minister

Another history of London Woodard and his church.

img-6.jpeg

img-7.jpeg

Rocky Mount Telegram, 29 January 1960.

The take-away:

  • London’s Primitive Baptist is possibly the oldest African-American church in Wilson County.
  • London Woodard was born in 1808. In 1827, James Bullock Woodard purchased him for $500 from the estate of Julan Woodard.
  • In 1828, London Woodard was baptized at Toisnot Primitive Baptist.
  • In 1866, he sought permission to preach among his people.
  • In 1870, he was “dismissed” from Toisnot so that he could pastor the church he founded. He died lass than a month later.
  • London Church appears to have become disorganized after Woodard’s death, but in 1895, Toisnot P.B. dismissed several “colored brethren and sisters” who wanted to reestablish worship at London’s. The same year Union (now Upper Town Creek) P.B. released Haywood Pender, George Braswell, Dublin Barnes, and couple Charles and Rebeckah Barnes for the same purpose.
  • London Woodard married Pennie Lassiter, born free about 1810 and possessed of considerable property, including 29 acres purchased from James B. Woodard in 1859. [Penelope Lassiter was his second wife. His first, Venus, was enslaved.]
  • London and Pennie Woodard’s children were Priscilla (1846), Theresa (1848), Hardy (1850), Haywood (1852), William (1854), and Penina (1858). “Another child was probably named Elba, born in 1844; she was working for the John Batts family in 1860.” [London and Venus Woodard had nine children; Elba was not among either set.]
  • Many “old-time colored Christians” remained members of the churches they attended during slavery. Their children and grandchildren, however, gradually formed separate congregations.

——

  • Haywood Pender — in the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Haywood Pender, 50, farmer; wife Feraby, 45; children Mollie, 39, and Ann, 8; and grandchildren Gold, 5, Nancy, 3, and Willie, 16. Haywood Pender died 15 July 1942 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 October 1852 in Wilson County to Abram Sharp and Sookie Pender; was a farmer; was a widower; and was buried in Piney Grove cemetery, Elm City.
  • Dublin Barnes — in the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Doublin Barnes, 25; wife Eliza, 21; daughter Sattena, 2; and Jane Thomas, 12, farmhand.
  • Charles and Rebecca Barnes — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmhand Charley Barnes, 50; wife Rebecca, 57; and children John, 26, William, 23, Annie, 17, Tom, 18, and Corah, 12.
  • George Braswell

He lived a fine Christian life.

7 22 1944.png

Wilson Daily Times, 22 July 1944.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Wade Barnes, 33; wife Adline, 25; children John, 6, Willis, 3, and Varina, 1; and Dury Simons, 60.

On 23 November 1894, John A. Barnes, 21, of Wilson County, married Sarah Jane Staten, 23, of Wilson County, at Margarett Staten‘s in Wilson. Witnesses were Aaron Sharp, William Weaver and George Weaver.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County:  day laborer Johnny Barnes, 25; wife Sarah, 29; and children Victoria, 10, Robert, 8, Ella, 2, and Johnny, 8 months.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: John Barnes, 36, church preacher; wife Sarah, 38, dressmaker; and children Robert, 16, Mary E., 12, John E., 11, Wade, 8, Rosa L., 4, and Frank, 3.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Lipscomb Road, farmer John A. Barnes, 44; wife Sarah J., 45; and children Ella M., 22, John, 20, Wade, 17, Rosa L., 15, Frank, 12, Willie C., 10, Bessie M.C., 8, Roy L., 7, and Elson, 6. John Jr. and Wade worked as wagon factory laborers.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: at 739 Lipscomb, owned and valued at $2000, farmer John A. Barnes, 55; wife Sarah, 55; aunt Lucy Bynum, 65; and son Frank W., 23, cook at cafe.

Mary Ella Barnes died 24 March 1934 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 July 1897 in Wilson County to John Allen Barnes of Wilson County and Sarah Jane Staton of Tarboro; was single; worked as a laundress; and resided at 403 Viola Street.

In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: at 739 Lipscomb Road, garden worker John A. Barnes, 65; wife Sarah J., 71; son John A., Jr., body work-Hackney Bus Bodies; daughter-in-law Emma, 35, laundry; son Wade, 36; grandson James D., 17; and grandchildren George, 15, Odell, 13, and Margaret McAllister, 10, and Inez Tart, 9.

John Allen Barnes died 20 July 1944 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 January 1879 in Wilson County to Wade Barnes and Adeline Bynum; was married to Sarah Jane Barnes; lived at 739 Lipton [Lipscomb] Street; and was a preacher.

“The official business of Christ.”

11 20 1937 CTimes.PNG

The Carolina Times, 20 November 1937.

