As you have observed, the associations are older than the conventions, and the churches are older than the associations. This is clear since churches make associations and associations make conventions. The first association was organized in 1837 by Elder Joseph Willis, and was called the Louisiana Baptist Association. This body was formed of churches he had previously organized. Dr. S. T. Clanton says the Louisiana Southern Association was organized in 1865, the first after Freedom. We can point with pride to this as the first distinctive Negro Baptist Association of Louisiana, but not the first association organized by a Negro. Elder Willis' organization was of a mixed membership, while the one former by Elder Sanders and others was entirely of freedmen.
These Christian workers grew, waxed strong, and led by our pioneer fathers did much good in those stormy days of our denomination's infancy. They were officered by Elder Sanders and others who won many hard-fought battles while digging out the rubbish of sin, superstition and ignorance that the mudsills of New Testament doctrines might be laid. Hats should be taken off to them for having set up these landmarks by which we are safely guided today. Further mention of this father of all Louisiana Negro Baptists and organizer of the state's first association will be made elsewhere in this volume.
As previously stated, this body was organized by Elder Charles Satchell and others, in 1866. They did not like the name "Southern Baptist Association," and consequently took issue and organized the First Free Mission Association. This body made rapid progress and accomplished much. For some time it vied with the Louisiana Southern Association in the matter of organizing churches and spreading the Gospel along the lower and upper coasts of the Mississippi River. Finally the First Free Missionary and the Southern Baptist Associations came together and began doing business under the new name--"First District Missionary Baptist Association." This body, which will be spoken of later, has done and is doing a commendable work.
This body was organized in New Orleans, La., in 1866 by the following brethren: Bishops George W. Walker, John Marks, Esau Carter, Charles Satchell, Alex Armstrong, R. H. Steptoe and others. Besides having preached the gospel and established churches in New Orleans and along the coasts of the Mississippi River, it has fostered an Old Folks Home.
Sister Joanna P. Moore has the following to say with reference to the founding, development and growth of the Home: "The most pitiful objects I found in New Orleans were the old freed women worn out with years of slavery. They were usually rag pickers, and had a little hut where they lodged at night, and ate old scraps they had begged during the day. There was in the city an Old Ladies' Home, but no department for colored, and there was no alms. These old people you sometimes found on the streets, because for some reason they had been turned out of their little corner and had nowhere to go. Sometimes the police took them up and lodged them in the parish prison. They were soon turned out of this because they were guilty of no offence, save age, poverty and sickness. The colored people had tried several times to collect money for a Home, but something always happened to the treasurer before they got enough to open a Home. For two years I made this a subject of prayer. Nothing was done until 1878, when I called together those whom I thought the most interested, both colored and white friends. For several weeks we unitedly asked God to supply this great need.
"About the last of January, 1879, the Lord said: 'Go Forward.' Deacon Lease (white) was selected to hunt a house which he soon found. The first story was fitted up for the aged, and our missionaries moved into the second story. I first prayed for some one to take care of and to cook for these pilgrims. Katie Lewis was the answer to this prayer. I wish you could have seen her. She was about seventy years old, tall and as dignified as a queen, and wore her turban as gracefully. While a slave she was a head cook and general manager in the home of a rich planter. She was a good Christian and had correct ideas about most things. I had never met her. The first day she came to my home she said: 'Sister Moore, I am Katie Lewis. The Lord showed me in a vision that I must come and help you take care of those little babies (as she called the old slaves). I am old but have good health, and know how to cook and I want to help you missionaries that the Lord has sent down in this low-ground of sorrow. Now I am ready to go to work.'
"This and more she said in a very direct and business way. I accepted her as God's gift. She did not ask for any money. Dear Katie certainly was a God-send and remained as long as I had charge of the Home, leaving the day I left because she would not serve under a colored matron.
"Our first inmate, Sallie Henderson, a rag picker, old, dirty, cross, sick, was received February 1, 1879. She had been unkindly treated so long that she thought no one loved her, and I am sure she did not love any one, and yet she was a Christian, but down in a very low class of which we have so many in our churches. Brother Wilson had a cart in which for more than a year he brought the old people to the Home without charge. At first Sallie did not know my plan to leave the old rags behind. Poor Sallie had several bags of them. I succeeded in burning some of them, but it almost broke her heart. I offered her nice new garments, but she preferred the old rags, because she said I am used to them. We had the same trouble with most of our inmates, and yet we found among these neglected ones a few real saints, from whom I learned many lessons of gratitude. I had saved up $55 with which we began. Within one month we had five inmates, and that money was all gone and some additional gifts. But our motto over the mantle said: 'The Lord will provide,' and in that our faith rested while we prayed, and according to the promise to supply our needs a check of $15 from Miss E. C. Prudden, of Wheaton, Ill., came the very day it was greatly needed. Two years later she gave us $450 to help us pay for our property. I had met this friend the preceding summer, and told her about my old women, but she had not heard that the Home was started. The Spirit that moved us to pray said to her: 'Send this money to Sister Moore for the old people.' I wish I had time to tell you of the many remarkable answers to prayer in that blessed Home. We never went in debt, but when the oil and meal were nearly gone, the old saints joined me in asking supplies from our Heavenly Father. They all knew that God was our Treasurer. The first year we sheltered 22 weary pilgrims; none of them were well; six were cripples, one blind and two unable to leave their cots were cared for like babies.
"I must say a word about two or three of "our babies." Harriet Taylor was a poor drunken woman, whom I found often in an Irish woman's saloon. After much coaxing I finally persuaded her to come and see my Home. She was partly drunk. I led her to the street car, and because it was nearly dark I succeeded in getting the wretched woman on. My Home was one block from the car line, and I had hard work to drag her to the house. She was determined to go back. We could not do much for her that night, and the next morning she asked for whisky and said she would die if she did not get it. Once she had been a professing Christian. I said, 'Harriet, whisky is killing your soul and body. We will ask God to take away this wicked appetite, and then if you believe you will be saved.' We prayed and glory to God the answer came. Some days after Harriet said: 'I don't study about whisky. I prays and I prays; sometime I feel light and happy; sometimes low down and sorrowful, but I keeps on praying." Harriet was brought to the Home a perfect wreck, and yet God restored her physical health so that she was a great help in taking care of Margaret Jones. She was a hundred years old. She had fallen on a pavement in December and was never afterward able to walk. A kind-hearted sister gave her a room in which there was no fire. Different persons brought her something to eat. The day I found her she was about to be turned out of this shelter. I brought her to my Home, laid her on a cot and took care of her for more than two years, and then she moved to Heaven. I wish you could have heard her say for every favor she received: 'I thank you, Master Jesus.' and often with tears of gratitude rolling down her withered cheeks she would turn and thank the one who brought the gift from Jesus. Harriet had never met Margaret before, and yet she cared for her as tenderly as any daughter ever cared for a mother.
"We had several inmates who were addicted to drink. All were not so completely saved as Harriet. One day in my visits I saw a little child leading a blind woman across one of the back streets. She walked very slowly. I asked where she lived, and we climbed a dirty stairway. 'Here,' she said, 'this is my home.' I asked, 'where is your bed?' 'I sleep on the floor in one corner this little girl's mother allows me to have.' 'Have you a home in Heaven?' 'No, I have no home on earth nor in Heaven,' and the tears flowed from her sightless eyes. I said, 'Wait here till I come back.' I went out and made an inquiry about her, and all the neighbors said, 'Do take her to the Home.' This I did but the car driver did not want to take such a filthy object into the car. He did not see the immortal soul that now shines in glory. After several attempts we succeeded in crowding in. When I got home it was long after dark, because poor blind Lucy could walk so slowly. Katie Lewis was feeling anxious lest something had happened to me. She met me at the door. 'What is that thing,' she said with contempt. The light revealed Lucy. 'A human being for whom Christ died,' I replied. 'O, Sister Moore, you do not know the dirt and disease you are bringing into this Home. You will ruin us.' At first she did not want to help wash Lucy, but when I had all ready, she came, saying, 'You go away and I will do all this.' Soon after Lucy was converted. She met me one evening exclaiming: 'O, Sister Moore, I have seen Jesus, and now I have a home on earth and one in Heaven.'
