Seventh Day Adventist Church

Margaret Caldwell and the Adventist school.

This entry appears in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory:

Who was Margaret Caldwell, and when did the Seventh Day Adventist Church begin operating a school?

The Seventh Day Adventists established a congregation in Wilson prior to 1920. The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson shows the church at an unnumbered address beside a house at 905 Atlantic Street. The school, presumably, occupied the same building.

In the 1930 city directory, Margaret E. Caldwell is listed as a teacher at the Seventh Day Adventist school, and her residence was at 1109 Atlantic (which was the home of Lehman and Nancy Woodard Barnes.) The church was listed at 907 Atlantic Avenue, with Napoleon Smith as pastor.

Caldwell did not remain long in Wilson. In August 1935, from Georgia, she contributed this article to the church’s Southern Tidings newsletter:

In its 8 December 1937 issue, Southern Tidings noted that Caldwell was heading a colored church school in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mount Hebron Seventh Day Adventist Church continues to operate a school at 700 South Pender Street. The Atlantic Street location is now home to Amazing Grace Church.

Photos courtesy of Google Maps.

A singer in evangelistic meetings.

“Who are the best-known African American voices in Adventist church music?

“Some may answer with selections from among today’s well-known songsters: Wintley Phipps, Charles Haugabrooks, the Aeolians. But there is also a good case to be made for names not so well known, their music sung by saints from week to week and year to year in a thousand congregations across the breadth of our world church: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Nothing Between My Soul and the Savior,” “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” “Give Me Jesus.” Isn’t it worth our while to remember who these individuals are? Their contributions to the spiritual growth and grounding of generations of Adventists and other Christians deserve more than the casual rendition of their songs. These composers and arrangers deserve our intelligent appreciation.

Charles Lee Brooks (1923-1989), born in Wilson, North Carolina, and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, began singing at age 4. Though keenly interested in classical music, Brooks is best remembered by Adventists as a singer in evangelistic meetings. As a personal memory, I was fortunate to serve as his teenaged accompanist during a memorable evangelistic series by E. E. Cleveland labeled the ‘Trinidad Triumph.’ Later, as an associate in the General Conference Secretariat, Brooks established the Office of Church Music and became its chair. He served as chair of the Church Hymnal Committee.”

— Excerpt from Nevilla E. Ottley-Adjahoe, “We Sing Their Songs: Significant Voices in African American Church Music,” Adventist Review,