis District. Some of the Memphis papers urged him to run for Congress, and he also declined a nomination to the Legislature of the State at a time when a nomination was paramount to an election. It is impossible to separate his zeal for his Church from his enthusiastic interest in the welfare of his race.
Not a few honors have dropped into Dr. Hurley's Ministerial pathway. He has been talked of for the Bishopric, had the degree of D.D. conferred upon him by Paul Quinn College, honored with the office of Department Chaplain of the G. A. R. of the State of New York, and since 1880 has been a Delegate to every General Conference of the Church. He is a Mason in high standing, and his two books on "The Church in Politics; or, Practical Christianity," and "The Negro in America," show thorough understanding of his subjects, fine literary ability, and have won generous praise from their hosts of readers.
[REV. J. E. MORRIS.]
REV. J. E. Morris was born November 24th, 1866, at Highville, Lancaster County, Pa. His childhood and youth were spent in farm toil with the exception of the time in which he was acquiring his education at Washington, Pa. Just before attaining his majority, he accepted a situation as foreman in the stocking department of the Lancaster Rolling Mill, Lancaster, Pa., which he held for five years, going when twenty-five years of age to Pittsburg, where he worked in the puddling department of the Black Diamond Steel Works of Andrew Carnegie and Morehead Brothers' Mills.
While a resident of Pittsburg he was united in marriage to Miss Emma Gilkerson, of Allegheny City, Pa., their union being blessed with four daughters, Irene, Mahulda, Lois and Josephine.
Feeling that he was called to the work of the Ministry, he received his license to preach from the hands of the late Rev. C. Asbury, D.D., at Chartiers Street A. M. E. Church, in 1895, and joined the Pittsburg Conference the same year at Wilkesbarre, Pa.
He has filled, as Pastor, with great success, the pulpits of the A. M. E. Church in the following places: Olean, N. Y., West Middletown, Pa., Parkersburg, W. Va., Clarksburg, W. Va., Tyrone, Pa. and is now doing faithful and efficient service at Bellefonte, Pa.
He has held the honorable position of President of the Literary Society of the Pittsburg Conference, and is one of the Trustees of Wilberforce University.
[REV. ISAAC CHARLES CRAY.]
REV. Isaac Charles Cray was born at Thomasville, Georgia, and like Samuel of old, given to the Lord in his childhood. Much of his early life was passed in the beautiful seaport city of Savannah, in which place he attended Beech Institute.
His conversion took place when he was but eleven years of age, and so clear was the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit to his mind, that he recognized it as a call to enter the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
But for the support of himself and a widowed mother, when only sixteen years of age, he adopted the profession of Teacher, not entering the Ministry until after his marriage.
For eighteen years he has had the joy of "breaking the bread of life" to hungry souls, and of leading them into the kingdom of God, and his success has been great.
His Ministerial labors have been mostly restricted to the State of Georgia, and many Churches owe their organization and edifices to his untiring zeal.
[REV. J. M. SUTTON.]
LIKE many of his brethren in the Ministry, Rev. J. M. Sutton is a native of the Sunny South, being the son of Silas and Elmira Sutton, who at the time of his birth, in 1865, were residing in Holly Grove, Monroe County, Arkansas. During his youth he had the benefit of the Public Schools in that County, and later, was, for two years, enrolled as a student at Southland College, in Phillips County, of the same State.
At the age of eighteen years he became a Christian, identifying himself with the A. M. E. Church, under the pastorate of Rev. Henry Harris.
Resolving to consecrate his life to the Ministry, he was licensed to preach in 1887, by the Presiding Elder, Rev. W. H. Rector. Prior to this event he supported himself by teaching in the Public Schools of Monroe and Phillips Counties. He studied theology with Rev. Dr. F. Lawson of the Presbyterian faith.
Rev. Sutton's first Pastoral work was on Poplar Grove and Old Town Circuits, where he labored for three years. He was then sent to Marianna Station, of South Arkansas Conference, for three years, during which period the Church edifice at that place was remodeled under his supervision. For the next three years he was a busy man at Warren Station, West Arkansas Conference, for in addition to his pulpit duties and social obligations, he erected a comfortable parsonage, and organized a Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star Chapter.
The following four years found him in charge of the Church
at Monticello Station, South Arkansas Conference, where again his architectural bent was evinced in the remodeling of his Church, the congregation cheerfully raising $1500 for the improvements. The Annual Conference was cordially entertained in this Church during his Ministry.
In 1892 Deacon's Orders were conferred upon him by Bishop B. T. Tanner, and two years afterward he was ordained Elder by Bishop H. M. Turner. For three consecutive years he also served South Arkansas Conference as Chief Secretary.
Joining the Annual Conference at Holly Grove, in 1900, Mr. Sutton's field of labor was changed by Bishop R. R. Disney assigning him to Felton, Mississippi.
In 1902 he was elected Delegate to the Young Peoples' Congress at Atlanta, Georgia, going in the same capacity the following year to its gathering in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Mr. Sutton's oratorical gifts are widely recognized as is shown in his having been invited to deliver the Annual Sermon at the Commencement Exercises of the Presbyterian Seminary at Monticello in 1901; also preaching the Baccalaureate Sermon at Harrison Academy, Wilmar, Arkansas, in 1903.
Possessing a great fondness for music, with a thorough understanding of the art, Mr. Sutton has for the last six years been appointed Musical Director of Southeastern Arkansas, and three Musical Normals have been conducted under his personal direction; he is also a Trustee of Shorter College at Little Rock.
In 1904 he was sent as a Delegate to the General Conference at Chicago.
[REV. JOHN R. SCOTT, D. D.]
THE son of an able Methodist Minister, whose name he bears, Dr. John R. Scott was born September 19th, 1862, in Columbia, South Carolina.
After completing the course in the Grammar Department of Stanton School, he was for several years a student in Cookman Institute, Jacksonville, Florida.
After his conversion he felt called of God to the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1879 entered Wilberforce University, remaining until his graduation in 1883, having received his license to preach three years before. During his stay at Wilberforce he was of great assistance in building up the Divinity School of the College, and held the Principalship for three years.
In 1884 he engaged in regular pastoral work, connecting himself with the East Florida Annual Conference, being ordained in the next two years as Deacon and Elder.
For ten years he served loyally and most efficiently in caring for the charges assigned him. It was while he was Pastor of the Church at St. Paul Station that a call came to the Presidency of Edward Waters College, a position that enabled his genius and ability to bring much of prosperity to the Institution.
It being represented to him that men of sterling worth were needed in the Legislative Assemblies of the State, he allowed his name to be brought forward for office, and was sent from Duval County, Florida, to the Legislature, where for two years
he was as loyal to the best interests of the country, as his father, who before him had served in the Legislature of South Carolina.
In 1895 he was transferred to the South Florida Conference, and the same year appointed Presiding Elder of Sanford District, and about the same time was elected a Member of the City Council of Jacksonville.
In the midst of his success as a Minister and leader of his people, a shadow fell upon his career. He resigned the Presiding Eldership. But the Criminal Court honorably acquitted him of the charges brought against him, and the City of Jacksonville showed its belief in his innocence by returning him to the City Council by an increased majority.
His case came before the Annual Conference Committee who agreed that the evidence offered did not sustain the charges, but that Dr. Scott deserved rebuke for unministerial conduct, and suspended him until the ensuing Annual Conference, when that body, adopting the Committee's Report, dismissed him from the Ministry.
Dr. Scott thereupon connected himself with Grant Chapel Church, and represented that Church in the Electoral College in 1903, and was there elected Leader of the Lay Delegation to the General Conference at Chicago; and at the gathering of that august assembly he was made Permanent Vice President of the Laymen's Council. Prior to this, Dr. Scott had gone as a Delegate to every General Conference, from 1888 to 1904, and the degree of Doctor of Divinity was an honor, in 1895, from Wilberforce University.
He now holds the office of First Division Deputy Collector to which he was appointed in 1898 by Hon. J. E. Lee, Collector of Internal Revenue. But he often, as Local Preacher, fills a pulpit in various Churches, and his intellectual strength is given to the advancement of his Church and race.
[REV. R. H. SINGLETON, D. D.]
REV. R. H. Singleton, D. D., who for five years has been Pastor of the large and influential congregation at St. Philips Monumental Church, Savannah, Georgia, was born shortly after the close of the Civil War, September 11, 1865, on the Island of Hilton Head, South Carolina.
His parents possessed but little of this world's goods, but were determined that their son should receive all the educational advantages in their power to bestow; and he completed the prescribed curriculum of study at Giles Academy, on Hilton Head, in 1879, later taking a special course in Greek and mathematics under the tuition of Professor George F. Curtis, also studying Hebrew with Rabbi J. Weiner. In 1901 he was a member of the class graduated from the Theological Department of Morris Brown College, from which Institution he received, in 1904, the honorable and merited degree of Doctor of Divinity.
His religious life began with his happy conversion to Christ, November 28, 1888, becoming a member of St. Pauls A. M. E. Church in Brunswick, Georgia, during the ministry of Rev. P. H. M. Brookens. In 1890, licenses to Exhort and Preach were granted him, followed in December of the ensuing year by his ordination as Local Deacon. His itineracy began at Thomasville, Georgia, in December, 1892; four years later he was ordained as Elder.
Dr. Singleton has held the following appointments. Five
busy years were spent at Brunswick, Georgia, where he organized and built Payne's Chapel, leaving there a fine, prosperous Church. A pastorate of two years was given to Waycross Station, then he succeeded the lamented Dr. A. A. Whitman at St. Philips Monumental Church in Savannah, Georgia, the pioneer congregation of the State.
Honors from the Church at Large have flowed freely into Dr. Singleton's hands. For seven years the responsibilities of the office of Chief Secretary of his Conference have demanded his time; and the important duties attending a Trusteeship, and Membership of the Executive Board of Morris Brown College, call for much consideration from him.
He was elected by his Conference to the last session of the General Conference held in Chicago, in 1904, and was also Secretary of the State Delegation.
Dr. Singleton is a fluent and effective speaker and is in constant demand for addresses to Schools and Colleges. He was married to Mrs. Josephine Hymes, April 18, 1889, and their home life is ideal.
[REV. W. W. GRIMES.]
THE childhood of Rev. W. W. Grimes was passed in Virginia, his native State. While quite a lad he entered Storer College, West Virginia, where he laid the foundation for an education that later included a Theological Course that prepared him for the sacred work of the Ministry to which he early devoted his life.
Receiving his diploma in 1875, he engaged in the work of pedagogy, teaching for fifteen years, with great success, in the Public Schools of West Virginia, Maryland and Texas.
But always uppermost in his heart and thought was the wish to carry out to fulfillment the life-long desire of joining the ranks of those specially consecrated to the Lord's work as Ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; having the conviction that the step would open a wider field of usefulness, and also enable him to be of greater service to his race.
In October, 1889, he connected himself with the Annual Conference of the A. M. E. Church then in session at San Antonio, Texas, Bishop A. Grant presiding, and was sent, March, 1890, to do his first work as a fully qualified Minister of Christ to San Diego, California.
He has labored faithfully and efficiently, winning many souls for the Master in the Conferences of Puget Sound and California, but in October, 1900, was transferred from Bethel Church, San Francisco, to the Ohio Conference, where he is actively engaged in Christian work.
[WILLIAM S. SCARBOROUGH.]
AS an authority on Greek literature and the Language, Professor William S. Scarborough, head of the Classical Department of Wilberforce University, has received the endorsement of the savants of the land.
This cultivated scholar is a son of Georgia, having been born in the city of Macon on February 16th, 1852.
Several years prior to his birth, his father, Jesse Scarborough, was given papers of freedom by his master, and provision made for his journey North, if he desired to leave the South; but as his wife, Frances Scarborough, remained in slavery, affection constrained him to stay with her. William was born into servitude and his early years were spent in Macon.
He was but six years of age when he evinced a desire to learn, and with his books tucked under his arm would go off to school where he was taught to read, and in course of time acquired a fair knowledge of arithmetic, grammar and geography; his parents possessing an acquaintance with these elementary branches would surreptitiously aid him with his lessons and constantly incited him to diligent study. Strange to say, he received instruction in penmanship from an old South Carolinian, who was a rebel of the deepest dye. During the war, his ability to write was often called into requisition by slaves making stolen visits to his parent's home, as he would make out "safe-permits" or passes for them, signing his master's name, which enabled them to go back to their cabins without any trouble.
Professor Scarborough recounts with gratitude a providential escape from a terrible death in his boyhood. On the Fourth of July, 1860, when returning home from witnessing a military parade, as he was passing through a long, covered bridge, he was seized by two drunken men who proceeded to hold him out of an opening over the rushing waters, when he was rescued by a passer-by.
He was but ten years of age when elected Secretary of a prominent organization of colored people in Macon, its meetings during the war being allowed by the whites if the members were provided with permits. In this office he earned a tiny salary. At this time, when not engaged in study, he worked at the shoemaker's trade, and just before the close of the war he served one year as a regular apprentice.
Even then his intellectual attainments were recognized by those about him, and daily was he called upon to read the papers to the workmen and explain the movements of the contending armies.
Professor Scarborough remained in the Macon schools until 1869, when, at the age of seventeen years, he entered Atlanta University to prepare for higher education, and in two year's time was ready for Oberlin College, Ohio, from which institution he was graduated in 1875. Returning to his old home in Macon, his services were engaged by the American Missionary Society for a while, later teaching Greek and Mathematics in the Lewis High School; but in September he again sought Oberlin and devoted several months to Theology, Hellenistic Greek and Hebrew, receiving in the winter a call to the Principalship of Payne Institute, Cokesburg, South Carolina, which school has since been merged in Allen University at Columbia, in the same State.
His vacations during his college course were spent in teaching in various schools in Ohio and Georgia, the experience gained richly preparing him for greater achievements in the future in the educational world.
In the Fall of 1877 Professor Scarborough was added to the Faculty of Wilberforce University and placed at the head of the Classical Department, a position that has brought him great renown, and his learning and excellence as an instructor are of
incalculable benefit to the school. Possessing a more than passing knowledge of Sanscrit, Old Slavonic, Zend and other ancient tongues, the Greek language is his favorite study, and there are but few persons who are as thoroughly at home in it as is Professor Scarborough. So thoroughly has it been mastered by him that he is as ready in its use as he is in the English language. He is the author of a text-book entitled, "First Lessons in Greek," which is the first Greek work ever published by a colored man. Some time ago he was asked, at a high salary, to go to Africa and study the languages of that great continent, but he preferred to remain in America.
The genius and time of Professor Scarborough are not confined to his school duties. He is a frequent contributor to the leading magazines on subjects that command the attention of all progressive minds. The recognition of his intellectual ability and attainments are shown by his connection with various celebrated learned societies such as the American Social Science, American Archeological, American Modern Language, American Philological, and others of like character. But there is no membership esteemed higher by him than that of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a devoted son. He went as a delegate from this body to the Centennial of Methodism held in Baltimore, Maryland, in December, 1884, and also to the Ecumenical Conference in London, in 1901, where he frequently addressed large audiences.
Two leading colleges have delighted to honor Professor Scarborough with high degrees, Oberlin, his Alma Mater, conferring those of A.B., and A.M., and that of LL.D. coming from Liberia College, West Africa.
This eminent scholar is most congenially married, his wife also having a reputation as a writer of no small fame. She was graduated from the Oswego Normal School, New York, and is Dean of the Normal Department of the same Institution in which her husband so ably teaches. They reside in a beautiful home at Wilberforce.
[REV. JAMES W. WALKER, D.D.]
MAY 15th, 1867 is the natal day of Rev. Jas. W. Walker, D.D., and Cokesburg, South Carolina, the place of his birth. His parents were Isaac and Maria Elizabeth Walker, who were noted for their fervent piety and sincere devotion to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Thus his childhood and youth were surrounded by a deeply religious atmosphere which permeated and strongly influenced his life; and it is not strange that while a mere boy he gave himself in consecration to God, and resolved to spend the years allotted to him in telling a sin-sick world of the healing Cross of Christ.
He received his license to preach at St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Cokesburg, November, 1884, when not yet twenty years of age, having been partly qualified for the work by diligent attendance at Payne Institute, Cokesburg; Brewer Normal, Greenwood, and Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina.
His experience and finances were increased by four years of faithful teaching in the Public Schools of his native State and Georgia.
Mission Churches on South Carolina and Georgia Circuits engaged his first Ministerial labors, after which three profitable years were spent at Gammon Theological Seminary, finishing the prescribed course of study in May, 1890.
His first settled Pastorates were two years each at Fort
Gaines and Atoc Station, Georgia; he was then transferred to Mobile, Alabama, where for four years he broke the "bread of life" to the congregation at Emanuel Station, returning to Bethel Station in the same city after a Pastorate of five years over the Church in Selma, Alabama.
Churches strengthened and grew under his wise supervision, and his Race received constant encouragement from him for advancement along the lines of mental, social and spiritual growth.
An honor that has fallen to but few, was his election as Alternate Delegate to the last Ecumenical Council at London, England; and several years ago Wilberforce University was pleased to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Dr. Walker also has in his care, as Treasurer, the Building Fund of Payne University, and managed the finances during the recent erection of a building, costing $10,000, on the campus.
The sermons of this eminent Minister are based always on sound theological lore, and he is regarded as one of the very useful men of the Church.
[JOHN MOSES AVERY.]
AT THE head of Waters Industrial Academy in Burke County, North Carolina, where he was born near Morgantown, Oct. 10th, 1876, John Moses Avery is devoting the strength and powers of his young manhood to the instruction and elevation of the boys and girls of his Race.
His childhood was passed on a farm and he was early imbued with the thought of usefulness to others in after life; this idea was strengthened and consecrated by his conversion in 1892, and connection with the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Preparation for duty was made at Kittrell College, where he paid his way in work for seven years, being graduated with honor in 1900, going almost immediately to the Principalship of the Graded Schools in Hickory, North Carolina; resigning the next year to accept the important position now held by him in the school that is the result of his personal thought and endeavor.
Mr. Avery has been a happy benedict for nearly three years, his wife being formerly Miss Lulu L. Aiken of Reidsville, N. C., a graduate and later an Instructress in Kittrell College.
[BISHOP WESLEY J. GAINES, D.D.]
THIS eminent warrior for God was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, October 4th, 1840, the seventh of fourteen children that were given to William and Louisa Gaines in the slave cabin of that Southern State. Godly people were these humble slave parents, and though the father belonged to the M. E. Church South, and the mother was a faithful adherent to the Baptist faith, their wedded life of fifty-eight years was one of harmony and affection, never disturbed by the bitterness of doctrinal discussion. Their united aim was the conversion of their children, and one of the earliest and most precious remembrances of Bishop Gaines' childhood is that of his mother praying for him under a tree in these words: "Oh God, make this, my boy, Wesley, such a man as Thou wouldst have him be. Make him Thy son for Jesus sake."
At the age of nine years the little slave boy gave his heart to God, and his earnest, consecrated life is evidence of a Divine answer to his mother's prayer.
The fact that Wesley was of frail physique exempted him from early being put at continuous labor, thus giving him larger opportunities for learning to read and write, which he did without the knowledge of his master. The few elementary books in his possession were kept carefully concealed. Hearing the approach of the patrollers one night, the little boy hid his treasures in an ash hopper, and to his great grief a heavy rain
fell and the lye thus formed ruined his books. His sorrow over his loss was so deep that his father gave him all the money in his possession, three dollars and fifty cents, with which he purchased a Geography, English Grammar, "Peter Parley's" History, a copy book, pen and ink.
The first letter ever written by Wesley was to his brother Stephen in Washington; having no money he mailed the letter without stamping it, and ran from the office as fast as his little feet could carry him. Stephen was notified by the postmaster and forwarded the postage for the letter. His reply stimulated Wesley to greater zeal in his studies.