"Jane Burk was about one hundred years old, and was quite active. She knew how to care for the sick, of whom we had many. She was our peacemaker, and such persons are much needed in all homes, especially one like ours where dwelt so many old bodies and souls, weary and full of pain and unhappiness. Every little thing hurts them. We feel that those younger and stronger often lack the tender sympathy that God wants given those who have "borne the burden and heat of the day.'
Patsy Shaw, one of our inmates, was a character that any one could love. She was reared in Virginia and could read and write. She and her husband were sold to a trader, and were auctioned off in New Orleans about forty years previous. She was sold to a citizen of New Orleans. She begged him to buy her husband. He took Patsy home, but for three days she refused to eat, weeping bitterly. He was a humane man and for pity sake bought her husband. This bound her to the family by chords of love. Shortly after his wife died, leaving two children in Patsy's care. The father was now an invalid and very poor--the family having lost all their property. They were Catholics. Patsy was a strong Baptist and still had her Bible and hymn book which she brought from Virginia. The white children she had reared begged me to take Patsy into the Home as they were unable to care for her. I said I will send a cart for her, for she had been unable to leave her bed for several years, and they cared for her. 'O, no, I will never send my mammy in a cart. We will get a hack and bring her if it takes the last cent.' So the brother and sister brought her, carried her in, laid her on the cot, knelt beside her and wept like children, while Patsy's old black hand wiped the tears away and she comforted them with loving words as I suppose she did when they were little children. They came to see her as often as possible. Patsy was a real lady of culture, fond of flowers and pretty things. One morning her face fairly shone. I asked, 'Patsy, what makes you look so happy?' 'O, Sister Moore, Jesus came last night and told me he had my mansion ready.' That light never left Patsy's face until Jesus took her into the light of Heaven.
"I have told you about the good folks. I like to remember them. But surely we did have some rough and coarse natures with which to deal. One was Patience Jorum. She would take her staff and strike the others, if they offended her. Yet she insisted that she was a Christian, and that the Lord gave her a spear and said, 'My little one, go into yonders world and spear my people.' To this command she was very faithful. I am sorry the world has so many like her. A large number died in our Home because they were very old and sick when we took them in; and because those admitted were both old and sick. We not only cared for their worn bodies, but directed them to the Great Physician, and none left our Home without giving evidence of readiness for the Home in Heaven.
"I wish I could introduce you to one more of that forty inmates, and show you how beautifully they grew under the culture of God's Word. We repeated texts in the dining-room, prayer room and everywhere. They could memorize one each month. 'Did prayers alone supply your needs each month?' you ask. I answer, 'Yes.' Letters often came enclosing money without any name, and provisions were received when we didn't know the donors. Persons in the North whom I had never seen sent boxes of clothes. I wish you could have seen our old folks when we dressed them up on Sundays and state occasions--white turbans, white neck handkerchiefs and gingham aprons. They never felt dressed without an apron. When these gifts came I wrote grateful letters telling of the work being done. At the end of the year I published a report and sent it to all who had helped, and so the good news spread not by telling what we were going to do, but by praising God for what we had done. The fact that something has been done encourages individuals to give.
"The colored Baptist churches in New Orleans began to give monthly, and the little children from the Sabbath-schools came trooping in with glad songs, and put their offerings of money and provisions in the old wrinkled hands and received a 'God bless you.'
Once George W. Cable sent me $10. Rev. Hartzell, now Bishop Hartzell, did the same, also Dr. Holcome and other white people in New Orleans. I remained in charge about three years, and stood by the work until the property which cost $1,500 was paid for. The price was $2,500, but in answer to prayer the owner donated $1,000 without being asked to do so. I then gave the Home into the hands of the colored Baptists with the earnest request that they would not go into debt. They tried to obey, but when hungry, incurred debt, saying as an excuse, 'Sister Moore, we are trusting God to get us out of debt which is just as good as to give us money before we go into debt.' Their philosophy is very popular today, but not-withstanding all mistakes Faith Home has made, she has lived 24 years, and today shelters many poor of New Orleans. To God be all the glory.
"Before I close this narrative I must refer to a lesson I learned in the Home. It is this: YOU MUST LOVE BEFORE YOU CAN COMFORT AND HELP. Referring to my first annual report of Faith Home, I find the following record: In starting this Home I hoped to accomplish three things. (1) To care for the aged poor. (2) To teach greater faith in God's promises. (3) We hoped that this Home would teach the people the Bible plan of giving--to lay by from their income a portion for the Lord as He had prospered them, each according to his ability, and not resort to such wrong methods as suppers, concerts, fairs and such things; and going about begging contributions from the world."
Thus you see from the above what this veteran missionary, Sister J. P. Moore, has done for our people. Too much worthy of praise cannot be said of her. She has labored among us for more than fifty years with marvelous success; and is now (1914) active on the field. She was among the first to come and help us when freedom came. The First District brethren will always feel grateful to her. This mother association has worked well and accomplished much. According to the minutes of its forty-fifth annual session it comprises today sixty-nine churches. Perhaps there are other churches that did not represent. The membership of the District is 3,397. This is the nestor association of the state, since it has in it the first churches organized after Emancipation. Its present officers are (1911): Elder J. H. Fleming, Moderator; Elder Thomas Columbus, Vice Moderator; Elder A. Hubbs, Recording Secretary; Brother R. Johnson, Corresponding Secretary, Bishop Jackson Acox, Treasurer; Bishop M. S. Gordon, Statistician. Executive Board Members: Bishops E. D. Sims, J. R. Lawson, G. W. Tony, John Brown, S. Wilmore, Levi Leach, L. H. Ben, J. L. Burrell and Ed. Coleman.
This is one of the state's oldest associations. Unfortunately I have not been able to gather full information as to when, where and by whom organized. With all probability it is the work of pioneer fathers just after the order went forth to district the state. Like the other associations it has satisfied a long-felt want and rendered yeoman service in the matter of lifting Christ up in South Louisiana.
At this time (1912) President Allen and his corps of officers are doing much in the way of spreading Gospel truth throughout the associational bounds.
Officers: Elder T. Allen, President; Elder J. Payne, Vice President; Elder G. D. McGruder, Recording Secretary; Elder J. Dumas, Corresponding Secretary; Elder E. Stewart, Treasurer; Elder B. Bell, Missionary. Executive Board including the above brethren: Elders J. Wallace, J. Tumor, H. Roe, R. N. Waters, A. J. Favors, V. Baily, G. Western, B. P. Lee, L. S. Hopkins, J. J. Ellis.
The B. B. and O. Association has the following staff of officers: Bishop W. P. Darrington, President; Bishop J. E. Walker, Recording Secretary; Bishop R. W. White, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. Gains, Treasurer, and J. W. Brown, Missionary. Executive Board (including above officers): Elders S. H. McCall, S. H. Sneed, H. B. Bland, A. B. Stamper, A. D. Turner, R. C. Garrison, J. Newman, T. H. Jefferson, S. A. Alexander.
