The 1 September 1936 edition of Zion’s Landmark, a Primitive Baptist journal, printed a letter from Mrs. Charlie H. Wiggins of Elm City. “It is on my mind to write,” she began. “I don’t know why.” Wiggins meandered from thoughts of a recent service at White Oak Primitive Baptist to recollections of her great-grandfather James Bullock Woodard and his family to thoughts about London Woodard:
“We, the great granddaughters and sons, are thankful we descended from such a humble, honest God-fearing Primitive Baptist ancestor. Old Uncle London [W]oodard was a slave and belonged to great granddaddy Woodard. Old Uncle London became a Primitive Baptist preacher and was the founder of London’s Church, near Wilson. His wife, Aunt Penny, was a free negro. She bought her husband from great grand daddy.
“According to Elder [R.H.] Pittman’s, of Luray, Va. writings, in London Church was the first place he ever got in the stand and preached. I have a lot of curiosity about my ancestors. This is as far back as I can go on the Woodard generations. White Oak church and London’s have stood for several generations to come and pass on. I hope they will stand for the saints to go home and hear the Holy Child Jesus talked about.”
Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.