In 1855 he moved to Stewart County, Georgia, where he remained one year, going thence to Muscogee County, where he lived until he entered upon the work of the Ministry, which sacred office had been his dearest ambition since childhood. He began the rhetorical work of the sacred profession when a mere lad, by preaching the funeral sermon of every dog, chicken and bird that died on the plantation.
While on the Muscogee plantation he was married to Miss Julia A. Camper, August 20th, 1863, whose love, after forty years of happy union, is still the joy and blessing of the Bishop's life. One child, a daughter, Mary Louisa, has blessed their home.
License to preach was granted him in June, 1865, by Rev. J. L. Davis of the M. E. Church South; and by a happy coincidence his oldest brother, Rev. William Gaines, was also ordained in the same month by Bishop D. A. Payne, at Hilton Head, South Carolina, and appointed Missionary of the State of Georgia. Through the influence of this brother young Wesley had been led to unite with the A. M. E. Church.
In 1866, he was ordained Deacon by Bishop Payne at Savannah, Georgia, and admitted to the then South Carolina Conference, and the next year at Wilmington, North Carolina, Bishop Wayman made him Presiding Elder.
All of Bishop Gaines work as a Minister of the Gospel has been done in the State of Georgia, having held appointments at Florence Mission, Atlanta, Macon and Columbus, and several times was returned to Macon and Atlanta. During his first Pastorate at Atlanta he built Bethel A. M. E. Church that now
has a membership of more than two thousand souls. At Macon he raised an indebtedness of $4,500, and at Columbus built St. James A. M. E. Church at a cost of $10,000.
During these busy years of service he found time for mental culture, studying Theology with Rev. Henderson, the able and liberal-minded Rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in Athens, Georgia, and at a later period with Rev. Joseph S. Key, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South; rhetoric and other branches were also pursued under various instructors. In 1883, Wilberforce University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church at Large was not slow in recognizing the spiritual strength and intellectual attainments of Rev. Gaines, and this appreciation was shown in the bestowing upon him of Episcopal honors and responsibilites by the General Conference at its session in Indianapolis, in 1888.
As Bishop he is found worthy of the trust, and is doing grand work in the Second Episcopal District which includes the Conferences of Baltimore, Virginia, North Carolina and West Carolina.
[REV. O. J. W. SCOTT, D.D.]
AT Gallipolis, Ohio, a beautiful little city located on the north side of the Ohio river, on the last day of July, 1867, Rev. Oscar J. W. Scott, the subject of this sketch was born.
He was privileged to attend school throughout his childhood, and later entered Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he was graduated with the highest honors in oratory and the degrees A.B. and A.M. To these degrees Drew Theological Seminary added that of B.D., the University of Denver contributed B.O. and S.T.B, and Payne Theological Seminary gave the crowning one of D.D.
The entire Ministry of Dr. Scott has been marked by singular ability and unceasing labor, and the fact that he is now in charge of the Metropolitan A. M. E. Church, at Washington, D. C., evidences the confidence felt by high church authority in his power to preach, influence, and build up a congregation. And this faith has not been misplaced. The Metropolitan has always stood as a stronghold of the African Methodist Episcopal Communion, but in the short space of sixteen months that Dr. Scott has been the faithful watchman on its walls, he has added over four hundred persons to its membership, lowered a debt of thirty-one thousand dollars to nineteen thousand, and financiered a fund of nearly two thousand dollars into the Church treasury. Equally interested in the social development of the Church, he has introduced a system that has led to greater cordiality among
the members, brought about an acquaintance with strangers, and cares generously for the poor and ill of the congregation.
Yet so loyal a student is he, that rarely does a day slip by without his gleaning some truth from his beloved books; and so thorough his knowledge of music and law, that either, adopted as a profession, would prove a successful bread winner.
His wife, formerly Miss Nettie Poindexter, of Columbus, Ohio, is an accomplished musician, and often plays the piano or organ in the revival meetings conducted by her husband. Before her marriage she was instructor on the piano and organ, and also Assistant Chorus Director at the Ohio State Institution for the Blind.
Two of the leading colleges in the country have offered Dr. Scott high and flattering positions in their faculties, but as devoted as he is to books and study, much stronger is his love for souls and the desire to win them for the Kingdom of his Divine Master.
As a speaker Dr. Scott has but few equals, and his eloquent, powerful discourses bear the impress of earnest thought and investigation. He has great faith in the possibilities of the future, and the thought of to-day is eagerly scanned as a prophecy of wondrous development of an unfolding age.
Cordial in manner, possessing a thorough knowledge of men, with the sun of life still shining directly overhead, Dr. Scott promises to win even greater distinction for himself, and in so doing prove an illustrious factor in the advancement of his Race.
[REV. JAMES A. LINDSAY, D.D.]
THE privations of poverty surrounded the childhood of Rev. James A. Lindsay, but he was more than rich in the possession of devout Christian parents, who early impressed him with the thought that to "be good" was the greatest and most important thing in life.
He was born in Union County, South Carolina, September, 10th, 1864, his parents being Ellison J. and Lucy Dogan Lindsay, whom it is his delight to remember with great honor and affection.
In the little village of Jonesville, his home place, he acquired the rudiments of an education which he early resolved to widely enlarge.
But this determination meant constant self-sacrifice and unceasing toil; and the hot vacation months were spent in the forests cutting wood, the sweat and blistered hands forgotten as the toiler realized that every stroke of the axe brought nearer the longed for books and coveted opportunity. The graded schools creditably passed, "What next?"
While resting one day under a venerable chestnut tree that cast its grateful shade in a cotton field, he decided upon a college course. The resolution brought action, and he entered Clark University with only eighteen dollars in his pocket, but rich in hope and grit. The days were filled with recitations, stove-wood cutting and general work on the campus, with the evenings given to hard study. The art of type setting was acquired. College days were followed by ten years of teaching in the schools of
Georgia and South Carolina. Converted when a lad of fourteen years, he had never lost sight of his youthful ambition of "some day" occupying a pulpit in the A. M. E. Church; and it was a glad hour when he received his diploma from Gammon Theological Seminary.
Rev. Lindsay's pastoral work has been chiefly in the State of Georgia, and at this time he is Presiding Elder of Macon District in that State. But he is a diligent man outside of his many pulpit obligations. As time would allow he has taken special courses in French, Greek, Hebrew, Literature and other valuable branches. The press is often enriched by his contributions; several profitable pamphlets and tracts have come from his pen, and he has now in preparation a book entitled, "The Man of Galilee."
He has gone three times as a Delegate to the General Conference, and in 1904 was a prominent candidate for the Editorship of the Southern Christian Recorder. He has served for a number of years as Trustee and Member of the Executive Board of Morris Brown College, and is also Recording Secretary of the Church Missionary Board that meets annually in New York City.
[REV. JOHN WESLEY GAZAWAY.]
A CENTURY of earnest, consecrated service in the Christian Ministry, places the Gazaway ancestry high among the many faithful, illustrious toilers in the pulpits dedicated to the spread of Methodist doctrines and faith. For many years the grandfather of the subject of this sketch gave his time and love to the parent Methodist Church, and his father loyally preached the Sacred Word as a son of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, thus influencing their descendant by word and example to follow in their footsteps.
John Wesley Gazaway was born in Zanesville, Ohio, September 1st, 1840. His conversion took place in his home city March 9th, 1856, during the pastorate of Rev. A. R. Green. He at once identified himself with the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and fifty years of devoted service to its communion crown his name as one who has followed his Divine Leader with no laggard step or uncertain voice.
He received a Local Preacher's license from Rev. M. M. Smith in 1869. Two years later through Bishop Payne he joined the traveling connection of the Church, and the intervening years, to the present time, have been gloriously filled with self-denying, persistent efforts to advance the cause of Christianity, and richly has he been blessed in his work.
Rev. Gazaway has held important charges in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, and at one time was Presiding
Elder in the Springfield District of the North Ohio Conference. Quinn Mission Church, Lexington, Kentucky, and Allen Chapel, Springfield, Ohio, owe their organization to his indefatigable energy. The handsome Brown Chapel in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, (built after the destruction of the former church by a storm in the Spring of 1902,) that cost over twenty-five thousand dollars, owes its erection to his never-relaxing enthusiasm and determination of purpose. In fourteen months he raised over five thousand dollars towards the building of the new edifice, and during his occupancy of its pulpit about seven thousand dollars of indebtedness were paid. His Presiding Elder said at that time that Rev. Gazaway raised more money at one rally "than was ever raised in the history of the Pittsburg Conference."
Wherever Rev. Gazaway is sent he at once seems to win the confidence of the whole community. This statement is supported by an incident that occurred at the beginning of his present pastorate in Zanesville, Ohio, where he found a debt of five hundred dollars embarrassing his people. He at once started to set in motion ways and means for its liquidation; but greatly to his surprise and pleasure a wealthy gentleman of the city sent him the full amount as a gift, only asking that his name be withheld from the public.
Rev. Gazaway is an ardent friend and supporter of Wilberforce University, was one of the founders of its Theological Department known as Payne Theological Seminary, and is an interested Member of its Board of Trustees. Some years ago the Institution honored him with the degree of Doctor of Divinity. As a Delegate he has attended, with but two exceptions, all the General Conferences of the A. M. E. Church from 1876 to 1904.
Devoted to all that pertains to the advancement of his race, Rev. J. W. Gazaway is an exponent of true Christian manhood, and conscientious ministerial labor.
[REV. JOSEPH GWYNN.]
SO strong the innate purpose and ambition of the lives of many men, that they early begin to accomplish much of good in building up the moral forces of the world. This is eminently true of Rev. Joseph Gwynn, the subject of this sketch, whose life, not yet numbering four decades (having been born May 27th, 1872, in Baltimore County, Maryland,) is a constant protest and influence against all and every form of evil.
His determination to be a "soldier for righteousness" took form in the hour of his conversion, which occurred March 4th, 1894, at Bethel Church, in the city of Baltimore, under the earnest, convincing preaching of Bishop A. W. Wayman. To resolve was to act. Entering the communion of Mt. Zion A. M. E. Church at Long Green, Maryland, within two years he was doing faithful work as a Local Preacher, receiving his license from the hands of Elder L. M. Beckett, July 25th, 1896. Prior to this event, he had organized in his father's home, a society known as "The Neighbors' Moral, Intellectual and Beneficial Association," through whose agency was founded two Sabbath Schools and one day school in the vicinity of Hartley and Summerfield, Maryland, respectively.
Desiring greater qualifications for the future, in September, 1896, he became a student at Wilberforce University where he remained five years, interspersing his studies with Pastoral Work at Jeffersonville and Selma, Ohio. February 24th, 1901, Bishop
B. F. Lee ordained him as Deacon in the University Chapel, and the following June he received his diploma which carried with it the degree of Bachelor of Divinity.
His first pastoral work was at Elkton, Maryland, where he built up the congregation and erected a parsonage. Bishop Lee, in 1903, consecrated him to the Eldership. Rev. Gwynn is the author of two valuable little books, "The Holy Sacraments" and "Pastors of Missions." He is also the leader in the publication of "The Problem," issued in the interests of his Race. In this work he is very ably assisted by his wife.
[REV. O. D. ROBINSON, D.D.]
REV. O. D. Robinson, D.D., is one of eight sons born to Isaac and Letitia Robinson, at Hamilton, Bermuda, and his natal day fell on February 4, 1858. In obedience to the law of his country he was enrolled as a pupil of the schools at the tender age of five years, and was still young when apprenticed to a tailor, learning the trade.
But young manhood lay all before him when he sailed for America, where he knew a more liberal education awaited him, and a wider and more promising field in which he could win success in life.
Since the hour of conversion a place in the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church had been his heart-desire. In 1884 he was licensed to preach by Rev. Richard Harper, Pastor of St. John's A. M. E. Church, in Nashville, Tennessee, after which he studied in Fisk University, and, in 1887, was graduated as Valedictorian of his class from the Theological Department of Howard University, Washington, D. C.
His first Ministerial appointment was at Mt. Pisgah A. M. E. Church in the National Capitol, going thence to Hillsdale, D. C., where he built a new Church; then followed a Pastorate of two years at Hagerstown, Maryland, where he secured the erection of a brick parsonage and paid off $2000 Church obligations. While at Hagerstown he was ordained as Deacon and Elder.
The beautiful Church on Lexington Street, Baltimore, Maryland, was built during his four years work in that city, Bishop W.
J. Gaines then transferring him to the Philadelphia Conference and stationing him at Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he remained but a few months, as Bishop Grant sent him to Bethel Church, Wilmington, Delaware, which Pastorate was marked by an addition of two hundred and seventy persons to the Church membership and the raising of a large amount of money for Church debts. For seventeen months he then served as Presiding Elder, and, in 1900, went as Delegate to the General Conference.
By special request, Dr. Robinson was transferred by Bishop Grant to the South Carolina Conference and given charge of Mt. Zion Church in the City of Charleston. His itineracy in this place was exceedingly successful, the large amount of $16,750.20 being raised through his efforts for Church purposes. The first Christian Endeavor Society in the city was organized in his Sunday School. He is now preaching at Bethel Church Georgetown, South Carolina, and is doing good work. He is especially successful in winning souls for the Master, and his charge is noted for its very generous contributions to Missionary and Educational Benevolences. In 1904 he was again sent as Delegate to the General Conference at Chicago.
Dr. Robinson is a Trustee of Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, from which Institution came the honored degree of Doctor of Divinity.
The home life of Dr. Robinson is singularly happy; his wife, formerly Miss Lydia L. Lewis, of Washington, D. C., being the inspiration of much of his successful work. He says, "By the grace of God and the gentle influence of my wife, I'm what I am."
THE early life of Rev. William Henry Yeocum was full of the repression of personality, the humiliation and the privation that are ever the accompaniments of enforced servitude; but his aspirations were greater than his deprivations, and his history is a forcible illustration of what the human will can accomplish when set along the line of unbending resolution.
His birth took place, Sunday morning, May 2d, 1848, near Springfield, Kentucky. His father was a Minister in the M. E. Church, a freeman, having purchased his liberty of his master, but his mother remained in bondage until freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.
William Henry was a house servant, and one of his chief tasks was to wait on the older white children, one of whom, a boy about his own age, started to teach him to read, which act of kindness was sternly forbidden by the father of the young instructor. But his conversion in his twelfth year, while attending a "bush meeting," brought much of comfort and joy to the slave boy, and led to his ultimate entrance into the Ministry of his Church.
In 1862 he passed into the possession of a man residing at Danville, Kentucky, with whom his stay was brief, as two years later he responded to President Lincoln's call for the enlistment of colored troops, and was not mustered out of service until March, 1867, his regiment being sent, at the close of the war, to duty on the border line of Mexico. He returned to Kentucky and cared for his mother till her death in 1869.
His lack of education did not deter him from entering the Ministry. He was a member of Asbury A. M. E. Church at Louisville, and in 1871, was licensed to Preach, and sent to Owensboro, Kentucky, where he remained one year. His experience as a preacher during these twelve months was certainly unique. Unable to read, friends had read the third chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, over and over, to him, until he knew it by heart, and that portion of Scripture was the basis of every
sermon while he was at Owensboro. He said: "I gave my people this for breakfast, dinner and supper, and if they wanted any dessert, between meals. I gave it to them every Sunday, and preached all the funerals from that one chapter."
At the close of his first year's work he stated to the Conference his need of an education, and a resolution was passed by that body to aid him in a course at Wilberforce University. October 2d, 1872, he placed his name on the roll of the Preparatory Department of that Institution, with seven years of hard mental toil ahead of him, but at his graduation he carried off the French and Hebrew prizes and the glad consciousness that he was now in possession of an ample equipment for his work. He had mainly supported himself by working for his teachers, preaching sometimes at country churches, and doing farm labor in vacation time.
He was transferred to Providence, Rhode Island, and for over thirty years has been a faithful itinerant in the East.
Rev. Yeocum, in September, 1881, married Miss Ida M. Bishop, of Lima, Ohio, whose intellectual and musical gifts have been of wondrous help to her husband in his Ministerial profession. Besides his pulpit and pastoral work, Rev. Yeocum is a frequent contributor to the religious and secular press of the country.
[BISHOP BENJAMIN F. LEE, D.D.]
STRONG, natural ability, an unconquerable determination to achieve the best in life, consecrated devotion to Christian principles, have brought the subject of this sketch from the myriad privations and discouragements attending youthful poverty, to an exalted place among the leaders of the great African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Bishop Lee is the son of Abel and Sarah Lee. He was born September 18th, 1841, in Doultown, New Jersey, in which place he obtained his primary education; but desirous of widening his knowledge of books and life, in 1865, he entered Wilberforce University with the full realization that these years of study meant not only a period of conscientious, arduous mental toil, but involved a conflict for the necessities of life as well. But belonging to the choice army of "invincibles" he tilled the University farm, cared for the horses, receiving private instruction from the faculty till he joined the regular classes of the school. He was a member of the first class in Theology organized in the University, and in 1872 was graduated as its valedictorian. His college life knew no relaxation, for vacations and hours not given to study were spent in teaching or manual labor.
In 1862 Bishop Lee had identified himself with the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and six years later was licensed to preach; ordination to Deacon's Orders came in 1870, followed by consecration to the Eldership in 1872.
So thorough and satisfactory had been his work as a student while at Wilberforce that the year following his graduation he was called to the Chair of Pastoral Theology, Homiletics and Ecclesiastical History of the University, which he so ably filled that in 1875, upon the resignation of Bishop D. A. Payne as President of the College, he was elected his successor.
Honors were showered upon him. In 1876 the General Conference sent him with Dr. John G. Mitchell and Rev. James A. Johnson to bear fraternal greetings from the African Methodist Episcopal Church to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church; in 1880 he went as Delegate from the General Conference to the Methodist Ecumenical Council, and was chosen by the western section of the General Ecumenical Committee, (embracing the American Continent and Islands,) a member of the Permanent Committee of Arrangements.
The marked literary ability of Bishop Lee kept him for many years Chief Editor of "The Christian Recorder," his keen intellect seeming to intuitively recognize the needs of that influential and popular church organ. He is also distinguished as a linguist, having attained marked proficiency in several languages.
So widely known became his mental strength, executive capacity, Christian character and enthusiasm in the advancement of his Race, that there was approbation in the Church at large, when the General Conference, in 1892, sitting in Mother Bethel Church, at Philadelphia, elevated him to the Episcopacy of the Church of Allen, an honor well conferred, for the work in each District to which he has been assigned has been richly blessed in increased power and influence of the Church, and a widening of its boundaries in many directions. At present he has charge of the Ninth Episcopal District, comprising the Conferences of Tennessee, East Tennessee, West Tennessee, Arkansas, West Arkansas, East Arkansas and South Arkansas.
In his domestic relations Bishop Lee is very happy, having in 1873 been united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Ash, of Mobile, Alabama, a graduate of Wilberforce University, and a woman of rare culture of mind and winning character.
[BISHOP BENJAMIN WILLIAM ARNETT.]
THE name of Bishop Benjamin William Arnett will be remembered in the history of Ohio as a man great and wise enough to introduce a bill into the State Legislature abolishing the "Black Laws" of Ohio, and it was chiefly through his earnest endeavors that Scientific Temperance Instruction was made a prominent feature in the Ohio Public Schools.
To look at the vigorous physical frame of Bishop Arnett, and hear his strong clear voice, it is hard to realize that he is nearing the "three-score and ten" boundary-line of life, for he appears a much younger man. He was born March 6th, 1838, at Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
Converted in his eighteenth year, he qualified himself for the Ministry of the A. M. E. Church, receiving his license to preach March 30th, 1865, from Rev. J. D. S. Hall, of the Baltimore Conference, at Washington, D. C. On April 16th, 1867, he was taken on probation by the Ohio Conference, at Lexington, Kentucky, and assigned to Walnut Hills, Cincinnati; the following April he was ordained as Deacon by Bishop W. P. Quinn, at Columbus, Ohio, and two years afterward, at Xenia, Ohio, Bishop D. A. Payne bestowed upon him the office of Elder.