Inability to get data telling fully of the work of this body prevents me from saying all I would like to say about it. I am pleased to record, at any rate, that this organization has been a force for good in South Louisiana. The labors of these brethren have touched the work of charity at the Old Folks Home in one way or another; the educational work at Leland and other points, and have quickened Spiritual life throughout their associational bounds. Too much cannot be said in honor of the old ministers of this District for well done pioneer work. The younger preachers have been and are standing today on foundations laid by the fathers of this District years ago.
The following brethren comprise the staff of associational officers: Elder Robert Vernon, President; Elder A. P. Orlage Vice President; Bishop I. H. Perkins, Recording Secretary; Bishop E. A. Watkins, Corresponding Secretary; Bro. H. Williams, Treasurer; Elder A. W. Warren, Missionary.
Sister A. E. Randall, President; Sister M. Daniels, Vice President; Sister F. D. Blanchard, Recording Secretary; Sister A. J. Baker, Corresponding Secretary; Sister E. Johnson, Treasurer; Sister Mary Williams, Missionary, and Sister M. E. Jones, Assistant Missionary.
This Association was organized by the pioneer fathers in 1875 on the 12th day of April. Consolidated December 10th, 1883; incorporated December 12th, 1881; re-organized April 12th, 1895, and on January 24th 1901, it was re-incorporated.
In 1905 and prior the Fourth District Association held jurisdiction over or in the following parishes: East Filiciana, West Filiciana, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Point Coupee, Iberville and Livingstone Parishes.
This body of Christian workers, in 1905, was led by the following staff of officers: Elder Robert Morrison, D. D., Moderator; Bishop W. M. Taylor, Vice Moderator; Brother L. F. Germany, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. D. Smith, Recording Secretary; Elder Joseph Foster, Treasurer; Elder J. Mitchell, Missionary for East Side of River, and Bishop P. W. Silket, Missionary for West Side of River.
Executive Board, including the officers: Bishops S. D. Nance, Isaac Anderson, L. Scott, C. C. Richardson, D. Palmer, W. W. Georgetown, A. H. Harbor.
Educational Board: Bishop W. M. Taylor, President; Elder R. L. Williams, Vice President; Elder Joseph Foster, Secretary; Bishop H. Rivers, Educational Treasurer, and Bishops R. Brooks, A. Freeman, L. Bullup, J. B. Williams, C. L. Washington.
Dr. T. A. Walker, M. D., Superintendent of Baton Rouge Academy, and Prof. J. S. Clark, Principal of Academy.
This Association has done, and under the leadership of Bishop W. M. Taylor is today (1914) doing a great work in the matter of lifting Negro Baptists religiously and educationally.
This Association was organized in 1876 by Elders Isaiah Lawson, Thomas L. Rhodes, I. C. Stewart and R. Coleman. Bishop Lawson was its first president. Then followed successively Bishops R. Coleman, I. H. Stewart and Dr. H. C. Cotton, who at this time (1912) stands as the Moses of this great Baptist host, numbering 3,200 as loyal Baptists as can be found anywhere in the Union. Dr. Cotton is a man who believes in doing things by DOING THEM. This fact is evidenced by what he and his great association have done and are doing. For more than twenty years he has led them in the work of lifting up the men, women and children "farthest down."
Through his ability to do things two academies have been founded--one at Houma, La., and another at Belle Alliance, La. Both of these schools have been powerful influences for good in this part of the state, expelling ignorance and vice. The cost of these school buildings was more than $2,000 each. They are two-story frame buildings and are completed throughout, very well furnished with the latest improved desks and furniture. Dr. Cotton took a single church, the Israel Baptist Church, and erected the Israel Academy building at a cost of $2,556.20. They were only six months and one day paying this amount.
The property of the District is as follows: two plots of ground, two school buildings and a creditable Old Folks Home. The members of this District under their pioneer fathers and the great men they now have, have, without doubt, wrought well. Their present staff of officers (1913) follows: Bishop H. C. Cotton, President; Bishop C. D. Reese, Vice President; Professor D. F. Ross, A. M., LL. B., Recording Secretary; Bishop C. S. Collins, A. B., M. D., Corresponding Secretary; Elder T. L. Welch, Treasurer, and Bishop S. L. McComb, Missionary.
S. S. Association Officers: Bishop O. Williams, President; Bishop J. W. Wickham, Recording Secretary; Prof. McWillis, Corresponding Secretary, and Elder T. L. Welch, Treasurer.
P. S.--Since the above was written Elder Cotton has gone to his reward and Bishop Chas. D. Reese is now (1914) Moderator.
This is one of the oldest and most active districts in the state. It was organized by Elder J. B. Livingston and other pioneer leaders in 1877.
Elder Livingston has been its honored head for more than thirty-seven years. This body of Christian workers has weathered many storms during these years, but this veteran leader has stood heroically on the bridge of this ship of Zion and kept her from going to pieces on the rocks. Brother Livingston and his co-workers began this work with but few churches, but today the Sixth District Association is among the largest and most influential in the state, having ordained preachers many and organized NOT A FEW churches.
In addition to the large amount of church work this District has wrought well educationally. Howe Institute, the pride of Sixth District Baptists, stands as a monument of educational interest. This splendid school began its existence among these brethren in 1890, and has borne much fruit. In point of commodious school buildings, the Sixth District leads; other Districts follow. In addition to a large two-story frame building, they have erected a beautiful two-story brick building at a cost of $8,000.
The Sixth District Association is officered by the following brethren: Elder J. B. Livingston, Moderator; Elder J. T. B. Labeau, Vice Moderator; Elder J. C. Rochell, Recording Secretary; Bishop A. J. Horton, Corresponding Secretary; and Bishop Prince Albert, Treasurer.
Sunday-School Association Officers: Bishop A. J. Horton, President; Bishop A. R. Butler, Vice President; Bishop A. J. Willis, Recording Secretary; Elder J. W. Cooper, Corresponding Secretary, and Elder J. C. Rochell, Treasurer.
Women's Association: Sister S. Jenkins, President; Sister N. L. West, Recording Secretary; Sister L. D. Bray, Corresponding Secretary, and Sister L. J. Green, Treasurer.
In the year 1874 there was organized at Opelousas, La., an Association known as the Seventh District Baptist Association. The following brethren were the organizers: Bishops J. P. Davenport, Osborne England, Samuel Moore, James McNeil, V. Rideau, Isaac Hodges, John Horn and others. Its first officers were J. P. Davenport, Moderator; S. W. White, Secretary; V. L. Rideau, Treasurer. Its present officers (1911) are: Bishop H. L. Stewart, Moderator; Elder E. W. Renty, Vice Moderator; Dr. G. M. Hunter, Recording Secretary; Brother P. L. Silas, Corresponding Secretary, and Brother L. J. Campbell, Treasurer.
These Christian workers have done much in the work of "lifting up" in their part of the state. Their work began in a hot-bed of Roman Catholicism with a handful of members, so to speak, but today they praise God for sixty-five strong churches with a membership of 5,000 or more marching under the triple declaration of "One Lord, one Faith and one Baptism." Bishop L. C. Simon, in 1900, founded one of the best high schools in the state, which under his fostering care has gone steadily on in the good work of saving our boys and girls. This school has a good annual enrollment and has grown in value from almost nothing to $20,000 in 1911. Elder Simon and co-workers deserve much credit for this great work.
In a few short years this District has accumulated the following: School property, $20.000; church property, $95,000; total, $115,000.
In the year 1872 this body was organized by Bishops C. H. Ellis, F. Boyd, A. January and others. This being one of our pioneer associations, it necessarily began its existence with a few churches, but it has grown steadily and worked hard in carrying the Gospel to its remotest territorial bounds. So that today (1911) the membership numbers 872 or more, and under the leadership of Moderator Smith they are pushing on to higher grounds.
