Of the progressive Baptists of Louisiana none have given signs of more spirit of push and pushfulness than Bishop Roy Arthur Mayfield, who was born April 8, 1876, near Vienna, La. It is said that he was a strange child, and that he never crawled, but one day all at once jumped up and went to running all about.
Before knowing what a school was he was versed in notation and numeration. He entered a Lincoln parish school when he was 10 years of age. After getting five heavy thrashings the first week from his teacher, Mr. S. L. Keels, who afterwards baptized him and became his lifelong friend, young Mayfield did good work under his teacher in his Blue-back Speller. In 1892 he entered the Ruston Colored Normal School under Professor S. A. Williams. After four years of hard study he graduated with honors. He first taught a little summer school with marked success. After closing this school term he went to Pine Bluff, Ark., to live with his cousin. By his diligence to Sunday-school and church work he won the admiration of the Arkansas people. He attended an Arkansas Summer Normal in June, 1897, and took examination, making second grade. Many of the young men did not know he was a teacher until he came to the Brick Yard (where he had been working with them) to bid them good-bye to take leave for his Summer School.
In the fall of 1897, the Ebenezer Baptist Church desired him to build a school for the Baptists in and around Homer, La., since they were denied the privilege of taking shares in a movement which afterwards became the C. M. E. College. The Baptists called for a man to be their Moses in this undertaking. Professor S. A. Williams, principal Ruston Colored Normal Institute, answered the call by recommending Brother Mayfield as the man. Bishop Mayfield was accepted and the work was begun January, 1898. His first whole session ended 1899, at which time he was able to build a small house for the public school. His ability to pass examinations soon won for him the principalship of the city public school, and today he is among the best first-grade teachers in the state.
He married Miss S. P. Legardy in 1901. During this same year he entered the ministry and was called to pastor the First Baptist Church, of Homer, where he yet pastors (1913). In 1905 he entered the Moody Institute and Wendell Phillips Schools, Chicago, Ill. After accomplishing much at these schools he took up study at Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., in 1906. After studying here two years he was compelled to return to his work at Homer, La., where he is now accomplishing much as a church and school builder, having founded and built up the Homer Normal, Industrial and Bible Training School.
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