From Walnut Hills he went to Toledo, Ohio, and was afterwards appointed to charges at Allen Temple, Cincinnati; St. Paul, Urbana, Ohio; and St. Paul, Columbus, Ohio; his itineracy
covering about twelve years, school-teaching being connected with his work while at Toledo.
The labors of Bishop Arnett have not been limited to the duties of Pastor and Teacher. His time, voice, pen and strength have been devoted to great questions and issues that pertained to the advancement of his Race and the best interests of the Nation. Endowed by nature with the gift of persuasiveness, which a broad culture and logical study has strengthened, his recognition as a thinker and speaker is shown by the almost constant demand for his presence at National and State political and philanthropic assemblies.
He was a member of the National Equal Rights League, Syracuse, New York, October 4th, 1864; of the Equal Rights Convention, Cleveland, Ohio; Secretary of National Convention, Washington, D. C., December, 1866; Chaplain of National Convention of Colored Men, Louisville, Kentucky, September, 1882; Delegate to National Y. M. C. A. Convention, Washington, 1871; Chairman of the Committee of Resolutions in the Congressional Convention held at Toledo, Ohio, in 1872.
As an organizer be cannot be surpassed. The orders of the Sons of Hannibal, Sisters of Protection, Mutual Aid Society and other associations at Brownsville, Pa., owe their existence to him. Lodges of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows were instituted through his efforts at Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio, and at Covington and Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and other places. Great honor has been given him by prominent organizations. In 1874 he was Grand Orator of the Order of the Good Samaritan and Daughters of Samaria for the States of Indiana and Ohio; in August, 1875, he was raised to the Sublime Degree Master Mason and Arched in 1877; Knighted by the Taylor Commandery at Columbus, Ohio, in 1878; Grand Orator at Biennial Movable Committee of G. U. O. of O. F. at Cincinnati, in 1884; Grand Chaplain Royal Arch Chapter of Ohio in 1879; Grand Lecturer of the Knights of Wise Men of the World at Nashville, Tennessee. Held the same office in the Councils of the Independent Order of Immaculates in the same city. Is a Good Templar, and has been District Master of the Sons of Temperance; is identified also with other organizations.
Bishop Arnett's friendship for the Sunday School Cause is well known. He has gone as Delegate to State and National Sunday School Conventions, and in 1880 was elected by the Sunday School Union, of Ohio, as its representative at the Robert Raike's Centennial at London, England. Nine years afterward the Inter-Denominational Sunday School Union, of South Carolina, sent him to the World's Convention in the same city.
Bishop Arnett is devoted, soul and body, to the Republican Party, and in close political contests has done much to hold the fealty of his Race to its interests. And the party has gladly awarded him a high place in its councils and liberally shared with him its honors. In 1878 he was a Vice President of the Ohio Republican State Convention, and delivered a ratification speech in Music Hall, Cincinnati; was a member of the Reception Committee appointed to welcome Hon. James G. Blaine to Greene County, Ohio, in 1886-87; in 1886, he was, while in San Francisco, the guest of honor at a reception given by the Central Republican Club of that city.
His reputation as an orator has brought him wide renown, and he has often been called upon to deliver addresses before very distinguished assemblies. In September, 1886, he delivered an address, by invitation, to the Republican State Convention at Denver. He was one of the principal orators at the Centennial Celebration of the First Settlement of the Northwest Territory, at Marietta, Ohio, in April, 1888, and made the address at the jubilee of Freedom in September of the same year at the Cennennial Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. Other assemblies, equally notable, have enjoyed his eloquence.
The literary work of Bishop Arnett is mainly historical and statistical. It is said that he has furnished his Race and Church more literature along these lines than any man in the United States. For ten years he compiled and edited "The Budget," and is now engaged upon a History of his Race and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The first years of his Episcopacy gave him ecclesiastical authority in the South; in November, 1893, the death of Bishop D. A. Payne placed him in charge of the Conferences of Ohio,
North Ohio and Pittsburg; the next year, owing to the death of Bishop Wayman, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan were added to his jurisdiction, and at the General Conference of 1896, he was returned to the Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa Conferences. Four years afterward he was appointed to the Third Episcopal District, consisting of the Conferences of Ohio, North Ohio, Pittsburg and California.
Bishop Arnett's pleasant home is near Wilberforce University, of which school he is a steadfast friend, and has done much to advance its prosperity; one of the handsome buildings on the campus is honored with his name. His wife, who was Miss Mary L. Gordon, to whom he was married in May, 1858, at Brownsville, Pa., presides most graciously over his household, and five sons and two daughters honor their parents with affection and respect.
[REV. DANIEL S. BENTLEY, D.D.]
THE valuable little booklet, "Brief Religious Reflections," has made the subject of this sketch known and beloved by scores of Christian hearts, who have never heard his voice nor looked upon his face.
Rev. Daniel S. Bentley, D. D., was born September 20th, 1850, in Madison County, Kentucky. His schooling was attained at Berea College. While there he was converted, and received the rite of baptism from Rev. John G. Fee, the founder of the Institution. In September, 1869, he was licensed to preach, and was assigned to Danville, Kentucky, where he continued his Theological studies under the supervision of Prof. R. W. Landis, of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The first fourteen years of his Ministry were passed in his native State, and he has reason to believe that his labors in various Missions and Circuits, with his Pastorates in Danville, Louisville and Frankfort, were blessed with the conversion of more than one thousand souls.
In the Fall of 1884, Dr. Bentley was transferred to the Indiana Conference, and after three years of faithful service, Bishop J. P. Campbell again transferred him to Wylie Avenue A. M. E. Church, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His pastorate while here was wonderfully blessed; his influence being the means of drawing five hundred persons to Christ, two-thirds of whom united with the Church of which he was pastor. At the close of his three year's work, Bishop D. A. Payne made him Presiding Elder
of the Pittsburg District of the Pittsburg Conference, which office he filled for three years.
Dr. Bentley has also been an incumbent of pulpits of the A. M. E. Church in Allegheny City, Washington and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Divine approval has rested upon his work.
He is a frequent contributor to the religious press, and has a second edition of his little booklet about ready to be issued.
The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by Livingston College, North Carolina, and several other enviable honors have fallen to him, one being a Vice-Presidency at the great Parliament of Religions, at Chicago, in 1893; another his appointment by the Board of Bishops of his Church as Alternate Delegate to the Ecumenical Council that met in London, England, in 1900.
[REV. S. W. SHIELDS, P. E.]
REV. S. W. Shields is noted in Ministerial circles of the A. M. E. Church for his power as a revivalist, and the ability to coax dollars from the pockets of the people in a good cause.
He was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 15th, 1855, and, at the close of the Rebellion, found himself a boy in the world without relatives or apparent resources. But an education was a settled purpose in his childish brain, and at ten years of age he began the study of Webster's blue back spelling book, in Sunday School, and during the week was instructed in a school taught by a white man, with whom, later, he studied medicine.
But his conversion turned his mind to the Ministry, and, in 1882, he joined the Alabama Conference, at Troy, Alabama, Bishop Wayman presiding, and was sent on Bladen Springs Circuit, his two year's work there being blessed with the conversion of eighty souls, and a liberal addition to the treasury of the Church.
During his connection with this Conference, his earnest exhortations brought over three hundred persons into the fellowship of the Church, and the blessed revival spirit followed him when he was transferred to the North Alabama Conference. Ninety souls professed a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ during his two year's pastorate at Greensboro, and one hundred and eighty names were placed on the Church record of Big Bethel Church, Mobile, while he ministered to it for three years. From
Mobile he went to the pulpit of Brown Chapel, at Selma, Alabama, the leading charge in the State, and his labors were crowned with the conversion of one hundred and forty-five persons.
This wonderful success has accompanied his entire Ministry. Several years ago he was transferred back to the Alabama Conference, and was ordained Presiding Elder, which office he holds at the present time. He has been Treasurer of Payne University for four years, and was a Delegate to the General Conference, at Columbus, Ohio, in 1900.
Rev. Shields has followed after many eminent men in the pulpit, and excelled them all in raising funds for Christian work.
[REV. ISAIAH GODA SISHUBA.]
THE plain story of the life and work of Rev. Isaiah Goda Sishuba is vibrant with the same love and faith that made the martyrs of the early Church joyfully give their lives for the cause of Christ.
He was born of royal ancestry, at a village of Wukuwa, in the District of Queenstown, Cape Colony, South Africa, October 24th, 1865. His grandfather, Sishuba, whose tribal throne was supported by the Cape Government and who reached the advanced age of one hundred and twenty years, was succeeded by Isaiah's father, Joshua Gada, who was the first man in his villages to accept the Gospel, and to become a Local Preacher.
When about eight years of age, his parents placed him in the home of a kinsman residing at Kamastone, a Wesleyan Minister, and here the boy received his first regular schooling; but when Rev. Pamla was given another charge, Isaiah returned to his home, where a day-school had been established by Mr. Gilbert Chalmers. Upon reaching his fourteenth year, he was sent to a school in Lovedale, afterwards continuing his studies at Zonnebloen, Capetown. His education completed, he returned home and for three years assisted his father in the management of a large farm.
Deep in his heart was the desire to preach and teach, and he left the farm to become a School Master and Catechist in the English Church at Hopetown, later changing to the Primitive
Methodist Church at Jamestown, to be eventually transferred to Smithfield, Orange Free State, now Orange River Colony. Here Dutch rule compelled the carrying of a pass, an unpleasantness to which he never became accustomed. His work while here was greatly blessed. His congregation and school consisted almost entirely of Besuthos and Dutch, and he was compelled to learn their tongues; a year's diligent application made him so proficient in both that he used them in the pulpit and school-room with but little difficulty.
In 1889, a blessing "far above rubies" came into his life, and in his marriage to Miss Anna X. Qabazi, Rev. Sishuba possessed a consecrated, educated helpmate, whose love and encouraging faith proved unfailing strength to him in the dark days of persecution. Five sons were born of this marriage, three of whom are living.
In 1896, Rev. Sishuba cut loose from the Primitive Methodist Church, and organized an Independent Church, which, as he says, "was free and open to any Nation, Color and Tongue." This, to his mind, was necessary, owing to the growing inharmony on account of the drawing of the color line, both in the Church and out. Most keenly felt by him were the slights that came from his white brethren of the pulpit. He says: "The question or the action of drawing a color line in the Church of Christ, made me doubt that the Master would approve. Reading my New Testament and tracing the life of Christ, I found that he made no distinction, he treated all people alike, and amongst his disciples I found that Simon was a Canaanite, and received the same privileges, care and affection as the other disciples."
This step of Rev. Sishuba was followed by over two hundred of the members of his congregation; and one hundred and thirty-eight pupils were enrolled in his day school, and sixty at night.
Persecution from the white Ministers and their followers, both white and black, raged about him. His name was proclaimed in public places as one "teaching the natives to rebel against the flag;" but an investigation by those "in authority" proved that his only dissentient words were, "there is no color line in Christianity."
Fortunately the sympathy and good-will of many leading white citizens were with him, and a Church site was procured without much difficulty. The ensuing year he and his congregation connected themselves with the Ethiopian Church, which in a few months was amalgamated with the A. M. E. Church.
He was soon inducted into the office of Deacon, and, in 1898, Bishop H. M. Turner, recently arrived from America, consecrated him to the Eldership, and he was placed in charge of Johannesburg District in the Transvaal.
The eventful Boer War arose in the Fall of 1899, intensifying the hatred between Dutch and English. Martial law drove the latter from Johannesburg, and as a subject of the British flag, Rev. Sishuba was among the exiles. The English, as victors, were far harsher than the Dutch had been in their treatment of the natives, the color line being more sharply drawn.
Upon his arrival at Queenstown, he found Rev. Dwane and other Ministers organizing a secession movement from the Church. He was asked to join them. He affirmed his allegiance to the A. M. E. Church. About this time he, with Rev. Ngcayiya, went to Capetown to plead with the Government for a removal of the restrictions that had been laid upon the Ministers of their Church, such as forbidding them to perform the marriage service for members of their congregations.
At a large Church meeting the seceding element came back into the fold and harmony was restored.
He was now Presiding Elder of Queenstown District. In December, 1903, a joint meeting of the Transvaal and Cape Colony Conferences was held at North Alewal, one of his Stations, at which he and Rev. Nycayiya were elected Delegates to the General Conference at Chicago, in May, 1904.
REV. MARTIN STALEY BRYANT is classed among the forceful men in the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Middle West, of which region he is a native, having been born at Ashley, Missouri, February 19, 1844.
His religious life began with his conversion and union with the Church in September, 1866, at which time was formed the resolution to enter the Ministry. This event took place in 1868 at Louisiana, Missouri, Rev. J. C. Embry granting him a Preacher's License. In 1873 his name was recorded on the Conference Roll at St. Louis, and in October of the same year he was assigned to Wentzville Mission. The next year he met the Conference at Kansas City where he was ordained Deacon and stationed at Lincoln, Nebraska, and Kansas City. But the severe and prolonged illness of his eldest child compelled him to leave the ministry for a while and seek more remunerative employment, in order that comforts might be supplied to the invalid. For two years he worked at the blacksmith's trade, returning to the Conference in 1876, and receiving an appointment to Mexico, Missouri. In 1880, while filling a pastorate at Gallatin, he was given Elder's Orders, and in two year's time built new churches at Clarksville and Paynesville and largely increased the congregations in both places. He was made Presiding Elder of Hannibal District. In 1892 he was elected Delegate to the General Conference at Philadelphia, and appointed on the Church Extension Board which he faithfully served for four years. He afterwards attended meetings of this ecclesiastical body at Wilmington, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio.
Rev. Bryant has itinerated at Sedalia, Missouri, where he built a new parsonage, and in Kansas City, Missouri. Transference to the North Missouri Conference placed him in charge of pulpits in another part of the State. He is now the popular Presiding Elder of Columbia District, and is a Member of the Missionary Board of the Church.
[REV. ROBERT BURNS BROOKINS.]
REV. Robert Burns Brookins was born in Camak, Georgia, December 12th, 1855, and was honored with the name of the greatest of Scotch poets. He received his education at Cookman Institute, Jacksonville, Florida.
At the age of eighteen years he was led to embrace the Christian life, and allied himself with the membership of the A. M. E. Church in Suwannee County, Florida, receiving the rite of baptism from Elder Pearce.
The duties of Class-Leader prepared him, in a measure, for more important Church work, and when, in 1876, he was Licensed to Preach, in Fernandina, Florida, by Rev. W. M. Sampson, he had an intelligent idea of the responsibilities devolving upon him.
His itineracy began in 1877 (after his ordination as Deacon by Bishop J. P. Campbell, at the first session of the East Florida Annual Conference at Palatka, Fla)., where in the short space of two years he built two churches and added sixty-four converts to the roll of the Church militant.
In 1880, the additional duties of Elder were laid upon his shoulders by Bishop Campbell, but the honor brought to the recipient a greater realization of the sacred importance of his calling.
The loss of his wife and six children by death in Florida, caused him to ask for fields of labor outside of that State, in which he had held pastoral charges in Green Springs, Fernandina, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Tallahasse and other points, and future years brought him toil, with the blessing of great spiritual
reward, in Orangeburg and Marion, South Carolina; Muskogee, Indian Territory; Fort Smith, Arkansas, where as pastor and Presiding Elder his work in every place has been crowned with the exultation only felt by those "that turn many to righteousness."
On September 27, 1900, Rev. Brookins again became a benedict, Rev. J. R. Ransom, P. E. of the Omaha District, performing the ceremony that made Mrs. Winifred Harrad, of Omaha, his honored wife.
Rev. Brookins is noted for logical, powerful and extremely fervent sermons, that appeal with equal force to the intellectual and emotional natures of his hearers; and his earnest life will be a potent factor in the intellectual, social and spiritual elevation of his Race.
[REV. W. A. J. PHILLIPS, D.D.]
REV. W. A. J. Phillips, D. D., is among the fortunate few who understand the art of steering congregations out of the troubled waters of debt and placing them "high and dry" on the rock foundation of spiritual and financial prosperity.
He was born near Little Washington, Rappahannock County, Virginia, but upon reaching manhood ran away to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in steamboating.
He was converted in 1853, and united with the Church, assuming the duties of Class Leader, Sunday School Superintendent, and other Church offices as he was needed, and in time receiving a License to Preach from Rev. L. Gross.
Rev. Phillips was one of the organizers of the Pittsburg Conference and was assigned to Allen Chapel in that city, afterward doing Missionary work in West Virginia; he rebuilt the Church that had been destroyed in a wind storm, at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, entertained the Conference, and left it with but a small debt to pay. Other appointments in Pennsylvania were held by him, in all of which he built or remodeled the Churches and eased the people of debt. He served for a time as Presiding Elder of Allegheny District, and upon the abolishment of the office was assigned to Monongahela Station, but in 1880 was transferred by Bishop H. M. Turner to the Arkansas Conference, and stationed at Bethel Church, Little Rock, to be, four years afterward, given charge as Presiding Elder of Fort Smith District, and so satisfactory has proved his work, that he has
been continued in the office to the present time. His field of labor covers the following Districts: Newport, Little Rock, Arkadelphia, and Camden, building nine new Houses of Worship and remodeling eleven in the last-named District. He is again the Spiritual Overseer of Fort Smith District.
The intellectual and executive ability of Dr. Phillips has been willingly recognized by the Conferences with which he has been connected. Seven times have they sent him to the General Conferences. In 1891 he was a Member of the Ecumenical Conference at Washington, D. C., and was also on the Advisory Council of the Parliament of Religions and a Secretary of the A. M. E. Church at the Congress of Religions, at Chicago, in 1893.
Dr. Phillips is President of the Board of Trustees of Shorter College, Manager of its Publishing Department, and had much to do with the planning and erection of its main building; he is also a Trustee of Wilberforce University.
[REV. J. R. COX.]
THE subject of this sketch, who is now a successful Presiding Elder in Mexico, was born in North Carolina, in 1864. In that State he received his early education, and at the age of eighteen years went to Georgia to follow the profession of School Teaching, and was employed in Public Schools of Early County, of that State.
Believing that he was Divinely called to Preach the Word of God, he had, by 1897, passed through the initiatory offices of Exhorter and Local Preacher, and that year was put on trial in the Traveling List of the Georgia Conference. In 1899, at a meeting of the Georgia Annual Conference in the City of Savannah, he was ordained Deacon by the Right Reverend H. M. Turner of the Sixth Episcopal District, the office of Presiding Elder coming to him two years later at the Annual Conference held at Brunswick, Georgia. In 1902 the Bishops were so assured of his thorough consecration to the Master's work, that he was honored with the Presiding Eldership in the Home Mission Field in Mexico.
[BISHOP MOSES B. SALTER.]
THE life of Bishop Moses B. Salter has been one of constant vigilance in the service of the Church, and his crown of success sparkles with the blessed light of many, many souls saved unto life eternal.
He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, February 13th, 1840, and while a boy learned the watch-maker's trade. In 1856 he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the next year experienced the happiness of saving faith that crystallized into a determination to enter the Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ; he transferred his membership to the A. M. E. Church and in 1866 connected himself with the South Carolina Conference, receiving within the next two years the orders of Deacon and Elder and an appointment to Aiken Station, serving the second year as Presiding Elder. Wishing a knowledge of higher studies, he, in 1870, matriculated at Wilberforce University, and shortly after his leaving school was united in marriage to Miss Priscilla Smith.
Preferring to labor in the South, he returned to his native State, and was sent by his Conference to Beaufort, which pastorate was followed by charges in Columbus and Savannah, Georgia; Marion and Charleston, South Carolina, with one year's experience as Presiding Elder of Georgetown District.