In addition to the large amount of religious work done, this body of Christian workers has done a great deal by way of encouraging and supporting schools for the education of its young people. Many strong young men and women have gone out into life's work from this section of the state, and have touched communities for good wherever they have located. Prominent among these young people who have forged their way to the front is Professor C. C. Smith, B. A., who is (1911) a member of the Faculty of Leland University.
Elder Alonzo Smith, Moderator; Elder I. Young, Vice Moderator; Elder W. T. Purvis, Recording Secretary; Elder Henry Brew, Corresponding Secretary; Elder J. H. Ellis, Treasurer, and Elder H. R. Norris, Missionary.
Executive Board (including above officers): Elders L. T. Tison, O. Smith, C. H. Thomas, S. T. Wilkins, E. Griffin, W. M. Banks, G. W. Pannell.
S. S. Association Officers: Brothers L. T. Tison, President; E. L. Parker, Vice President; R. C. White, Recording Secretary; E. Fobs, Corresponding Secretary; W. M. Phillips, Treasurer, Mc Burns and L. W. Wallace, District Directors.
Officers Woman's Association: Sisters Carrie Payne, President; H. Johnson, Vice President; J. B. Wilkins, Recording Secretary; M. L. Wilkins, Corresponding Secretary; M. L. Wilkins, Corresponding Secretary; M. Jackson, Treasurer, and L. Johnson, District Missionary.
Both the S. S. Association and the Woman's Association have done and are doing much good for the cause of Christ.
This organization covers a large territory in Northeast Louisiana. It was organized in 1872 in Cloudy Creek Baptist Church by the following Elders: T. H. Johnson, who was the first President, Phillip Robinson, John Strauther, Stephen Baller, Isaac Grant, Mitchell Sims, H. A. Scates, I. Verwood, J. Jacob and A. Johnson. Drs. J. Tresvant and J. Mangham (white) assisted the brethren.
They began with seventeen church, membership about 2,000; today (1912) they number more than 10,000. This body has wrought well, and greatly improved conditions in this part of the state. Not only have they preached the Gospel, organized and built up churches, but they have and are now doing a deal of educational work. The North Louisiana Industrial High School located at Monroe with the scholarly Prof. M. J. Foster at its head, is sufficient proof of the District's interest in education. Elder H. R. Flynn, who for years has been chairman of the Trustee Board, Bishop Hill and the late Bishops Hamilton and Flood and scores of other strong men have labored hard for the educational work of the District.
Professor Foster, its efficient principal, is a college graduate of Leland University and a man of experience in matters pertaining to school management. With his able faculty, he is doing head, heart and hand work that measures up with any state district school. This school was founded in 1895 by Elders Wm. Hamilton, W. P. Darrington, J. B. Bolden and others. Its present valuation (1912) is $3,000. This host of Christian workers has been led from 1872 to 1912 by the following Moderators: Elder T. H. Johnson, C. Gardner, William Hamilton, Auder Back, Flood and W. W. Hill. Bishop Hill, the present Moderator (1912), is an untiring worker and stands shoulder to shoulder with any District Moderator in the state in point of devotion to the Master's cause. No District in the state is more loyal to the Convention. She easily holds her place among the banner districts of the state.
In August, 1870, this Association came into existence. It was organized in the First Baptist Church, Natchitoches, La., by the following brethren: Elders A. R. Blunt, Martin Kiles, Benjamin Perrow, Professor John G. Lewis and others who names cannot now be recalled.
For many years this body was successfully led by the following officers: Elders A. R. Blunt, Moderator; Martin Kiles, Vice Moderator; Benjamin Perrow, Treasurer, and Professor John G. Lewis, Recording Secretary.
These brethren deserve much credit for pioneer work. Present-day conveniences of travel were unknown to them, yet they pressed their way to the remotest bounds of their District, planting the gospel banner as they marched. Elder A. J. Harris succeeded Bishop Blunt. The younger men under Bishop Harris have been and are carrying the work on nobly, building on the foundation laid by the fathers. They have gone on with the work of organizing churches, ordaining preachers, until the entire District has been flooded by gospel light. Years ago it took its place among the banner districts of the state, and up to this writing (1914) it has held its own in the great work of Christianizing Louisiana. This association has evidenced its interest in education by doing what it could by way of fostering and encouraging schools. Moderator Harris, a broad-hearted and liberal-minded man, is always ready for any movement that promises to lift his constituency spiritually and educationally.
Elder A. J. Harris, Moderator; Elder B. A. Amons, Vice Moderator; Elder George W. Green, Sr., Recording Secretary; Elder M. A. Gurst, Treasurer; Elder A. D. Anderson, Corresponding Secretary; Elder John Loveless, District Missionary, Ringold, La.; Elder George W. Green, Sr., District Missionary, Campti, La.; Elder S. Carter, District Missionary, Montrose, La.; Elder Wm. Clayton, High School, Treasurer; Elders S. Horton, F. Hatcher, L. S. Hodge, R. A. Nash.
After the organization of churches, associations and conventions came the institution of the Louisiana Baptist Sunday-School State Convention.
Bishops S. T. Clanton, C. J. Hardy and other pioneer leaders were responsible for the introduction of this work. These brethren wrought more than they knew in that they set in motion a movement that has blessed thousands of children in the state, and quickened spiritual life in old people as well.
In 1887 the officers were: Bishop C. J. Hardy, President; Elder A. L. Reese, Vice President; Bishop S. T. Clanton, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop H. K. Barret, Recording Secretary, and Elder B. Dorsey, Treasurer.
Bishop A. J. Horton, of New Iberia, was for many years the honored President of this body. He and his co-workers accomplished much. Other Presidents whose names I cannot now recall followed in the wake of Elder Horton's well done work.
At this time (1914) Elder D. M. Brown leads the Sunday-school hosts of the State. They held a splendid session recently at Crowly, La. They adjourned to meet next year (1915) at Homer, La.
The present staff of officers follows: Bishop D. M. Brown, President; Elder H. C. Ross, Vice President; Bishop T. H. Evans, Recording Secretary; Bishop J. W. White, Corresponding Secretary; Brother J. A. Steadman, State Missionary; Bishop G. S. Lee, Sub-Missionary, and Elder J. R. Rodney, Sub-Missionary. Brother Steadman is a splendid Sunday-school worker, and is also under the co-operative plan of the Southern White Baptist Convention.
Bishop Evans is accomplishing much at Oak Ridge, and is one of the Tenth District leaders. Bishop White is one of the leading workers at Bunkie and is helping his people no little bit.
This noble band of Christian women has worked shoulder to shoulder with the brethren and has accomplished much. Under the leadership of Sister F. M. Washington they give promise of continued great work as the years come and go.
Officers and Board members are as follows: Sister F. M. Washington, President; Sister Ella Cloud, Vice President; Sister Eugenia Allen, Recording Secretary; Sister A. J. Thompson, Corresponding Secretary; Sister Ann Ladson, Treasurer; District Missionaries, Sister M. T. Anderson, Sister Rosa Carter, Sister E. M. Brown, Sister Ella Cloud, Sister Ann Ladson, Sister E. M. Washington and Sister Clara Williams.
Executive Board, including officers: Sister L. H. Morris, Sister Charlotte Russell, Sister E. M. Brown, Sister M. T. Anderson, Sister Katie Frierson, Sister Annie Levy, Sister Bell Speed, Sister Katie Chatman, Sister Catherine Miles, Sister E. L. Primm, Sister Martha Felix.