Elder C.L. Faison is elusive in census records and directories of Wilson, and apparently divided his time between Wide-Awake and Durham, North Carolina, where his Church of God in Jesus Christ, New Deal, Inc., was incorporated. Per his death certificate, Cluster L. Faison died 27 March 1963 in Durham. He was born 9 September 1889 in McCrae [McRae], Georgia, to Eli Faison and Della Thorpe; was a clergyman; and was married to Isabelle Faison.

The Joneses’ resting place.

Safe in the arms of Jesus.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born “horseler” Henry Johnson, 76; wife Luisa, 46, cook; and children Gertrude, 19, Mertie, 17, Walter, 10, and Richard, 8 months.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook Susan Jones, 42; her children William E., 23, tobacco stemmer, Levi H., 22, barber, Charles T., 20, tobacco stemmer, Butler E., 19, tobacco stemmer, Mary J., 15, Nancy A., 11, Luther, 8, and Harvey L., 2, plus niece Arnetta Sexton, 8.

Charles T. Jones, 24, married Gertrude Johnson, 22, on 23 April 1903 in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of William Gay, Lucy A. Richards and Rosa Farmer.

John Daniel Jones died 14 March 1914 of catarrhal pneumonia in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 June 1913 to Chas. Jones and Gertrude Johnson and resided on Nash Street.

On 20 September 1914, Butler Jones, 34, son of Henry and Sue Jones, married Mirtie Brodie, 28, daughter of Henry and Louise [Kersey] Johnson, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister H.E. Edwards performed the ceremony, and Ed Cox, Chas. T. Jones and Minnie McDaniel witnessed.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 667 Nash Street,  minister Charlie Jones, 41; wife Gertrude, 39; children Ruth, 16, Charlie, 14, Elwood, 12, Louise, 10, and Sudie, 4; plus mother-in-law Louisa Johnson, 65.

On 24 December 1926, Simon Plater, 30, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, son of Simon and Birdie Plater, married Ruth Jones, 22, daughter of Charles and Gertrude Jones of Wilson. The bride’s father, a Missionary Baptist minister, performed the service in the presence of Gertrude Jones, Louisa Johnson, and W.E. [William Elwood] Jones.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Harper Lane, farmer Charlie T. Jones, 52; wife Stella [sic], 49; and children William E., 23, farm laborer, Louise M., 20, and Sadie, 14.

Sudye Jones died 4 March 1937 of meningitis in Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was 21 years old; was born to Charles T. Jones of Hertford County and Gertrude Johnson of Wilson County; was a student at Bennett College; and was single. Rev. Charles T. Jones, 412 East Vick, was informant.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 412 Viola, owned and valued at $2000; Charles Jones, 61, janitor at Vick School; wife Gertrude, 59, a tobacco factory stemmer; daughter Ruth Plater, 35, divorced, teacher; grandsons Torrey S., 12, and Charles S. Plater, 11; son-in-law Ruel Bullock, 35; daughter Louise, 30; grandsons Jacobia, 7, Robert, 6, Harold, 4, and Rudolph, 7 months; and granddaughter Barbara Jones, 6.

In 1940, William Elwood Jones registered for the World War II draft in Halifax County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 6 January 1907 in Wilson; he resided in Halifax, North Carolina; his contact was mother Gertrude Jones, 412 East Vick Street, Wilson; and he was employed by Weldon City Schools.

Charles Thomas Jones died 2 September 1963 at his home at 412 North Vick Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 October 1878 in Hertford County, North Carolina, to Henry Jones and Louisa Copeland; was married to Gertrude Jones; was a minister; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Informant was Ruth Brown, 906 Faison Street, Wilson.

Louise J. Bulluck died 27 June 1968 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1909 to Charles Thomas Jones and Gertrude Johnson; was married to Ruel Bulluck; resided at 412 East Vick Street; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Informant was Ruth Brown, 906 Faison Street, Wilson.

Mary Gertrude Jones died 17 September 1968 in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 February 1880 to Henry Johnson and [Louisa] Kersey; was a widow; had worked as a tobacco factory laborer; resided at 412 East Vick Street, Wilson; was buried at Masonic cemetery.

Ruth Jones Brown died 24 September 1970 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 February 1904 in Wilson to Charles T. Jones and Gertrude Johnson; was married to Edwin J. Brown; was a teacher; and resided at 906 Faison Street.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018. The headstone, of course, was engraved by Clarence B. Best.

Clergymen.

Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1947).