In 1892 he was honored by elevation to the Bishopric of the Church, and in that capacity has watched over the spiritual and interests of theA. M. E. Church of South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. He is now Presiding Bishop of Mississippi Louisiana.
Bishop Salter during his Ministry of thirty-eight years, has welcomed nine thousand persons into the communion of the A. M. E. Church.
[REV. THOMAS HENRY JACKSON, D.D.]
OF THE many distinguished men sent out from Wilberforce University, no one reflects greater honor upon his Alma Mater by nobleness and usefulness in life and scholarly attainments than the subject of this sketch.
Dr. Jackson was born in the "City of Brotherly Love" March 13th, 1844, and was but fourteen years of age when he went West to enroll himself as a student at Wilberforce University, in which college he was again a student in 1864 from Louisville, Kentucky. The next year witnessed the consecration of his heart and life to his Heavenly Father, and the advanced Theological Course was added to his academic studies.
Dr. Jackson was a member of the first class graduated from Wilberforce University in 1870. It had been stimulated in its work by the promise from President Payne of a professorship to the one receiving the highest grade in study; Dr. Jenifer was given the first diploma, but the Professor's Chair fell to Dr. Jackson, and for eleven years he was a beloved and highly appreciated Instructor in the School.
Dr. Jackson was admitted to the ranks of the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865, during his collegiate work, and has served various pastorates in Ohio, Little Rock, Arkansas and Columbia, South Carolina; his merited degree of Doctor of Divinity was given by Wilberforce University. Every meeting of the General Conference since 1872 has been
attended by him, and his counsel and suggestions have proven an incalculable help to that large body of Christian workers.
As a writer on important subjects Dr. Jackson is well known, especially throughout the Church, and his familiarity with Church History and intimate knowledge of the Hebrew language, united with his sound common sense and broad views of life, render him particularly adapted for the high office and duties of Dean of Shorter University, at Little Rock, Arkansas, now held by him.
[REV. JOHN WESLEY COOPER.]
THE large number of good earnest men in the corporate body of the great Methodist Church who bear the name of the saintly founder of its faith, is evidence of the influence of his work and life upon the characters of the "namesakes" who, with steady hands, carry the torch of Gospel Truth up and down the dark places of the earth.
In earnestness and fervor for the sacred cause of the Church, its African Methodist Episcopal branch has no more devoted son than Rev. John Wesley Cooper, whose Ministry is connected with the Conferences of the States of New York and New Jersey.
He was born March 8th, 1840, in Burlington, New Jersey, and entered the New York Conference when he was twenty-seven years of age, receiving an immediate appointment to the Church at Oswego, New York, and since that date has been an enthusiastic laborer in the vineyard, finding much for his hands to do, but serving with loving, patient willingness as "unto the Lord."
For thirty-eight years he has been in the itineracy of the Church, being ordained to the Presiding Eldership, over the Newark District, by Bishop John M. Brown, in 1883.
[MR. CLYDE WINSLOW.]
THE colleges and schools devoted to the mental and social culture of the African Race are yearly sending out young men and women whose strength of character and scholarly attainments are rapidly finding places of trust for them in the commercial world; and Mr. Clyde Winslow, Secretary to the President of Wilberforce University, is one meriting the confidence reposed in him.
He was born in humble environments, July 5th, 1877, at South Charleston, Ohio, but his parents were resolute in their determination that their son should become an educated man; and, at the cost of much personal sacrifice on their part, he was sent through the Public and Normal Schools, afterwards taking a course at Williams Business School in Springfield, Ohio. He then procured an excellent situation, as stenographer, with the lumber firm of D. E. Swan & Company of that city, winning their confidence to such an extent that he soon became one of their most trusted clerks; remaining with them until he entered upon the work nearest his heart, that of the school-room.
In 1900 he was persuaded to accept the position now held by him, viz: Private Secretary to the President of Wilberforce University.
Mr. Winslow is not yet thirty years of age, and a life of great usefulness and helpfulness to his Race is predicted from his sterling Christian manhood. He is a Trustee of Holy Trinity Church, at Wilberforce.
[REV. SETH DESMOND WALDEMA SMITH.]
REV. Seth Desmond Waldema Smith, a descendant of English and African ancestry, was born at St. Croix, in the tropical Danish West Indies, where he received his early education and was for some time engaged as Assistant Teacher in an Episcopal School in St. Thomas.
He had just reached manhood when he came to American shores, and was licensed to Preach in Zion A. M. E. Church, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, followed by his immediate appointment as Missionary; whereupon he wrote to Bishop J. P. Campbell, of Philadelphia, and persuaded him to send an additional man to Nova Scotia, Rev. John R. Morgan receiving the assignment.
After his ordination to Deacon's Orders by Bishop Nazrey, in 1870, he took charge of Port La Tours Mission, which embraced a District of one hundred and fifty miles, lying between the Jordan river and Waymouth Falls; his first year's salary amounted to $32, but the Lord graciously rewarded his labor by a large ingathering of souls to the Kingdom. The following year he was ordained Elder by Bishop Nazrey, at St. Johns, New Brunswick, and, under the Missionary rule, in 1872, built two churches at Shelburn, Nova Scotia.
In May, 1880, he came as Delegate from the British M. E. Conference to the General Conference, at St. Louis, and was actively interested in bringing about the union between the two great bodies according to Articles of Agreement previously decided
upon, and was appointed a member of one of the first committees that met at Chatham, Ontario, to consider organic union. Upon recommendation of this committee Bishop Nazrey visited Bermuda, St. Thomas, D. W. I., Demarara, S. A. and the Islands of the sea; but the Bermudian Government refused to recognize the British M. E. Ministers, whereupon an appeal was made to Queen Victoria, which was graciously granted by her Majesty.
Rev. Smith has held important charges in several of the large Canadian cities, and his work was blessed many times by a wonderful outpouring of God's spirit. His congregations were always encouraged to build or remodel Church buildings; through his efforts discouraging debts were wiped out and parsonages added to Church properties.
He was for many years an inflential Member of the Canada Grand Lodge, Independent Order of Good Templars, but, in company with other prominent men, withdrew at the session of the Grand Lodge in Montreal when the color line was introduced, the withdrawing element, headed by Honorable G. W. C. T., Joseph Malius, of Scotland, organizing the R. W. L. Grand Lodge of Canada, in which Rev. Smith was elected Grand Worthy Councillor, next to the highest office in the Lodge. He was also honored with the appointment of Right Worthy District Deputy Grand Chief Templar of the Right W. G. L. of Scotland, Independent Order of Good Templars.
Rev. Smith is recognized as one of the strongest advocates of temperance in the A. M. E. Church.
[REV. HENDERSON DAVIS.]
THE son of an earnest Minister of the Gospel now gone to his reward, Rev. Henderson Davis was born in Frankford, Pennsylvania, March 8th, 1848.
At the early age of twelve years he consecrated his life to God, and was given a Local Preacher's license before he had reached his eighteenth birthday; his first work as Pastor being on Port Republic Circuit. A year or two later he was ordained Deacon by Bishop Campbell, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Two years afterwards Bishop James A. Shorter raised him to the Eldership.
A Pastorate at Bordentown, New Jersey, was among his first charges and while there he raised the handsome sum of $1500, towards the building of a new Church. From Bordentown he was sent to Freehold, New Jersey. As he alighted at the station, he was met by an anxious and zealous sister of his Church, bearing the information that on the previous Sunday there had been a big rally "of the Zion people," who had boasted that the A. M. E. Church in that place was dead and buried. Rev. Davis comforted the mourning sister with the assurance that the next Sunday would be the resurrection day of the A. M. E. Church in that town. The prophecy was true. In less than two weeks wandering sheep were found and led back to the fold, and at the close of a three year's Pastorate it was a vigorous organization numbering one hundred and sixty members.
His next appointment was at Elizabeth, New Jersey, where
he remained three years; his work was blessed by great revival seasons, that added one hundred and forty names to the Church roll.
A transference to the New York Conference placed him in charge of the Church at Lockport, New York, that boasted a handsome structure but only counted a working force of five souls; these faithful ones constituted his first congregation. Heroic and strenuous effort was demanded. He gave it. A revival added forty saved souls to the membership; but before the close of the Church-year he was sent by Bishop Brown to Elmira, New York, to win a beautiful new African Union Church over to the A. M. E. Connection. He proved equal to the task, and the Church is one of the most influential in the New York Conference.
Ecclesiastical authority decided that he would be a good man to help bring about a happier state of feeling between the A. M. E. and B. M. E. Churches, and consequently he was transferred to the Ontario Conference, and located at Chatham. Assuming a neutral position as to the disputed points, he so wisely and kindly exerted his influence, that concessions were made, wounds healed, and the A. M. E. Church placed on firm ground. He remained in Chatham four years, and was then transferred by Bishop B. T. Tanner to the Nova Scotia Conference and given a charge at Halifax Station. At the end of three years he returned to the United States, filled a three year's appointment at Chelsea, Massachusetts, and was then sent for another six years toil in Canada. He was again transferred to the United States, in 1901, and since that date has been doing effective work for the Church in Indiana.
[REV. NICHOLAS BERNARD STEWART, D.D.]
THE Fourth of July, 1875, was indeed a day of rejoicing to Rev. Nicholas Bernard Stewart, for it marked his turning aside from sin to serve the Living God, and the birth of his desire to enter the Christian Ministry.
Rev. Stewart is a native of Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana, South America; his early education was received in the Protestant Episcopal Church School, Bishop College. Deciding to preach the Gospel, it was his privilege to study theology in the University at Edinburgh, Scotland, and from this venerable Institution came his cherished degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Preferring to locate on this side of the broad Atlantic, he was ordained at Chatham, Canada, by the late Bishop Richard Randolph Disney, in 1884, and for his eminent qualifications appointed Secretary to Bishop Jabez Pitt Campbell.
But all things seemed to point to his special fitness for work in foreign fields, so returning to South America, he organized the A. M. E. Church in the City of Paremaribo, Dutch Guiana; established it in the Spanish City of Portan, Trinidad, and also planted it in the islands of Tobago, the Barbadoes and the Bahamas, the latter coming under the Bishopric of Dr. Benjamin W. Arnett.
Coming again to the United States, he was connected with the New Jersey Conference, but later transferred to the Mississippi, and assigned charges in several of the large cities in the
State. He has also been appointed to Pastorates in Canada, Washington, D. C. and New York City.
Dr. Stewart has several times gone as Delgate to the General Conferences of the Church, and has been both Dean and Financial Agent of Campbell College.
His culture in ancient and modern languages is very wide: he reads without difficulty, Greek, Latin and Hebrew, and speaks fluently the Spanish and Hindistani tongues, and can preach with ease in the vernacular of the "Bush Negores" of Dutch Guiana.
A valuable work entitled "Miracles of Creation vs. Evolutionary Philosophy" is a child of his brain.
[REV. JOHN WESLEY LEWIS.]
TO worthily bear the venerated name of the founder of Methodism, the subject of this sketch was born at Delaware, Ohio, December 12th, 1844.
After passing through the common schools, he was apprenticed, at the age of fifteen years, to the plasterer's trade, but preferring the employment of tailor, took up that trade and worked as a journeyman until he was thirty years of age.
In September, 1864, he joined the Union ranks, enlisting in Company A., 12th U. S. C. I., and though his term of service did not extend over many months, he fought valiantly in the battles of the Nashville campaign.
His conversion took place in the Winter of 1866, in the old Church in his home town of Delaware; and with change of heart was born the desire to belong to the band of those whose lives are devoted to the promulgation of Gospel joy.
Licensed as Local Preacher by Rev. Jesse Asbury, in 1876, his first charge was the home Church in Delaware, and during his pastorate of one year the old building was torn down and the walls of a new edifice raised, to be completed under other pastors.
The Ohio Conference, Bishop Wayman presiding, the next year accepted him as a member on trial; the same Bishop soon ordained him as Deacon, which was followed, in 1881, by his promotion to the Presiding Eldership.
The size of the Ohio Conference necessitated a division, and the name of Rev. Lewis was placed on the list of the new North Ohio Conference, and for sixteen years he filled important pastorates in its field of labor.
In 1896 he was transferred to the Ohio Conference where he remained for three years, returning in 1899 to the North Ohio Conference, and was stationed for eleven months at Sandusky, supplying a vacancy. He has held charges in Mansfield and Marion, and is now doing good work at Kenton, Ohio.
Rev. Lewis has been twice married, his first wife, who was Miss Anna M. Gross, dying April 16th, 1878; five children were born of this union, three of whom are living. In May, 1879, he was united in wedlock to Miss Martha M. Nelson at Chillicothe, Ohio.
[REV. HENRY BLANTON PARKS, D.D.]
AS organizer, debt-raiser and church-builder, Rev. Henry Blanton Parks is recognized as a leader in the A. M. E. Church of this country. He seems to be specially gifted with ability to accomplish great things along these very necessary lines of Church work.
He was born July 4th, 1859, in Campbell County, Georgia, and passed his early life with his father in farm toil, a life that gave him the foundation of splendid, vigorous health on which he built the achievements that have crowned his efforts. His father was a man remarkable for strong mental power and fervid piety, delighting in books, and by hard and persistent study acquired a thorough understanding of the Latin tongue. After the emancipation he became Pastor of the A. M. E. Church at Cartersville, Georgia, and looked forward to the pleasure of giving his two sons a collegiate education. His death very materially changed the future for his little family, and the accidental drowning of his brother made Henry the sole support of his sadly bereaved mother. Loyal was he to his obligation as a son, and his mother in her pleasant home in Atlanta, is generously and devotedly cared for by her only child, and she has all the pride and joy of a fond mother in his great success; while Dr. Parks asserts that his attainments were only made possible by her constant self denial during his days of struggle.
He attended Store's School in Atlanta, an Institution supported by the American Missionary Society. After his father's
death, he worked for a dental firm before and after school hours, studying at night. From the Mission College he went to Atlanta University where he remained two years, then began teaching at Sugar Hill, though he was not yet eighteen years of age.
His conversion brought a resolution to enter the Ministry, and he was granted a Local License and placed in charge of the Church at Sugar Hill, joining in a few months the North Georgia Conference in session at Madison, Bishop J. P. Campbell presiding.
The strong individuality and intelligence of the young Minister drew the interest of Bishop T. M. D. Ward, of Louisiana, who was a guest of the Conference, to him; the Bishop had come to urge some of the younger men to return with him to fill the places of those who had been swept off by the scourge of yellow fever. Henry Blanton Parks volunteered and fearlessly carried the consolation of God's word to many desolate homes. Bishop Ward assigned him to St. Peter's Chapel, New Orleans, a Church that ranked third in importance in the Conference District. Rev. Parks held it in charge for four years, increasing it from a membership of seventy-five persons to a flourishing congregation, and lowered a debt of $5,000 to $1,500.
He received Deacon's Orders at Baton Rouge in 1879; and, in 1881, Bishop R. H. Cain ordained him Elder at New Orleans. One important charge after another was given to him, and success in building up congregations and lowering church debts attended him wherever he was located.
In 1886, at the request of Bishop Ward, he was sent to St. Matthew's Chapel, Greenville, Mississippi, where he only remained for a few months, being transferred to Bethel Church, Vicksburg; a handsome parsonage stands as a monument to his zeal during his long pastorate in the latter city. But Bishop Ward, who never lost sight of this enterprising young Minister felt that St. Johns Church at Topeka, Kansas, that was struggling with $5000 of bonded and floating debt, needed his vim and enthusiasm and sent him thither. The Bishop was right, for in the short time of four months, Rev. Parks wiped out the bonded debt of $4000, and when in eighteen months he was transferred to St. Johns, Omaha, he left the Topeka congregation happy and prosperous in a new Church costing $18,000.
Similar results followed his work in Omaha and at Allen Chapel, Kansas City.
But his time and labor had not been confined specifically to these objective points. He was a member of various Boards and Councils; Secretary and Treasurer of different Conferences; Member of sundry Church Committees; duties that his methodical, exact and comprehensive mind cared for in due order and time, with the precision and accuracy required. So quickly was he able to grasp the details and means necessary for the quick bringing of results, that, in 1896, at the Conference in Wilmington, he was elected Secretary of the Board of Home and Foreign Missions. His zeal and executive ability have already produced great results in arousing the interest of the Church to the importance of the work, and increasing the donations to the Cause. Two books on Foreign Missions have come from his pen He was the organizer of The Bishop Henry McNeil Turner Crusaders of the 20th Century, the first society of its kind; an Order of Negro Churchmen pledged to the support of Missions in Africa by more than mere Church subscriptions.
Dr. Parks has been a Trustee of Wilberforce University for nearly twenty years. At the Students' Volunteer Movement for Missions, held in Cleveland, in 1896, with over 2200 delegates present, Dr. Parks was Chairman of the African Council, and took in as delegates five native African students of Wilberforce.
Dr. Parks resides in Kansas City. His family consists of his wife and three daughters. Mrs. Parks was formerly Miss Frozine Portier, of New Orleans.
[PETER ALPHEUS LUCKIE.]
ONE of the most earnest members of the class graduated from Wilberforce University, in June, 1904, was Mr. Peter Alpheus Luckie who came from British Guiana, South America, to the land whose flag means golden opportunity for all men.
His early years were passed in hard toll on a sugar plantation, and it was while thus engaged and observant of the ignorance and degredation of the workers around him, that the impulse came to rise to better and higher things. This led to an attendance at a private night school, started for the benefit of a few young men of the Colony, afterwards entering the High School of Mr. A. A. Thome, M. A.; and later to his great joy and satisfaction the way was opened for his coming to the United States and entering Wilberforce University.
Mr. Luckie has traveled extensively in the British Isles and France, and the kindness of friends made in these trips has enabled him to complete his collegiate course. He has returned to his native country and begun the work of elevating his people.
[REV. JOHN DICKERSON.]
IN 1834, three years before the birth of their son, Garland and Harriet Dickerson, the parents of Rev. John Dickerson, came from Louisa County, Virginia, to Chillicothe, Ohio, where on April 10th, 1837, he was born.
After his conversion he joined the membership of the A. M. E. Church in Circleville, Ohio, and was licensed as an Exhorter. Recognizing his country's claim to his valor, he enlisted in Company G, 4th U. S. C. T. and served until honorably discharged at the end of the war, when he again returned to the Ministry and was licensed as Local Preacher by Rev. Phillip Tolliver.
September, 1877, he entered the Ohio Conference at Urbana, and was appointed to Westerville Circuit, remaining there three years, receiving in the second year of this Pastorate the order of Deacon from Bishop Wayman, at Cleveland, Ohio. His second assignment was Smithfield Mission; the dividing of the Conference the same year threw this charge into the North Ohio Conference, in which body he has always itinerated. In 1881, Bishop Campbell ordained him as Elder.
Rev. Dickerson has held Pastorates at Urbana, Lima, Hamilton, Mt. Vernon, and other important points in the Conference; during his occupancy of the Church at Steubenville he built one of the finest parsonages in the State. He served five years as Presiding Elder over the Springfield District, and is now Presiding Elder of the Columbus District.
He has twice gone to the General Conference as Delegate and Alternate, and his popularity in his own Conference is attested by the frequency with which his name is found on Conference Committees. He is a warm friend of Wilberforce University and Payne Seminary, and embraces every opportunity of advancing their interests.
Rev. Dickerson was happily married, in 1860, to Miss Mary E. Ward. Five children have blessed their home, four of whom are living. Two of the sons are practising physicians.
[REV. JOSHUA VAN BUREN GOINS, D.D.]
IT IS difficult to believe that a Minister of the Gospel in this country, in the last half of the nineteenth century, could suffer the atrocities that have made up part of the ministerial experiences of the subject of this sketch while "witnessing for the truth."
Born in Xenia, Ohio, February 2d, 1848, his conversion at the age of fourteen years, was regarded by him as a call to the Ministry, and he united with the A. M. E. Church at Peepee, Ohio, and for forty-two years has been a loyal upholder of its tenets of faith.