This body of Christian workers is doing splendid work in and around Natchitoches, under the leadership of Bishop Z. Z. Harrison. Twenty-five churches represent in this Association, with a membership of 2,000. Elder Z. Z. Harrison is the efficient Moderator; Brother W. M. Allen is the worthy scribe. Among other associational leaders are: Bishops Henry Douglas, D. January, E. A. Adams, S. L. Hamilton, John Gains, B. R. Holmes, M. C. Holmes and J. L. Cole.
This is one of the largest and most progressive districts in the state, and is the home district of the writer. Its beginning and work date back to 1876 when Bishop Wm. Massy, of Marshall, Texas, was appointed by the Louisiana and Texas brethren Educational and Financial Agent. Half of what he raised went to start the FIRST educational work in North Louisiana, while the other half was used to foster educational work in Texas. One hundred dollars was raised in the first Educational Rally.
After the Louisiana brethren withdrew from the Texas brethren they formed local associations, the first being organized in 1880 with Bishop L. C. Capers as Moderator. This first organization was effected by Elders L. C. Capers, Luke Allen, Sr., N. W. Winston, Jackson Powell, Eli Adams, Dave Grantham, Tom Luke and others. Bishop Robert Taylor was elected Missionary--the first to go forth in this part of the state.
The North Louisiana Association No. 1 was organized in 1869 with the following officers: Bishop John Jones, Moderator; Elder Dave Grantham, Vice Moderator; P. W. Shivers, Secretary, and a Treasurer whose name cannot be recalled. Others helped to set up this body, whose names are lost to this history, but their names are on the "Record on High" to be known when the roll is called in Heaven.
The Thirteenth District Association is the result of the union of local bodies, and was constituted in the year 1888 at Antioch Baptist Church, Elder L. Allen, Sr., pastor, Shreveport, La. The following brethren affected the organization: L. Allen, Sr., C. S. Shelton, Allen Johnson, Daniel Gross, L. C. Capers, Robert Taylor, J. M. Carter, H. C. Coleman, F. J. Cook and others. Bishop J. M. Carter was chosen to be the Association's first Moderator, and Deacon A. A. Pradd its first Secretary. The rest of the officers were elected and the Association got down to business. Elder L. C. Capers was subsequently elected to the Moderatorship and served acceptably for a number of years.
In the year 1894, during the session held at Mansfield, La., with the St. John Baptist Church, Elder Albert Isaac Carter, by the will of the association, came to the Moderator's chair. This body has wrought well religiously and educationally since this grand old man has had his "hands upon the throttle and his eyes upon the rails." He took the work up where his predecessors had creditably left off and brought it forward with marked success. This Thirteenth District as such had no educational work going on at this time. A school known as Providence Academy, however, was being operated in its midst by a Trustee Board independent of the association. This school was the product of the great mind of Dr. A. M. Newman, who was its founder and Educational Supervisor. The teachers were Miss Blanch Sterrett, Miss Elizabeth Norrington and others, whose names cannot now be recalled. The Providence Academy accomplished much under its efficient Board, able Supervisor and faculty. Bishop A. B. Daniels was the popular chairman of this Board.
In the fall of 1894 the Providence Academy Board and the Thirteenth District Executive Board met in joint session at the Antioch Baptist Church, Dr. A. M. Newman, pastor, and agreed on the dissolution of the Providence Academy and the organization of the Thirteenth District Academy, with Professor Wm. Hicks as Principal; Miss Blanch Sterrett, Assistant; and Dr. A. M. Newman, Supervisor. So to speak, the Institution got up steam and started out, sending word ahead "to close all switches because the Thirteenth District Academy was on the main line." The beginning of this school was small and humble. When Principal Hicks climbed the hill, October, 1894, on which he hoped to find a two-story structure completely equipped, instead he found an old "L" shaped cast-away dwelling house on whose top was the warm-hearted and education-loving Bishop A. T. Sumpter and the faithful Deacon Aaron Gaskin, with hammer in hand, stopping the leaks in the old building. After five years of successful labor the Principal moved this old house back, made a dining-room and kitchen of it, and on its site erected to the credit of the District a fine $3,000 two-story frame building. In a short while the District had paid every cent on it. No member of the Board worked harder and more zealously in the erection of this edifice and the payment of the debt than did Bishop A. H. Samuels, chairman of School Board. He stood ready at all times to encourage the Principal with both his money and his words. The enrollment of the school grew rapidly to nearly 300, and the term receipts from tuition, board, etc., to more than $2,000, when Professor Hicks resigned in 1903 and accepted the Deanship of the Theological Department of Coleman College, Gibsland, La. The Managing Board of the school was made up of the following brethren: A. H. Samuels, President; C. S. Shelton, Secretary; J. M. Carter, District Supervisor of Education; J. T. Alexander, A. T. Sumpter, L. W. Canfield, L. C. Capers, H. R. Flynn and Wm. Caldwell. The following teachers have served this school: Wm. Hicks, B. A., D. D.; Miss Blanch Sterrett, Prof. Harris Hamilton, Mrs. Desire Morse Priestly, Mrs. Olivia Madison Hicks, Mrs. Julia Carter Whalley, Mrs. Rhoda Brown Madkin, Mrs. Agnes Johnson Mickens, Mrs. Dr. Rainwater, Mrs. Lula Burgess Capers, Mrs. Dr. J. H. Henderson, Mrs. Harris Hamilton, Professor A. Cheatham, B. A., Professor R. P. Player, Professor A. Leatherman, B. A., Professor A. C. Capers, B. A., Professor J. E. Wilson and others.
This school has grown from a minimum value or $600 or $700 to a maximum of about $6,000 or $7,000 in 1914. It comprises one two-story frame building with an attached boys' department, seven or eight city lots and 120 acres of farm land. The District's churches have increased to 94, with a membership of about 9,000. Elder A. H. Samuels has been recently elected Moderator (1913).
In connection with the Association of churches this body has three working auxiliaries that are accomplishing much.
The entire staff of District officers follows: Elder A. H. Samuels, Moderator; Bishop E. S. Stills, Vice Moderator; Bishop C. S. Shelton, Recording Secretary; Brother J. A. Steadman, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop J. J. Evans, Treasurer; Professor R. P. Player, Auditor.
Sunday-School Association officers: Brother J. A. Steadman, President; Mrs. S. C. Williams, Vice President; Prof. R. P. Player, Recording Secretary; Miss Essie Bailey, Corresponding Secretary; Brother H. C. Henderson, Treasurer.
Baptist Young People's Union: Brother H. S. Davis, President; Brother L. E. Murray, Vice President; Miss Johnetta Bradford, Recording Secretary; Bishop I. A. Carter, Jr., Corresponding Secretary.
Woman's Home Mission Association: Mrs. S. C. Williams, President; Mrs. J. C. Carter, Vice President; Mrs. H. R. Flynn, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Margaret Chew, Treasurer.
Among the oldest and most progressive associations in the state is the Northwest No. 1. Its organization was affected in 1872 by the following Bishops: William Newman, Cager Nelson, Peter McDaniel, Monroe Moore and others at Saint Rest Baptist Church, Minden, La.
Since its organization it has been victoriously led by the following officers: Elders William Newman, Jerry Chaptman, W. W. Stewart, Matt Glover, Monroe Moore, Joseph Frank, J. R. Moore, James Newman, P. P. Mellon, Th., B., and the present (1913) intrepid and tireless leader, Bishop Jerry A. Moore, Th. B. The pioneer preachers began work in this part of the state when the darkness of ignorance and sin was dense. There was hardly a ray of light to guide them on their way, but their faith was strong in God. They got together a few scattered churches soon after freedom and set themselves to work. Their small beginning has grown into a strong and influential association with twenty-five or more churches and a membership of more than 2,500. This body of Christian workers is after "the man farthest down" and is gradually getting him in hand. Its churches would number more but for the giving birth to the Springfield Missionary and Educational Association which is doing a great work throughout Bienville and other parishes. Besides church work well done these brethren have done and are doing a deal of educational work.
