Religion

Rev. John H.M. Pollard, rector of Saint Mark’s.

Rev. John H.M. Pollard.

Rev. John H.M. Pollard led the congregation at Saint Mark’s Episcopal for two years. Writes Patrick Valentine in The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches of Wilson, North Carolina, 1856-1995:

John Henry Mingo Pollard succeeded William Perry as minister in charge in 1900. Pollard, consecrated a priest in 1886 and noted for his work in Charleston, S.C., served as North Carolina’s Archdeacon of the Convocation Work Among Colored People (1900-1908). He took a sharp cut in pay to come to North Carolina but the field ‘is larger and the Church atmosphere more congenial.’ Pollard appears to have been a sincere, thoughtful, positive man of great energy. ‘Most people say that the Church is not making any progress …. The Church as she is, is good enough for me.’ ‘The fact [is] that this small work has a very large influence for the good in the diocese.’ In addition to at St. Mark’s, Pollard had charge of six other missions.

“Under Pollard’s direction the number of communicants increased to twenty-six. When he came to Wilson he cited the need for a missionary home and school house, estimated at $500, as one of three top priorities for colored missionary work in the diocese. Pollard was in charge for two years, then was succeeded by Basil B. Tyler who stayed two years. [… After Tyler left,] John Pollard returned briefly and was then succeeded in September 1905 by yet a third Reverend Perry, Robert Nathaniel Perry.”

Photo courtesy of “A Visual History of the Diocese,” https://www.episdionc.org/uploads/images/a-visual-history-of-the-diocese_580.pdf

Pray to God for rain.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 June 1944.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 62 East Nash, wood and coal salesman Henry Edwards, 73, widower.

Henry Evan Edwards died 21 November 1944 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 March 1869 in Greene County, N.C., to Lafayett Edwards; and lived at 620 East Nash Street. He was struck by a car while crossing a street. Joseph Edwards, 620 East Nash, was informant.

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35 When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them,

36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

37 If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,

38 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house,

39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind),

40 that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.

The obituary of Rev. J.O. Vick, A.M.E. minister.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 May 1945.

A.M.E. minister James Oscar Frank Vick, died just a year before his eldest brother Samuel H. Vick.

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In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: grist mill worker Daniel Vick, 38; wife Fannie, 35; children Samuel, 16, Nettie, 14, Earnest Linwood, 12, Henry, 10, and James O.F., 8; plus boarders (nephews) Frank O., 20, and Marcus W. Blount, 26.

O.F. Vick is listed as a second-year English student, Preparatory Department, in the 1892-1893 catalogue of Biddle University [now Johnson C. Smith University], Charlotte, North Carolina.

I have not determined when Vick graduated from Gordon Theological Seminary, but by 1902, he was well-established in the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Boston District.

Boston Globe, 10 June 1902.

On 30 June 1903, the Fall River Evening News reported that J.O. Vick had been transferred the A.M.E.’s New York Metropolitan District. His first known pastoral assignment was at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Kinderhook, N.Y., just south of Albany.

Courtesy of Dennis Dickerson’s The Past Is In Your Hands: Writing Local A.M.E. Church History (1989).

New York Age, 2 February 1905.

In mid-1906, a Brooklyn newspaper noted that Rev. Vick had taken charge of Bethel A.M.E. in Freeport, New York, on Long Island.

The Brooklyn Daily Times (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 21 July 1906.

By 1909, Rev. Vick led yet another Bethel, this time in Olean, New York, about 40 miles south of Buffalo.

Times Herald (Olean, N.Y.), 31 March 1909.

In the 1910 census of Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York: clergyman James O. Vick, 40, boarder in the household of Willard, a day laborer, and Frances Reaze, who were white.

Buffalo Evening News, 28 February 1910.

Between 1910 and 1914, Rev. Vick married Ella Ruth Reeves and assumed duties at Emmanuel A.M.E. in Montclair, New Jersey.

In the 1914 Montclair, New Jersey, city directory: Vick James O Mrs nurse h 26 Myrtle av; also, Vick James O Rev pastor Emmanuel AME  Church h 26 Myrtle av

In the 1915 state census of Montclair, New Jersey: at 14 Miller, clergyman James O. Vick, 34, and wife Ella R., 29.

Rev. Vick held refreshingly progressive views:

“Why I Am Going to Vote for Equal Suffrage, By Fifty Montclair Men,” The Montclair Times, 2 October 1915. 

Between 1915 and 1918, the family moved again, this time to Easton, Pennsylvania, about 70 miles north of Philadelphia on the Delaware River.

In 1918, Rev. James Oscar Vick registered for the World War i draft in Easton. Per his registration card, he was born 10 March 1874; lived at 416 Canal, Easton; was minister of the gospel at Union A.M.E. Church, 439 Ferry, Easton; and his nearest relative was Mrs. Ella Ruth Vick.

Rev. Vick’s signature on his draft card.