July, 1863, saw him enlisted in the United States Army, serving five years, and it was his happy privilege during that time to lead many of his soldier comrades to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Honorably discharged in July, 1870, at Fort McKavitt, Texas, he went to San Antonio, and the same year was Licensed to Preach, admitted to the one Conference then existing in Texas, at that time in session at Bryant, and was ordained as Deacon by Bishop James A. Shorter; four years afterwards Bishop John M. Brown at the meeting of Conference in Austin, conferred upon him the rights of Eldership.
The early years of the itineracy of Dr. Goins abounded in discouragements so numerous, and suffering so great, that had his faith in God been less, he surely would have considered as vain, his efforts to extend the borders of the Methodist faith.
In connection with his work as Minister he taught school for several consecutive years, his place of instruction sometimes consisting of a brush arbor or the shade of leafy trees; the promulgation of the Divine Word was met with ridicule and violent opposition; and more than once, antagonism grew to such white heat that he suffered from hunger, was refused shelter, compelled to sleep like one of God's servants of old, on the ground, with a stone for a pillow. Once he was arrested for preaching "false doctrine," but was permitted by the authorities to plead his own cause, and won acquittal. He was shot in the thigh; a bed on which he slept was saturated with kerosene; men waited for him in lonely places with ropes to hang him; his churches and brush arbors in which he preached were burned or destroyed at night; but patiently, with a heart of compassion for those who would so cruelly wrong him, he never faltered in the blessed work of saving the lost.
And God wonderfully rewarded His faithful servant. There are to-day in the big "Lone Star" State and neighboring territory one hundred and fifteen A. M. E. Churches that owe their organization to his steadfast faith and indefatigable enterprise; in his itineracy through Texas, Louisiana and Indian Territory he has taken nine thousand and seven hundred persons into Church fellowship, married two thousand people and officiated at one thousand and ninety funerals.
Delhi Institute at Delhi, Louisiana, of which he was President four years, was founded by him. For twenty years he has been a Trustee of Paul Quinn College, and three times he has gone as Delegate to the General Conference of the Church. He has held important offices in the Annual Conferences of his State, and as the oldest active itinerant Minister in Texas possesses the affection and veneration of thousands of Christian hearts.
[REV. JOHN T. JENIFER, D.D.]
THE oppression of Maryland bondage surrounded the youth of Rev. John T. Jenifer, his birth taking place at Upper Marlborough in that State, March 10th, 1835; but despite his many privations he managed to acquire the rudiments of a common education.
Experiencing conversion in 1856, his desire for a self respecting manhood was greatly strengthened, and, in 1859, he unceremoniously left Baltimore in search of "liberty and learning," traveling towards New England, locating in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he studied for two years and was given a License to Preach.
Attracted by the possibilities of the outermost West he sailed for California in 1862, and received an appointment to the Church at Sacramento City, which was followed by charges in other important California towns; he combined school teaching with his Ministerial work on Placerville Circuit.
In April, 1865, Bishop J. P. Campbell ordained him as Deacon, in the city of San Francisco, and the same year he was honored with the Assistant Secretaryship of the First California Conference.
The desire for a more thorough education was strong within him; out of his combined salaries as Minister and Teacher he had saved $900, and securing transference to an Ohio Conference, he, in January, 1866, matriculated at Wilberforce University, completing the course in 1871. During his collegiate experience
he was Secretary of the Institution, but was not exempt from Ministerial duty, often supplying the pulpits in neighboring Circuits; in 1869 the office of Deacon was bestowed upon him by Bishop D. A. Payne.
His itineracy began at Little Rock, Arkansas, and the duties of his pastorate did not prevent him from being an eager partisan and upholder of the rights of his Race in the fight that won recognition of Colored Teachers in the Colored Schools. A charge at Pine Bluff was succeeded by a re-appointment at Little Rock, at the close of which he was transferred to Charles Street A. M. E. Church, Boston, Massachusetts, and his capable management while there, freed the congregation from $30,000 indebtedness. This appointment was succeeded by a Presiding Eldership in connection with the New England Conference and a charge at Newport, Rhode Island, after which he was stationed at Quinn Chapel, Chicago; here he built a new church costing $75,000, which was all paid for at the close of his pastorate with the exception of $21,000. Since then he has held and added to the congregations of charges in Washington, D. C. and Baltimore.
Rev. Jenifer has been sent as Delegate to each General Conference since 1872, and in 1900 was elected General Secretary of that great Ecclesiastical body. He was on the Advisory Council and Reception Committee at the Auxiliary Congress of African Ethnology at the World's Columbian Exposition. He has been specially interested in the prosperity of Wilberforce University, and received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from that Institution, in 1878.
He was happily married on June 6th, 1871, to Miss Alice V. Carter, the accomplished Assistant Principal of Gaines High School.
[WILLIAM H. S. SEALS.]
FEW teachers stand higher for intellectual attainments and successful achievements in their profession than the subject of this sketch.
When but a little boy in Georgia, in which State he was born, in Hancock County, April 6, 1854, he resolved to acquire an education and position in the world, despite the long rough road of poverty that lay between him and the object of his ambition. But possessing the true elements of manhood, determination and perseverance, he made his way through privation, discouragement, and ofttimes seeming defeat, to an eminence in his chosen profession, that has won for him merited regard and praise.
After graduation from the Normal Department of Wilberforce University in 1879, Professor Seals was, for five years, connected with the teaching force of the St. Louis public schools, adding to his labors by a continuance of advanced studies under the instruction of Professor Schyler, of the white High School; in 1884 he accepted the position of Principal in Lincoln School, Quincy, Illinois, where ten years of splendid effort were rewarded by marked success along all lines of school work; while in this city he completed a course in German, in Professor L. S. Dodge's School of Languages.
From Quincy he went to a similar position in the Sabine Normal and Industrial Institute at Gladewater, Texas, where he remained until 1892, at which time he became Head Teacher in
Lupkin School, No. 2, where he is engaged at the present time.
During the collegiate course of Professor Seals, at Wilberforce University, he united with the A. M. E. Church, receiving the baptismal seal from President (now Bishop) B. F. Lee, in the beautiful little stream that flows through the college grounds. He has enjoyed his election as Lay Delegate to the General Conferences of his Church that met at Baltimore and Indianapolis in 1884 and 1888 respectively.
Professor Seals is somewhat of an enthusiast in lodge matters, being Past Grand Secretary of the Royal Arch Masons of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Illinois and Iowa; Past R. E. G. Commander of the Knights Templar, and Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois; he also belongs to Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite and Mystic Shrine, and is an active member of the G. U. O. of O. F.
That he is cordially appreciated by his fellow teachers was shown by his election, in 1900, as President of the East Texas Colored Teachers' Association, holding the office for three years.
In 1874 he married Miss Sue Hudson, of Arkadelphia, Arkansas; they have one daughter, who is a teacher and a fine musician.
[REV. PHILLIP TOLLIVER, D.D.]
IN the exaltation of spirit with which the great African Methodist Episcopal Church looks out upon its marvelous growth and prosperity in spiritual and temporal affairs, that splendid organization must ever remember that its vantage-ground is due to the fidelity, patience and heroism of the Ministers of her early days. Had they proved less faithful, less self-sacrificing, less ambitious for the promulgation of God's love and mercy, the Church would not be flying so many banners of glorious conquest along the highway of salvation.
The eighty-one years embraced in the life of Rev. Phillip Tolliver, D.D., connects the early history of the Church with the present day. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 10th, 1824, and can scarcely recall a day in his four-score years that was not blessed with the realization of son-ship to his Heavenly Father. For he was brought up in the Sabbath School, (in time holding the Superintendency of one for seven years,) early experienced a change of heart, and entered the fold of the A. M. E. Church with heart and resolution bent upon becoming one of its Ordained Ministers.
License to Preach was granted him by Rev. William Newman, and his first charge was at Xenia, Ohio, where he filled the unexpired term of Rev. Edward Davis, who died in that city. His Pastorates have been successful appointments in Ripley, Gallipolis, Ironton, Portsmouth, Hamilton, Toledo, Urbana,
Zanesville, Lancaster, Rendville, Cambridge, Greenfield; all important Church-points in Ohio. Still connected with the Ohio Conference, it is as one honorably released from active service, who looks back with joy unutterable to over a thousand souls saved by his Ministry unto the joys of eternal life, which is already gloriously dawning upon his sight with its rewards of immortality and unending joy.
[BISHOP WILLIAM B. DERRICK.]
WHEREVER he is known the name of Bishop Derrick stands for consecration to his calling as an ambassdor of the Risen Christ, extensive scholarship and fine culture, and devotion to the advancement of his Race in the attainment of the best, the highest ideals of American life.
No man of the Race today is more thoroughly imbued with our National spirit of enterprise and progress than Bishop Derrick, and yet this great country is only his by adoption, as he was born July 27th, 1843, in the Island of Antigua, British West Indies, a decade after the English Government had proclaimed freedom to the slaves within those tropical isles.
The Derrick family with which his father, Thomas J. Derrick, was connected, were wealthy and influential planters, cultivating many acres in the islands Antigua and Angulia; the Bishop's mother was a woman of rare sweetness of disposition, and possessed a versatility of mind that made her a most interesting conversationalist.
The education of their son was a matter of great moment to his parents, who early placed him in a private Moravian school at Graceland, where he made rapid progress, his natural gift of oratory receiving special cultivation by his Instructors, this talent winning him much applause at the annual examinations which were always largely attended by interested visitors. In 1856 he entered a select high school where he remained three years.
Knowing that intelligent use of the hands was as essential, many times, as education of the mind, his parents, at the close of his schooling, apprenticed him to a blacksmith, but, after he had mastered the trade, William won their reluctant consent to go to sea, which was given with the proviso that he must thoroughly learn the art of navigation.
His first voyage to America was made in 1860, and came near being disastrous, as the ship was driven ashore at Turk's Island, but fortunately escaped wreckage, completing its trip to New York; his nautical experience brought him several times to the New England coast, and once, while at Boston, he met with an accident that resulted in a broken leg.
The cause of the North in our Civil War strongly appealed to him and he enlisted for three year's service on the flag-ship Minnesota, of the North Atlantic Squadron, serving as valiantly and loyally as though the Stars and Stripes was his own home banner.
The close of the war found him strong in the resolution to remain in this country and become a Minister of the Gospel, as many things caused him to feel that he had been Divinely called to the sacred office. Joining the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at Washington, D. C., he was licensed by its Pastor, Rev. John M. Brown, (later to become Bishop John M. Brown,) to preach, and he also qualified to act as Missionary Agent. In 1867 Bishop Payne admitted him to the regular traveling connection and stationed him at Mt. Pisgah in the District of Columbia, in which place he received ordination to the Deaconate. This Pastorate was followed by transference to the Virginia Conference, with which body he sustained Ministerial relations for a number of years, serving faithfully and with great success as Pastor, Presiding Elder (to which office he was consecrated at Portsmouth by Bishop Jabez P. Campbell,) and Conference Secretary, holding the last named position from 1870 to 1879, also attending as Delegate every meeting of the General Conference until he became a decisive voice in its councils.
Rev. Derrick's election to the highest Ecclesiastical seat in the Church took place at Wilmington, North Carolina, May,
1896, and his unselfish promotion of the interests of this mighty religious organization has materially increased its power and influence, and reflected honor upon his name. He is especially active in all that pertains to the education of the young people of his Race, and Campbell and Shorter Colleges both owe their existence to his zeal and effort. The "Allen Legions" of the First Episcopal District, which gave Payne Seminary two thousand dollars, was the happy thought of Bishop Derrick.
The tender reverence underlying his busy, crowded life was manifested by his placing the body of Richard Allen, the saintly founder of the A. M. E. Church, in a crypt in Mother Bethel Church at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a place that is daily visited by reverent and affectionate hearts.
Bishop Derrick is now in charge of the Third Episcopal District, comprising the Pittsburg, North Ohio, and Ohio Conferences. Wilberforce University lies within his jurisdiction, and it is almost needless to say that this fine school occupies a large part of his interest, time and energy. He at once aroused the Churches in his territory to the realization of the value and importance of the work accomplished by this Institution, and the Christmas collections following his pleas have poured hundreds of dollars into the University treasury. He is now enthusiastically engaged in bringing about a widespread interest in the "Golden Jubilee" of the School to be held in June, 1906.
In politics Bishop Derrick casts a Republican vote, and his wonderful eloquence has many times brought wandering fealty back to the party whose broad principles rest upon Constitutional Rights.
In his home environment Bishop Derrick is very happy; his wife, to whom he was united at the beginning of his Ministry, was formerly Miss Mary E. White of Norfolk, Virginia, a woman of pleasing culture, and of superior family connections.
A more amplified life of Bishop Derrick is soon to be given to the public.
[REV. JACOBUS GILEAD XABA.]
AMONG the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pretoria, South Africa, stands Rev. J. G. Xaba, pre-eminent as a Scholar and Divine, and whose name is luminous with the fires of persecution, ranking him close to those who "suffered for righteousness sake" in the days of the first Apostles.
This earnest man is a Member of the Zulu tribe in Africa, but is fortunate in being a descendant of converted grandparents, and his father having been an Evangelist in the Wesleyan Methodist Church. He enjoyed the privilege during his youth of attending Public School and College in his native town, Etendate, Natal.
Two years after his conversion, in 1876, he was busy in the Lord's work as a Minister of the Gospel; but feeling the need of more liberal mental attainments, be spent over two years in mastering a Classical Course at Healdtown, Cape Colony, continuing his studies after he had resumed Ministerial labors by privately acquiring a thorough knowledge of Greek, Hebrew and Theological tenets. His work as City Missionary under the British Government and British Foreign Bible Society necessitated a familiarity with the Dutch tongue.
On April 5, 1885, he was ordained as Deacon at Pretermaritzburg by the hands of white Ministers of various Churches, and in 1887 was sent by the Wesleyan Methodist Church to
Orange Free State, remaining in Harrysmith five years, transference being then made to Heilbrun.
At this time the color line was growing more definite and the native Pastors were subjected to most embarassing and humiliating treatment from their white Ministerial brethren; being assigned to separate Conferences, having financial and other important matters kept from their consideration, and their most cultured and experienced Ministers made subservient to white licentiates.
Many of the Christian natives realized that the hour was ripe for the founding of an Independent Ethiopian Church, and in November, 1892, Rev. Xaba, assisted by Rev. Mokone, gathered a congregation in Pretoria. Three months later at the meeting of the Wesleyan Conference in Kronstadt, he, with a following of seven hundred, publicly renounced allegiance to the Church of England, Dutch Reformed and Wesleyan Methodist Churches. This secession created no disturbance as it was thought that the movement would die from innate weakness, but as it continued to grow in numbers and spirit, persecution waxed fierce and strong. Efforts were made to drive him from the country, and many times he was locked behind prison bars.
A remarkable incident attended his first imprisonment. At the dinner hour when the prisoners recognized him among their number, they, assisted by some of the local patrolmen, beat down the gates and effected his release, Rev. Xaba held a prayer meeting on the spot and sin-hardened souls were led to a pardoning God. The indignation of the white Churches was poured in a hot flood upon all the native Preachers and Teachers who had allied themselves with the new organization.
The first Conference of the Ethiopian Church was held at Pretoria in September, 1894; here Rev. Mokone (who had been ordained Elder in the Wesleyan Church) and Rev. Kanyani ordained Rev. Xaba as Elder.
In 1896 Rev. Mokone received a letter from his niece, Miss Charlotte Manye (a student at Wilberforce University, Xenia, Ohio, U. S. A), which told of the wise polity and prosperity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and its entire control by the Colored Race. Investigation followed, and in 1896 Rev. Xaba
and Rev. Dwane were appointed Delegates to inspect the workings of the Church in this country; but through some misunderstanding Rev. Xaba failed to come. Two years later Bishop Turner went to Pretoria and assisted in receiving many thousands into the now firmly established African Methodist Episcopal Church of South Africa.
Rev. Xaba stands very close to the hearts of the Members of the Church in that distant land; they realize that its prosperity and advancement is largely due to his self-sacrifice and courageous spirit. He, at present is Presiding Elder of Orange Colony, in which District sixty-five Ministers of his Church are actively engaged.
[REV. W. HILARY COSTON, D.D.]
FOR ten years, Rev. W. Hilary Coston, the present popular Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church at Hagerstown, Maryland, and the able aspirant for the Editor's Chair of "The Christian Recorder," attended the public schools and aided in his support by boot-blacking; carrying in his heart all the while the determination to acquire the best and widest education available in the land.
In 1875 he entered Yale Preparatory School where he remained until 1880, when he was sent by the New England Conference for four years of study at Wilberforce University, completing his college career by diligent application from 1884 to 1887, at Yale Seminary. He then entered with enthusiasm upon his work as a fully Ordained Minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, being successively connected with the Iowa, Ontario, Pittsburg, North Ohio and Baltimore Conferences, great success attending his efforts in building up, both spiritually and materially, his respective charges; in the time that he was associated with the Baltimore Conference he rebuilt the church at Catonsville, Maryland and paid off a mortgage of forty year's standing on the church property in Hagerstown in the same State.
During the Spanish-American war he served as Chaplain to the valiant "Ninth Immunes," United States Volunteers, and from 1899 to 1904 held the same high position in the Ohio Division, U. S. R. N. G.
Fond of literature, Rev. Coston has found leisure amid his many and varied duties to give several valuable productions of his pen to the press, being author of "A Freeman, Yet a Slave," "The African Abroad," and "Spanish-American War Volunteer." Over three thousand copies of the last named work have been sold. He also edited for five years the first magazine ever published for colored women and children, known as "Ringwood's Home Magazine."
No abler or more devoted man to his Race and Church can be found in the Ministry of our beloved Zion.
[BISHOP EVANS TYREE.]
WITH Life's sun still midway in the heavens, a large feeling of gratutalion should fill the heart of Bishop Tyree as he looks back from his well-merited, high position in Church authority, upon a past so full of trial and discouragement, that it might well have caused a man of feebler resolution to turn aside into easier, more promising paths of success. But it was the consecration of his will to God and steadfastness to duty that has crowned him with honor and usefulness.
Bishop Evans Tyree was born August 19, 1854, in De Kalb County, Tennessee, and led to give his heart to God when but twelve years of age. So genuine was his conversion, so intense his desire to lead others "into the kingdom," that Rev. J. W. Early, in 1869, licensed him as a Minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Three years afterward he was admitted into the Traveling Connection, and before he reached his twenty-third year had been ordained as Deacon and Elder.
Of the difficulties and privations that beset the early ministry of this earnest servant of the Church, the story is best told in his own words: "I have known what it was to follow the plow from Monday morning to Saturday afternoon and then preach to my congregation on Saturday night and all day Sunday.
"During the hard winter months the collection from my church would only be from fifty cents to a dollar and a half a week; and I was compelled to load bags of corn, bales of cotton
and hogsheads of tobacco to support my family, and then go three miles through the cold and snow to recite my lessons and then make my appointments on Sundays and Sunday nights, and many times my mid-week meetings."
"To him that overcometh!" Wonderfully has this promise been verified to Bishop Tyree. With love to God and man as his lode-star, the difficulties, privations, hardships of early life have proved stepping stones to eminent ecclesiastical position, wide public confidence, and untold influence for good. In May, 1900, he was elected to the Bishopric and is now in charge of the Tenth Episcopal District of the Church, whose jurisdiction takes in the Conferences of Indian Mission, Oklahoma Territory, Central Texas, Texas and West Texas.
REV. W. Henry Edwards, D.D., was born in February, 1864, in Egypt Ridge, Bolivar County, Mississippi. He was for several years a pupil in the public schools; his education was then broadened with a term at Southland College, Helena, Arkansas; three years of studious application at Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee; and a year of special work at Roger Williams University.