  • William W. Askew, Baptist — William Wesley Askew. Per his death certificate, William Askew died 2 March 1956 in Wilson; was born 13 March 1890 in Bertie County, North Carolina, to Isaac and Mance Askew; was married to Elizabeth Askew; worked as a minister; and resided at 1104 Rountree Avenue.
  • W. Samuel Barnes, Baptist — pastor of a Missionary Baptist church.
  • Frank F. Battle, Baptist — pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist church.
  • Chester B. Beamon, Methodist — A.M.E. Zion minister.
  • Walter Bobbitt, Baptist– Walter Lee Bobbitt, pastor of Saint John Free Will Baptist. Per his death certificate, Bobbitt died 26 February 1952 at his home at 109 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson; was born 19 November 1896 in Pitt County to Sidney Bobbitt and Millie Payton; was a minister; and was married to Annie Bobbitt.
  • Edward H. Cox, Baptist — Eddie Harrison Cox, pastor of Piney Grove Free Will Baptist. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: minister Eddie H Cox, 49, and wife Carrie H., 32.
  • Hattie Daniels, Holiness — Hattie Owens Daniels. Per her death certificate, Hattie Daniels died 25 April 1979 in Wilson; was born 4 July 1900 in Chester County, Georgia, to Mack Owens and Mary Gardner; was widowed; resided at 908 Wainwright Street; and was a minister and kindergarten teacher. Informant was daughter Deborah Daniels of the home.
  • Fred M. Davis, Baptist — Fred Marshon Davis Sr., pastor of Jackson Chapel First Baptist and others.
  • Jacob Edwards, Holiness
  • John A. Everette, Methodist — pastor of Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church.
  • John L. Hart, Apostolic — John L. Hart died 6 February 1963 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 28 January 1901 in Wilson County to Benjamin Hart and Temie Ann Jones; was married; was a minister. Elouise Hart, 1200 Washington Street, was informant.
  • Obra J. Hawkins, Presbyterian — Obra Jeffrey Hawkins, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian.
  • William A. Hilliard, Methodist — William Alexander Hilliard was pastor at Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion Church. In 1942, he registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card: he resided at 119 Pender; his mailing address was 2449 Woodland Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri; he was born 14 September 1904 in Greenville, Texas; his contact was Mrs. Veta Watson of 2449 Woodland; he was employed as a minister in the A.M.E. Zion connection serving in Wilson.
  • Jefferson Holloway, Methodist — pastor of an A.M.E. Zion church. Jefferson Davis Holloway died 7 November 1982 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 November 1885 in Wilson County; was married to Ella Holloway; and resided at 323 Griffin Street.
  • Edward Ingram, Holiness — pastor of Nazarene Holiness Church.
  • Robert Johnson, Episcopal — Robert Josiah Johnson, Saint Mark’s Episcopal.
  • Charles T. Jones, Baptist — Charles Thomas Jones, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
  • George Little, Baptist — pastor of Mount Zion Free Will Baptist Church. George Washington Little died 1 April 1957 on the A.C.L. railroad tracks near Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 July 1910 in Wilson County to Wash Little and Louise Barnes; worked as a minister and laborer; resided at 606 North Carroll Street. Louise Little was informant.
  • William McLondon, Holiness — pastor of Mount Zion Holiness Church.
  • Otto E. Sanders, Presbyterian — Otto Edward Sanders, former pastor of Calvary Presbyterian.
  • R. Buxton Taylor, Methodist — Russell Buxton Taylor, A.M.E. Zion minister.
  • William Thomas, Baptist — pastor of a Missionary Baptist church.
  • Cleveland Thompson, Holiness
  • Roosevelt Wheeler, Holiness — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 812 East Vance, minister Roosevelt Wheeler, 26; wife Minnie, 24; and lodger Jessie Edwards, 17.
  • William E. Willoughby, Holiness

Celebrating 50 years in the Episcopal priesthood.

William Hines, Ann J. Hines, Anna Burgess Johnson, Rev. Robert J. Johnson, Wilton M. Bethel, Rev. O.J. Hawkins and Rev. David Yates, 1960.

  • Ann J. Hines — Anna Johnson Goode Hines (1927-2010) was the daughter of Robert and Anna Johnson. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, she married Charles Edwin Hines, son of Wesley E. and Mary Ellis Hines, on 19 December 1957 in Wilson.
  • O.J. Hawkins — Presbyterian minister Obra J. Hawkins.

Photo courtesy of History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).

Studio shots, no. 32: Geneva Jones Bailey.

geneva jones bailey

Geneva Jones Bailey (1876-1959) with her Bible.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Jones, 35; wife Lucy, 25; and children Catharine, 8, James R., 7, Louisa, 4, Geneva, 3, and Rosa L., 10 months; plus Mary Boykin, about 45, mother-in-law.

