committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

HISTORY

OF

Louisiana Negro

Baptists

BIOGRAPHIES.

PROF. R. P. PLAYER, NOTED TEACHER.

        March 11, 1876, this young man was born near Alden Bridge, La., of Mr. Samuel and Mrs. Maggie Player. At the age of eight his parents sent him to school at Cotton Grove (near Alden Bridge) to a Mr. Russell (white) as the public schools at that time were being taught by a very few colored teachers. So marked was young Player's interest in his books, and so studious did he become that he began to hold the "head of his class."

        At this early age he started up to take his place among the intellectual stars of Louisiana. He spent four years in public schools of his parish, and after studying "farmology" eight years he entered the Thirteenth District Normal and Collegiate Institute under Professor Wm. Hicks. Here he studied hard and graduated from the Normal Course with honors. He speaks as follows of his school life: "Although Rev. Hicks resigned before I finished, I confess that I owe much of the character building and general information needed to carry one over life's sea to him." After finishing the prescribed course of study here at this Institution, he was elected Assistant Principal of his Alma Mater, but soon resigned and accepted the principalship of the Butler Hill Public School, Shreveport, La.

        He began this work with only about 50 pupils in one rented room. But because of the large amount of hustle in his bones, and his indomitable will, he was willing to go up against adverse conditions, believing that with God on his side no night would get too dark, no road too muddy, and no hill too high. He got down to business and in a short while, by the assistance of God, white and colored friends, his 50 pupils grew in numbers to 450, and his little rented room gave way to a large two-story frame structure with six modernly equipped recitation rooms and a large auditorium. He is now (1914) the popular principal of this school, enjoying the confidence of his corps of teachers, hundreds of students, friends and the public school authorities of both parish and state.

        Prof. Player was converted at the age of 17 years, but owing to a continual "sending back to the wilderness," which was in vogue in those days, among the pioneer preachers (and which is much needed to be revived in these days), it was a year hence before he was baptized. Bishop I. S. Whitaker baptized him into the membership of the Evergreen Baptist Church, Alden Bridge, La. His pleasing manner and Christian deportment commended him to his church. He was elected clerk and annually represented his church in the Thirteenth District Association. The Association being favorably impressed, elected him Corresponding Secretary. During this time he was also appointed School Secretary. He is at this writing Auditor of the Thirteenth District Association of Churches and Secretary of the Association of Sunday-schools.

        Four years he owned and operated the Search-light Printing Office. In 1908 he married Miss Pearline Bailey. Two boys bless their union. Prof. Player's pleasing manner, upright character and religious sentiment predict for him future success.

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