For five years he was engaged in school teaching in his native town, but in 1882 joined the Ministerial ranks of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, receiving his license from the Presiding Elder, Dr. Albert Jackson, having been converted and admitted to the Church four years before. In 1888, the death of his father left to his care the beloved mother, and, like John of old, he provided affectionately and generously for her wants.
The itineracy of Dr. Edwards began with his connection with the North Mississippi Annual Conference. In 1892 Bishop B. T. Tanner ordained him as Deacon, and the ensuing year found him an Elder through the authority of Bishop B. W. Arnett.
All through the Ministerial labors of Dr. Edwards, he has been specially interested in the building of new Churches, and three handsome edifices in his pastorates testify to his zeal in that direction. The crowning ornament to be found in every charge held by him is the constant, faithful, spiritual work, attested by the scores of converts, whom his earnest exhortations have guided into the "paths of righteousness."
For eight years Dr. Edwards has been one of the Secretaries of his Conference, and is also Grand Chaplain of M. W. Stringer Grand Lodge, of Mississippi, a Mason, a member of A. F. and A., and a valued brother in the fraternity of Knights Templar.
In 1904, McKinley Memorial University of Vincennes, Indiana, conferred upon him the distinguished degree of Doctor of Divinity.
[REV. HENRY ALBERT GRANT.]
THE subject of this sketch is an incumbent of the pulpit of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and is doing excellent work in building up his charge.
Rev. Grant was a student at Wilberforce University during the presidency of Bishop Daniel A. Payne, and received his License to Preach from Bishop Lee, at that time pastor of Holy Trinity, at Wilberforce, Ohio. His theological studies were completed later at the Western Theological Seminary in Allegheny City, Pa.
The first Pastorate of Rev. Grant was in connection with the Ohio Conference, being successively located at North Lewisburg, Marion and Mechanicsburg, Ohio, his efforts receiving the seal of Divine approval in the winning of many souls to Christ. He was then transferred to the Pittsburg Conference and stationed at Brown Chapel, Allegheny City, where his earnest admonitions, and heart-felt prayers were answered in the conversion of four hundred and fifty souls.
This gracious revival spirit has followed the Ministry of Rev. Grant during his pastorates in many of the leading Churches in the Pittsburg Conference, and he is often called upon to assist in Evangelistic services in sister churches.
As a writer Rev. Grant is well known throughout the A. M. E. Church, his pen being usefully employed upon religious and Race questions.
[REV. THOMAS J. BROAD-AX SMITH.]
ENROLLED in the old school of Ministers, Rev. Thomas Jefferson Broad-Ax Smith is pre-eminent for deep religious conviction manifested by a godly life and unswerving fidelity to the tenets of the great Church in which he gladly serves as one "set apart" for the proclamation of the fullness of salvation.
His father, Thomas Adison Smith, was a native-born African; his mother, whose maiden name was Steward, came from North Carolina, and their son, the subject of this sketch, first saw the light of day at Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania, in 1837.
When he was but twelve years of age the power of Infinite Love touched his heart, and connecting himself with the membership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the purpose of his life was bent towards becoming one of its most earnest Ministers.
The active work of Rev. Smith as an Ambassador of God began at Elmira, New York; his ordination to the Eldership took place at Avery Mission Church in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania; in 1869 he went as a Delegate from John Wesley A. M. E. Church to the General Conference at Washington, D. C. The year previous he had added to his store of religious knowledge by a course of study at the Theological Seminary in Allegheny City.
Notwithstanding the manifold duties devolving upon him in his Ministerial and Pastoral work, Rev. Smith, for a long time,
was Publisher and Manager of "The Pittsburg Colored Citizen" and later "The Pittsburg Wasp."
Rev. Smith is at present Local Elder and Missionary in Wylie Street A. M. E. Church, Pittsburg. He finds much inspiration and encouragement in the loving helpfulness of his wife, formerly Miss Rebecca Jane Smallwood, of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, who as an evangelist, deaconess and physician, a veritable tower of strength in winning souls for the Kingdom.
[REV. W. T. ANDERSON.]
LOVE of study and the apprehension that a knowledge of Medical Lore many times increased a Minister's usefulness in his pastoral work, led the subject of this sketch to the acquiring of attainments in both professions.
Rev. W. T. Anderson was born in Texas, August 20, 1859, and started his collegiate work at Wilberforce University, in Ohio, going later to Howard University, at Washington, D. C., where he won a diploma, to which he added another from the Homeopathic Hospital College, at Cleveland, Ohio.
His finely-trained mental powers, magnetic individuality and zeal in his work brought him desirable Pastorates in Ohio and Mississippi, and excellent results have attended his Ministerial labors. In 1897 he received the appointment of Chaplain to the Tenth Cavalry, which position he still holds.
Rev. Anderson is a Permanent Trustee of Wilberforce University, and was a Delegate to the last General Conference at Chicago.
WITH the snow of over three-score and ten winters upon his head, and the weakness of age telling upon his once stalwart frame, Rev. James Henry Davis Payne is still as devoted to the sacred cause of his Divine Master as in the days of youthful ardor and ambition. Even more, for a varied experience in life has revealed to him the unfailing strength and ever-present help of the great Heavenly Father, and the blessedness that flows from a living faith in the Source of all Good.
Rev. Payne was born July 10th, 1832, in Mason County, Kentucky, not far from the little city of Maysville, his mother being a slave and his father Rev. Philip Payne, a free man and a successful Minister of the Baptist Church, with which denomination his mother, also, was connected, until a short time before her death (which took place in Felicity, Ohio,) when she united with the A. M. E. Church.
In 1846, six years after the death of his father, young Payne was so fortunate as to escape from slavery into Ohio, which State was at once adopted as his home.
His conversion, which took place in 1840, was a wonderful event in his life. For years he had been resisting the influence of the Holy Spirit, but in the month of November of that year, in a hotel in Sandusky, Ohio, where he was employed as cook, Divine Grace flooded his soul and with the new birth came a call from God to the Ministry. For several years he remained out of the Church because of indecision as to the denomination preferred by him, but in March, 1851, after fervent prayer and thought, it was clearly revealed to him that the A. M. E. Church was the one to which his life-service should be pledged. He was at once appointed Class Leader and in the following September was Licensed to Exhort.
In 1853 he received his first orders as Local Preacher from Rev. E. Epps, and in August, 1855, was admitted to the Ohio Conference and sent by Bishop D. A. Payne to Meadsville Mission,
Pennsylvania, which included also the care of the Church at Erie City. Successful revivals attended the appointments.
The hands of Bishop Nazrey, in 1858, ordained him as Deacon and he was assigned to Pittsburg and Beaver where he had glorious manifestations of God's grace in the conversion of many sinners, but his health becoming impaired in the "Smoky City," the Bishop transferred him to the Hillsboro Circuit, at that time the largest in the Conference, embracing the Churches at Hillsboro, Wilmington, Washington Court House, Greenfield, Leesburg, Richland, Grassy Branch and Brush Creek, requiring three weeks to make the round. "Sometimes walking, sometimes riding horseback, sometimes riding in the cars; sometimes preaching every night in the week, and three times on Sundays." It is almost needless to say that the revival spirit followed this consecrated labor.
In 1860 a Church was organized by him, not far from Georgetown, which he served as Pastor for two years.
Rev. Payne, in 1864, enlisted in the 27th Regiment U. S. Infantry, and served as Quartermaster, Sergeant, and Chaplain, the close of the war preventing his official appointment to the last named office, for which he had received the endorsement of every officer. For one year after the mustering out of the regiment he worked as plasterer and brick-layer, and then resumed Ministerial labors at Flemingsburg Mission, Kentucky, still retaining his connection with the Ohio Conference, and in ten years was returned by Bishop Payne to the Piqua Circuit, being transferred, in 1870, to the Indiana Conference, preaching successively at Davenport, Iowa and Cambridge City, Indiana. In 1872 Bishop Wayman ordained him as Elder. During his connection with the Indiana Conference Rev. Payne purchased a Church in Connersville, also one in Fort Wayne.
He was again transferred, in 1873, to the Illinois Conference and held for two years important charges in its jurisdiction, returning then to Ohio to engage in Evangelistic work which was greatly blessed in many places. The regular work of the Ministry was resumed by him in 1884, in the State of Kentucky, he joining first the West Kentucky Conference, later working in the Kentucky Conference, being transferred again, in
1895, to his old camping ground, the Ohio Conference, and was sent by Bishop Arnett to Marietta and Belpre, afterwards holding the incumbency of pulpits at Westerville, Jamestown, and South Charleston.
Family affliction prevented his accepting the appointment to Jackson Mission in 1901, but in 1903 he was placed on the New Richmond Circuit, where he is laboring faithfully, his advanced age not preventing his watchful, unceasing care over the interests of his beloved Zion.
[REV. WILLIAM DECKER JOHNSON.]
SPOKEN of more than once as a probable possessor of Bishop's Orders, Rev. William Decker Johnson, President of Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, is eminently qualified by character and attainments for every duty that the great African Methodist Episcopal Church may lay upon him.
He was born in Calvert County, Maryland, in 1842, and received an education of ample scope at Lincoln University, from which he was graduated in 1868. Having entered the Ministry of the Church referred to above, he began active work in connection with the Florida Conference the year following the close of his College life, but in 1873 was transferred to the Georgia Conference.
Rev. Johnson's Christian spirit and comprehensive outlook upon the needs of the young people of his Race, in 1884, at the meeting of the General Conference at Baltimore, elected him Secretary of Education; he brought new life and systematic management into this important department of Church labor, and had the honor of presenting the first Educational Report to the General Conference at its convention at Indianapolis in 1888. For twelve years he ably filled this important post of duty without neglect of his Ministerial obligations which were made more onerous by the duties of Presiding Elder in Valdosta District of the Georgia Conference.
As President of Allen University, Rev. Johnson is meeting
with unshadowed success. A true Scholar, with particular fondness for History and Philosophy, keenly alive to the intellectual requirements of the day, the young people under his charge are encouraged and stimulated in every effort towards the attainment of strong, vigorous, useful soul-life.
Dr. Johnson has been honored with Classic and Literary Degrees by several of the leading schools in the land.
[REV. MARION FRANCIS SYDES.]
THE youngest of three sons born to Franklin and Caroline Sydes, the subject of this sketch was welcomed at their home in Eddyville, Illinois, August 18, 1866.
At the completion of his studies in the Public Schools he began preparation for the medical profession, but eventually decided to devote his life to the Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, his conversion and connection with that denomination taking place in his nineteenth year.
In December, 1887, he received License to Preach from Rev. Henry Brown at Shawneetown, Illinois, and in August, 1889, was admitted into the Illinois Conference, filling Pastoral appointments in Clinton and Normal Circuit and Paris Station; transferred to the Ohio Conference in 1890, he studied for a while at Wilberforce University, later attending a school in Hillsboro at the time when the Ohio Wesleyan had a branch in that little city; here he paid special attention to Greek and ranked first in his class.
In 1892 Bishop Payne conferred Deacon's Orders upon him and two years afterward Bishop Arnett consecrated him to the Presiding Eldership. After fifteen years of faithful service in Ohio pulpits, Bishop Derrick transferred him to the Pittsburg Conference, where he is now engaged in devoted Ministrations to the congregation of Bethel A. M. E. Church in Monongahela City.
The interest and ability of Rev. Sydes in public affairs was
proven in his receiving the appointment, in 1900, of the office of Census Enumerator of the 95th District of Ohio, and other important municipal positions have been held by him.
Rev. Sydes was congenially married on November 30th, 1895, to Miss Isanda M. Thomas of Normal, Illinois. A little daughter, Ruth May, blesses their home.
[REV. D. S. MOTEN.]
THE pastoral work of this wide-awake, cultured son of the African Methodist Episcopal Church has been mainly in the "Lone Star" State, where he is specially distinguished for his success in interesting young people in religious matters, particularly in service growing out of united effort in Christian Endeavor lines. Rev. Moten is a young man, just entering the splendid promise of middle life, having been born November 5th, 1865.
His education has been unwontedly liberal, embracing instruction in the public schools, Howard Institute, Paul Quinn College, Wilberforce University, completing his Theological Course at Payne Theological Seminary, in which Institution he was later a tutor in Hebrew, being especially proficient in the languages.
The first Ministerial efforts of Rev. Moten were connected with the last three years of his college course when he supplied the pulpits of Shorter and Lee Chapels, his work proving of spiritual and financial edification to these charges.
The office of Deacon was intrusted to him by Bishop D. A. Payne; Bishop B. W. Arnett consecrating him, at a later Conference, to the Eldership, transferring him at the same meeting to the Texas Conference and assigning him to the pulpit of the A. M. E. Church at San Antonio, where two years of untiring labor bore golden fruit; similar success attended a Pastorate at Terrell.
Rev. Moten is now the popular Pastor of the Church at
Fort Worth, and is achieving his usual success in arousing young people to a realization of their duties and privileges as Christians.
His ability has won marked regard outside of pastoral limitations, gaining for him high places of honor, among them: Conference Trustee of Wilberforce University; Member of the General Church Board of the Southern Christian Recorder; Secretary of the North East Texas Conference; and for more than six years the Chaplaincy of the Texas Volunteer Guard.
[REV. J. FRANK McDONALD.]
IN AN humble slave cabin, roofed with green willow rafters covered with boards, that stood beneath the swaying branches of a cottonwood tree in Lafayette County, Missouri, Rev. J. Frank McDonald came into a childhood of bondage during the uneasy, restless years preceding the War of the Rebellion. The desire for freedom burdened his childish heart, and at the age of twelve years he resolved to find it. With characteristic humor and pathos he says, "One night I overheard my mother praying to God to free her and the children. The next morning I opened a prayer-meeting with my brain in thinking and my legs in active praying, and when I closed that prayer-meeting I found myself safe within the lines of the 'boys in blue.'"
He was led by gratitude to present himself for enlistment before an United States recruiting officer, but met rejection owing to his youth. He at once engaged as a body-servant with a captain in the Second Colorado Regiment, whom he loyally followed through the smoke of battle, unterrified by the scream of shell or the showers of bullets and shot that fell around him. To his unbounded joy he was eventually accepted as a soldier in a company of Light Artillery, and enthusiastically took the oath of allegiance to the flag that stood for human freedom.
Receiving his army discharge at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, July 25th, 1865, he entered school at Independence, Missouri;
but he was not yet ready for the restrictions of the school-room, and in the Fall of the same year joined the United States Navy for four years.
But the future had a different life in store for him. While in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1874, he attended a revival service conducted by Rev. T. Wellington Henderson, D.D., and was so powerfully influenced by the Holy Spirit that he gave his heart to God and united with Allen Chapel, at the same time dedicating his life to the service of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. For awhile he attended Prof. J. H. Cole's school at Lexington, Missouri, during the period receiving licenses as Exhorter and Local Preacher; prior to his connection with the Missouri Conference at Columbia, Missouri, Bishop James A. Shorter presiding, he gained experience and increased his material good as a School Teacher.
In 1878 he was united in marriage to Miss L. Louise Sandford, of Macon, Missouri, and the same year was ordained Deacon, at Jefferson City, by Bishop Shorter; two years afterwards Bishop Ward consecrated him to the Eldership.
For twenty years as Pastor and half as many as Presiding Elder, Rev. McDonald has done effectual work in connection with Missouri Conferences; a work that will bless for time and eternity the scores of lives that have been turned by his presentation of truth into the glad and safe paths of righteousness.
His ability placed him at the head of the Western Christian Recorder when it was first published, and, in 1900, when the paper was made a Connectional journal at Columbus, Ohio, he was made Managing Editor, without salary, and the duties of the responsible position are still conscientiously and efficiently performed by him.
Dr. McDonald, for Wilberforce University in 1903 conferred upon him a right to the honored degree of Doctor of Divinity, has three times represented the Conferences of Missouri and North Missouri in the General Conference, and the Bishops, in 1901, appointed him Alternate Delegate to the great Ecumenical Council in London, England.
As a student Dr. McDonald cannot be surpassed. A lack of extensive collegiate privileges has been supplied by him with vigorous
and ceaseless application to his books; watching eagerly over the spare minutes that he might turn them into treasuries of golden thought and valuable information; and today few men in the A. M. E. Church can boast of wider knowledge of Biblical, historical and philosophical literature than that held by Dr. McDonald.
[REV. JOSHUA H. JONES, A.M., D.D.]
REV. Joshua H. Jones who, to-day, stands at the head of the first Negro University in America, and most ably engineers and cares for its important and complex interests, was born June 15th, 1856, at Pine Plains, South Carolina, at a time when the ominous shadow of approaching war rested heavily upon the country. Well he remembers the stirring days of the great Rebellion, the marching of soldiers to the front, their haggard faces that told the story of defeat on their return to their homes at the end of the struggle; he recalls the excitement attending Sherman's historic march from "Atlanta to the Sea," and his boyish face was among a great assembly of Negroes that, in 1865, listened for the first time to the reading of the immortal Proclamation that forever broke the shackles of bondage in this wide Republic. The scenes of that day are indelibly impressed upon his heart.
Dr. Jones remained with his mother on the old plantation, experiencing the poverty and hardships that followed the close of the war. During this period he united with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, fully realizing the importance of the step. Young as he was, the thoughts of the omnipresence and omniscience of the Creator, the finality of conduct, the beauty and importance of Truth, were deeply and often pondered by him and constituted the substance of his creed. At the age of fifteen years he taught in the Sunday School, and in a few months was
elected to the Superintendency, and by the time he attained his eighteenth year had served in all of the Lay Offices of the Local Church and was Licensed to the Ministry.
The acquirement of an education became his greatest ambition. Debarred from the Public Schools, he was continually on the alert for opportunities of learning and soon mastered the elementary branches. A book was nearly always in his pocket for perusal in unoccupied moments, and the pine knots in the wide fireplace of the cabin illuminated the open page while his companions played and gossiped.
At the age of twenty-one years he entered the Preparatory Department of Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, finishing the required work in 1880. After a year spent in Teaching and Preaching he returned to the University and took up the College Course, remaining until he was graduated in 1886 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Then came two years of zealous application at Howard University, Washington D. C., followed with the course of the Divinity School at Wilberforce, Ohio, graduating with the degree B.D., which Institution later honored him with the degree of Doctor of Divinity, Claflin University having previously conferred upon him the degree Master of Arts.
The Ministerial labors of Dr. Jones have been connected with many of the prominent pulpits in the A. M. E. Church. But he has also been a recognized leader in all things that have for their object the elevation of mankind in general and the Negro Race in particular. Especially active has been his energy along educational lines, and this interest made him a valuable member for six years of the School Board in the City of Columbus, Ohio, where he did efficient service in securing the employment of Colored Teachers in the mixed schools of the city. As Trustee of Wilberforce University, before his election to its Presidency, he was President Mitchell's right-hand man in securing the establishment of the Normal and Industrial Department of that famous school.
The six years that Dr. Jones has been the central figure in the government of Wilberforce University, have witnessed constant growth and prosperity in every department of the Institution.
His scholarship, experience, quick recognition of the value of suggestions made by those associated with him, appreciation of the requirements of the school, willingness to "spend and be spent" in the interests of the University, and kindred qualifications rank him with the best College Presidents in the country.
Dr. Jones has four children, whose success and usefulness in life fill his fatherly heart with just pride. His eldest son, who bears his father's name, was graduated at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and is now on the Reportorial Staff of the Providence Daily News; his second son, Gilbert H., won a diploma at Wilberforce University and is Principal of the High School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Alexander was also graduated from Wilberforce University and is also at the head of a High School in Metropolis, Illinois; his only daughter, Elizabeth, is the wife of a Minister of the A. M. E. Church, Rev. W. P. Q. Bird, Pastor of the A. M. E. Church at Lansing, Michigan, where she is actively engaged in Christian work.
[REV. HORACE TALBERT.]