For a number of years many of its members gave liberally for the support of Coleman College, and since 1905 they have fostered the Northwest Louisiana District High School No. 1, which was founded by Bishops J. R. Moore, P. P. Mellon, Th. B., J. M. Moore, A. G. McDaniel and others. The school comprises a two-story frame structure situated on about 33 acres of fine land valued at $3,000. Bishop J. A. Moore, B. Th., a man of great mental, moral and spiritual power, is the present (1912) head of this Association. He is leading this body to "higher grounds."
In the year 1884, this body came into existence at the Liberty Hill Baptist Church. The organization was effected by Bishops G. W. Jackson, W. B. Washington, R. D. Malone, G. H. Gullatt and others.
The number of churches was small, but today (1911) it comprises thirty-one of the best churches in the state. The pioneer New Testament preachers of this period were men of sterling character. They served the people faithfully in their day, and laid a foundation deep and broad upon which the young ministers coming after have raised creditable superstructures.
The association's Moderators and Secretaries from its organization to date (1912) follow: Elders G. W. Jackson, Moderator, and G. H. Gullatt, Secretary; then came Bishops G. B. Washington, Moderator, and A. J. Jackson, Secretary; and last but not least, the present stalwart Christian leaders, Bishops D. M. Brown, Moderator, and L. W. Fuller, Secretary.
These brethren have wrought well, having preached the Gospel through their churches to thousands, bringing hundreds into fellowship with God and doing much in a Christian and educational way to lift the people up out of the mud of superstition, ignorance and vice.
At this time the Liberty Hill Association fosters the Allengreen Normal and Industrial Institute valued at $3,000. Under the leadership of Elder Brown these laborers in the Lord's vineyard have done and are doing an abiding work.
The following brethren constitute the present staff of officers and Executive Board: Bishop D. M. Brown, D. D., Moderator; Bishop P. B. Lewis, Vice Moderator; Bishop L. W. Fuller, D. D., Recording Secretary; Bishop A. L. Adams, Corresponding Secretary; Elder G. B. Washington, District Missionary; Deacon G. S. May, Treasurer; Bishops F. W. Winbush, S. M. Mannings and C. L. Woods.
The aim and object of this organization is to inculcate in its members the true spirit of missions, to aid and assist worthy young women in becoming trained missionaries.
The object of these women is indeed noble. Up to this time they have done a deal of work, and under the leadership of Sister Brown and her able staff of officers they are destined to do untold good.
Officers: Sister L. R. Brown, President; Sister Mary J. Lewis, Recording Secretary; Sister Sadie Hollis, Corresponding Secretary; Sister Katie Peevy, Treasurer; Sisters Nellie May and Eva Derrett, First District Missionaries; Sister Regina Dorson, Second District Missionary, and Sister M. Sanders, Third District Missionary.
In the town of Farmersville, 1872, the Gum Spring Association was brought into existence by the following Bishops: W. Gray, P. Shepherd, Ezekiel L. Jones, C. Morse, G. W. Jackson, W. G. Head, J. D. Dunn, N. T. Abbott and others.
This pioneer body was organized with twenty-five churches. Today it more than doubles this number, and from time to time new churches are being added to its membership. The present membership is 5,642. This organization has accomplished, perhaps, much more than it knows. I speak with special reference to the fathers, who took no note of their labors, but worked steadily on, doing in the Lord's name what their hands found to do. Too much cannot be said honoring these veterans. Their day was dark and full of inconveniences. They had no V. S. and P. R. R.; and no Rock Island R. R. to help them on their way. When too poor to go on horse or mule-back, or by way of buggy or wagon, they went forth on foot with the torchlight of Gospel truth, walking miles to preach in some old gin house, barn or log cabin with dirt floor. By so doing they made it possible for the present day minister to preach the Word in brick and stone buildings with their pulpits not on dirt floors, but on tongue-glued floors and Brussels carpets. THREE CHEERS! Not only for the pioneers of Louisiana, but for the world. So vigorously and persistently did they push this propaganda that within a few short years after the white Baptists had turned them loose to stand or fall, they had nearly all of the parishes of Louisiana dotted with churches.
Most of the fathers have crossed the river, but their sons in the Gospel are on the scene, carrying on the well-begun work. This band of Christian workers has not only organized churches and preached the Word, but they have and are now moving things educationally. They own and operate the Ruston Colored Normal, valued at $3,000. This school is ably principaled by Prof. I. S. Powell, B. A., one of the most scholarly Christian teachers in the state. He has accomplished much for God and his race.
The Moderators of the Association since its organization are as follows: Elders W. Gray, Ezekiel Jones, Prince Jones, W. G. Head, J. D. Whalley, F. T. Delley and the present Moderator, Bishop Albert Henry.
Secretaries as follows: Elders W. G. Head, T. J. Brown, J. M. Dade, Prof. S. S. Gray and J. F. Rhone. Bishop Head was the first Secretary and served with credit to himself and his denomination for years. The value of this Association's church and school property is estimated at $55,285.
This body was organized in 1872 at Rocky Mount, La., Bossier Parish. The first Moderator was Elder A. Windham (white), who did much in organizing and assisting the ex-slaves religiously. The next Moderator was Bishop Charles Jones; the third, Elder F. J. Cook; fourth, Bishop H. C. Dickerson, and the fifth Moderator (1911) is Elder L. Ford.
These early laborers began this work with a very few members in the early seventies; to-day, they number more than 3,000. Interest in the educational uplift of their people is evidenced by their High School, which was organized in 1907 by Elders S. H. Ralph, L. Ford, S. W. Jackson, Z. Flenouy, W. H. Hall, I. S. Mitchell, Jr., Bishop Ralph worked hard and wrought well as principal of this school. It is valued at $1,000 and has an annual enrollment of 150. It is destined to do much good in this part of the state. In fact, Calvary Association, under the leadership of Bishops L. Ford, F. J. Cook, S. H. Ralph, Jesse Byrd, James Moore, Mitchell and others, has done and is doing much in this part of the moral vineyard to dispell the darkness of ignorance, superstition and vice.
Bishop Ralph was among the first or the first Negro Baptist newspaper man in North Louisiana, his first paper being about the size of a letter. Elder Jesse Byrd, although working principally in the bounds of the Thirteenth District Association, weilded much influence for good in this body also. He is often called "Father Byrd."
Among the Baptist state organizations, none labors harder for the religious and educational uplift of the people than the Northwest No. 2. It is among the oldest associations in the state, and was organized in the year 1873 by the following brethren: Bishops Thomas B. Smith, Henry Jackson, Joseph Satterwhite, Carolina Fuller, Rial Wickwire, S. Presley and Brother Henry Farris. Bishops that have served this body are T. B. Smith, R. B. Gant and J. J. Fuller. Bros. Smith and Gant have served acceptably and with credit to themselves and denomination, and gone to their reward. Elder Fuller is at present the Moses of this band of Christian workers. What he may lack "in the letter" is more than made up "in the Spirit, in moral power and in executive ability." At the time of its organization this association had but few churches; today it has 56 splendid bodies of baptized believers with a membership of 4,000.
Besides this marvelous spiritual growth, the organization's educational growth has been phenominal. Moderator Fuller has backed and stood by Professor J. H. Whaley, in matters educational, "to the last ditch," consequently the District School has grown from almost nothing just a few years ago, under Professor Whaley, to one of the leading District Schools in the state. See more about this and other of our schools elsewhere in this volume.