On 20 December 1893, at the residence of Richard Jones in Old Fields township, John D. Bailey, 24, son of Hill and Mary Bailey, married Genevia Jones, 18, daughter of Richard and Lucy Jones.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 31; wife Geneva, 23; children Rhoda, 4, Pearl, 1, and Mary L., one month; plus servant Lillie Bagley, 35.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 35; wife Jeneva, 33; Rhoda, 15, Pearlie, 12, Mary L., 9, Lonnie, 8, Ora, 6, John T., 5, William H., 4, Melton P., 2, and Richard H., 1.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Bailey John D (Geneva) lab h 509 Church.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Church Street, oil mill laborer John Bailey, 60; wife Geneva, 52; and children Johnny, 16, James, 14, Perry, 21, and Jerry, 24 (both railroad laborers); plus lodgers Mack Miller, 35, an auto mechanic in a garage, and Mary P. Williams, 74, a private nurse. Bailey owned the house, valued at $2000.

Geneva Jones Bailey died 29 September 1959 at her home at 516 Church Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, he was born 6 March 1876 in Wilson to Richard Jones and Lucy Boykins; was a widow; and had worked as a tobacco factory laborer and minister. Rev. James H. Bailey of Riverton, New Jersey, was informant.

This extraordinary photograph is courtesy of Findagrave.com contributor James Morgan.

Artist, lawyer, preacher.

On 15 September 1939, Cora L. Bennett, a writer employed by the Works Project Administration interviewed William Arthur Cooper for the Folklore Project. The transcript of the interview is housed at the Library of Congress. Here is an excerpt:

William A. Cooper, artist and preacher gives the story of his life as follows:

“My work has been my life. Whatever degree of success I have had has come about, I believe, as a result of my dogged determination to do something tangible for my race.

“I was born in the country near Hillsboro, N.C. As a small boy I worked on the farm. I worked in the tobacco fields, worming and stemming tobacco as well as in the cotton fields. For about four months in the winter I attended a Mission school in Hillsboro for negros. In summer time I worked as a janitor and some times as a cook or house boy.

“When I was about fourteen I began to support myself, and soon there after went to the Industrial Institute at High Point, N.C. as a work student. I worked on the school farm,
got up at five o’clock in the morning to milk the cows, plow and hoe cotton and corn, and anything else that needed to be done. While I was at this school I also took up brick laying along with my other studies.

“From High Point I went to the National Religious Training School at Durham, N.C. There I took the four year Theological Course. Still working my way through school, I received the Bachelor of Theology Degree from that institution.

“As soon as I had finished I went to Wilson, N.C. where I started out as an insurance man, and at the same time preaching at a small church on Sunday.

“I went from there to Burlington, N.C. where I was elected Principal of a high school. I also served as Principal of the high school at Graham, N.C. and taught at various other places. All this time I was studying law at night and passed the State Bar examination in 1922.

“I became interested in art for the first time a few years before this. I was in bed with a severe cold and while lying idle I thought I would try to do two pictures illustrating the Biblical quotation: ‘Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, but straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be who
find it.’ The members of my church were quite pleased with the pictures. Their pleasure encouraged me a great deal, and from that time on I began to paint other things. It was then I started painting the members of my race, anybody I could get 3 to sit— field hands, teachers, children, cooks or washerwomen. I had taken no formal lessons at the time but I kept right on trying to see what I might do.

“I have attempted to show the real negro through art. I believe that unless we have some record of the negro that is neither burlesqued with black face nor idealized with senmentality, the younger generation of negroes will be deprived of inspiration from their own race. …”

——

William Arthur Cooper (1895-1974), preacher, lawyer, and artist, painted the portraits of Negro field hands, domestic servants, children, religious and civic leaders and business executives. As a member of the North Carolina Interracial Commission, Cooper made a “good will” tour to colleges and universities in North Carolina where he exhibited his portraits and lectures on art and black culture.

Cooper’s papers, housed at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, include: “Biographical materials; correspondence, concerning portrait commisions, lectures on art, and exhibitions of his work; two account books containing expenditures; receipts; a journal, 1935, containing expenditures and notes concerning his “good will” tour; a report on the tour; Cooper’s publication Educating Through Fine Arts; his book A Portrayal of Negro Life, 1936, which contains reproductions of his portraits acompanied by his explanatory text, and documents related to the book including proposed plans, sales records, and a typescript of the book which contains portraits not included in the published version; price lists for Cooper’s paintings; exhibition catalogs, clippings, miscellany, and a book by Charles C. Dawson, ABCs of Great Negroes; and 36 photographs of Cooper, of his friends and church members, and his portrait paintings.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 9.02.59 PM

The Bathing Girl (1932).