IN October, 1864, a series of religious meetings were conducted in old Asbury Chapel in the city of Louisville, by Rev. George Downing, an evangelist from Lexington, Kentucky. At one service, selecting for his text St. Paul's importunate plea, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" his earnest words and exhortations sank so deeply into the heart of a little boy before him, that the child was constrained to turn to the Great Source of forgiveness and love, and to-day Prof. Talbert delights to recall the happiness and peace that came to him, after several days of seeking, in the blessed realization of pardon and acceptance from his Heavenly Father.
William Talbert and Jane Ellen Dory, his wife, were slaves, and to them on the twenty-first day of September, eighteen hundred and fifty-three, was born their son Horace, the sixth of seven children. Shut out by their servitude from all knowledge of books, by natural endowment they possessed the elements that go to the making of noble natures and strong characters, and the united wish of their hearts was the early turning of their children into the paths that lead to eternal life. Of his mother Rev. Talbert lovingly says, "she planted the seeds of piety and truth in my heart," and her prayers in his behalf are most tenderly cherished remembrances of his early days.
Even before his conversion this little eleven-year-old boy had an ardent longing to become "some day" a Minister of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Conversion turned the wish into resolution, to the great joy of his parents, who sacrificed many things to prepare their son for his sacred vocation. He first attended
MRS HORACE TALBERT.the school of Rev. Basil L. Brooks, in Asbury Chapel, but on the transfer of the pastor, he entered the well-known school of Prof. William H. Gibson, at Quinn Chapel. A little later necessity compelled him to work during the Spring and Summer in a tobacco shop, but he was enrolled as a student in a night school. He was employed during the winter on a steamboat on the Southern rivers, his wages being carefully hoarded and laid by to defray the expenses of a college course.
He had become a communicant at Asbury Chapel during the pastorate of Rev. Jordan W. Early, who soon noticed the boy's diligence in the study of the Sabbath School lessons, and, with others, was convinced that young Talbert possessed no ordinary mind.
Influential friends urged him to enter Berea College, but about this time his pastor, Rev. Robert G. Mortimer, who was conducting a High School in the basement of his church which was attended by some of the best young men in the city, was asked to take charge of the Language Department of Wilberforce University, and a number of his pupils decided to go with him, and Horace, then in his eighteenth year, was invited to join the party of students, consisting of William H. Gibson, Jr., W. Pratt Annis, W. H. Pope, James Owens, John Satterwhite and others; he accepted and by the middle of September, 1870, was vigorously prosecuting his studies in the English Department of the School.
In October, 1871, he was given License to Exhort by Prof.
Mortimer, of Holy Trinity, and four years later received Local Preacher's Orders from Rev. John A. Clark, pastor of Holy Trinity Church at Wilberforce, and was taken into the Ohio Conference
MOTHER TALBERT.at Springfield, Bishop Payne presiding, and later appointed, by Bishop Wayman, Assistant Pastor to Rev. J. G. Yeiser on the Springboro Circuit.
In two years more he had completed his studies in the English and Classical Departments of Wilberforce University, and on the day of his graduation, June 17th, 1877, Bishop Wayman assigned him to the Pastorate of the A. M. E. Church at Cynthiana, Kentucky, to fill an unexpired term. The following September he was ordained to the Deaconate at Midway, Kentucky, and returned the same month for a winter of study in the Theological Department of his Alma Mater.
It was his great desire to complete his college course at Princeton College, and in April, 1878, he went East with Bishop Payne, but, owing to providential circumstances, the journey was extended to Boston, where he was placed in charge of the A. M. E. Church at Cambridge, and thus given opportunity to take special studies in Greek, Hebrew and Philosophy at the celebrated Boston University.
His consecrated spirit and untiring vigor bore great and happy results during this pastorate, and to him the church owes the name it now bears,--St. Paul.
Ordination to the Eldership came in June, 1878, and his next charge was to Maley Street Church, Lynn, Massachusetts. From this city he was sent by Bishop J. M. Brown, to Bridgeport,
Connecticut, where a year's work produced much excellent fruit; transference to the New Jersey Conference and an appointment to the Church at Bordentown, New Jersey, coming in the Fall of 1881. Here he completed the beautiful edifice begun by
THE AUTHOR AT 17.his old Wilberforce room-mate, Rev. E. Winston Taylor, erected a Sabbath School Room, and brought four hundred souls into Church membership, and secured the Frisby parsonage; the little Church at Crosswick, four miles distant, also under his care, was greatly strengthened.
While in this work, the Bishops, in session at Cape May, ordered the organization of the Sabbath School Union, which was effected at Bute Street A. M. E. Church, Norfolk, Virginia, and Rev. Talbert was elected its first Recording Secretary. Rev. Talbert was next transferred to the New York Conference and stationed at Hamilton Street Church in the Capital of the State, the Pastor of which Church always took his turn as Chaplain of the Legislature.
The A. M. E. Church at Elmira, New York, was then fortunate in securing him as pastor, and through his efforts and the help of the well-known attorney, David Bennett Hill, (famous for his declaration "I am a Democrat,") the congregation became the happy owners of the beautiful property which stands on the corner of Fourth and Dickerson streets. Successful Pastorates at Owego, New York, and Jamaica, Long Island, followed, remaining at the last named place for three years, during which time he organized St. Johns Church, in East New York, and purchased lots and erected a handsome edifice at Westbury Station, Long Island, which was under his Pastoral care. He also founded the New York Conference High School, and assumed the Editorship and Management of "The African Watchman" and served as Presiding Elder of the Brooklyn District.
Buffalo, New York, was his next scene of labor, in which
city he organized a society of young men and women which has accomplished great good for the Church and Race.
From Buffalo he was called to the Chair of Languages at
THE OLD CABIN HOMEWilberforce University, but his broad mental culture and unusual Executive ability soon convinced the Trustees of the School that he was a man who could accomplish splendid things for the University if placed in a larger sphere of usefulness, and, in 1897, he was elected Secretary of the Institution, a place which he still holds to the great benefit of the School. For the long-sightedness of Secretary Talbert, his power of discerning what is to the best interests of the University, his ability to discover the weak places that must be strengthened, his wisdom of judgment, his sagacity in planning for the future, his conscientiousness and honesty of dealing, his kindly cultivated manner in presenting the aims and needs of the Institution, which is regarded by him as special work for God. These and other qualifications, make him the right man for
THE TALBERT HOME AT WILBERFORCEthe responsibility entrusted to him. It is said that he has collected more money for the College than any agent ever connected with it. He has traveled extensively through the East and West in its interests, and has won hundreds of friends for the School. It was through his personal influence, according to the following letter that the new Carnegie Library at Wilberforce was secured.
NEW YORK, 15th Feb., 1904.
HON. HORACE TALBERT,
SECRETARY WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY,
130 West 33d Street, New York,
Mr. Carnegie has considered the facts you set forth about Wilberforce University, and relying on your statements on behalf of the Institution that the Library will be liberally supported, Mr. Carnegie will be glad to pay for the erection of a Library building to cost Fifteen Thousand Dollars.
Very Truly Yours,
JAS. BERTRAM, P. Sec'y.
Mr. Carnegie has given the $15,000, and the handsome new Library Building on the campus now stands a monument to his generosity.
Through Professor Talbert's solicitations also, Mr. James Callanan, of Des Moines, Iowa, left by will $5,000 to the School, and Mr. Geo. W. Hardester, of Urbana, Ohio, bequeathed $6,000.
He also persuaded President Roosevelt to detail First Lieutenant B. O. Davis, of the 10th Cavalry, United States
Troops, as Instructor of Military Science and Tactics at the University, and now has a bill in Congress of the United States for an appropriation that will be of material benefit to the School in all of its Departments.
The home-life of Secretary Talbert is an exceedingly happy
one. On September 4th, 1879, he was united in marriage to Miss S. Frankie Black, at Washington, D. C., whose accomplishments and grace of womanhood have been blessings in his busy career. Fourteen children have been born of their union, ten of whom survive to gladden their parent's hearts with loving, willing obedience, and promise of great usefulness in future years.
The Talbert home was planned by Mrs. Talbert and built, for the most part, by the two older boys, Eugene Hunter and Henry Payne, who were trained in the Carpentry Department at Wilberforce, under Prof. L. W. Baker.
THIS splendid School, second in culture and Christian influence to none in the land, was born in the hearts and consciences of the Members of the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at its meeting in Hillsboro, Ohio,
Bishop Daniel A. Payne.
Bishop James A. Shorter.
Dr. John G. Mitchell.
FOUNDERS OF WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY.
September, 1853. It was only fitting that so grand an enterprise should be conceived in the little city, that a quarter of a century later was to inaugurate the most unique and remarkable temperance movement in the annals of the world--The Woman's Crusade.
Few schools welcomed colored students at that time. Realizing this, in September, 1844, the Ohio Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, awake to the needs of the young people of its Race, appointed a Committee to select a site for the
establishment of a Denominational School on the Manual Labor Plan. A fine farm of nearly two hundred acres, located about fourteen miles west of the City of Columbus, was purchased, and a school known as Union Seminary opened. It was poorly equipped and the instruction given proving as inferior as the equipment, it was not many years until the project was, of necessity, abandoned.
The Cincinnati Conference, at its Hillsboro Session, appointed a Committee consisting of the Reverends John F. Wright, Augustus Eddy, Asbury Lowery, Granville Moody, J. T. Mitchell, Wm. I. Fee and Chas. Elliott, men distinguished for Christian thought and practice, to investigate and formulate a plan for the Educational Advancement of the Colored People of Ohio, the report to be given at the next Annual Meeting of the Conference. So intense was the interest of this Committee in the cause, that Rev. Asbury Lowery visited Union Seminary with the intention of handsomely endowing it from his own purse. He was sadly disappointed to find it lacking in nearly all the required essentials of a good school.
In August, 1854, the Committee met in Cincinnati and made these two resolutions on the basis of their report: "First, to recommend the establishment of a Literary Institution of a high order, for the education of Colored People and the preparation of Teachers; and, Second, to recommend that an attempt be made on the part of the Methodist Episcopal Church to secure co-operation with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in promoting education among the Colored People."
The report met the commendation of the Cincinnati Conference, which appointed Rev. Jno. Wright agent of the contemplated college, and also instructed its Delegates to the General Conference (to meet the coming May, 1856) to enlist the sympathy and interest of that great Christian body, and so effectually was the work of the Delegates performed, that the report was accepted without a dissenting vote.
The following August a Board of Trustees, twenty-four in number, was organized in the law-office of Hon. Moses D. Gatch, at Xenia, Ohio, a Member of the Senate in the Ohio Legislature; the honored name of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, at that time
Governor of Ohio, and whose eventful life was distinguished by rare devotion to the sacred cause of abolitionism, is found on this Board of Trustees of the first University for Colored Youth in America. As the Cincinnati Conference had asked and welcomed the co-operation of the Conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, four members of this Board were colored men, Bishop Daniel A. Payne, Rev. Lewis Woodson and Messrs. Ishmael Keith and Alfred Anderson, chosen for their intellectuality, sound common sense and comprehensive grasp of the time and occasion. No difficulty was experienced in finding a location for the school, which in accordance with the suggestion of Rev.
The Original Building.
Dr. R. S. Rust First President.
Uriah Heath, of the Cincinnati Conference, was named Wilberforce University, in honor of the great English Apostle of Human Liberty.
Some of the friends of the School were rather doubtful as to the propriety of using the term "University," inasmuch as the enterprise, as yet, was but an experiment; thinking that School, Academy or even College would be in better taste; but bolder hearts realized that all work based upon the sure foundation of the eternal principles of right and justice carries within it the seeds of life and progression, and that "University" alone could worthily express the wonderful results to flow, in future years, in a ceaseless stream of blessing from its portals, and Wilberforce University was named; and every successful student, every honor
won and bestowed, is a pledge of victorious faith, not only alone to the noble founders, but also to him under whose venerated name the school is known to the world at large.
About three and one-half miles from the pretty County-seat, Xenia, Ohio, situated almost midway between Columbus and Cincinnati, was a pleasure resort, known by the Indian name of Tawawa Springs. The locality and surrounding country are rich in historic and legendary traditions of the red man. Scarcely two miles distant the doughty hero, Simon Kenton, ran the gauntlet near the tiny village of old Chillicothe, now known as Oldtown. The Shawnees raised their wigwams, built their
James A. Shorter Hall.
camp fires, hunted, fished and fought under the shade of majestic trees still standing.
Many streams and springs still bear the soft, romantic names given them long ago by these children of the forest. Near the handsome, commodious hotel and cottages that had been erected sparkled the clear waters of a chalybeate spring whose Shawnee name signified "bath of gold," in reference to the shining metallic hue of the stones under the flowing waters, and scarcely a hundred yards distant another pool of ever-fresh, soft, limpid water is still called "tears of silver," so named probably by its first discoverers from the traditionary silver mine which the Indians held to be a hidden treasure in the rocks. The resort was a favorite one with Cincinnati's best and wealthiest citizens.
The buildings had been ideally placed on the edge of a line
of cliffs that make this section of Ohio the most picturesque in the State, along which Massey's Creek winds its crooked way to the Little Miami river, not quite three miles distant, with a multitude of cold health giving springs bubbling forth from fern-decked ravines, and magnificent woodland stretching on either side to fertile, sun-kissed valleys. No more beautiful or suitable place for the environment of young people seeking culture of mind and heart, could have been found on the earth.
Fifty-four acres of land were purchased, the hotel remodeled for recitation rooms and various school purposes, and the cottages utilized as dormitories. In October, 1856, the Institution
was dedicated to its great work by Rev. Edward Thompson, D.D., L.L.D., at that time President of the Ohio Wesleyan University, later to be raised to the Episcopacy of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Under the care of the Cincinnati Conference, great pains were taken in the procuring of able and efficient instructors.
Rev. M. P. Gaddis, Jr., was the first Principal, but in June, 1857, he was succeeded by Mr. J. K. Parker, an educator of note, to be followed in June, 1859, by Rev. Richard S. Rust, whose rare foresight, strong mental powers, scholarly attributes and great executive ability fast increased the success and prosperity of the School.
In 1860 the number of students enrolled was over two hundred, all filled with ambition to attain the high scholarship that,
from the first, had been established by the Faculty. Many were from the South, a large per cent. of them being the natural children of the planters.
The breaking out of the Civil War apparently darkened the prospects and future of Wilberforce. No money came from the South, the Cincinnati Conference was unable to assume the financial responsibility, and in July, 1862, its doors were closed--to open when?
It was a dark hour for the friends of the University, for they were justly enthusiastic over the marvelous work accomplished in six short years. The religious influence of the school had been phenomenal, for hundreds of the students had entered the Christian life, and gone out into the world with new aspirations for noble manhood and womanhood. Some were to attain distinction for usefulness: Hogan as an Evangelist; Shorter and Jackson as College Professors; Cain as Missionary, Congressman, Founder of Paul Quinn College, and Bishop of the African Methodist Church; Hayslit, as the great Preacher of New England; Hunter, first Chaplain of the United States Army, and many others are honored names with the Colored Race, and they are sons of the early days of Wilberforce University. March 10th, 1863, was a tragic day in the history of the School. The Board of Trustees meeting at Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati, decided that the Institution must be sold for enough to meet its indebtedness. A large sum had already been offered for its use as an asylum. President Rust suggested to Bishop Daniel A. Payne that it would be a wise thing for the African Methodist Episcopal Church to become its owner. Bishop Payne asked time for deliberation, and was given until noon of the following day, the 11th of March. Never was soul placed in greater straits; time and distance forbade a moments conference with any of the leading men of his people. But this man, small in stature, knew the heart of his Church, and the love of his Race for the University that stood to them for the highest ideals in life. To refuse meant a step backward. With grave, resolute face, realizing the great issues at stake, he met the Trustees at the hour appointed and in a voice trembling with emotion said, "In the name of the Lord, I buy the property of Wilberforce University for the African
Methodist Episcopal Church." As one voice a mighty "Amen" came from those assembled, and involuntarily every knee was bent as the former President of the School asked the blessing of the great Father of all men on the decision of this devoted representative of his Race.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church nobly ratified the purchase of Bishop Payne though it meant an obligation of ten thousand dollars. By the eleventh day of the following June the Churches in the Baltimore and Ohio Annual Conferences had raised two thousand dollars toward the first payment; individual
Yellow Springs, O.
Geo. W. Hardester,
Bishop J. P. Campbell,
Endowment $1,000 00
subscriptions given Bishop Payne within a few days after the purchase amounted to over $500, Mrs. Mariah Shorter heading the list with $100. April 25, 1865, subscriptions were received from Reverends Henry M. Turner and David Smith, each giving $50, and $30 each from Reverends Henry Brown, John M. Brown, James A. Handy, W. H. Waters, S. M. Hammond, M. F. Sluby, D. W. Moore, B. T. Tanner, Gilbert Waters, Isaac Brown and Henry Rhodes; all splendid gifts that in more than one instance represented personal sacrifice on the part of the donor.
The title deed was placed in the hands of the Committee representing the African Methodist Episcopal Church; this Committee consisting of the well-known and highly regarded James A.
Shorter, Rev. John G. Mitchell and Bishop Daniel A. Payne. The Institution was then incorporated under the Laws of the State of Ohio, after which a charter was secured which provided that inasmuch as the deed specifically gave the University to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, that two-thirds of the Members of the Board of Trustees shall always be of that Religious Denomination, and likewise declared that no distinction on account of Race or Color should ever be made with the Trustees, Faculty or Students. Truly a Christian platform.
Bishop Daniel A. Payne was the first President of the University under the new regime, and an abler man never stood at college helm. He has been called "the noblest representative" of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. A profound theologian, of scholarly attainments in philosophy and the sciences, a fine linguist in ancient and modern tongues, thoroughly acquainted with the best literature, not only of the English language but that of Germany and France, his intellectuality won for him most cordial recognition from distinguished scholars of other lands.
Intensely devoted to the advancement of his Race, he stood in his day at the head of every Educational Movement in his Church, and has left a lasting impression and influence for good on the University so dear to his heart. Professor John G. Mitchell, a graduate of Oberlin and Principal of a Grammar School in Cincinnati, was placed at the head of the teaching force in the University, which began its work again in July, 1863, by teaching elementary English studies to the children of the neighborhood, who in a body marched from their school-room in Smoky Row to the Chapel and were enrolled as students of the University. Of this number but three survive, John A. Clark, (whose energy had kept the school together,) Andrew Holland and Mrs. Cornelia Austin Walden. Mrs. Walden had the honor of being the first student assigned a room in the dormitory of the original building. In a few months the attendance increased so rapidly that two additional teachers were employed, the choice falling upon Mrs. Fannie Mitchell and Miss Esther T. Maltby, both women of noble culture, the latter being made Assistant Principal, for which she was eminently qualified by strong Christian
character and intellectual training at Oberlin College. In a short time the responsibilities of the School fell entirely upon her shoulders, as Professor Mitchell was sent out as Financial Agent for the Institution.
It is fitting that the good women whose cheery counsels, encouragement and aid in all ways were of untold value to both teachers and students in these days of struggle for the existence of the school, should have an established place in its record of praise and honor.
The saintly characters of Eliza Payne, Mariah Shorter,
Chief Justice S. P. Chase,
Dr. Charles Avery,
Endowment, $10,000 00
Mary E. Monroe Fund.
Nancy J. Rouse, Ann Phillips, Margaret Davis, Catherine Delaney and Hannah McDowell live as immortals in the memories of the early students of Wilberforce. Mrs. McDowell, affectionately recalled as "Aunt Mack," organized a Sabbath School in connection with the University, holding its sessions in her home, Bishop Payne's residence; she was assisted in the good work by Mr. Isaac Lot, whose log cabin fronted "Evergreen Cottage."