Association secretaries that have served follows: Bishops B. F. Edwards, J. M. Carter, H. L. Davis, W. B. Purvis and William Caldwell. The Mansfield Colored High School at Mansfield is owned by this body. The valuation of the District's property is not less than $5,000. With Moderator Fuller at the head, it is safe to predict that this good work will go on. Officers: Bishop J. J. Fuller, Moderator; Bishop R. B. Sloan, Vice Moderator; Elder B. F. Edwards, Recording Secretary; Bishop W. B. Purvis, Corresponding Secretary; Brother H. H. Farris, Treasurer, and Prof. J. M. Peace, Auditor.
In the year 1873 at New Hope Baptist Church, Jackson Parish, La., there came into existence the New Hope Association. It was organized by the following Bishops: I. S. Flournoy, Moderator; Ezekiel Jones, Will Gray, W. G. Jackson and other brethren. They began with eight churches. Now (1913) the younger brethren who are in charge of the work are thanking God for twenty-four or more of the best churches in the state.
These brethren have taught and preached. Their work of teaching goes on in Chatham District School which is owned and operated by them. The valuation of this school is $1,000.
In addition to this work within their own borders they contribute to representatives of Coleman College, Ruston Normal Institute and others who may appeal to them during their sessions. The following Bishops have presided over this body since its organization: I. S. Flenouy, H. P. Pierce, Elbert Scott, Stephen Jackson and C. B. Collins. Brother Collins, the present Moderator, is leading the host on to victory.
Staff of officers (1911) follows: Bishop C. B. Collins, Moderator; Bishop A. B. Harris, Vice Moderator; Professor William McDonald, Recording Secretary; Brother L. J. Nelson, Recording Secretary; Brother H. N. McCarty, Treasurer, and Elder J. W. Cassy, District Missionary.
In 1900 this body of Christian workers was born in Ascension Parish, La. The following Elders took part in the organization: A. Stevenson, H. C. Johnson, James Roberson, M. P. Vincent, F. Coleman, F. Willis and others. This body began with a small number of churches--only twelve, but today their number is doubled and they are pressing on, covering more territory, organizing more churches and planting the blood-stained banner wherever opportunity permits.
In addition to the religious work that they have done and are doing, this association shows its loyalty to that part of the Great Commission which makes it binding "to teach" by fostering Leland Academy at Donaldsonville, La. This is one of our District Schools which has accomplished much, being valued at $6,000.
Bishops Stevenson, Johnson, Roberson and their followers are pushing steadily on in the matter of educating and Christianizing the people in this part of the state. They are going on with the Gospel propaganda and are "making disciples."
Association officers are (1910) as follows: Bishop A. Stevenson, Moderator; Elder F. Williams, Vice Moderator; Brother Hy Henderson, Corresponding Secretary; Brother G. H. Hill, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop F. Coleman, Treasurer, and Bishop James Bruley, District Missionary. Board Members: Elders J. J. Jenkins, Thomas Brown, F. Burnett, H. Williams, H. White, E. D. Reditt, H. Butler, R. W. Allison, Wm. Davis and Brother D. C. Nelson.
This organization is among the youngest, but it is one of the most influential for good in the state. In point of numbers it is small; but in point of actual, tangible and constructive missionary and educational work, it is THERE with the largest association in the state. When the Apostle of Education of North Louisiana, Prof. O. L. Coleman comes before it with an educational appeal, it is an ordinary thing for the messengers to give from $40 to $50 with additional contributions during the associational year, and when the Foreign Missionary comes and tells them about dark Africa, they count $25 or more for the preaching of the Gospel across the waters. In addition to this the churches send to Dr. Jordan foreign mission money during the year. Bishop J. D. Stewart, A. B., Moderator of this body, is one of the most liberal foreign mission contributors in the United States.
This association is a child of the Northwest No. 1. It was organized November 7th, 1907, at Springville Baptist Church, Gibsland, La., after the above mentioned association had granted several of her churches letters of dismission to affect a new organization. The mother association granted these letters in peace, being impressed that said churches would do better and more affective work.
Meeting to organize was called to order on above mentioned date at 10 a. m. Devotionals were led by Elder R. Booker. After a part of the 8th chapter of 2nd Corinthians was read, prayer was offered by Brother E. D. Johnson. Appropriate words of welcome were then delivered by the pastor, Bishop J. D. Stewart, which were aptly responded to by Bishop T. H. McDonald. The association was then organized by Bishops J. D. Stewart, T. H. McDonald, A. B. Amons, W. L. Gibson, Wm. Hicks and others. The following officers were elected: Bishop J. D. Stewart, Moderator: Brother T. M. Egan, Vice Moderator; Brother B. G. Hewitt, Recording Secretary; Bishop T. H. McDonald, Corresponding Secretary, and Brother H. H. Henson, Treasurer.
The following brethren were elected to constitute the Executive Board in connection with the officers: W. L. Gibson, W. L. Lewis, B. A. Amons and G. W. Smith. In this first meeting after an able introductory sermon, preached by Bishop W. L. Gibson, the brethren gave so liberally that Bishop Wm. Hicks easily lifted a collection of $26. Total raised in this initial session was $159.80. The baptizing that this first session of the association received at the hand of the Holy Ghost will be long remembered and never forgotten. This body of Christian workers is destined to do much good under God and their tireless leader, Bishop J. D. Stewart, A. B.
This is one of the oldest Christian organizations in the state. It was constituted in the city of New Orleans in 1869 by Elder Thos. Peterson, its founder, and others. It was incorporated June 16th, 1880. These veterans organized it with only seven churches, but at this writing, Moderator Brown and his followers praise God for sixty churches. Not only have they won stars for their crowns by doing church work, but by maintaining and supporting an Old Folks Home in which they have cared for scores of our old mothers. No race will live long that neglects its old and its young people. This Association, like the First District and a few others, is nobly living up to that phase of Christian religion which makes it BINDING to "visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction." Their asylum for the old people is a nice, large, commodious building valued at $5,000. It has a campus comprising 19 lots with a value of $10,000, making a total valuation of $15,000.
The association's present membership is 3,000, and under the undaunted leadership of Moderator Brown this number will grow numerically, morally and spiritually. Bishop Brown is comparatively young in the work, but under God he has more than made good, and with his able staff of officers promises to do much more by way of bettering conditions in the city of New Orleans.
The Association's first Executive Board was as follows: Elders Tom Peterson, Charles Brooks, T. B. Evans, Palmer Elkins, Thomas Jones, Brothers Joseph Kion and Wm. Kelley.
The present 1912 corps of officers and Executive Board follows: Bishop E. L. Brown, Moderator; Bishop N. Melrow, Vice Moderator; Bishop A. Guilliott, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop E. N. Webb, Recording Secretary; Bishop B. J. Stewart, Statistical Secretary, and Bishop R. W. Williams, Treasurer. Board Members: Brothers G. S. King, Wm. Brown, Robert Rush, James Roberson, Arthur James R. Carter, J. Thomas, C. V. Thomas, E. Scott, E. Washington, D. D. Marcell, C. Barber, Robert Riley and Sister Mamie Willis.
The wonderful growth of the few associations which were at work in the state in the early seventies, and a desire among the brethren to more closely associate themselves in the work throughout the state, brought about the organization of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention.
The Louisiana Southern Baptist Association, in session at Baton Rouge, La., February, 1872, passed a resolution inviting the other associations and churches to send delegates to meet in joint session at the First Colored Baptist Church, New Orleans, La., for the purpose of organizing a State Convention. This call was hailed with joy all over the state, and on the appointed date, the brethren came from the north, east and west and accomplished the great work. It appears that a pioneer preacher by the name of Madison Allen was the first president; then came the following brethren: Elder Henry White, Hon. C. F. Ladd, Bishops John Marks, A. S. Jackson, A. M. Newman, A. R. Blunt, J. B. Livingston, H. C. Cotton, J. L. Burrell A. B. Flood and W. M. Taylor.