During the first half of the 1920s, Rev. Vick pastored at several A.M.E. churches in northern New Jersey, including Mount Teman in Elizabeth and Heard in Roselle, but settled in Princeton by 1926.

In 1920 census of Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey: M.E. Church pastor James O. Vick, 46; wife Ruth, 36; servant Emma Robins, 22; and niece Fanny M. Vick, 10. [Like her uncle, Fanny Vick was born in North Carolina. I’m not sure whose daughter she was.]

In the 1920 Montclair, New Jersey, city directory: Vick James O Rev rem to Easton Pa

In the 1921 Elizabeth, New Jersey, city directory: Vick James O Rev pastor Mt Teman AME Church h 16 S Union

In the 1926 Asbury Park, New Jersey, city directory: Vick J Oscar h 126 Atkins av

In the 1927 and 1928 Princeton, N.J., city directory: Vick J Oscar pastor Mt Pisgah AME Church h 22 Jackson; also, Vick Mrs J Oscar (Ella R) 22 Jackson

In the 1930 census of Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey: clergyman James O. Vick, 49; wife Ella R., 35; and adopted son Victor, 0, a “foundling.”

In the 1931, 1932 and 1933 Princeton, N.J., city directories: Vick J Oscar (Ella R) pastor Mt Pisgah AME Ch h 10 McLean [Sidenote: Mount Pisgah’s modest former parsonage at 10 McLean Street is now valued at more than a million dollars.]

In the late 1930s, Rev. Vick assumed his last assignment at Trinity A.M.E. Church in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Asbury Park Press, 5 March 1941.

 

Please let them go to church.

In February 1918, the Colored Ministerial Union published an appeal to white Wilsonians to adjust the working hours of their “colored help” to allow them to attend daytime Sunday services. 

Wilson Daily Times, 4 February 1918.

The life and times of Wilton M. Bethel, part 3.

Wilton M. Bethels collection includes several large group photographs mostly taken on the campus of Saint Augustine’s, the Episcopal Church-affiliated college for African-Americans in Raleigh, North Carolina.

One of the earliest appears to be the formal portrait below of nine African-American men. In 1996, J. Robert Boykin III, who rescued the collection, sought assistance from Sarah L. Delany (of “Having Our Say” fame) to identify them.

On the top row, they are Rev. Henry Hudson (“my classmate”), a 1910 graduate of Saint Augustine’s collegiate division; Professor Charles H. Boyer (1870-1942) (“my teacher”), Saint Augustine’s professor; Rev. Charles Mail, priest at Oxford, North Carolina; Wylie B. Latham, a mail clerk in Raleigh and member of Saint Ambrose Episcopal Church; and perhaps Mr. Latham’s son.

Seated are Rev. James E. King, priest at Saint Ambrose from 1896 to 1913; “my father” the renowned Bishop Henry Beard Delany (1858-1928), first African-American Episcopal bishop in North Carolina and the second in the United States; Rev. James K. Satterwhite, Saint Aug graduate, priest at Saint Ambrose from 1913-1919 and then in Florida; and Rev. Robert N. Perry (“1st cousin of my mother, Nanny L. Logan”) and priest at Wilson’s Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church from 1905-1919.

Below, a photograph of student nurses and, perhaps, staff of Saint Agnes Hospital, established in 1896 on Saint Augustine’s campus. This image appears in Saint Aug’s 1927-28 Annual Catalogue. Bethel’s collection contains several loose snapshots of campus buildings. Did he take them for the college’s use?

Below, a group of lay people and clergy standing in front of another presumed campus building. (Can anyone identify it?) Wilson’s John H. Clark, a longtime lay leader at Saint Mark’s Episcopal, stands furthest left. The man standing second to the right of the girl on the front row is unidentified, but appears in snapshots in Wilton Bethel’s photo album.

John H. Clark (1863-1949), Wilton Bethel’s father-in-law.

Another large group standing on the steps of Saint Augustine’s Hunter Building.

Below, an industrial arts class at Saint Augustine’s College.

Another mixed group of clergy and lay people, presumably at Saint Aug. John H. Clark is seated on the second or third row, directly behind the man on the front row with his hat on his knee.

This shot, probably dating to the late 1930s, depicts a dinner gathering of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance employees in Goldsboro, N.C. The guest of honor, N.C. Mutual’s long-time president Charles C. Spaulding, is seated below the welcome sign, wearing a bowtie. Goldsboro was Bethel’s home office. I don’t see him in the shot; perhaps he was the night’s photographer. (Notice the folding chairs borrowed from the occasion from funeral director Lawrence T. Lightner.)

In the photo below, a bow-tied John H. Clark overlooks a large group of people gathered at one side of what appears to be a church or school building. It does not appear to have been taken in Wilson at Saint Mark’s. I am not certain, but the man on the third row, at right, standing beside a woman in white, appears to be Rev. Robert N. Perry.