A little settlement of notable folk had clustered around the college grounds, attracted both by the desire of educating their children and the beauty of the location. Of these are recalled Rev. Charles Satchell, a Baptist Divine of wide reputation; Rev. Edward Davis, who at the time of the founding of Wilberforce
was Principal of Union Seminary; Mr. John Griffin, whose earlier explorations in California and Australia made him a man of wealth; Rev. David Smith, truly a "patriarch in Israel," for up to the time of his death, at the very advanced age of one hundred and six years, he counted longer service in the Itinerant Ministry than any other living man. At the opening of the Spring Term, in 1865, seventy-five pupils were on the College roll. Classes were making marked progress in the ancient languages and higher branches of science and mathematics; the fame of the school was increasing and the sky of promise was apparently without a cloud.
On the fourteenth day of April, 1865, a majority of the pupils and all of the faculty, with the exception of Miss Maltby, were in Xenia, participating in the joyous enthusiasm that swept over the Country at the Fall of Richmond and the near prospect of peace, when, like a clap of thunder from a clear sky, came the startling cry "Wilberforce is burning." The students hastened to their beloved University to find it in flames, evidently the work of incendiaries.
The early morning hours of the next day brought tidings of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, which added to the already bitter grief of their hearts.
But Wilberforce University was not dead. As one has written, "Before the smoking pile had grown cold a resolution was passed to rebuild," and by the close of the year a large, handsome new brick building was well on the way, although it was not entirely completed and dedicated until 1876.
The college was not closed; a cottage was turned into a recitation hall, and both teachers and students made light of inconveniences attending their cramped environment, prosecuting their educational work with even greater ardor than before the catastrophe. Joseph P. Shorter, the most advanced student, was placed at the head of the school, with Thomas H. Jackson as assistant, Professor John G. Mitchell having been assigned the responsible work of soliciting from the public financial aid in behalf of the Institution. In one way the destruction of the school building was a blessing, as general interest and sympathy were aroused concerning it, and generous contributions flowed into its
treasury. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase bequeathed it $10.000; in 1870 Congress made an appropriation of $25.000; the American Unitarian Association contributed a lecture fund of $6.000, and a bequest of $10.000 came from Dr. Charles Avery's estate. During the thirteen years of Bishop Payne's administration the amount received was $92.875.
At the close of the school work, in 1869, the students gave a public literary entertainment on the college campus, the following programme pleasing the assembled multitudes, the date being Wednesday, June 30th.
On Thursday, June 30th, 1870, the first regular Commencement Exercises of the University were held according to the accompanying programme.
In 1876 a stress of literary work compelled Bishop Payne to give up the Presidency of the University, his resignation being accepted with great reluctance by the Trustees, for he had most materially advanced the interests of the School along all lines. During the thirteen years of his incumbency, fifteen hundred and fifty-three pupils took advantage of the educational benefits of the Institution. His teachers were among the best, being brought from England, Scotland, Oberlin, Amherst, Holyoke, Oswego. He resided on the campus, and that he was often found at work in the recitation room may be gathered from his report to the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal
Des Moines, Ia.,
JAMES A. AND MARIAH SHORTER,
Endowment, -- $2,000.00.
Church in 1876. He says, "I have regularly filled the chair of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy and Systematic Theology; have taught the French Language and Literature all the time; occasionally taught German and Hebrew, Botany and Universal History, to which, if you add Analytical Orthography and Orthoepy, you will see the kind of educational work your President had to perform in addition to the responsibilities of government."
Rev. Benjamin F. Lee, now the distinguished Bishop of the Ninth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was a worthy successor of Bishop Payne to the Presidency of Wilberforce University; a scholar in every sense of the word; possessed of experience as a teacher, having filled the Chair of Pastoral Theology, Homiletics and Ecclesiastical History in
his Alma Mater, the University that called him to its head. He was emphatically the right man in the right place, and entered with enthusiasm upon his work. His administration of eight years was characterized by indefatigable industry, official wisdom, unerring judgment and great personal sacrifice for the sake of the one thousand one hundred and seventy-nine young people that came to the doors of the University for mental and spiritual elevation during his incumbency. He had the heart-pleasure of seeing many men and women go out from under his care to fill honored and useful places in the world, and live noble lives of devotion to God and their Race.
During his eight years of service the financial receipts of the school amounted to $79,200,80. Called in 1884 to the Editorship of the "Christian Recorder," Rev. Lee was succeeded in the Presidency of Wilberforce University by Professor Samuel T. Mitchell, likewise a gifted son of the school, having been graduated in 1873. He came to the position from the Presidency of Lincoln Institute, at Jefferson City, Missouri.
For seventeen years he held the reins of government. Wisdom marked his administration, for the University made steady progress in everything that is required of a School of the Twentieth Century to make it ideal in character and influence. A monument to the sagacious judgment of President Mitchell exists in the establishing by the Ohio Legislature on March 19th, 1887, "The Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University," which is supported by the State, being placed on the same financial basis with other State Educational Institutions, receiving annually about $17,800.
Payne Theological Seminary was also founded during his administration. It is controlled by its own Faculty and Board of Directors. The death of President Mitchell in April, 1901, was keenly felt by all connected with the School, and came as a deep personal sorrow to the young men and women whose hearts and minds will ever bear the influence of his saintly character, rare personality and cultivated mentality.
The choice of the Trustees for the fourth President of Wilberforce University fell upon a Member of their own Board, and also one of the Alumni of the Theological Department, Rev.
Joshua H. Jones, a man of fine intellectual attainments, Claflin and Howard Universities having in earlier life counted him among their students; of rich, valuable experience as a Minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; of spotless character, enthusiastic for the attainment of the best in life for the young people in his charge, understanding what is needful for them in the development of character. President Jones does not suffer nor lose an inch of territory in comparison with his great predecessors; day and night he is possessed by one all-engrossing idea, the advancement of Wilberforce University in every and all things that mean moral, intellectual and material good. And to-day from its proud heights of true success, Wilberforce
University can justly and honorably claim to stand for the highest culture of mind, and the fullest development of Christian manhood and womanhood, recognizing the truth that the two are necessary to the formation of character.
Students now come to Wilberforce from far off Africa, South America, the West Indies, and from every State in our wide Republic. More, alas, every year, than can be accommodated in the school; and if friends of education could see the sad, sad faces of the young people who are of necessity turned away, they would help Wilberforce University to extend her walls, until the heart-desire of every ambitious boy or girl could be realized, and no school in the land offers them finer opportunities
for thorough preparation for life than does Wilberforce. Its Classical, Theological, Scientific, College Preparatory, English Preparatory, Business, Theological, Art, and Normal Courses are guided and taught by teachers of broad culture and tested experience. Practical, every-day work is demanded of students in the Industrial Department, which has its special branches of Stenography, Type-Writing, Cooking, Millinery, Printing, Carpentry, Sewing, Blacksmithing, Brick Making and Laying, Wheelwrighting and Scientific Agriculture The fertile acres that have been added to the college grounds being tilled and improved by the students.
As additional incentives for devotion to study and thorough self-improvment, Annual Prizes from funds donated for this purpose are given to pupils furnishing the best essays on prescribed subjects, and to those attaining the highest proficiency in Greek, Latin, Carpentry, and Dressmaking.
It may be added that the Literary and Industrial Exhibit of the University at the World's Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, won a Columbian Diploma and Medal.
Wilberforce University is the only School for Colored Youth possessing a Military Department, and through it two great objects are accomplished. First, patriotism is more staunchly developed in the breasts of the young cadets beneath the blue uniforms with the splendor of "Old Glory" floating over their heads. And, secondly, the daily drill gives an erectness of carriage and elegance of bearing that distinguishes the student throughout life.
No more attractive College Campus can be found than that of Wilberforce University, the beauty of its natural environment has been briefly told, but its buildings also attract by their solidarity and architectural proportions, with broad spaces of woodland or lawn between them. Shorter Hall (built during Bishop Payne's administration, on the site of the building destroyed by fire,) Howell Hall, O'Neil Hall (erected while President Mitchell was at the head of the School,) Arnett and Galloway Halls built under the direction of the Combined Normal and Industrial Board,) the Dormitory Cottages and other tasteful buildings devoted to special branches of the Industrial Arts,
attend the success and rapid growth of the School. A handsome Carnegie Library was erected in 1905. This structure is a splendid testimonial to the interest and enthusiasm of Rev. Horace Talbert, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and one of the foremost men of his Race, in advancing the prosperity of the University, for it was through his representations and influence that Mr. Carnegie was led to make the magnificent gift.
Wilberforce has just reason to be proud of her past, and of the bright, intellectual, progressive men and women that have engineered it so safely and successfully from shipwreck on the rocks of discouragement into the clear, calm waters of success and prosperity.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.
Its Secretaries have been men of sound integrity, mental ability and farsightedness; thoroughly conversant with the needs of the Institution and the responsibility of their duties. Those preceding Secretary Talbert were Rev. John T. Jenifer, Hon. Andrew J. Holland, Rev. Benjamin F. Lee, Rev. John A. Clark and Rev. James P. Maxwell.
The Roll of Honorary Alumni of the College is graced with names of National and State fame. The late President William McKinley and Hon. Frederick Douglas were of the number and by their presence at Annual Commencements evinced their interest and hearty co-operation in the liberal aims of the Institution. Others of this band are the Bishops of the African
Methodist Church, George T. Watkins, D.D., James H. A. Johnson, D.D., Theophilus G. Steward, D.D., John G. Mitchell, D.D., J. M. Meek, D.D., Cornelius Asbury, D. D., Rev. W. D. Johnson, Sylvester Weeks, D.D., J. C. Embry, D.D, Theodore A. Thompson, D.D., I. H. Welch, D. D., C. P. Nelson, D.D., Henry Hartley, D.D., T. W. Henderson, D.D., Scipio Roberson, D.D., D. H. Snowden, D.D., E. N. Yelland, LL.D., Peter H. Clark, A.M., C. L. Maxwell, LL.D., Charles Young, LL.D., J. P. Green, LL.D., Mr. A. S. Frazer and Senator J. B. Foraker. Not alone in business and professional ranks are the Alumni of Wilberforce University found: Chaplains in the U. S. Army are William H. Hunter, D.D., (appointed by President Lincoln, October 10th, 1863,) Rev. G. W. Prioleau, Rev. B. W. Arnett, Jr., Rev. W. H. Coston and Rev. W. T. Anderson; some have seen active service with their regiments, and all stand ready for duty at their Country's call. A large number of women graduates of the School are leading active, influential lives as Teachers in Colleges, Seminaries, and Graded Schools, and as Instructors in various branches of the Industrial Arts. Miss Hallie Q. Brown, of the Class of '73, called by her friends the "Queen of Elocutionists," has won National fame as a Teacher of Oratorical Expression, and her ability has been shown marked appreciation in the Foreign Countries through which she has leisurely traveled. Mrs. Mary Ashe Lee, the cultured wife of Bishop Benjamin F. Lee, is a contributor of beautiful poetic fancies to the literature of the day. She, with Mrs. S. Frankie Talbert, the wife of Secretary Talbert and of charming personality, were the first women of Ohio to be elected Members of a Township Board of Education, Mrs. Lee holding the office for two years and Mrs. Talbert for five years longer. Mrs. Elizabeth L. Jackson Mixon, Mrs. Mary E. Davis Yeiser, Mrs. Anna H. Jones Coleman, Mrs. Zelia R. Ball Page, Misses Copeland, Jenkins, Georgiana L. Whyte, Lizzie Baker Guy, Sadie E. Black Hamilton, are others whose names merit honor and regard for great usefulness in life. The list is long and notable.
Scholarships from Wilberforce have been held by many men and women whose intellectual gifts and success in life have brought fame and eminence to them. Among the best known so favored are
Prof. J. R. Gibson and Miss Luella Johnson of Texas, Prof. E. A. Delaney of Georgia, Prof. T. D. Scott of Ohio, and Miss Virginia Copeland, who was one of the two applicants that successfully distanced twenty-six College graduates in a Teachers' examination in St. Louis.
The present Faculty of Wilberforce University is strong in intellectuality and sterling character. At its head is President Joshua H. Jones, A.M., D.D., who fills the chair of Intellectual Philosophy and Logic. Vice-President William S. Scarborough, A.M., LL.D., Ph.D., Professor of Ancient Languages. Earl E. Finch, A.B., Professor of Mathematics; Bruce H. Green, Ph.B.,
HALLIE Q BROWN.
S. T. MITCHELL.
Professor of Natural Sciences and Instructor in German and French. Edward A. Clark, A.M., Professor of English and Instructor in Physical Science. Francis A. Lee, A. B., Instructor in Ancient Languages and French Campbell L. Maxwell, D.C.L, Dean of the Law Department, (Mr. Maxwell served as Consul General to San Domingo by appointment of President McKinley.) William F. Trader, LL.B., Professor of Law. First Lieutenant B. O. Davis, Professor of Military Science and Tactics; appointment made by President of the United States. Mrs. Samuel T. Mitchell, and Mrs Martha Carter, Matrons. Rev. George F. Woodson, D.D., Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament Greek. Rev. A. W. Thomas, S.T.B., Professor of Hebrew and Introduction. Bishop Benjamin T. Tanner D.D, LL.D., Lecturer
on Ecclesiastical History and Dogmatic Theology. Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett, D.D., LL.D., Lecturer on Ethics and Psychology. Bishop Benjamin F. Lee, D.D., Ph.D., Lecturer on Church Polity and Ecclesiastical Law. Bishop C. T. Shaffer, D.D., M.D., Lecturer on Africa. Rev. T. H. Jackson, D.D., Lecturer on Homiletics. John R. Hawkins, Lecturer on Practical Ethics. Sarah C. Bierce Scarborough, M. Pd., Principal Professor of Pedagogics and Literature. R. C. Bundy, Instructor in Mechanical Drawing. George T. Simpson, Instructor in Vocal Music Voice Culture. Charles S. Smith, Instructor in Stenography and Typewriting. Charles H. Johnson, Instructor in Drawing, William B. Busch, Instructor in Bookkeeping. William H. Marshall, Instructor in Printing and Binding. A. Irene Bond, Instructor in Dressmaking and Plain Sewing. Lizzetta M. Pinn Welch, Secretary of Faculty, and Instructor in Domestic Science. W. P. Welch, Instructor in Carpentry and Cabinet Work. William M. Hunnicutt, Instructor in Shoemaking. Minnie Battles, Instructor in Millinery. T. C. Davis, Instructor in Blacksmithing. Hallie Q. Brown, Special Instructor in the Art of Expression. Joseph P. Shorter, A.M., Superintendent of the C. N. and I. Department.
Commencement Week at Wilberforce University is the event of the Summer in that part of Ohio. Visitors come from all directions to hear the distinguished speakers whose addresses are an attractive part of the exercises preliminary to graduation day. Commencement Day is, of course, the banner day of the week, and it is the occasion that no one ever forgets. The immense canvas auditorium under the noble forest trees; the stately halls and the pretty modern homes of the professors that seem to breathe a cordial welcome to the stranger; the inspiring music; the thoughtful, enthusiastic faces of the students, and their easy, dignified delivery of oration or essay, combine to make an ineffaceable memory exceedingly pleasant to recall. The fame of the students of this University has spread far beyond its own borders. In the State Oratorical Contest, at Columbus, in 1894, W. L. Boards won first honors for Wilberforce; in the National Oratorical contest at Pittsburg, 1895, Warner White of the same University was given second place by the judges, and
the school affirmed its right to the first honor also, as Charles Morris, of Boston, Massachusetts, the successful winner of the first place had received his training from youth upward at Wilberforce University.
Forty-nine young people constituted the Senior Class of 1905, going out from us mentally and morally equipped for the crucial experiences of life. Through different channels Wilberforce University has nearly fifty thousand dollars endowment funds to be used for specific educational purposes, and royally does she provide the best for the intellectual needs of her young men and women. Thorough preparation for life is the strongest, the most
F. S. DELANEY, A.B.
convincing testimony that can be offered in attestation of the work accomplished by this splendid school. Its graduates are found as presidents, professors and instructors in the colleges, seminaries and public schools of the land; they are physicians, ministers, lawyers, editors, bankers, merchants, farmers, excellent mechanics and artisans; good husbands and fathers, tender wives and mothers; faithful in all of life's duties be they great or small.
The Formation of Character is the aim, the success, of Wilberforce University.
The principal asset of value in the life of Richard Allen, in 1787, when he opened the little, remodeled blacksmith-shop in the city of Philadelphia, as an Independent Church, founded on the Polity of the Methodist Church as established by the Wesley's, was faith in God. A faith that the early Apostles might have envied; a faith that persecution, storm and trial were powerless to shake or weaken, for it was wrapped around the eternal promises and drew its life from the source of Infinite Strength.
It was a similar faith in the hearts of Allen's followers that made the present power of the African Methodist Episcopal Church a possibility, for there was little in their outlook of hope or pledge of future might and influence. Ostracism and persecution from their white Methodist Brethren were not the only foes to be encountered; the illiteracy and poverty of their own Race were appalling forces to be met and overcome; but their simple, child-like trust in God's power and willingness to help never wavered, never faltered, and they were safely and triumphantly led to the shining heights of victory.
A volume of many, many pages would be necessary to tell even cursorily of the marvelous growth of the African Methodist Episcopal Church during the hundred and nineteen years of its existence. The seed sown by Richard Allen has multiplied a thousand-fold and the heaven-pointing spires of his beloved Church are gilded by the sunlight on both hemispheres.
The Minutes of the First General Conference, held in 1829, in Philadelphia, have been lost, but at the second gathering of that Ecclesiastical Body, four years later, in the same city, reports were read showing that the Church had extended its territory as far west as Cincinnati, Ohio, and comprised a membership of nine thousand and eighty-eight persons. At the last General Conference, held at Chicago in 1904, delegates were present from every State and Territory in the United States, and from Canada, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, Hayti, San Domingo, British Guiana, Cuba, the Windward Islands, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa,
and the Transvaal, representing a Lay Membership of 1,238,461 persons, and a Preaching Force of 12,960 Elders, Ministers and Deacons, for whose support the Church, during the last quadrennium, contributed $1,042,191.52; the insignificant blacksmith-shop having multiplied into Churches and parsonages valued at nearly eleven millions of dollars.
In May, 1816, when Richard Allen was crowned with Bishop's Orders, his most prophetic vision could not have foreseen that in the short space of sixty-four years the greatness of the territory of his beloved Zion would necessitate the unceasing care and labor of fourteen Bishops; and to-day, if those who have passed over the mystic river know aught of the work and progress in their former earthly home, the heart of the First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church must thrill with gladness unutterable as he sees the Institution organized by him for the worship of God and saving souls from sin, securely holding its place in the world as God's agent in all that is good, elevating, humane and beneficial to humanity. Its Missionary Board rejoices in the effective work accomplished in both Home and Foreign Fields; its Sunday School Department constantly reinforces the Church Membership with loyal and enthusiastic recruits; its Educational Board views with just pride the achievements of the schools under its special charge, Wilberforce University ranking highest, followed by Morris Brown College, Allen University, Paul Quinn College and other Institutions of lesser note, all doing excellent work, and to whose maintenance the Church yearly contributes thousands of dollars.
The Church Extension Board jubilates over the increasing number of houses of worship being built in different quarters of the globe; the Publication Board through its monthly and weekly journals keeps the Church Membership in touch with its wide progress and the great Religious and Educational movements of the world. Societies and Leagues (historical, literary and beneficiary,) are of potent force in directing the mentality and benevolence of the wonderful organization into broad, deep channels of advanced thought and Christian sympathy.
Still greater glory and usefulness rests in the unfolding years for the great African Methodist Episcopal Church. The
law of its being is its simple creed, "God our Father; Christ our Redeemer; Man our Brother." Sin, unrighteousness and prejudice are destined to vanish before the white banners of its mighty host whose weapons are Love and Light, both are of God and cannot fail.
"The future's gain
Is certain as God's truth."