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.]
- Rev. Fred M. Davis, First Baptist Church
- C.W. Foster, Wilson County Negro farm agent — Carter W. Foster.
- C.H. Darden, funeral director — actually, Camillus L. Darden.
- Rev. C.T. Jones, Ebenezer Baptist Church — Charles T. Jones.
- Rev. O.J. Hawkins, Calvary Presbyterian Church — Obra J. Hawkins.
- Charles James, of the funeral home
- Rev. Robert J. Johnson, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church
- Rev. E.H. Cox, Piney Grove Free Will Baptist Church — Eddie H. Cox.
- Rev. W.A. Hilliard, Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion Church — William A. Hilliard.
Wilson Daily Times, 8 September 1944.