Ministerial Alliance

Ministers turn labor recruiters.

When tobacco processing plants could not convince or coerce or otherwise attract sufficient workers, Wilson’s office of the U.S. Employment Service of the War Manpower Commission turned to the Negro Ministerial Alliance. With a hiring center set up at Saint John A.M.E.Z. — the article says First Baptist, but that photo is Saint John — African-American ministers fanned out across Wilson with a basic message: “the harvest is ready and the workers are few.” (Delivered occasionally with a little of the Good Word.) In a week, they spoke with about 1500 people and signed up 700. [For perspective — Wilson’s total population in 1944 was about 20,000, of whom about 40%, or 8000, were Black.]


Wilson Daily Times, 8 September 1944.

Ministers Alliance expresses regrets.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 August 1932.

Benjamin F. Jordan of First Missionary Baptist Church submitted to the paper a tribute to tobacconist R.P. Watson on behalf of the Negro Ministerial Alliance of Wilson. Watson had been a benefactor of Mercy Hospital.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Sunday funerals.

Wilson Daily Times, 4 May 1935.

Presumably, the “secular organizations” holding funeral parades and services on Sunday were fraternal groups, masonic orders, and social clubs.


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.

President of Shaw University visits Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 January 1932.

William Stuart Nelson spoke at First Baptist and Calvary Presbyterian churches in January 1932.


  • Rev. J.T. Douglas
  • Ministerial Alliance — an organization formed of African-American ministers to address social issues and provide fellowship opportunities among Wilson clergy.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.