Bishop Taylor is President at this time (1914). Since the organization was affected, this body has done much by way of stimulating the brotherhood and encouraging the work in every nook and corner of the state. As early as 1883, signs of immense moral and intellectual progress were apparent. There were 500 churches connected with the Convention; 70,000 members, 650 ministers and 350 Sunday-schools. The officers of the Convention at this time were: Bishop John Mark, President; Bishop A. S. Jackson, Recording Secretary; Bishop S. T. Clanton, Corresponding Secretary, and Bishop Ambrose Hubbs, Treasurer. Officers of State Sunday-School Convention follow: Bishop C. J. Hardy, President; Bishop A. L. Reese, Vice President; Bishop S. T. Clanton, Corresponding Secretary; Bishop H. K. Barrett, Recording Secretary, and Bishop B. Dorsey, Treasurer. Other organizations throughout the state were alive, and the influence of the Convention for good was felt everywhere. The organization of this body had supplied a long-felt want. The pioneer fathers at this time were on the scene, but were gradually turning the reins over to the younger brethren.
In this same year (1883) the Convention divided the state into thirteen district associations (Bishop J. M. Carter made the motion), making 16 in all (including three associations previously organized). The brethren throughout the state entered vigorously upon the work of developing these districts, which work they have prosecuted admirably well. Forty-one years have gone by since the fathers started this work and many of them, Bishops Newman, Blunt Walker, Hamilton, Ladd, Dorsey, Flemings, Cotton, Flood and scores of others, have answered the roll call, but their well-begun work goes on. Their labors have borne fruit which has become ripe all over the state to the glory and honor of God. "Right blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
The work of these great men and the labors of those who have followed them are expressed in terms of churches, Old Folks Homes and schools all over Louisiana. They planted no cotton and corn, raised no large crops, but they planted churches and Christian schools and raised men. We have a splendid crop of men in the state today due to seed planted by the hand of "the fathers" forty years ago.
The Convention is proud of the fourteen or fifteen hundred churches with a membership of 135,000; two or three old folks homes; the eighteen or twenty District Schools, and the present-day opportunity to do greater work.
Convention Officers (1909): President, Elder A. B. Flood; Vice President, Bishop W. M. Taylor; Recording Secretary, Prof. D. F. Ross, A. M., LL. B.; Corresponding Secretary, Bishop W. B. Purvis; Assistant Secretary, Elder G. W. Head; Treasurer, Elder T. L. Welch.
Missionaries-Superintendent of Missions, Dr. H. B. N. Brown, Elder J. M. Carter, Elder J. W. Williard and Elder Luke Allen, Sr.
Vice Presidents: First, Bishop E. D. Sims; Second, Elder A. Stephenson; fourth, Elder A. L. Ash; fifth, Elder C. D. Reese; sixth, Bishop A. Horton; seventh, Elder A. W. Renty; Educational seventh, Bishop C. J. W. Boyd, Sr.; eighth, Elder H. J. Williams; S. E. eighth, Elder S. R. Franklin; tenth, Elder H. Y. Florence; Elders: L. Hill, P. B. Lewis, Wm. Wyatt, Luke Allen, Jr., F. J. Cook, R. B. Sloan, C. W. White, R. J. Dunlap.
State Board: First District, Dr. J. L. Burrell; Second District, Elder J. Roberson; Fourth District, Bishop W. M. Taylor; Fifth District, Elder H. C. Cotton; Sixth District, Elder J. B. Livingston; Seventh District, Bishop L. C. Simon; Educational Eighth, Bishop C. J. W. Boyd; Eighth District, Elder R. Cleveland; S. E. Eighth District, J. W. White; Tenth District, Bishop T. S. Washington; Gum Spring, Bishop A. Henry; Liberty Hill, Bishop L. W. Fuller; New Hope, Bishop B. C. Collins; Twelfth District, Elder C. S. Satterwhite; Thirteenth District, Elder J. M. Carter; Calvary Association, Bishop B. Moore; Union County Association, Elder W. B. Willis; North Louisiana Association, Elder C. W. White.
Recently, Elders Flood and Cotton have been called to their home in Heaven. Bishop W. M. Taylor is now (1914) President of the Convention.
For twenty-two years after the brethren began organic work, the sisterhood of the state was doing unorganized mission work as best they could until Bishops H. C. Cotton, William Hamilton, H. B. N. Brown, Israel Thomas, L. C. Simon, John Marks, A. S. Jackson, J. M. Carter and S. T. Clanton called them together and organized them into "The Woman's Baptist State Convention of Louisiana," with Mrs. Alice Staff as President, in 1887.
The following Presidents came after: Sister Rosa Cotton, Sister Sarah A. Gates, Sister A. L. Windham, Sister N. L. West and Sister L. D. Pruit, who at this time is the efficient leader of Louisiana Baptist women.
All the good accomplished by these sisters will never be penned. Many of their noble deeds are unwritten, and the writer is unable to record them here, but there is a Historian ON HIGH who has jotted the proceedings of all their meetings, and who will read them on Judgment Day to the teeming millions of "the great and the small."
After much good had been accomplished, it seemed that the work lagged and became practically disorganized, but in September, 1896, Bishops L. G. Jordan, J. M. Carter, Israel Thomas and A. J. Horton encouraged and reorganized the sisters. Sister N. L. West was elected President and the Convention "set sail" again. From 1896 to the present day they have come, scattering sunshine along their pathway and into many darkened homes. With the Joanna P. Moore spirit they are making glad and encouraging the hearts of many mothers.
The present wide-awake President is Sister Loretta Dunn Pruitt. She and her co-workers "are doing things." In addition to their already well-done work, they are pressing forward, and are making splendid headway in founding a State Female Seminary, which is to be known as "The Joanna P. Moore's State Female Seminary." Convention Officers: Sister L. D. Pruitt, President; Sister N. L. West, Vice President; Sister M. A. Cook, Recording Secretary; Sister Winnie Ambler, Corresponding Secretary; Sister R. D. Watkins, Treasurer, and Sister Jane P. Harden, State Missionary.
This is perhaps one of the youngest associations in the state. It is doing missionary and educational work in and around Homer, La. Having been very recently set up much cannot be said of its accomplishments. Under the leadership, however, of Bishop Roy A. Mayfield and others it is destined to do much good.
This association was organized by the following brethren: Bishops Wm. Garrett, J. M. Harvey, R. A. Mayfield, Brothers J. W. Oliver, T. B. Dozier and others.
Present staff of officers follows: Elder Wm. Garrett, Moderator; Elder J. M. Harvey, Vice Moderator; Elder R. A. Mayfield, Recording Secretary; G. W. Adams, Corresponding Secretary; W. Scott, Treasurer.
We learn from an article in the News Enterprise, dated October 3, 1914, that a "New Association at Preston, La.," had been organized. We pray for these brethren unlimited success in the vineyard of the Lord. Officers: Bishop M. Ray, Moderator; Elder L. L. Gastin, Vice Moderator; Brother E. J. C. Allen, Recording Secretary; Brother W. H. Green, Corresponding Secretary; Brother Henry Demery, Treasurer, and Brothers J. Nash and B. J. Johnson, Board Members. Bishop W. L. Hobley, Missionary.
Women's District Home Mission Association Officers: Sister Ellen Hobley, President; Sister Josephine Demery, Vice President; Sister Siller Williams, Recording Secretary; Sister Henrietta Ray, Treasurer, and Sister Charlotte Russell, Board member.
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